Friday, November 15, 2013

On the need to articulate things clearly

Poster Child for Gay Marriage
Pope Francis:
Poster Child for Gay Marriage
Especially if you are the pope: Pope Francis is now a “poster boy for gay marriage”:
In truth, Francis’s statements have been consistent with Church teachings, even when butchered and misunderstood and misrepresented, especially by the New York Times. That, however, is a problem in and of itself — one that Francis needs to be attentive to. Enthusiasts on the left are running wild with his remarks, particularly the imprecise ones, remaking them and him in their own image. He’s like their personal Vatican II; they seize his statements and exaggerate and exploit them for their contrary purposes.

A friend of mine who attends a parish in Western Pennsylvania told me what his liberal priest did with Francis’ comments on contraception. The congregation was told that the issue is now “dead and just remains to be buried.” The priest’s discourse on gay marriage and abortion was even more enlightening. “In a nutshell,” said my friend, “we were told that we didn’t need to worry about either gay marriage or abortion.”…

In Illinois last week, Democrat lawmakers passed legislation approving same-sex marriage in the state. Leading the charge were Catholic Democrats who brace yourself — cited Pope Francis in support of their actions. Here’s an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune:

Advocates [of gay marriage in Illinois] soon received additional help from Pope Francis, who warned that the Catholic Church could lose its way by focusing too much on social stances, including opposition to homosexuality.

"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?" Francis said in July.

The comments sparked a wave of soul-searching by several Catholic lawmakers who had battled to reconcile their religious beliefs with their sworn duty to represent their constituents who were increasingly supportive of gay rights even as Cardinal Francis George remained opposed.

"As a Catholic follower of Jesus and the pope, Pope Francis, I am clear that our Catholic religious doctrine has at its core love, compassion and justice for all people," said Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, a Democrat from Aurora who voted for the bill after spending much of the summer undecided.

House Speaker Michael Madigan also cited the pope's comments in explaining his support for the measure.

"For those that just happen to be gay living in a very harmonious, productive relationship but illegal — who am I to judge that they should be illegal?" the speaker said.

Madigan had come under fire from some gay rights groups who argued that he wasn't doing enough to build support in the chamber he controls, but advocates say he was critical in rounding up the final needed votes in the last several weeks.

This is stunning but predictable fallout from Pope Francis’ various remarks. Think about the absurdity: gay-marriage advocates in Illinois got the help they needed in persuading House Speaker Michael Madigan and other Catholic legislators; they believe they got it from Rome, from Pope Francis. And they believe they got it from the pope in direct opposition to their bishop, Cardinal George. By their understanding, Pope Francis and Cardinal George — their pope and their cardinal — are opposed to one another on gay marriage, and they have thus sided with Francis…

As for [Illinois House Speaker] Madigan, he’s a University of Notre Dame grad, Loyola University School of Law grad, and before that attended St. Ignatius College Prep school. He’s a lifetime product of Catholic formation, an education that he’s continuing by looking to Rome for guidance; that is, looking to Pope Francis.

Illinois now has gay marriage in part because of Pope Francis — or at least because of how Pope Francis is being interpreted. His words didn’t slow gay marriage in Illinois; they facilitated it.

To be sure, Francis has never endorsed gay marriage…

[Nevertheless], this pope needs to be really careful about what he’s saying. If he doesn’t, this boil will continue to fester. Unless he clarifies things better, and more strongly affirms and articulates Church teachings, this situation will get worse, spreading major errors throughout the Church, the country, the culture, and the world.

(HT: Bob S).


  1. I think its fair to say there are many many more RCs in this world who would do a better job as the Pope.

    Are papal elections even infallible?

    1. "Infallibility" is defined very narrowly to relate to doctrine, and even then, it has exclusions that enable it to be treated as a wax nose. "Papal elections" are not infallible in the least. The best that Roman Catholics can hope with this pope is to use the "Alias Smith and Jones" defense. As the saying went in the intro to that show, "For all the trains and banks they robbed, they never shot anyone". With respect to this pope, it may be said, "for all the stupid things he said, he never taught anyone." That is, "he never issued an infallible teaching".

      But we're not done yet, and this pope does intend to "clean house". That is, as he said, "I have the humility and ambition to want to do something." Now, having the ambition, and using it, are two different things. But they've got to be getting nervous.

  2. I can only imagine Sedevacantism getting more popular with Pope Francis up there, especially if he is succeeded by someone of a similar persuasion. Since Sedevacantism is a highly unstable position to take, I can only imagine that eventually that will mean more Conservative Roman Catholics leaving Rome for greener pastures, either in Constantinople or across the Thames.