(RNS) Did Pope Francis change church teaching on homosexuality?

When asked by reporters about rumors of a “gay lobby” of clergy in the Vatican who were exposing the Holy See to blackmail schemes and scandal, Francis at first joked that while there’s a lot of talk about such a lobby, “I have yet to find on a Vatican identity card the word ”˜gay.’ ”

Then, in a more serious vein, he added:

“I think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good. ”¦ If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge that person?”

Francis also cited church teaching to argue that gays should never be marginalized: “The problem is not that one has this tendency (to homosexuality); no, we must be brothers. This is the first matter.”

Read it all.

Update: John Allen’s story mentioned in the second blog comment may be found here.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

14 comments on “(RNS) Did Pope Francis change church teaching on homosexuality?

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    I don’t really feel I have much choice in covering this story because it is a major one. I prefer to keep threads open so I am going to try that but comments please need to be fair and toned in accord with the Christian faith.

    If my plea fails then I shall need to alter the thread to by email only so let us see how we can do on a summer Monday.

  2. Dan Crawford says:

    I am appalled at the headlines. Having read the stories, especially John Allen’s in the National Catholic Reporter, I am convinced that the Pope has said nothing that contradicts the Church’s teaching – in fact, he has said what I hope any compassionate priest would say. But our news agencies are governed by an agenda when it comes to coverage of stories like, so sadly there is nothing to be surprised at.

  3. Capt. Father Warren says:

    From the National Catholic Register,

    “Pope Francis reiterated the Church’s belief that having a homosexual orientation is not sinful but that engaging in homosexual acts is.”

    As #2 said, let us hope any good priest, deacon, or bishop would say the same thing. In fact, let’s hope that any good Christian, witnessing to the Gospel, would say the same thing.

  4. Br. Michael says:

    First, thanks for keeping this thread open.
    Second, I agree with Dan and Capt. Warren. The Pope is a compassionate priest. He is saying nothing more than any of us should say.

  5. Catholic Mom says:

    LOL!!! I LOVE this pope! He deals out straight orthodox doctrine on every single subject, and the press falls over themselves saying how incredibly modern and progressive he is. It’s the way he says it! You know, the Irish have a saying : “Diplomacy is the art of telling a man to go to hell and making him look forward to the journey.” This guy must be Irish because every time he says that gays need to confession and seek forgiveness and that women will never be priests he gets headlines that say “pope embraces gays and women’s leadership.” 🙂

  6. Undergroundpewster says:

    NBC nightly news made this their lead story and totally misled their audience as to what the Pope was saying. Wow!

  7. Vatican Watcher says:

    Blah, blah, Mainstream Media butchers Pope’s words to suit the agenda, blah blah.

    Old news.

    In the Catholic blog circles I run in, the actual kerfluffle right now is over the decree issued regarding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate’s freedom to say the Extraordinary Form/Traditional Latin Mass according to the motu proprio set out by Benedict.

  8. Brian of Maryland says:

    Agree with Catholic mom above: the man is a natural leader as he frames the discussion in such great ways people may listen just a tad longer. I really like this guy.

  9. Adam 12 says:

    I like the compassion and openness of Francis, but I fear he is not savvy to media twistings. For example, he said that God forgives and forgets, which could be used against the RC doctrine of Purgatory if people wanted to take that ball and run with it. The result is that he becomes some kind of oracle to public opinion that provides justification for people to pursue their self-justifications and secular agendas. In that sense I do not think he is helpful, and the media barrage that follows can be disspiriting to orthodox believers.

  10. Sarah1 says:

    Adam 12 — I so agree. He seems like a nice and faithful man — but not very precise or rigorous in thought or speech.

    Oh well. It could be worse — he could not believe the Gospel, like most of TEC’s leaders.

    So I quibble.

    But boy do I miss Benedict.

  11. Catholic Mom says:

    ” Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord.”

    The guy is not a theologian. But he has other gifts that Benedict did not have. This is not to denigrate one or the other. If you believe that the Holy Spirit sends us the pope we need when we need him, I think we need this pope and I, for one, am thrilled to have him.

    Re: “forgive and forget” — this certainly does not impact the doctrine of purgatory in any way. The modern emphasis is on the “purifying” aspects of purgatory, not the punitive.

  12. Charles52 says:

    Look on the bright side: when Papa Benedict was misinterpreted by the media, Muslims rioted, churches were burned, and at least one nun was murdered. That people hear what they are wont to hear is not new, nor the fault of either pope.

    Note to world: German theologians and Latin American pastors are different. It is true that as an academic theologian who spent 25 years running the Vatican department responsible for parsing theology, Benedict is more precise than an archbishop. Papa Francis has, however, made clear his love and respect for “El Viejo”.

    And yes, thanks to Canon Harmon for leaving the comments open. And what Catholic Mom said. I feel blessed to have lived in the time of spiritual giants like JPII, B16, and, I think perhaps Francis as well. Not to mention giants like Billy Graham, J.I. Packer, and Francis Shaeffer. God seems to send great Christian souls at the times we need them most, eh!

  13. Bill Matz says:

    As a memb er of Dio SJ under Abp Venables, I was so pleased when T19 reported his comments on the Pope. As others have noted, the latest statement changes nothing. That the statement has created such a MSM buzz simply shows how little the MSM understands orthodox Christianity. In eseence the MSM creates a strawman image of Christianity and now uses the Pope’s statement to create a different image and claim there has been a dramatic change. The real story is media ignorance, indifference, and/or hostility. Bet MSM will not report on that, though.

  14. Cennydd13 says:

    I agree, Bill. I’ll bet that we won’t hear a peep from them.