A WSJ Front Page article (on the Ipad Edition) on the Pope and The Church's Sexual Standards

Pope Francis “is showing a deep respect for the human condition as it is, instead of approaching things in a doctrinal way,” said Alberto Melloni, a church historian.

“This isn’t a change in the church’s teaching,” said Rev. James Bretzke, a theology professor at Boston College. “What’s important is the change in style and emphasis.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York echoed the pope on Monday, saying a priest’s homosexuality “wouldn’t matter to me as long as one is leading a virtuous and chaste life.” But, he added, “My worry is that we’re buying into the vocabulary that one’s person is one’s sexual identity and I don’t buy that and neither does the church.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

One comment on “A WSJ Front Page article (on the Ipad Edition) on the Pope and The Church's Sexual Standards

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Alas, I fear this WSJ piece shows all too clearly the truth of the old adage, “[i]The message you think you’re sending is not necessarily the message that’s being received[/i].” All of us who have been preachers know this: people in the pews can interpret our words in ways we never intended, or even suspected they might be taken. Indeed, the whole flap and excitement shown over the papal remarks about gay priests tends to reflect how our secular journalists just don’t “get religion” and are prone to view statements by religious leaders through their own politically liberal grid or theologically ignorant filter.

    I’m glad that Cardinal Dolan was cited as a cautionary voice, helping to put the matter in proper perspective. My own concern is that while the pope’s positive remarks about the sexual orientation of priests afflicted with SSA (Same Sex Attraction) not being a bar to ministry as long as they don’t act out were welcome as a reminder of a vital distinction that our secular society generally doesn’t understand (or accept), and while they are true enough as far as they go, they aren’t “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” The danger is that in thus highlighting that a homosexual orientation isn’t a barrier to priestly ministry as long as someone remains chaste (indeed celibate), what people tend to hear these days is that there is nothing problematic about it.

    The article clearly shows some people desperately wanting the pope to say something along those lines, as if official Roman teaching no longer viewed homosexuality as an objective or intrinsic disorder, i.e., as fundamentally unhealthy. I’m pretty sure that in fact Pople Francis does so regard SSA. It really is an intrinsic disorder, for which people need healing. And there are admirable ministries within the Catholic Church that provide such healing, the foremost of which is Courage. To which can now be added the powerful voice and witness of Andy comiskey, the founder of Desert Streams Ministry and the creator of the influential Living Waters healing course. Andy, a former evangelical and charismatic who was long affiliated with the Vineyard denomination/movement, converted to Catholicism a couple years ago.

    David Handy+