Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Catholic Doctrine has not changed

So Pope Francis "won't judge" a gay priest.  As a commenter in the Advocate points out,
Pope Francis is seen as this amazing disruptor of the Catholic establishment because he's from South America, and doesn't have a penchant for pricey Pope-mobiles or fancy shoes. ...
"If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?" he said to reporters on Monday. "The catechism of the Catholic Church says clearly that we must not marginalize these people who should be integrated into society." 
Hey, that's fantastic. For LGBT Catholics and Catholics who support LGBT rights, this is a nice development. As the pro-LGBT Catholic organization Equally Blessed points out, Francis's words are a nice break from his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who actively argued that gay men can't be priests. 
But we shouldn't be fooled. Pope Francis's words don't mean that the church's policy has suddenly shifted.
Just because the words are nicer, doesn't mean anything has changed.  Catholic doctrine still considers gays to be "gravely disordered".  The mendacious Timothy Cardinal Dolan lays it out:
Dolan insisted that the Church has long embraced gay people and that Francis’ answer did not represent a new tone or establish a more liberal precedent. “Homosexual acts,” he said, are still a sin. “Homosexuality is not a sin, right? Homosexual acts are,” Dolan said, “just like heterosexuality is not a sin outside of marriage, that would be sinful.” “While certain acts may be wrong, [the Pope] would always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity and not judge them,” Dolan continued.
Right.

Nothing to see here, move along....

11 comments:

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

I'm more and more suspicious of those in the church hierarchy who take it upon themselves to say "well, what the Pope really meant was...". It seems like Pope Francis makes a statement and then the powers-that-be want to mess with it so that it comes out more conservative than Francis means it to be. Maybe I'm just projecting, though.

As several people have pointed out, Pope Francis has returned to the views of Pope John Paul II rather than Pope Benedict, who said that those with a homosexual orientation were not to be considered for the priesthood, presumably because they somehow represented a danger to themselves and those under their care. Francis is backing off that statement and saying that the rule is the same for all priests--celibacy. It may be one step forward after two steps back, but at least it is a step forward!

Chelliah Laity said...

I took it to be a step forward because of the seemingly entrenched prejudice that has existed against gay people within the Catholic Church.

Counterlight said...

The only thing that's changed is the packaging.

Grandmère Mimi said...

As I have said elsewhere more than once, I want to see a RC bishop or priest come out as gay and remain in his position, I want to see a candidate for the priesthood declare openly that he's gay and move forward to ordination. That would be a change.

JCF said...

I believe Blessed (unofficially) Mychal Judge was out, prior to his death on 9/11. But he was a Franciscan, and I think things are a little different w/ religious orders. [Although I know an Episcopal Franciscan who was formerly an RC Franciscan, prior to being kicked out due to Teh Gay]

James Pratt said...

Although there is no change in doctrine, what Francis brings is a more compassionate, less rigidly doctrinaire approach. Whether the entrenched bureaucracy allows this softer touch to prevail remains to be seen, but at least there is a glimmer of hope. Real change, if it comes, will be very slow. Meanwhile, I will pray for him and for the Spirit working within the Roman Church.

dr.primrose said...

A gay teacher at a suburban L.A. RCC school, which long knew he was gay, was recently fired because he got married -- Firing of gay teacher who got married sparks controversy. From the story:

"The firing of a gay teacher at a Catholic high school in Glendora after he married his partner and photos of the wedding were published in a local newspaper has sparked an online petition.

"The petition to reinstate the teacher at the school garnered nearly 10,000 signatures by Thursday afternoon.

"Ken Bencomo, 45, of Rancho Cucamonga was fired from his teaching position at St. Lucy's Priory High School days after he married his partner of 10 years.

"He and his partner, Christopher Persky, 32, were among the first couples married at the San Bernardino County Assessor-Recorder's Office following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed gay couples to marry in California.

"Photos of the ceremony were published in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

"School officials had been aware of his sexual orientation for about 10 of the 17 years Bencomo has been employed by the high school, said Patrick McGarrigle, Bencomo's attorney.

"School officials specifically mentioned the wedding and the publicity it received during a meeting at which Bencomo was informed that he had been fired, McGarrigle said."

IT said...

Primrose, that is a classic example of Roman Catholic Don't Ask, Don't Tell. They knew the guy was gay, and they had no problem with him "living in sin" as long as he was quiet about it. But get married? Oh, shocked, shocked, there's gambling going on here!

dr.primrose said...

One of the nastier comments to the story said that, in order to protect his job, he should have sexually abused his students rather than getting married. Nasty, but there's perhaps some truth there, too.

JCF said...

Truth, dr.p, in the sense of "the RCC punishes same-sex marriage more than child molestation". But that's all.

Justice for Ken Bencomo!

dr.primrose said...

Follow-up story on the gay teacher at a suburban L.A. RCC school, which long knew he was gay, who was recently fired because he got married -- Students rally to support gay teacher fired from Catholic school.