While on the plane during World Youth day 2013, the Pope had a press conference. The reporters on hand asked him different questions, but one has been very popular and spun in so many ways with the media.
“Pope Francis says Gays are OKAY,” “Pope Francis approves of Gay Priests,” “Pope Francis Contradicts Pope Benedict XVI,” the titles go on and on, but you get the point. The media immediately misinterpreted Pope Francis’ answer into a statement of approval of the gay lifestyle.
Let me backtrack a bit. Pope Francis was asked about the so-called “Gay Lobby” at the Vatican to which he responded:
“There is so much being written about the gay lobby. I haven’t met anyone in the Vatican yet who has “gay” written on their identity cards. There is a distinction between being gay, being this way inclined and lobbying. Lobbies are not good. If a gay person is in eager search of God, who am I to judge them? The Catholic Church teaches that gay people should not be discriminated against; they should be made to feel welcome. Being gay is not the problem, lobbying is the problem and this goes for any type of lobby, business lobbies, political lobbies and Masonic lobbies.”
The underlined words in bold are what is causing a media frenzy. From these words, the media and others have come to the conclusion that the Pope is endorsing the LGBT agenda. However, this is not the case at all. If one listens to the interview, one can understand the context. Cherry picking words and phrases often brings about these gossip-type situations. The media is like the telephone game where the message changes as it travels. Anyhow, the Pope was speaking on those “gays” or better said; homosexuals who search for God with good intentions.
In other words, Homosexuals who are Catholic, or even in the priesthood or religious life and strive to follow Christ’s teachings in the Church are okay and no one should judge them for having homosexual tendencies. These people are courageous because despite having this condition, they strive to live a chaste life in accordance with the Church’s teachings and do not give in to the desires of the flesh. So the Pope is saying that priests who are homosexual, but are following the Lord with good will should not be subject to judgment. These priests have homosexual tendencies, but do not let it get the best of them.
There is nothing heretical about this. This is what the Catechism states on the matter:
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
My only issue with the Pope’s words is the use of the word “Gay.” He should have said ‘Homosexual’ instead to make the distinction between the condition (Homosexual) and a person living the lifestyle (Gay). In any event, the reporter used the word in the question, so the Pope probably used it again in order to keep the answer coherent.
Something similar was done to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when his comments regarding condoms were taken out of context.
It is important to verify news before believing its contents. I waited almost three days in order to post this because I wanted to see the interview in its raw form without any extra audio feeds or translations of sorts. Once I saw the interview, I understood that the Pope was speaking in a pastoral manner without contradicting Church teaching.
Those of you who have twitter know that they have different ways of reporting abuse. The most common way is to use the spam button. However, these features don’t always work. Because of its inadequacy, abusers have free reign to abuse other users. This was the case with the suspended accounts @rosarubicondior and @deepsearch, etc. It took many reports, but finally they were removed.
Twitter can be a fun place. Its purpose is not to have debates, but to post short status updates. This is similar to Myspace’s and Facebook’s status updates which others can’t wait to update with a sense of self-importance. However, twitter has often become a place where bullying, harassment and even rape and death threats have become far too common.
Recently, a British activist, Caroline Criado-Perez started a petition to forced the hand of Twitter to pay more attention to the abuse that goes on among Twitter users. Perez was harassed online and received angry tweets threatening to rape and kill her. When I started twitter, I too received tweets from 2 atheists saying they will kill my family. I reported it to Florida police since their accounts were traced to that area.
This kind of abuse has to stop. Not only are these threats serious, but also defamation of character tweets. The atheist accounts I had suspended were suspended for promoting links with falsehoods claiming I am a high school child who went to a seminary that never existed. I’m still reporting whoever is promoting these lies and am taking legal action against the originator of this libel.
I’m glad Twitter finally is waking up and is making changes after Perez started a petition. They will add a report button to each tweet so users can make a report whenever they receive an abusive tweet. I hope that with the absence of these abusive people, twitter can be a fun and safe place for all to post status updates.
Don’t be afraid to report anyone abusive. This is not an attack against free speech. Email me for a list of abusive accounts that I constantly make twitter aware of.
World Youth Day 2013 has just concluded and it was a huge success. Over 3 million young people attended and had the time of their lives while nourishing their Catholic Faith in Jesus Christ.
World Youth Day was initiated by Blessed Pope John Paul II and has been an ongoing tradition on the local and international level. Its purpose is to aid the young people in their spiritual growth by providing Liturgies, catechesis, and other activities geared towards their age appropriate psychology.
Pope Francis experienced his first World Youth Day as Pontiff and seemed to have enjoyed every second of it. The trip had a few scary moments when a bomb was discovered in a toilet at a Shrine the Pope was scheduled to visit. Also, the Fiat carrying Pope Francis went on the wrong street and right into traffic. Crowds stormed the Fiat and security was overwhelmed and obviously sweating buckets out of nervousness. Pope Francis didn’t seem to mind since he made it clear from the beginning that he wanted to be with the people and not isolated.
During his appearances, Pope Francis spoke about renewal, trust in God, evangelization, rebellion against the secularist cultures of the world and openness to God’s will. He called on Bishops to not be afraid to go to their flocks to the point of having their “scent” on them. He called on them and priests to leave the walls of their rectories and be witnesses on the streets. To the youth, he called on them to cause a “mess” in society; to rebel against the ideas that the world is presenting by bringing the Gospel to it. He criticized the world’s view that marriage is outdated or out of style and said that marriage is always in style.
Pope Francis also visited a hospital, and a slum in Rio. The latter was significant because this slum is known to be a place where drug cartels and other criminals dwell and where people live in horrible conditions. However, this did not matter to Pope Francis who made it a mission to be with the people regardless of their condition. He challenged governments to pay attention to all people and not just the wealthy.
Meanwhile, there were protests against the Brazilian government nearby; however, they did not protest the Pope’s visit. Only a few made comments claiming that the World Youth Day was a waste of money. However, what of those soccer games? Soccer games in Brazil often erupt in violence and the security costs are in the clouds. Why not complain over that waste of money? Security and its cost would not be an issue if people behaved at soccer games.
There were few protests against the Pope, but these were from the typical feminists and pro-contraception groups who are upset with the Church’s teachings. These people usually go in order to start trouble or because they are envious and want to ruin the “party.”
No incidents were reported and for the most part, the pilgrims of World Youth day returned peace and love to those who protested their gathering. Thank God, nothing was witnessed like that in Madrid where throngs of angry secularists harassed youth coming for World Youth Day.
Unfortunately, there are some Catholics who find issue with this event. They call it the Catholic version of “Woodstock” and often criticize how the faith is presented to the youth. There is an uproar on the Catholic blogosphere regarding “Father Z’s” post where he seems to insinuate that a video of Bishops dancing is similar to Nazis saluting Hitler.
I was appalled by it and really don’t understand why he is so upset about it. This event is geared towards the youth. When evangelizing, we must know the psychology of the people we are ministering to. I see nothing wrong with the bishops “dancing” during this event as long as it is outside of the Liturgy. Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!” Father Z has to realize this and not be tempted to become a Pharisee concerned with externals.
If you are reading this and were part of the World Youth day at Brazil, please contact me. I would love to hear your stories so I can blog on them.
|Crowds gathering on Copacobana beach|
|Crowds storm the Pope’s vehicle|
|Pope’s motorcade takes wrong turn, crowds storm Pope’s car.|
|People run to the Pope’s Fiat.|
|Pope Francis blesses crowd with the Blessed Sacrament|
|Huge crowd during the Vigil|