The National Catholic Reporter - which is not controlled by the Vatican and one of the few sane Catholic news outlets - is reporting that Pope Francis has explained his "who am I to judge" statement on gays which, if one looks at only his words and not his actions, sounds positive. Meanwhile, of course, the Church has opposed gay rights and supported the repeal of same sex marriage in Slovenia. Sadly, Francis' duplicity and dis-ingenuousness is typical of the Church hierarchy. Until the Church makes doctrinal changes and apologizes for centuries of homophobia and horrors inflicted on gays, Francis' words are meaningless, in my view. Indeed, the word hypocrite springs to mind. Here are story excerpts:
Interviewing Pope Francis in July, Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli asked the pope how he might act as a confessor to a gay person in light of his now famous remarks in a press conference in 2013, when he asked: "Who am I to judge?"
Francis' reply appears in a new book The Name of God is Mercy to be released Tuesday.
"On that occasion I said this: If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person?" the pope says. "I was paraphrasing by heart the Catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalized."
"I am glad that we are talking about 'homosexual people' because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity," he continues. "And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love."
"I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together," says Francis. "You can advise them to pray, show goodwill, show them the way, and accompany them along it."
Keeping gays second class citizens, opposing CIVIL LAW marriage for same sex couples, and championing license to discriminate laws seems utterly inconsistent with Francis' statement that gays should not be marginalized. If one is gay and Catholic, the best thing one can do is to leave the Church as quickly as possible and to encourage friends and family to do likewise.