ANALYSIS: Yes, the pope is still Catholic, despite what you heard

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Pope Francis passes a crucifix as he walks down steps during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 4. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic New Service

Pope Francis passes a crucifix as he walks down steps during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 4. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic New Service

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(RNS) The Vatican once again has had to dispel media reports that went well beyond what Pope Francis actually said. With this pope, it probably won't be the last time.

  • tina

    “Francis said they needed to engage “complex” situations of modern life, such as the prevalence of broken homes and the growth in gay couples rearing children.” What can be more complex than forced sex, forced pregnancy, unwanted children and alcoholism, plus grooming catholic children with rape initiations, molestations, and misogynistic programming by catholic priests and a culture that forbids gay sex and relationships yet whose hierarchy and clergy contain a high percentage of actively gay men and women many preying (praying) on children and on their fellow priests?

  • Earold Gunter

    All that glitters isn’t gold. The shine, which Francis initially had is quickly fading. He needs to stop all the P.R. B.S. and engage the “complex” situations of the prevalence of clergy rearing children.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    Tina–it is clear how much you hate Catholics and their church and her clergy .
    But how do you feel about NAMBLA (The North American Man Boy Love Association.)????. According to news accounts this organization gets the biggest cheers from gay viewers of Gay Pride parades. And they make heroes of those who promote sex with juveniles. Is your solution is to promote the NAMBLA agenda???.

  • Doc Anthony

    Is Pope Francis “still Catholic”? Absolutely he is. It’s just that he’s also the first Catholic Pope to **de facto** support legalized gay marriage, regardless of his private beliefs on the topic. And THAT, is no exaggeration.

    Let’s start with “gay unions.” As reported by the New York Times by Simon Romero and Emily Schmall, (03-19-2013), Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), “spoke at a meeting of Argentinian bishops in 2010 and advocated a highly unorthodox solution: that the church in Argentina support the idea of civil unions for gay couples.”

    Perhaps the Vatican spokesman, Rev. Lombardi, will address THAT report soon. Meanwhile, America’s oldest gay-activist magazine, “The Advocate”, gave Pope Francis its “Man of the Year” title — which it has never done for any Catholic Pope in history.

    Why did they do that? Because Francis has offered de facto statements of surrender such as, “Who am I to judge?” and “I am not a right-winger”. Francis denies that the church has any right to “interfere spiritually” in the lives of gays and lesbians — which implicitly denies the church’s right to publicly oppose legalized gay marriage, as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have done.

    Catholic legislators in Illinois even cited Francis’s “Who am I to judge” one-liner as they voted for gay marriage. Francis never once said they were wrong to do so, he never once distanced himself at all.

    Bottom line: Pope Francis is Catholic, but he is also the best supporter and accelerator of gay marriage since Barack Obama.

  • Doc Anthony

    Is Pope Francis “still Catholic”? Absolutely he is. It’s just that he’s also the first Catholic Pope to **de facto** support legalized gay marriage, regardless of his private beliefs on the topic. And THAT, is no exaggeration.

    Let’s start with “gay unions.” As reported by the New York Times by Simon Romero and Emily Schmall, (03-19-2013), Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), “spoke at a meeting of Argentinian bishops in 2010 and advocated a highly unorthodox solution: that the church in Argentina support the idea of civil unions for gay couples.”

    Perhaps the Vatican spokesman, Rev. Lombardi, will address THAT situation soon. Meanwhile, America’s oldest gay-activist magazine, “The Advocate”, gave Pope Francis its “Man of the Year” title — which it has never done for any Catholic Pope in history.

    Why did they do that? Because Francis has offered de facto statements of surrender such as, “Who am I to judge?” and “I am not a right-winger”. Francis denies that the church has any right to “interfere spiritually” in the lives of gays and lesbians — which implicitly denies the church’s right to publicly oppose legalized gay marriage, as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have done.

    Catholic legislators in Illinois even cited Francis’s “Who am I to judge” one-liner as they voted for gay marriage. Francis never once said they were wrong to do so, never once distanced himself.

    Bottom line: Pope Francis is Catholic, but he is literally the best thing to happen to gay-marriage activists since…Barack Obama.

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  • Duane Lamers

    Perhaps Pope Francis is learning some lessons on speaking to “journalists” and making off-the-cuff remarks.

  • Ron

    The Pope may still be Catholic, but most Catholics pay absolutely no attention to what he says, according to virtually every poll ever taken. In fact, most American Catholics seem to believe exactly the opposite of what the Pope and the Catholic Church teaches. No one appears to pay any attention to what the Pope says, so what difference does it make what he says?

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  • Ron: your comment that people pay, “absolutely no attention to what he [Pope Francis] says,” is not true.

    “olls show Francis to be highly popular, especially among U.S. Catholics. A Washington Post-ABC poll, released today, finds that 92% of American Catholics have a favorable impression of him, including 63% who have a “strongly favorable” view. Similarly, 85% of Catholics in the United States say they approve of the direction in which Francis is leading the Catholic Church, including 54% who strongly approve.

    More broadly, the Post-ABC poll finds that 69% of all U.S. adults (including non-Catholics) have a favorable impression of Francis. And a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, also released today, shows that 57% of Americans say they have “positive” feelings toward the pope, up from 35% in July. By comparison, just 42% of the poll’s respondents express positive feelings toward Barack Obama.”

    (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/11/pope-francis-big-year/)

    What you may be alluding to is the fact that most American Catholics (and probably more Europeans) listen to the Church’s teachings… and then act according to their conscience. It seems to me that this means they follow Church teaching on most administrative things (rituals, sacraments, parish life), but diverge when it comes to abortion or contraception.

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  • Duane Lamers

    Ron, I think your remarks about American Catholics are not far off the mark. Twice a majority of them who voted in presidential elections voted for the would-be dictator who keeps trying to eliminate religion from the public square and to ignore the First Amendment. Then there are other indications that a majority of Catholics do not believe or practice some Catholic principles that get the most attention, including birth control. A majority favors redefining marriage, it seems.

    Then there’s the embarrassing question for the Church’s hierarchy: How did this happen? Easy answer: most clergy, especially bishops are Democrat in their political affiliations. They simply don’t want to take on a Democrat president. This all has filtered down–been doing so for decades–to the pulpit, where sermons will not address “political issues.”

    Liberals are liberals before they’re anything else.

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  • Leigh Bailey

    With all due respect, Deacon, NAMBLA is a fringe group and is as loathed in the gay community as it is in the straight community. These “news accounts” you cite are making it up — NAMBLA has been banned from participating in any pride parade anywhere in the U.S. for decades.

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