The paradox at the heart of Catholic World Meeting of Families (COMMENTARY)

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(RNS) Pope Francis, with his faithfulness to official church doctrine and his compassionate, nonjudgmental attitude, embodies the tension of the larger church: the desire to uphold traditional teachings and model Christian love at the same time.

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  • Greg1

    Francis really doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter, but to adhere to the Gospel, and the constant Church Teaching as has been proclaimed since the outset of the Christian era. Of course he and all Catholics can be merciful, and caring, but the Church can never condone individuals engaging in same sex activities, which cross the line of morality. This life is very short; whereas, eternity is forever. So best to acknowledge our Lord’s Teachings, and be faithful. A short life of refrain, and a long glorious eternity, beats the pants off of a short life of mortal sin, and endless suffering for all eternity.

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    The media only seems to interview and report on Catholics who want to change Church teaching even when that teaching is based on the words of Christ. Yet I know of many people who are convinced that the Catholic Church’s strong teaching on marriage made them work harder to make their marriages work in those early rocky years of a marriage. In fact those marriages I know of became solid.

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    To tell someone the truth is an act of love. But the media has brainwashed people to believe that to disagree with their immoral propaganda is an act of hatred or bigotry.—even though much of that propaganda is where mountains of lies can be found.

  • Joseph Wourms

    “… Those whom official doctrine relegates to outcast status. This includes gay people.”

    Is this what the Churchs’ “official doctrine” says?

    Here’s what one paragraph of the official Catechism of the Catholic Church says in regards to homosexual attractions.

    “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.”

    Please check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church to find out what “official doctrines” of the Church are. Paragraphs 2357-2359 deal specifically with same-sex attraction.

    Thank you for your…

  • Fran

    There is no “endless suffering” for those who intentionally go against the teachings of God and his son, Christ Jesus, at the end of this wicked era.

    There is only the common grave for those (Ecclesiastes 9:5,6, 10) and they face an everlasting death (Matthew 7:13; 2 Peter 2:1; 2 Thess. 1:9) or non-existence (Psalm 37:10,11). This is such a grand expression of God’s perfect love and justice.

  • Doc Anthony

    Good comments so far, but Krattenmaker is right about one thing: this is a “Wildcard” pope, quite unpredictable,. THIS is the Pope that the Gay Marriage Cult has been waiting for, and so far he has NOT disappointed them.

    Oh no no, Pope Francis will never do a FRONT-DOOR repeal of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the homosexual gig. You’ll never catch him saying out loud that he supports legalized gay marriage.

    But baby, every Catholic and their mama better be watching the BACK DOOR right now. That’s where the action is. This Pope is clearly saying certain things, doing certain things, and even keeping silent about certain things, at some VERY strategic moments in recent history.

    Taken together, you can see that Francis’ combination of moves, actually has lent strong support — very serious support — to the advocates of legalized gay marriage recently, especially in America and Ireland.

    Backdoor Business, folks. Watch out.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Sounds like a good plan. Thanks,

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Such as?

    There’s no doubt that Movies, books, TV shows, celebs, etc., like “Will and Grace,” Ellen DeGeneres, Caitlyn Jenner “The Kids Are All Right,” “The Virgin Suicides,” RuPaul, etc. have changed hearts and minds. These phenomena, taken one by one, mean nothing other than those involved believed doing such was an act of good. It’s doubtful any conspiracy could be verified, only hinted at by purveyors of disinformation. The media itself is not so much liberal based as reality based, and is a business sector, in which sensationalism such as Jenner’s transformation, sells well. People are by and large good and seek to treat their neighbors well. Bigotry is never rational, just as it is never kind. “the Truth”is a foreign concept to advocates of bigotry, as this thread readily shows.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Advocacy of heterosexual marriage is always sort of like advocating we eat food, take showers, sleep comfortably, and avoid dangerous street drugs. But children who grow up in families and churches where the advocacy remains shrill suffer. Marriage is not for everybody. Phil “Duck Dynasty” Robertson, the patriarch of the reality show family of redneck millionaires (six years ago they were clean shaven, polo-shirted yuppies) caused a stir by advocating men in their twenties seek mates (women, of course) ages 15-19, because they could be more easily molded than older women. From a long range planning aspect, his advice was spot on, but many of those people are stuck in loveless marriages and see no convenient exit. Pastors (not all, certainly) in conservative churches often shepherd gay and lesbian parishioners to marry heterosexually quickly, leading to confirmation of Ambrose Bierce’s dictum about marriage “consisting of two masters and two slaves, a grand total of two.”

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Hey, whatever. Way to change the subject. On the other hand Sartre’s “blissful nonexistence” is a blessing if it’s true a fact the cosmos is ruled by a being the blues singer Tom Waits described as “You know that there’s no devil, it’s just God when he’s drunk.”

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Episcopals, United Church of Christ, ELCA Lutherans, Unitarians, Conservative and Reform Jews, and factions among Methodists and Baptists, etc., even Cathollcs disagree. A god which would punish people for loving wouldn’t be a god worthy of worship, certainly, not by any person of good character.

  • Greg1

    “Then [reprobate] will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matt 25:46). It doesn’t get any clearer than that: kolasin = punishment, aionion= eternal, forever.

  • Greg1

    Yes, and we can see Francis abiding by the Catechism. He is compassionate & sensitive, but he must also communicate Truth. CCC #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. “

  • Larry

    Lets be brutally honest here. Outside of a small percentage of vocal fanatics, the overwhelming majority of Catholics in the developed world do not take the teachings of the church on the subject of marriage and family seriously.

    Priests who go out of their way to uphold the church’s arbitrary (and somewhat damaging) rules on the subject usually end up creating tons of “ex-Catholics” in the process.

  • Rajada

    There r some ppl who love kids. The isrealites fornicated with and married foreign ppl…they were killed for it. He doesn’t punish u for loving.’re punished for not upholding his standards. The Bible is clear on how he feels about homosexuality, if you choose to ignore that, therein lies your judgment.

  • Stephen

    What a bizarre commentary. A person who rejects Catholic social and moral doctrine complains of a “chill wind” he’s sensing from the Church he has rejected. Then he brings up polls in his defense, as if the Church had some obligation to conform to the mores of the minute.

    If you want a church that makes you feel happy, there are plenty of options. If you want to join the Church that Christ established on the rock of Peter, with all of its problems, then you are the one who must change to give Christ room in your heart. It isn’t that complicated, but its difficult, and eternally worthwhile.

  • Sujay

    Jesus said, you can’t put new wine in old wine-skins. When traditional beliefs and official church doctrines are found to contradict the Law of Love, it’s time to let them go.

  • Richard Rush

    Whenever someone says, “The Bible is clear . . . ,” I know immediately that it’s anything but clear.

  • dmj76

    Your understanding of doctrine is correct. This is the strongest argument against religion – it is worse than any possible nightmare. All those billions of poor dumb people who had ordinary lives but never accepted the gospel will be tortured forever.
    Like I said, the strongest argument against religion.

  • “the larger church….promoting what they believe is the one-and-only, God-ordained family structure: one man and one woman…”

    Primitive, bigoted, divisive, inhuman, uncivilized, bullying horse manu4e.
    Religion is a nuisance philosophy, not a remedy.

  • @Larry,

    “Priests…end up creating ex-Catholics in the process”

    Too bad real people have to suffer from this priestly bigotry.
    If such divisive, superstitious philosophies were fine for primitive barbarians it might explain why we call them primitive barbarians.

  • Stephen,

    “….as if the Church had some obligation to conform to the mores of the minute.”

    So eliminating bigotry is “a morality of the minute”?
    Seems your God’s morality would rather see people burned alive:

    “‘If a..daughter…disgraces her father; she must be burned in the fire.” – GOD (Leviticus 21:9)
    “All of God’s Laws must be followed” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18)

    Shame on you. Shame on God and shame on Jesus.
    Barbaric commands and superstitions have no place in the modern world.

  • @Deacon,

    “To tell someone the truth is an act of love….”

    Then why are you lying about God? There is no evidence for your claim that god exists, or cares about who marries who. And certainly no evidence for a Hell.
    What is this nonsense about ‘telling the truth’ when you are not engaged in anything like the truth?
    And you better thank me for telling you the truth and my act of love!

  • Larry

    More to the case, if you want to join a church to feel “spiritually superior” to others one gravitates towards conservative (or reactionary) sects. If you want to join a church which appeals to less egotistical nature, there are plenty of those to chose from as well. Or one can chose to forgo all of that.

    Few people actually join the Catholic church. The majority of its believers are are born into it, not converts or people who made conscious acceptance of the sect. Although the Catholic Church loves to boast of its numbers, the reality is most of them don’t really care for much of its doctrines. As long as the church continues to pretend arbitrary reactionary dogma is essential to them, they will continue to hemorrhage followers.

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