Pope’s Synod homily hints opening to same-sex couples

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Francis among the people at St. Peter's Square.

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Francis among the people at St. Peter's Square.

Francis among the people at St. Peter's Square.

Francis among the people at St. Peter’s Square.

A day after the Vatican fired a monsignor for publicly declaring himself a partnered homosexual, Pope Francis inaugurated the Bishops Synod on the Family with a homily that opened the door to church acceptance of same-sex couples.

You think I’m kidding? Read the homily for yourself. In it you’ll find a celebration of marriage that is all about the human need for a loving, lifelong companion to overcome loneliness, and minimally about procreation and the raising of children.

Adam was lonely in the Garden of Eden, says the pope, and this pained God, who therefore decided to create “a helper fit for him,” as Genesis puts it. “These words,” said Francis, “show that nothing makes man’s heart as happy as another heart like his own, a heart which loves him and takes away his sense of being alone.” As for Jesus’ opposition to divorce: “This shows us that the goal of conjugal life is not simply to live together for life, but to love one another for life!”

That’s a very far cry not only from the Pauline/Augustinian view of marriage as a remedy for sexual desire (“better to marry than to burn“), but also from that of such contemporary religious conservatives as Robert George, who make childrearing the alpha and omega of marriage, and denigrate mere loving adult partnerships.

No doubt, defenders of traditional marriage will claim Francis as one of them by pointing to his statement that “God’s dream for his beloved creation” is “to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman.” But not all marital unions are loving, and not all loving unions are between a man and a woman. God may dream of things that, for one reason or another, aren’t the case.

Does this mean we’re going to see same-sex marriages taking place in Catholic churches any time soon? By no means.

But just as Francis supports Communion for the divorced and remarried, so, it would seem, he supports it for same-sex married couples. The culmination of his homiletic message to the synod concerned people who fall and err. “The Church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them,” he said. “For a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock.”

  • Betty Clermont

    Another huge stretch for papal apologist Silk. The pope began his homily with “God’s dream for his beloved creation” is “to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman.” Only those totally bamboozled like Silk could see that as approval for “communion for same-sex married couples.”

  • Gertrude

    It is not “minimally about procreation and the raising of children.”

    He referred negatively to people being “less and less serious about building a solid and fruitful relationship of love” and laments how “Love which is lasting, faithful, conscientious, stable and fruitful is increasingly looked down upon.” He then linked low birth-rates with other evils like “abortion, divorce, suicide, and social and environmental pollution.”

    Then he clarified what this being “fruitful” is about and how love is meant to bear fruit as its proper end: “He made men and women for happiness, to share their journey with someone who complements them, to live the wondrous experience of love: to love and to be loved, and to see their love bear fruit in children, as the Psalm proclaimed today says (cf. Ps 128).”

    And sure, people fail to live up to God’s dream. People are flawed and broken and in need of repentance and amendment of purpose. It is not up to people to redefine the goal line…

  • Ben in Oakland

    “He referred negatively to people being “less and less serious about building a solid and fruitful relationship of love” and laments how “Love which is lasting, faithful, conscientious, stable and fruitful is increasingly looked down upon.”

    Funny how so many of the gay couples I know have been demonstrating for decades love which is lasting, faithful, conscientious, and stable. It’s funny how so many gay couples have fought so long for marriage equality, while the majority of heterosexuals can’t keep their marriages together regardless of all the supports they have for them.

    He then linked low birth-rates with other evils like “abortion, divorce, suicide, and social and environmental pollution.”

    And this is where I lose all respect. Our planet is choking on 7 billion people, and the pope is complaining about low birthrates. I guess there aren’t enough starving children in the world, enough pollution, enough disease caused by too many people.

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    The sterility of gay “marriages” and widespread abortions as well as virtual fanatic use of contraceptives IS cutting the population–in those areas who have adopted the anti-life, anti-child mentality—namely Western Europe and among Americans of European lineage.
    Some countries–according to reputable demographers– will surprisingly soon become nearly extinct (some quite big today–Germany among them) Why should a person not loathe those ideologies which promise nothing but extinction for the group one is in. In fact if a person is “European” and not for his own group’s extinction he gets called every insulting name in the book even if he wants a rational debate.

  • Dominic

    The Pope suggesting an understanding of gays and gays “married” is no sign of any acceptance of their sinful activities. It is a message of love toward the sinner, which is not a new message at all. Catholic Truth can never be compromised.

  • Larry

    The populations which are decreasing are those from developed nations that are fairly democratic where women are expected to be educated and have careers. In all of those nations, population decline is offset by immigration.

    Because the developing world is still awash in poverty, huge family sizes and rampant infant mortality (a major driver in overpopulation). The Catholic Church’s policy on family planning is garbage, A recipe for poverty. There is nothing rational about it.

    “Some countries–according to reputable demographers– will surprisingly soon become nearly extinct (some quite big today–Germany among them)”

    Spoken like a dyed in the wool white supremacist, nativist and ridiculous Quiverfull supporter. They always talk about white people becoming “a minority in their own country”. With the implication that minorities don’t count as people and the country belongs to them and them alone.

  • Larry

    The Catholic Church’s understanding of families is nil. Their functionaries cannot form them. Their official policies on the subject are ignored by most adherents of a certain level of education, and for good reason. Its telling that only those in poor countries or the most fanatical take it seriously.

  • Dominic

    Wrong, Larry….. many people in the cultured West take Christianity very seriously and will side with its protocols when it comes down to choosing atheism over God. The popularity of the Catholic Pope is but one sign that people gravitate to goodness in great numbers, something the secular world no longer offers.

  • Bernardo

    Again, what this outdated, historically and theologically flawed religion fails to comprehend:

    o “Abrahamics” believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mose-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter.

  • Larry

    As I said, only fanatics take it seriously among the educated. The overwhelming majority of Catholics in the developed world:
    1. Had premarital relations
    2. Use birth control
    3. Have no objection to abortion rights
    4. Do not find divorce cause for ostracism
    5. Do not seek annulment to end marriages

    It’s not a matter of choosing atheism over faith. It’s a matter of ignoring arbitrary and self destructive rules which serve a purpose long last.

    The pope is popular the same way foreign royalty is popular. We object to them having control over our lives, but enjoy the trappings of wealth, power and privilege.

    The “secular world” is one where we do not live in a theocratic dictatorship. To oppose it is to oppose our free and developed way of life.

  • W Ruby

    Only the delusional could misinterpret Pope Francis’ forceful message affirming Christ’s teaching about marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. The same way the homosexual lobby disingenuously looks at the Gospel of Mark Chap. 10 and Matthew 19 and tried to claim that Jesus did not exclude homosexual unions from the sacrament of marriage. The Church, and Pope Francis, still has open arms for those who suffer from same-sex attraction, but the Church and the Pope clearly separate the wounded person in need of ministry from the disordered and intrinsically evil acts which people may commit which separate them from God. With the quality of mercy, there is a requirement to for those seeking mercy to repent and “sin no more” as Christ so often and so lovingly pronounced. Unfortunately the leftists grossly misconstrue the Church’s “acceptance,” “love” and “mercy” for those who suffer from the affliction/temptation as acceptance of disordered, sinful acts.

  • Ben in Oakland

    It is always fun to hear the hyper religious and hyper conservatives talk about sex and family as if they actuaql knew something not in the bible. Even funnier when one calls for “rational debate” in the same paragraph as “In fact if a person is “European” and not for his own group’s extinction he gets called every insulting name…”

    Gay marriages are indeed sterile, at least for those of limited compassion. What we frequently do if children are important is adopt the unwanted, cast-off products of irresponsible heterosexual reproduction, or who didn’t use birth control, or for whom abortion was not an option. Funny how you make us out as anti-life. But projection is what you do.

    Meanwhile, you encourage unbridled reproduction, and decry sensible efforts to keep us from choking ourselves on people. Obviously, you have never seen skin-and-bones children in Africa, whole families living in a cardboard box outside of Mexico City, or fording a river of sewage in rio.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Yeah, they used ot have us thrown into prison or judicially murdered for our offense.

    Now, they will possibly consider, in a vague general sort of a way, the possibility of maybe perhaps accepting civil marriage for us.

    catholic truth can never be compromised, indeed. Someone once said…

    “‘What is truth?’, said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.”

  • Deacon John M Bresnahan

    Larry –you sure make my point about using insult instead of rational argument. By the way I have 4 “minority” grandchildren whose parents I joyfully celebrated their Catholic marriage for. My son-in-law is a proud Penobscot and he is frequently baffled by the self-loathing that so many of European heritage seem to have by their calling those who are proud of their European heritage ::”racist'” or some other sort of insult. –like “nativist” or “supremacist” Every group ===from Apache to Zulu=== have things in their heritage to be Proud of. Although the” European” Death Wish is not one “Europeans” should be proud of.

  • larry

    Not insult. Merely pointing out the defective reasoning and who employs it when the discussion is developed nations population growth. Populations decrease where women are more empowered to seek employment and education. It is a function of wealth and democracy. It is why developed nation populations decrease without immigration and China can’t effect the same.

    I can’t help it if you adopt the same rhetoric used by white supremacists who talk about making babies to avoid being awash in a sea of “non white”. Your inability to acknowledge the native aspects of your ” heritage” is also common among that crowd. The association fits no matter how uncomfortable it feels to you.

    Catholicism has nothing of value to say about families. Opposition to family planning is destructive and arbitrary. It is why most Catholics ignore it.

  • Living Water

    People are gravitating toward this Pope because he appeals to the emotional. Secular as well as religious. Feel good Catholicism is nothing more than what Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of righteousness, but denying the power thereof — from such turn away.”

  • George Nixon Shuler

    You lost me at “disordered.” Perhaps it those who are threatened by people who are different who are the ones who are “disordered.”

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Interestingly, the racism which fuels the hand-wringing over low birth rates among whites is rather ridiculous. Outside skin color and various other traits, all humans are the same. And alarmism over “No-Go Zones” in places like Birmingham, England pushed by political hacks like the right-wing’s favorite Indian-American Bobby Jindahl are not based in reality. In the real world, youth of immigrant families quickly adopt Western values, informed by the Enlightenment. Like American homeschoolers, cloistering youth in certain immigrant enclaves often has the opposite effect: instead of “raising up a Joshua Generation” as they boasted, the newly emerged youths from homeschools and Islamic enclaves in places like Birmingham and Dearborn, Michigan, are rapping, hipstering, and twerking. Life’s funny that way.