Catholic bishops narrowly reject a wider welcome to gays, divorced Catholics

Pope Francis during a homily he delivered in Sibari, Italy, on June 21, 2014.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Catholic bishops meeting here narrowly defeated proposals that would have signaled greater acceptance of gays and lesbians and divorced Catholics, a sign of the deep divisions facing the hierarchy as Pope Francis continues his push for a more open church.

Left to right, Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, arrive for the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican on Tuesday (Oct. 14). Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Left to right, Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, arrive for the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican on Tuesday (Oct. 14). Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

While the various proposals received a majority of support from the bishops gathered for the Synod on the Family, they failed on Saturday (Oct. 18) to receive the required two-thirds majority that would have carried the weight of formal approval and churchwide consensus.

Saturday’s vote was an abrupt about-face from Monday’s mid-term report from the Synod, which spoke of “welcoming homosexual persons” and acknowledging the gifts they have to offer the wider church.

The revised proposal on homosexuality, that “men and women with homosexual tendencies should be welcomed with respect and delicacy,” failed in a vote of 118 to 62; a similar statement about opening Communion to divorced Catholics who remarry outside the church failed in a vote of 104-74.

Despite the divide, Francis received a standing ovation that lasted several minutes in his final address to the Synod, where he had called for  “sincere and open” debate.

After days in which divisions inside the Vatican spilled over into the press, the pope described the two-week summit as a “journey together,” and like any human journey, one that featured moments of “desolation, tension and temptations”.

He said the role of the pope was to guarantee the unity of the church, and that he would have been “very worried and saddened if there had not been these temptations and animated discussions.”

Even though the sections on homosexuality and divorce did not pass with formal approval, Francis ordered them into the Synod’s final report so that Catholics could continue to debate the ideas.

Pope Francis during a homily he delivered in Sibari, Italy, on June 21, 2014.

Creative Commons image by Christoph Wagener

Pope Francis during a homily he delivered in Sibari, Italy, on June 21, 2014.

Saturday’s vote, however, is not the final word. Francis plans to host a follow-up summit a year from now, and both sides are expected to spend the next 12 months trying to either reinforce existing policy or trying to nudge the bishops toward a more open approach.

Nonetheless, the closeness of the votes reflected a deep divide within the hierarchy that erupted into the open after Monday’s gesture toward gay Catholics.  After a vocal conservative revolt, English-speaking bishops pressed to change the wording from “welcoming” to  “providing for homosexual persons”.

Catholic reformers and gay groups wasted no time in expressing their disappointment. The progressive reform group Call To Action said the bishops’ report showed “positive steps” but also “missed opportunities”.

“It’s disappointing that some in the institutional church are not yet ready to welcome all God’s children to the table,” said Jim FitzGerald, the group’s executive director.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland-based gay Catholic group that’s often at odds with the hierarchy, was disappointed that the bishops’ final report overturned the “gracious welcome” issued to gays earlier in the week.

“Instead, the bishops have taken a narrow view of pastoral care by defining it simply as opposition to marriage for same-gender couples,” he said in a statement, adding that the bishops had failed to take account of those gays who receive “unjust and oppressive treatment” from governments, church, families, and society.

At a Vatican media conference earlier Saturday, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, insisted there was “no cleavage,” or divide, among the bishops, and that gays and lesbians were welcome in the church.

“Are gays welcome? I would say certainly, they are part of the church,” he said. “There’s no question of condemnation. I would say we are working together.”

American Cardinal Raymond Burke, the conservative former archbishop of St. Louis who now heads the Vatican’s highest court, earlier blasted Francis for allowing the synod’s message to stray from official church teaching, especially on homosexuality.

“The pope, more than anyone else as the pastor of the universal church, is bound to serve the truth,” Burke told BuzzFeed from Rome. “The pope is not free to change the church’s teachings with regard to the immorality of homosexual acts or the insolubility of marriage or any other doctrine of the faith.”

Burke also acknowledged rumors that Francis is poised to demote the fiery conservative to a ceremonial post far away from the church’s center of power.

“I very much have enjoyed and have been happy to give this service, so it is a disappointment to leave it,” Burke said. “On the other hand, in the church as priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given. And so I trust, by accepting this assignment, I trust that God will bless me, and that’s what’s in the end most important.”

Asked by the National Catholic Reporter who had told him of the pending demotion, Burke replied: “Who do you think?”


About the author

Josephine McKenna

Josephine McKenna has more than 30 years' experience in print, broadcast and interactive media. Based in Rome since 2007, she covered the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and election of Pope Francis and canonizations of their predecessors. Now she covers all things Vatican for RNS.


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  • I keep reading media hype that repeatedly talks about the bishops being strongly divided. Or is the media desperately trying to magnify the situation for the vote totals of 158 out of 174 is pretty lopsided. Put another way the vote was a huge 158 to a paltry 16-Looking at the numbers this way gives a better picture of the bishop’s unity than the way most secular news agencies are reporting the numbers

  • Watch for Mr. Francis to do even MORE revenge against those leaders (starting with Cardinal Burke) who dare to interfere with Francis’s efforts to support and promote acceptance of legalized gay marriage.

  • “The church has never judged homosexual persons”

    Really? According to then Cardinal Ratzinger as prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (FKA “The Inquisition”):

    “Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development.”

    That sounds pretty judgmental to me and that’s just a small sample of the rampant homophobia. That offensive judgment is also extended to the children being raised by gay couples. Shall we put them up for adoption?

    Moreover, Ratzinger lacks the erudition to make such claims. He is a theologian – not a social scientist. That makes him arrogant in addition to being homophobic.

  • They are cowards. A far greater percentage of these men are gay than in the general population I suspect – with some degree of certainty. 174 ambitious priests with undeveloped sexuality have a very difficult time with this issue.

    I wouldn’t care a whit if the Church would stop trying to impose its teachings on everyone else by force of law. While that is a failed enterprise it is likely to resurface in license-to-discriminate legislation.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists all swindlers,thieves,drunkards,coveters/the greedy,
    sexually immoral,idolaters,slanderers right along with homosexuals as people who won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven unless they Repent! All sin is wrong!
    Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and also 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all
    drunkards go to hell including people who get drunk on strong wine cause the
    wine Jesus made was for symbolic reasons not to get drunk/was diluted plus
    the Bible say don’t get drunk with wine for it’s debauchery! All sin is wrong!
    Being mean then laughing after like that makes it okay/sharp tongues and
    also gambling,gossip,jealousy,premarital sex,getting drunk,pride,liars are
    all wrong along with people who take the Lords name in vain! All sin is bad!
    Bible says if you have a sharp tongue your religion is worthless and yet we
    have a whole nation of mean spirited people who don’t bridle their tongue.
    Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! We all must Repent!
    Luke 13 says we must bear good fruit and the fruit is fruit of Repentance
    not good works cause many believers do good works so we must Repent!
    Two guys were next to Jesus on the Cross and only one guy went to heaven!
    Why is that? Only one guy Repented/had a change of heart about his sin.
    Bible says to Repent or perish! Jesus said you are one of Mine only if you
    follow Me/many will say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven! If you say
    you love Jesus and then don’t follow the Bible/religion no Truth is in you!
    It doesn’t matter how spiritual people are if they aren’t Biblical they are lost!
    Bible says Repent or perish! Repent or perish! We all need to/must Repent!

  • Individuals can grow and change in a marketplace of free ideas.

    But if the entirety of an institution relies on a book
    which it calls “SACRED” there is no chance for change.


    “In the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:27)

    If Christians refuse to edit this despicable book, they will continue to fail and self-implode.

    If the ‘Holy Spirit’ guided the insertion of these passages into the Bible, someone should arrest the Holy Spirit and lock it in jail for the misery it has caused the world.

  • When the religious ‘leaders’ speak
    It should be no surprise that gays get killed.

    Faith-based hate is uniquely dangerous:

    Nivacil Dias de Godoy, 55,
    in Salvador, Brazil, Sept. 20, 2013.
    “the cause of death was stabbing — with a piece of wood inside a condom that pierced the victim through his anus.”

    Christian cruelty is bitter cold.

    As cold as Jesus himself.
    “Execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    The curtain bedecked peacocks known as the synod have voted for more bigotry. May they be out of work soon as people abandon the churches.

  • Message to conservative cardinals: What’s the matter, Jesus is too soft for you? Pope Francis nailed it when he said right before he was elected that the church is too self-referential. Arch conservatives are more devoted to the Council of Trent than they are to Jesus. Does Cardinal Burke realize how silly he looks in his Renaissance finery speaking out against being welcoming to gays? Uh, hello! Bravo to Pope Francis for demoting him. A mean spirited man like Burke has no business being in a leadership position in a church founded by Jesus. Arch-Conservative Catholicism has much to do with St. Augustine, less to do with Saint Paul, and very little to do with Jesus of Nazareth.

  • Except remember, the cardinals and the clergy are not the church. The church is the whole people of God. The church is full of saints you will never hear about, working throughout the world. That is the real treasure of the church, not a bunch of egotistical clowns dressed like Medieval princes.

  • The Catholic Church teaches Homosexual is wrong. Period.
    The Catholic Church does Not teach to hate Homosexual but instead to LOVE every individual despite there sexual preferences. Period.

  • Mike Maserati-Well said! All sin is wrong and we are to tell people the Truth
    and love people in Truth by telling them we must Repent/follow Jesus Christ.
    Bible is clear that all sin is wrong and we all must Repent! We must Repent!

  • @Joe,

    I agree that a bunch of cardinals are utterly worthless
    and unimportant.

    Throw away the book of Leviticus. Denounce it and burn it.
    Tell your Pastor that Jesus’ love of Leviticus is disgraceful.

    Then we can talk.

    Until the Bible is treated for the garbage it is, civilization is worse for it.
    The Bible is an interesting early artifact, yes – but nothing more than a book of mostly ugly stories.
    No gentle way to put this. Religion is nonsense.

  • @Mike,
    “The Catholic Church does Not teach to hate Homosexual but instead to LOVE every individual despite there sexual preferences. Period.”

    This isn’t hate?


    (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

    “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting” (2 John 1:10)

    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)

    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

    “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)

    “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11)

    “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)


    “deem them unworthy…remove your blessings of peace.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:13)

    “Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    “shake the dust off…FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

    and on
    and on
    and on…

    You won’t find anything more absolutist, divisive, judgmental and self-righteous until you read the Quran.

    Religion is a blunder. A complete fiasco.

  • Is 118 to 62 truthfully a narrow vote? Maybe it’s because I’m using some kind of “mean atheist math” instead of “nice people of faith math,” but I think a 65-35% split is kind of a resounding slap in the face.

    Meet the new warm and fuzzy Church, same as the old stern and cold Church. Of course, one hates to say “I told you so…”

  • Cardinal Burke has never spoken out against being welcoming to gays. It must be nice to live in a world where you can manufacture facts so you can exercise your hate glands, but he has never done such a thing. The entire church has always welcomed gays. It does not, however, welcome the sin of homosexual acts. This whole thing is basically BS. Pope Francis does not welcome homosexual acts either. “So he and Burke are on the same side. Both men would eagerly welcome gays who want to walk the path with Jesus, however.

  • Acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle has become the new litmus test for whether a person is a bigot, to be valued, or to be ostracized, discounted, and silenced.

    Max, you seem to judge religion but you yourself sound like you don’t care for religious people very much.

    How are you different?

  • Faith-based hate is “uniquely dangerous”. Christianity is “cruel”.

    How many millions, Mr. Atheist, lost their lives over the past hundred years in the name of atheism? Hitler…Stalin…I could go on. You tell me which is more dangerous, living a moral life rooted in your religious beliefs, or dismissing that all as “nonsense” and doing whatever seems best to you.

  • I admit that I am disappointed by the fact that the 2/3 necessary vote for approval of the document was not reached. Nevertheless the majority of the bishops did vote for approval. Now, as Cardinal Tagle reminds us, the work goes on to prepare for the opening of the regular synod a year from now.

  • I agree with the late Daniel Lambert of Vilario who was murdered by the inquisition for stating these biblical responses to the Catholic superstions: 1. That to believe the real presence in the host, is a shocking union of both blasphemy and idolatry. 2. That to fancy the words of consecration perform what the papists call transubstantiation, by converting the wafer and wine into the real and identical body and blood of Christ, which was crucified, and which afterward ascended into heaven, is too gross an absurdity for even a child to believe, who was come to the least glimmering of reason; and that nothing but the most blind superstition could make the Roman Catholics put a confidence in anything so completely ridiculous. 3. That the doctrine of purgatory was more inconsistent and absurd than a fairy tale. 4. That the pope’s being infallible was an impossibility, and the pope arrogantly laid claim to what could belong to God only, as a perfect being. 5. That saying Masses for the dead was ridiculous, and only meant to keep up a belief in the fable of purgatory, as the fate of all is finally decided, on the departure of the soul from the body. 6. That praying to saints for the remission of sins is misplacing adoration; as the saints themselves have occasion for an intercessor in Christ. Therefore, as God only can pardon our errors, we ought to sue to him alone for pardon.

  • The Catholic religion doesn’t hold the Scriptures as their final authority in faith or practice. You will need to look at a Christian church or Bible believer who does make that claim while saying the things Mike said in order to find the hypocrisy you were expecting to find from him. Such churches do exist, usually having rainbow colored flags displayed loud and proud on the churches’ properties.

  • To the contrary, the depravity of the United States will be her undoing. Leviticus 18 following the commandments not to kill the children nor sodomize one another is followed by the promise of a purging of the land’s inhabitants for failing to heed those commands. This doesn’t only apply to the promised land nor only to Israel. It happened to the Canaanites, the Babylonians, Roman antiquity, and it will most definitely be the end of the USA unless we can walk-back our depravity to where porn is inaccessible, abortion is illegal, and sodomites are back in the closet. I’ve never heard of that happening so I don’t hold on to any hope in that regard. But we can still abide faithful as pilgrim ambassadors for Christ, calling on sinners to repent.

  • +JMJ+

    Actually, even teaching children that same sex parenting is OK and normal qualifies as child abuse. People are writing their spiritual death warrants by *choosing* to commit serious offenses against God and then justifying them. God desires our salvation even more than we do and offers The Truth to us. It seems that many believe in Jesus, however far fewer believe Jesus. Jesus speaks to us through Catholic teaching. In the end, one gets what they choose. St. Moses said to the Jews choose life.

  • May I remind Catholics that Tradition defends the teachings of the Holy Church. Again no Pope can change it or he ceases being Pope due to his Heresy and Apostacy. There for a Homosexual that does not repent his or her sexual orientation is in Mortal Sin. It’s Divine Law and again no one not even a Pope or a group of Bishops can change it. This is a fact and there are misguided people here straying from the Churches teachings from the foundation that sits on the rock called Dogmas of the One Catholic Church by without no one is saved.

  • There have been hundreds of Popes in the Holy Catholic Church. Those teachings set in Dogmas are infallible even over time and into eternity. These are the infallible teachings of the Holy Church and the Truths set down by Her for the Salvation of immortal souls. Many will enter through the gates of Hell and few will enter the Gates of Heaven. With Gods Mercy there is what is called Reparation for Sins commited to undo the damage done by those sins. God’s Mercy is not a get out of jail free card that’s why God created Purgatory to purge the faithful of the ugly stain of sin. Again the faithful means who adhere to the Dogmas and Teachings of the Holy Catholic Church which Cardinal Burk has courageously defended at this very dark Synod and admonishing Pope Francis of his errors.

  • Jesus is merciful to repentant sinners. Is some one who calls himself ‘gay’ or herself ‘lesbian’, repentant? If by the word ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ they are engaged in homosexual behavior and encouraging homosexual, no. If some one wants to use the Catholic Church as a recruiting point for the KKK or NAZIS, should we shrug that off and say Jesus would be merciful to those people?

  • In spite of the fact that every published and peer reviewed study of same-sex parenting has determined that their kids are as healthy, happy, secure and successful as their peers.

    Furthermore, about half of teens in this country are being raised by single parents (mostly due to divorce). Are you suggesting that a single mother or father is superior to having two parents? It’s absurd.

    Gay couples are taking quite a few kids out of “the system” which is an accomplishment that nobody should complain about. The prefect Catholic world, where nobody gets divorced and all sex is procreative, does not exist.

  • I hate to break it to you but their are a whole lot of people, devout people, Christians and Jews who don’t happen to be Catholic. Many of those have no problem with either same-sex marriage or same-sex adoption.

  • Bad attempt at a counter example. Despite your attempt to reference Communists, they relied mostly on religious methods and ideas to solidify their rule. Replacing the irrational worship of god to invoke hatred and atrocity with irrational worship of state to invoke hatred and atrocity. Communism is not atheism. Its just religion by a different method.

    If you want real examples of godless government, you are better off looking at our Constitution, the writings of William Paine, Voltaire, and Thomas Jefferson.

  • You want protect children from having two loving parents with the resources to care for them. Protect children from being able to live normal peaceable lives. All in favor of protecting your bigotry against gay people. You can take your “protection” and stick it somewhere painful.

    Your alleged “protection” comes from the words and actions of an organization which attacked children and systematically tried to prevent the crimes from being prosecuted.

    A child is better off in the custody of a gay couple who will care for them than in the presence of pedophile clergy and the organization which cover
    up their crimes.

  • The Catholic Church also believes sexual abuse of children is just a minor infraction, its perpetrators to be pious and revered, and the victims to be inconveniences.

  • “To the contrary, the depravity of the United States will be her undoing.”

    God wouldn’t know depravity if it hit Him in the face!

    “…commandments not to kill the children nor sodomize one another….”

    Why should the Popes start caring about children now?
    The Boston Priest Pedophile Network was run by Cardinal Bernie Law who is hiding out in the Pope’s fanciest guest room.

    “This doesn’t only apply to the promised land nor only to Israel. It happened to the Canaanites, the Babylonians, Roman antiquity, and it will most definitely be the end of the USA unless …..”

    Do you commute to work on a chariot ?
    What sort of stone age nonsense is this?

    “But we can still abide faithful as pilgrim ambassadors for Christ, calling on sinners to repent.”

    This sort of nonsense must be abandoned. … I mean really.
    Christ? Ambassadors? Repent?
    None of it makes any sense whatsoever. A god turned into his own son, out of love, had him slaughtered, tortured in the most depraved way possible…for your personal benefit? This makes sense to you? This is rational?
    Because god needed innocent blood to hit the soil? This is moral?

    And you don’t think this is depraved?

    Really. Jesus Christ is abject nonsense. And very cruel nonsense at that.

    “believe in absurdities and you will commit atrocities” – Voltaire.

  • William,

    1. Those are not examples of Atheism.
    2. There are so many other alternatives to the judgmental nonsense of the Abrahamic religions it is embarrassing that people can’t think for themselves and get out of it.

  • @John

    “Max, you seem to judge religion but you yourself sound like you don’t care for religious people very much. How are you different?”

    I care enough about religious people
    to tell them the truth (unlike their Pastors), to do for the religious people what other Atheists did for me – to point out the lies and the false comforts of these wicked philosophies.

    The world is desperate for rational discourse on a hundred fronts:

    Climate change,
    women’s rights,
    dying species,
    emerging diseases
    Science education
    Rational US policy

    But every dime and minute wasted on Religion works against humanity from accomplishing anything to protect the children of the future.

    If you think I don’t care about people, you don’t understand why I’m angry at religion.

    Discuss your Jesus all you want at church. Just keep this nonsense out of our laws and keep it from obstructing discourse in government. Jesus is accomplishing absolutely nothing – while humans struggle to find ways to solve problems.
    Meanwhile, The Pope is an outlaw protecting pedophiles – he deserves to be treated as such. Now they have re-enforced gay hatred laws which somehow is a sign of how much ‘they care about people’? Awful.

  • @Ted,

    Theist = “I know which God is real, and I know exactly what God wants of me”

    What a crazy position for someone to have. Right?

    Gosh! Those crazy Catholics!

    and Charismatics
    and Protestants
    and Jews
    and Hindus
    and Muslims
    and Southern Baptists
    and Jainists
    and Episcopaleans
    and Evangelists
    and Christian Unitiarians
    And Gnostics
    and Melkites
    and Maronites
    and Zoroastrians

    Where is rationality and common sense in any of this gibberish?
    How does anyone even dare to think they have it right?

    Atheist = “I don’t know if a real God exists but I don’t believe it it”

    Atheism seems much more rational than your position. Don’t you think?

  • Joe,
    you need to refer to the bible – particularly Genesis 18:16-19:29 – the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.
    thank you

  • Sorry, Larry. If we don’t get to decide who is and isn’t a real Christian (in direct contravention of Jesus’ instructions, BTW) then you don’t get to decide who is and isn’t a “real” atheist, either. You’re stuck with them.

  • nothing inconsistent with Cardinal Burke’s understanding of the Word of God as recorded in the Bible OT and New…. Jesus never,ever,ever said carry on sinning and you’re welcome, or, let’s come to an arrangement since I understand how modern society has changed. No. Pick up your daily cross and follow me, does not allow for the refusal to discontinue sinning because modern media insists it isn’t a sin and anyone who won’t change his mind on that must be labeled negatively.

  • … if you don’t like the laws of the Catholic church, take it up with God… HE made them… the clergy are charged with preserving them and presenting them,not bending them to suit media hysteria or the rumoured personal inclinations of the clandestine would be coup organisers ….. move along, nothing to see here, a failed attempt to railroad a synod by preparing and releasing an earlier document before even the prelates had had a chance to see its contents…. that that could happen, is the most frightening aspect of this synod!

  • The kinds of doctrine under discussion are not “up for grabs” (as if they are based on tings like changes in the weather, passing fads, political pressure, or rising consternation). These captial “T” Truths are founded on principles that are themselves derived from the Natural Law, i.e. creation, which was uttered into existence from the very Mouth of the Godhead, a “family”. Let us not consider acquiescing to “disorder”. Rather, let us remember the definition of Peace itself (so we can KEEP it IN the church): The Tranquility of ORDER. If there is anything that we have learned about the last 6-years in this country, when you upset ORDER, you must release your grip on “peace”. Because Christ Himself IS the Prince of Peace, let us embrace all His children, helping them to discern that the ONLY Peace in this life that can be found is by embracing His will (challenging though it may be), disavowing SIN and seeking repentance.

  • SO, if anyone has the audacity to presume that they “have it right” . . . why do YOU think YOU do?

  • yes, they are devoted to their own beliefs and refuse to accept what the Bible,Torah,Koran tell them about abnormal sexual behavior and leading innocents astray, human pride and refusal to bend the knee …. homosexual activity causes all manner of physical and mental health problems which the media refuse to address or acknowledge, yet they’re all over anyone who wants to smoke a cigarette….. many adulterers,liars,gossips, bigamists are also devout but do not as yet organize themselves to overthrow Biblical teachings

  • I really can only say that, I pity a person who believes, but falls short of really and truly comprehending that Our God, the God of the Catholic Church – a church, by the way, that even Satan Himself must respect – loves us SO MUCH that He literally becomes BREAD which is then given, by sacrifice, freely, to those whose souls are starving for life and love of Him.

    “O God, I have taken you as food for my journey and when I am hungry, I shall consume you. The fires of He// shall not approach me, because the aroma of your holy body emanates from me. My eyes have “touched” your holy body, Lord, let them see your abundant mercy. O Word of God, by your baptism, you have saved me from damnation, and I shall chant and sing your praises in your eternal abode with your loved ones. Amen. Alleluia.

    For those WITH faith, no arguments are required; for those without Faith, no arguments are possible.

  • The Catholic Church is an “order of obedience to the teachings of the Bible.” It is not a “democracy” to be voted on like a political party in which a constitution may give it that right. There is no voting on the Word of God… just is. We have the freedom to choose whether we wish to join the church and believe in it’s precepts, or we can choose another church which more closely follows our belief system. If you are an atheist, then you don’t believe in God and therefore, do not believe in the teachings of the Bible which is consistent with their non-belief ideals, which at least they are honest. But if you are a Christian or a Catholic Christian, then you must be obedient to the teachings of the Bible. This is not a question of science…..religion is faith…..not science. Until God Himself changes the precepts of the Bible, the church has no right to debate these issues. Pope Francis cannot change the truth of the Bible and if he tries to do so, then he is an Anti-pope (like others in the past who also have divided the church) because only God can change what is of God. The pope can only change cannon law, but he cannot change doctrine of faith which belongs to God….and God alone.

  • then you’d have to throw away the New Testament because the Bible Old and New is very,very,very clear that the practice of homosexuality is a mortal sin …. nothing to talk about unless it’s how to avoid sinning,not accommodate and normalize it

  • Joe.. Conservatives welcome the sinner not the sin. Didn’t Jesus tell sinners to go and sin no more? Liberals want us to embrace the sin instead of loving the sinner by showing them that their sin could jeopardize the state of their soul. I’ll concede that traditionalists need to show more mercy but progressives have to stop condoning sin.
    And stop ‘judging’ Cardinal Burke…I thought the message Jesus taught…was judge not…..

  • Yes, and many people so-called devout persons support the killing of innocent children, abortion, many supported slavey, and many supported or looked the other way when fascism took over. What is your point? Many people condone the sin of homosexuality because, and this is my opinion, after years of observing people, that most are either not married and living in sin or have extamarital relations. They can’t comdemn homosexulaity because they are engaging in a similar sin.

  • Pathetic! The Bible is inspired by God! If the Bible were the garbage you just vomited, it would not have survived 4000 years of history and the vicious attacks of atheists like you. You will learn the Truth when you face the God who created you out of His infinite and unconditional love. I wonder what is your real problem with faith in God?

  • David…Single parenting and gay parenting are different. The single parent does not have a disordered inclination towards a gravely depraved sin. The children are witnessing to gender identity confusion and these children do not turn our ok. Far from it. You’re in denial.

  • The gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church. Nice try though.
    As for gays getting killed they do a nice job of that themselves through their unhealthy lifestyles. No one should be treated unjustly and always with respect but we see now that the hate and bigotry is their own towards anyone who doesn’t approve of their unnatural sexual preferences.

  • The bible, that many-versioned, vicious book of horrors by dozens of authors, is nothing more than a succesfully propagating and highly mutated meme, with many extant and stale variants that are not consistent with each other. Take a look here at these direct quotes from one of the many versions of the Christian book of nasty, and you get a sense for how horrid the guidances in it really are. From both foul testaments, and note the supplied text about interpretation and context issues too.

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don’t get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it’s in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god’s mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your “god” couldn’t come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken “out of context”, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you’ve made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

  • Shawnie & K,


    I don’t know how much evidence you are ready to refute. It seems everything about your religion outlaws fact and supports superstition.

    It seems to not matter to you
    that Hitler outlawed Atheism and agnositicm. That the Nazi SS was a Jesuit Catholic order. Or that church bells celebrated Hitler’s birthday every April – even into the war!

    The Czar is a religious russian post of intermediary with God. Stalin seized the ROLE OF CZAR.

    According to Stalin, Lysenko’s miracles confirmed that Stalin was worthy of a religious position. How is that “Atheism”?

    Today, Stalin is a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church and there are Icons of him with HALOS in most churches there.
    How is that Atheism?

    The fact that Stalin’s own beliefs wobbled from Christian WHILE HE WAS IN THE ORTHODOX SEMINARY to Agnostic and back again at the end of his life is not the important point.

    The population was fully credulous, gullible
    and infected with religion thanks to the early spread of the Orthodox Church.


    An uneducated, gullible, credulous, superstitious population
    soaked in the nonsense of religion – is the most vulnerable to dictatorship.

    Promoting religion instead of science is the worst thing to do to a country. America is destroying its best young minds by pumping out lies about how great religion is.

  • Yeah, gay parents are generally more capable of providing for their children than single parents are. They don’t have unintended children and have 2 parents to care for them.

    Witness the number of children of single parents who end up impoverished or in prison. Compare that to the number of children of gay parents in the same situation.

    Ron, you are so hateful you would rather have children suffer than to be in the presence of those you despise. You can stop pretending you are taking any kind of moral position.

  • A Muslim is not a Christian. A religious believer is not an atheist. Communists was a religious belief. Belief that the state was sacred over all. It acted like a religion and used religious forms.

  • Well when you act in a hateful malicious way towards people for irrational reasons, it makes you a bigot. When you call for people to be ostracized, discriminated against, imprisoned, executed or murdered in the streets, you are a bigot.

    I don’t see Max calling for any of that. But I see plenty of so called Christians doing so. Yourself included.

  • “then you’d have to throw away the New Testament ”

    Its a good start. Its obvious any kind of socially redeeming points to it are lost on the majority of its adherents. They turned it into excuses for acting on their personal bigotries and delusions. As it seems any form of malicious harmful behavior is excused by it. Bible based morality is the biggest joke Christians make. They have no concept of morality. It always comes down to “Every Christian for themselves”

  • To: Powww:

    The jury is still out on Pope Francis. I would like to believe that you are right but I would have to ask the question as to why he is pushing the homosexual agenda so hard?

  • @Shawnie & K,

    It is said that Atheists will do evil
    because they have no God to threaten them with eternal hellfire.

    Yet 95% of the Members of the Academy of Science is made up of Atheists and not a single one of them ever committed murder or been accused of rape.

    Alternatively, Every murderer on death row claims to be either Christian or Muslim.

    How does it bring you consolation that people of Faith with God on their side routinely commit mass murders without fear of Hell?
    How do you find peace in this theory of yours that the world is better with religion?

    The Self-Immolation of Christendom: WWI, Christian vs. Christian
    Taiping Rebellion: 45 Million slaughtered by Christians
    Rwandan Genocide: 800,000 slaughtered by Catholics
    Hitler’s Religious Aryan Reich: WW2 – Catholic Fascism
    Hirohito the Sun God and Kamikazees: WW2 – Asian Mysticism
    Pol Pot’s Theraveda Buddhism: millions slaughtered – Asian Buddhism

    If an Atheist starts believing he is a Divine Being, he is not an Atheist anymore. (Kim il sung, David Koresh, Jim Jones, for example)

    If a proclaimed Atheist starts worshipping something as if it were A GOD, He is not an atheist anymore. (The Population of North Korea, for example)

    I don’t understand the argument that says religion is good, nor is there the slightest record that religion ensures a protective blubber to protect people from genocidal maniacs.

  • @K and Shawnie,

    You say Atheists commit evil because they do not believe a God will punish them.

    But look at the infinite permissions granted to believers who KNOW their god will always forgive them!

    What is more frightening?
    A person who says, “God doesn’t exist”
    or “God exists and he might want you dead”

    You seem not to fear Religionists who repeatedly justify mass murder as an important part of their morality.

    “Slay them”
    – Yahweh (Num.25:1-9), Allah, (Surah 2:190), Jesus (Luke 19:27)

    This is what you
    don’t notice:

    Atheists must defend their actions to their loved ones and friends.

    But Religionists don’t!
    Believers are excused 100% by their God.
    And furthermore, their Christian and Muslim friends must forgive them, too!

    What a recipe for evil behavior !

    That is why Atheists do not scare me at all, but religionists do.

  • @Jimmy Chonga,

    I already said that God may exist – but I do NOT believe in a God at all.
    Atheism is the lack of belief. Not a claim that God is impossible.

    I don’t KNOW whether god exists or not.
    I didn’t claim any such thing.

    But I do know that You don’t know.
    And i do know that Christians have no special information about this – if they did, they could convince me – but they haven’t yet.

  • “For those WITH faith, no arguments are required”

    That is irresponsible.

    “for those without Faith, no arguments are possible.”

    That is not true.

    If you have no argument, you should not believe.
    Otherwise, I have a long list of Elvis sightings you have to accept as facts.

  • @PrayTheRosarylove…

    “Actually, even teaching children that same sex parenting is OK and normal qualifies as child abuse.”

    I don’t care about religion – I hope it dies off.

    But this kind of bigotry against gays will destroy the Catholic church. So keep it up.

    Those of us who live in the real world know many gays, we work with Gays, go to school with gays and have close friends who we love very much who are gay. We know there is nothing wrong with being gay.
    And the science supports that.

    You May Have Just Bashed Your Family

    I feel very sorry if one of your children turns out to be gay – based on your attitude about gays you might lose that child forever.

    Even if your children do not turn out to be gay themselves, they will have friends and family members who are gay and they will be fine with that – but their memory of your bigotry toward gays will never go away.

    Isn’t it terrible that Jesus set you up for that?

    “I came not to bring peace…but Division” – Jesus

    Yeah. Thanks anyway. I’m good without that nonsense.
    And I’m not even gay.

  • Some of the most quoted passages in the Bible are those concerning the woman caught in adultery. One of the least quoted passages especially by so-called progressives- is Jesus’s final words to the woman: :”Go! And sin no more.” No wonder Gays feel picked upon when they are told to “Go! And sin no more.”
    On the other hand the whole Gay movement is really about manipulating language and policies to get approval for the particular sin that gays have trouble with. But everyone has trouble with one temptation or another. Are we to ratify every sin and have moral anarchy to please one group of sinners who refuse to repent??? Christ said to forgive 70 times 7 times—but he did not say to change moral teachings to suit the times which can be decadent or perverse.

  • Joe, either you haven’t read St. Paul or you just don’t like the facts, like many of the German bishops it seems ….
    1. “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes* nor sodomites” 1Cor 6:9;
    2. “While claiming to be wise,t they became fools …. 24Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts* for the mutual degradation of their bodies.v 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.w 26Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, 27and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.” Rom 1: 23-27

  • I think that the outcome of the Synod has been affected by the long forgotten Encyclical – Humani Generis. A very good document that guided the Synod.

  • Joe: Your reply saddens me. Devoted to the Council of Trent? I don’t think so. Devoted to the fundamental teachings of the Church yes! Can the truth change, I don’t think so. Gays are welcome in the church, their sexual practices are not! Ever heard of AIDS! The wake up call is coming…careful!

  • @Larry

    “In what sense do we reject ethics, reject morality? In the sense given to it by the bourgeoisie, who based ethics on God’s commandments. On this point we, of course, say that we do not believe in God…We reject any morality based on extra-human and extra-class concepts. We say that this is deception, dupery, stultification of the workers and peasants in the interests of the landowners and capitalists. We say that our morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the proletariat’s class struggle. Our morality stems from the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat.” –Vladimir Lenin

    “There is no God…all this talk of God is sheer foolishness.”
    “I believe in only one thing, the power of human will.” — Josef Stalin

    Contrast that with the other “atheist” examples you have offered:

    “I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.” — Thomas (not William) Paine

    “‘If God did not exist, he would have to be invented.’ But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.” — Voltaire

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” — Thomas Jefferson.

    Who do you think really buys these games of yours, trying to turn desirable theists into atheists and undesirable atheists into theists? The only ones who buy it are the more ignorant and politicized atheists. Most educated and level-headed atheists don’t have any problem with owning up to the failures of atheism where they exist because they have no sick emotional need to lay all the world’s ills on the doorstep of religion or to believe that its disappearance would usher in some kind of paradise–they simply don’t believe.

    Again, if we don’t get to call out phony Christians, which you have invaded thread after thread to assert, then you most certainly don’t get to call out “phony atheists.” You don’t speak for the atheist world.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Atheist.

  • Shawnie, quotes from dictators are a poor gauge of intention. They have a nasty habit of saying what their public wants to hear and acting differently.

    Lenin and Stalin had no problem with accommodating organized religion when it suited their needs. Ho Chi Minh actively courted religious supporters. Lenin was rightfully critical of the antisemitism endemic to Christianity. Stalin was a seminary student in his youth who had no problem supporting churches to whip up nationalist sentiment. Stalin also adopted the anti-semitism endemic to his Orthodox Christian upbringing.

    Your Paine, Jefferson and Voltaire quotes are probably Bartonisms given their well documented disdain for religion in general.

    “Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.

    “Whenever we read the obscene stories [The Bible], the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistant that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”
    [Paine, The Age of Reason]

    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “Of all religions the Christian is without doubt the one which should inspire tolerance most, although up to now the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.”

    “Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.”

    Lying for the Lord is so common, it is considered a given

  • Joe, if you look at a crucifix you will discover that God is not some infinite cosmic patsy, peddling universal salvation! Mercy is given to repentant sinners, not to continuous, hardened sinners…….

  • ” A god turned into his own son, out of love, had him slaughtered, tortured in the most depraved way possible…for your personal benefit? This makes sense to you? This is rational?
    Because god needed innocent blood to hit the soil? This is moral?”

    Well God did make Jesus to be sin for us that we may be made the righteousness in him. (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pe. 3:18) What you see on the cross is God’s love for the world and his hatred for sin (John 3:16). Faith in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the only way a man’s sins may be forgiven (John 3:18). If there was any other way for him to reconcile man to Himself than maybe there would be a sadistic element to it, but God is no sadist.

  • Ah Gary, of course Pope Benedict is a theologian! All priests are theologians! Ah, Gary, that’s a large part od seminary training. Thankfully he’s not a social scientist. Social “science” is BS! It’s a major for idiots who can’t make it in any other major in college. Also, you homosexuals lost out in this synod so please slink back down for a little while and let those who care about our Church have the space. And please don’t think your “erudition” makes up for you not so hidden agenda. Erudition is also a word for academic losers. BTW, Mr. moderator, if your text example were any fuzzier it would pass at auction for one of Picassos pieces of trash! So much for fairness in allowing comments!

  • Karla, what are you on? Please come down from your high before commenting. BTW, this article is about a Catholic Church event. Please go back to your evangelical auditorium “church” with “pastor” # 32,107 out of the 33,000 protestant sects and sing more hymns. OK?

  • Youhoo I am Atheist Max the internet troll.
    I have no life but to lurk in religious websites and spew vitriol and make judgmental statements as if that makes it true. Yay exclamation points! You know I gotta say say, cuz as an atheist I can’t pray it. And I don’t have anything better to do. 🙁

  • Joseph, the bible was written down and handed down through the ages by Catholic monks! That’s a fact that your heretical history, begun 1500 years!!!! after Jesus founded the Catholic Church, can’t change. It is YOU who will be shocked and dismayed when YOU face God. And why is it that you protestant morons continually attack and insult the Catholic Church? Catholics don’t care what protestants “believe.” Why is it different with you? Because deep down in your man made religiously malformed souls, you know something is wrong. That’s because the truth of God as well as his laws are written in the human heart. Outside the Catholic Church there is NO SALVATION, especially for those who deliberately attack that Divine Institution!!

  • Me like arguing much!
    Like Bizzaro Superman me enjoy wasting other peoples time. This good since me no have purpose or useful things to do.
    You say up and me say “DOWN!”
    You say down and me say “TOMATO EBOLA!”
    Matters not. Me like argue only! 🙂

  • Hi Joe, agree with you to some degree….and yes Mercy is necessary but Christ (you forget) is also Just. Mercy (forgiveness) is always necessary but we MUST be willing to CHANGE what is NOT in accord with morality…regardless of whether same sex or heterosexual.. If Jesus is not Just then why does he say he will reward the sheep (who are faithful to him) and punish the goats (who stubbornly insist on their own way).. Mercy must be balanced with Justice otherwise anything and everything is acceptable. That is NOT what Christ teaches

  • @Ed,

    “Their sexual practices are not! Ever heard of AIDS! The wake up call is coming…careful!”

    Shame on you.

    Are you going to be against kissing too, because of Mononucleosis?
    Or helping Ebola patients because… EBOLA!?
    Or caring for the sick because of H1N1?
    Or staying with a wife who caught herpes when she was in College?

    Just awful.

  • John D-What are you talkin about? All sin needs to be talked about/confronted
    not just gay marriage and/or abortion was the point I was trying to make. Many
    today only want to talk about homosexuals and/or abortion so they don’t have
    to face their own sin so maybe you should take a look in the mirror and be a
    little less mean/also bridle your sharp tongue cause Jesus that said many will
    say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven! All sin is bad! We all must Repent!

  • @Shawnie:

    You still have shown no evidence for a god.
    As far as I can tell, YOU are an atheist.

    You have provided no evidence for god – which tells me you have none.
    You have provided no demonstration which suggests a god exists – which tells me you have none.
    You have shown no argument why anyone NEEDS a god – which suggests there isn’t a valid one.

    How do I know you really believe in a God ?
    You don’t even show me evidence of that.

    Instead, you don’t like Atheists.
    How do I know you aren’t just repressing your own doubts?
    And if you are suppressing doubts, you are just an atheist, too.

    As long as Stalin and Lysenko have Halos on their heads in Russian Orthodox churches, you can’t convince me of an atheist Stalin/Lysenko sect. And that is not atheism.

    My beef is with religion and its influence on the population, buttering it up and turning it into a bunch of suckers ripe for Dictatorship. And you continue to fail to prove me wrong on any of this stuff.
    But keep trying.

  • @Ted,

    “If there was any other way for him to reconcile man to Himself than maybe there would be a sadistic element to it, but God is no sadist.”

    If God isn’t a Sadist, who forced God to do the slaughter?
    Who forced God to do it this sadistic way and not another way?

  • Thanks for the attention.
    I’m glad you are reading my comments.

    And you are right about one thing. I can’t think of too many better things to do than point out how evil religion is.

    God commands Raping in daylight

    “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives [plural] while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall LIE WITH YOUR WIVES in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’ ” (2 Samuel 12:11)

    Just want to remind you who’s side you are defending.

  • John D, re your salvation tale, actually, the entire Christ-sacrifice-salvation thing, which is a “pillar” of both the Catholic and Protestant cults, is a steaming pile of nonsense. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn’t do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus’ death a “sacrifice”, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

    Pretty pathetic “god” that you’ve made for yourself there.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

  • Atheist Max,

    I’m so sorry for what you must have experienced at some point in your life. I have said a prayer for you.

  • R-O-F-L! Duh, ya think? I made that exact same statement a while back with regard to Hitler’s phony Christianity and received reams of vitriol from your buddy Max to the effect that, basically, we can’t dispute anyone’s professed beliefs even when belied by EVERY action. Since you are Max’s primary “me-too’er” around here, neither of you is in any position to disclaim your embarrassing compadres in atheism. Sorry.

    “Your Paine, Jefferson and Voltaire quotes are probably Bartonisms given their well documented disdain for religion.”

    ROFL again! Don’t even bother cutting and pasting from the Age of Reason anymore…if you had actually read it in its entirety you would have instantly recognized its passage about Paine’s personal beliefs. SURE he was not Christian, SURE he was not a fan of organized religion. But he was not an atheist. That much is obvious.

    And you have now surpassed yourself beyond recovery by ascribing the words of the Declaration of Independence to David Barton. Thanks for making it so easy.

    As for Voltaire, here is a link to the letter from which his quote is taken. It is understandable that you would not have recognized it, but that you didn’t recognize the other two is utterly inexcusable.

    Thanks for starting my day on a VERY light note.

  • BTW, my first remark was wrt this: “Shawnie, quotes from dictators are a poor gauge of intention. They have a nasty habit of saying what their public wants to hear and acting differently.”

    Care to dispute your buddy, Maxie?

    Edit buttons, please, RNS!

  • In the end, all those within the Christian tradition who advocate for mercy/tolerance/acceptance of homosexual relationships have to be able to contend with the fact that their book explicitly states the following:

    “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1)

    So it is hard to see how the Pope and those who support adopting a policy of inclusion of homosexual relationships is not in the process discounting the very book they claim as the Word of God.

    Perhaps what it is really about as illustrated in this battle within the Roman Church is money and power. How to keep it.

  • Joe… I totally agree. Let’s submit ourselves to the words of Jesus:

    “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

    “And if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

    “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”

    “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.”

    If we could get back to the words of Jesus we would be fine.

  • @Milford,
    I’m completely fine, thanks. No worries for me.
    Consider instead the high price humans pay in our society for the right you claim for yourself – to judge them and call them ‘sinners’.
    Never mind forgiveness. You have already called them sinners.

    Next, think about why a god would require you to be doing that. And whether such a thing could possibly be good.

  • Joe, you must have missed what Francis said about liberals and what he said about obeying the deposit of faith. Burke looks better then the liberals back in the day with their clown Masses or the one that dressed up as Barney the dinosaur.

  • In the new testament Jesus teaches us that what is important is not our actions but what’s in our hearts. None of us can judge what is in other people’s hearts and I don’t think it’s fair to deny them religion or anything else. God loves all of us even when we are not worthy! None of us are perfect but we have to keep trying to be more like him in loving one another.

  • What did any of that mish-mash have to do with your persistent attempts to reclassify unattractive and unwanted atheists away from your camp?

    Nothing you said makes an atheist into a theist–and if your soviet compadres were still around they’d be falling off their chairs laughing at you.

  • We hope that Pope Francis is trying to reach an audience of people who have become solipsistic in their assessments of what the Christian faith is. People are concerned that the Pope, or at least some Bishops are trying to reconcile Christ with the world which so brutally judged and continues to judge Him.

    To live without the tender companionship of Jesus in the Eucharist is a terrible loss. Such a loss takes place by the liberation of the self from Him and this is generally understood as in following our own guidance, living to compensate ourselves, doing as we will, which is not part of Him as taught in the Gospels.

    His tender companionship cannot be willed anymore than our free will can discern Him by our own power. We must recognize Jesus in the humble things of God and in so doing from moment to moment, He visits His tender peace upon us and this is a very wonderful thing.

  • Christina-Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 and Luke 13. The Bible says that
    the heart is wicked and that we all must Repent! If people say that they
    love Jesus then don’t follow the Bible/religion no Truth is in them! The
    Bible says Repent or perish! We all must Repent!

  • Larry..”Ron, you are so hateful you would rather have children suffer than to be in the presence of those you despise.”
    If the truth hurts I’m sorry. I do not despise gays. I only hate the sin of homosexuality.

  • Larry…Why are you so angry? There is hope and healing if you just turn your life over to God. Try it you might just find it very freeing.

  • Karla-Two guys were next to Jesus on the Cross and only one guy
    went to heaven! Why is that? Only one guy Repented/had a change
    of heart about his sin. We must Repent/change!

  • “The entire church has always welcomed gays.” If that’s true then why did the conservative bishops force the “welcome” line?

  • Sorry Max, I could let the “Kill Homosexuals” Leviticus citation go because it’s been covered so many times elsewhere: but your citation above isn’t a commandment from God, it’s a prophecy given by Nathan to David after the latter sends his mistress’s [Batsheva] husband [Uriah] to the front line to get him killed.

  • I think the article is saying it was 118 for the more liberal proposals and 62 against. It was a “narrow” vote because it required a two-thirds majority. The vote was 0.665, not 0.667, so yes, pretty narrow. A vast majority voted in favor.

  • Joe,

    I agree with William. Jesus constantly showed mercy to people especially to the worse sinners. NO sin is greater than God. Marriage is between a man and a woman. This teaching cannot change. It is the word of God. To not welcome folks of different sexual orientation is not being compassionate. What would Jesus do in this situation? Would he reject people with different sexual orientation? Would he be merciful and welcoming like he was with the samaritan woman? The church loves the sinner, hates the sin. As long as homosexuals are not practicing sexual intercourse, and are in a state of grace I am good with them receiving communion. Having sexual relations outside of marriage for heterosexuals is just are wrong as homosexuality. Who are we judge if we are sinners ourselves. As long as homosexuals are not physically engaged in sexual relations or are repentant (the same way heterosexual folks have relations outside of marriage and repent), they ok with me and should be welcomed to the church.

  • I agree with Joe’s comments about the complaints of the Cardinal Burke and his conservative, republican, catholic bishops and cardinals in the USA. Many of these conservative members of the catholic hierarchy believe that they have all the answers to the problems in the Church. They believe that they should be constantly judging anyone who does not follow what they think about many of the man made rules of the church. Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Chaput should follow the examples that Jesus gave to his disciples while he was on earth 2,000 years ago. We all will be judged by Jesus when we leave this world. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide the leaders of the church to make it welcoming to all who are searching for salvation.