The Non-Controversy of Pope Francis

Oh no! Pope Francis talked about homosexuals! And divorce and remarriage! And the mainstream media has spun it! Whatever are we to do!

Here’s your link, from catholicnews.com.

Here’s the money quote:

“A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?” the pope said. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society.

Oh no! The horror! He repeated the official Catholic position, one that could be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church! What a radical! What a reformer!

My favorite part though is how the media conveniently forgets the rest of the quote:

The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”

There you go. Pope Francis has a problem, not with homosexuality, but with the acceptance of homosexuality as normal and something to be proud of. There is, literally, nothing controversial about what he said. Nothing. It does not change Catholic teaching one iota. If anything he has made a strong statement condemning the homosexual lobby, comparing it to a Masonic lobby.

Then there’s his supposedly controversial remarks on divorce (scroll down in the article):

“I believe this is a time of mercy, a change of epoch,” the pope said when asked about divorce. He said the group of eight cardinals tasked with reform will explore the issue of whether divorcees can receive Communion, which they are currently barred from doing.

How controversial! Pope Benedict would never look into the situation like this!

Oh wait. Cardinal Ratzinger said this in 1972:

Marriage is a sacramentum, it stands in the irrevocable fundamental form of the decisive decision. But this does not mean that the Communion community of the church does not also encompass those people who accept this teaching and this life principle, but are in a special predicament, in which they especially need the full communion with the Body of Christ.

In good conscience I must say that Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Emeritus Benedict, reversed his position later (in 1998 he wrote a document more or less saying as much). But that is not the point. Even he, obviously, believed that DISCUSSION was allowed. Exploring the issue is not the problem.

And finally, a “change of Epoch”. Sounds alarming, right? Not really. Allowing divorced and remarried people to receive communion does NOT change Catholic dogma. Not at all. The dogma is that marriage is indissoluble. As long as that is not changed, dogma does not change. Once again, there is no crisis here.

The fact is that Pope Francis will NOT be changing Catholic doctrine, and he did not hint that he will. His comments about homosexuality were not remotely controversial and his comments about divorce and remarriage do not show ANY sign of reversing Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. When he changes that fundamental, dogmatic teaching of the Church, then we’ll talk. But allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion does NOT change that teaching.

More mainstream media hysteria. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

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