ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BRAZIL – Pope Francis said he was responding to the clear wishes of the College of Cardinals when he set up commissions to study the Vatican bank, Vatican financial and administrative procedures and the reform of the Roman Curia.
The Pope also said he knows people have spoken about some kind of “gay lobby” at the Vatican protecting certain priests by threatening to blackmail others. The Pope said the “lobbying” is what is worrisome.
Addressing the issue of the gay lobby, Pope Francis said it was important to “distinguish between a person who is gay and someone who makes a gay lobby,” he said. “A gay lobby isn’t good.”
“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. The problem isn’t this (homosexual) orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.”
The Ricca case
“I did what canon law requires, which is to conduct a preliminary investigation. We didn’t find anything to confirm the things he was accused of, there was nothing. … I’d like to add that many times we seem to seek out the sins of somebody’s youth and publish them. We’re not talking about crimes, which are something else. The abuse of minors, for instance, is a crime. But one can sin and then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets. We don’t have the right to refuse to forget … it’s dangerous. The theology of sin is important. St. Peter committed one of the greatest sins, denying Christ, and yet they made him pope. Think about that.”
There’s more on divorce and remarriage; women and the Church; the charismatic movement inside the Catholic Church and other topics.
I look forward to seeing a transcript of the full 80 minutes and until I see it I will reserve judgment.
How many of you have been following the Ricca case?
This is interesting: “But one can sin and then convert, and the Lord both forgives and forgets.”
Yet on Ricca the Pope said, “We didn’t find anything to confirm the things he was accused of, there was nothing.”
So … was someone making up dirt about this priest?
Or was someone digging up something from his past to damage him because now he is a sincere, repentant convert, the Mary Magdelene of the homosexual world?
Or? I hope and pray it is one of the above for the sake of the Pope. But sadly, Sandro Magister has a great deal of credibility as a journalist which he has now staked his career on.
For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict
He has touched upon the sore spot of the Mass in the ancient rite. Ratzinger permitted its celebration for all. Bergoglio has prohibited it for one religious order that favored it
Damian Thompson has some interesting observations:
Actually, I don’t think the Pope intended to criticise his predecessor, and he is not changing Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts. But there’s no doubt that he’s presenting it in a more relaxed manner, and he’s moving the Church away from its recent position – formulated amid panic over sex abuse – that celibate gay men pose too much of a risk to be ordained. That was a ridiculous and insulting stance which, if it were enforced retrospectively, would leave parishes all over the world without a priest.
As for the liturgy, there’s no doubt that Francis’s style is more informal than Benedict’s, and he isn’t a fan of the beautiful classical rubrics of the pro-conciliar Church. That’s a shame and it’s worrying to learn that he has imposed restrictions on the celebration of the Old Rite on a Franciscan community that had adopted it wholesale.
On the other hand… what if Francis succeeds in decontaminating the Catholic brand?
What I am uncomfortable in Damian Thompson’s analysis is talking about celibate gay men as if “gay” is another kind of category similar to one’s sex, male or female.
I have a friend who is a former gay activist. He used to refer to himself as a gay Catholic after he had become a Catholic. But he then began to understand that he is a man, a man with same sex attraction. He has since married a woman and they have a ministry to Catholics with same sex attraction or for families and friends of those with same sex attraction.