Recently, there’s been a lot of news coverage of some statements Pope Francis made to reporters. Here’s the part that lit everybody’s fuse:
When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby.
To the media, this seems like a revolutionary statement. Judging from the mainstream coverage, reporters interpreted this statement to mean that the Pope was going to immediately ordain Elton John and install a disco in the Vatican.
To anyone who’s ever been inside a church, however, it seems like more of exactly what you hear when you go into a church. Pat Archbold comments:
As I said, to anyone paying attention, this constitutes the status quo in the Church’s position on same-sex attraction and homosexuality. But to an uninformed world being fed information by a willfully deceitful press? Like I said, “oh boy.”
…I am not sure many people fully realize what Francis did on that plane, so let me tell you: he neutralized the power of the media narrative; he exposed the truth that in Christ there is mercy and forgiveness, and that the church exists to offer this in his name; he set whatever “gay lobby” exists in the church on notice that while he has no intention of acting as gay-priest-witch-hunter, he won’t tolerate a bloc acting against the interests of the church.
I’m inclined to agree. I think that the Pope was laying down a marker to indicate that the church still believes what the church has always believed. I like it.