Pope Francis: Catholics Should Not Be ‘Obsessed’ With Speaking Against Homosexuality, Abortion

Pope_FrancisROME — In an article published on Thursday by the Italian magazine La Civilta Cattolica, Pope Francis explained that he believes the Roman Catholic Church needs to find a “new balance” in reaching unbelievers, rather than focusing predominantly on the issues of homosexuality and abortion.

During the lengthy piece, which covered a variety of topics, from being a Jesuit to the role of women in the church, Francis pointed back to comments he made last month when asked how Catholics can reach out to people who are divorced or involved in same-sex relationships.

“In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this,” he said. “During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro, I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person,” Francis continued. “In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.”

Francis also stated that Catholics need to be more diverse in the issues that they address to attract more people to Roman Catholicism.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible,” he said. “I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

Francis asserted that men should “proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” but in a more general sense, rather than harping on moral issues.

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“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus,” he opined. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”

However, Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries, a former Roman Catholic, said that the pope is not thinking Biblically in making his assertions.

“The pope needs to know that abortion and gay marriage are serious sins against a holy God. They must continually be condemned by the preaching of His word,” he told Christian News Network. “All sinners, including homosexuals, are condemned by God until they repent and believe His Gospel. Only then is there legal status before the holy judge changed from condemnation to justification.”

Gendron advised that it is the duty of every Christian to call the world to repentance, and to turn to Christ to find victory over the power of sin and the flesh.

“The pope does not know the word of God, which reveals that every unbeliever is held captive by the devil to do his will, only the truth can set us free,” he advised. “The purpose of the church is to lovingly confront people in their sin with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then call them to repentance.”

“This is a great time to evangelize Catholics since they don’t know who to believe,” Gendron declared. “We need to point them to the infallible word of God for truth!”

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  • GGB

    The Pope knows that people are attracted to Christ through the loving embrace of others. Being balanced means opening lines of communication to the other person in their walk of life. We don’t approve of their lifestyle but direct them towards Christ without alienating them. Once alienated they will not listen to the Good News. Calling the Pope a minister of Satan is both disgusting and harmful to the call of Christ for fellow believers to work together to gather the harvest. I have learned that we need to see what God sees in His creation and love the other that He has created. This is not approving of aberrant behavior either but does not accept hatefulness from people who call themselves Believers!

    • islandgirl

      AMEN!!! GGB, well said and true! It is the ‘act’ that determines whether one sins or not. I wonder how many of these, ‘all of a sudden wanna-be preachers here’ have been so angry at someone, wanting to cause harm upon them, but did not. Would that “feeling” they have, now cause THEM to be cast into hell? It is just too bad that intelligence and the Word of God does not resonate to those that love to bash the pope. If they actually knew God’s Word as they claim to, they would then understand what it is that the pope is saying. I guess you can’t teach intelligence though. I love how self proclaimed christians always bash true Christianity -( Catholicism ), because they have now become their own ‘popes’, thus, thousands upon thousands of “true bible believing christians” that don’t even agree with each other, that have different versions of the bible, preach different gospels, uggghhh, I won’t even go any further.

  • Stan Phil

    We now have a liberal secular humanist in the Vatican. The word ‘tolerance’ has long been a codeword used by liberals in place of ‘permissiveness’. “Far be it from me to ever judge anyone” was a phrase used very, very often by the high priest of political correctness of tv in the 1980s, Phil Donahue. We now see the same poison has invaded the Vatican. This Pope is only just beginning. He is a crafty politician who is paving the way step by step. Morality is being ushered out of the church, while obeisance to liberal social thinking is taking over. All gays must supposedly be immediately forgiven, though they insist that they do absolutely nothing wrong and in fact attack anyone who criticizes their practices.

    Permissiveness has through the ages always been welcomed by the masses. As Francis angles for his own personal popularity, he is destroying the Church. Afer all, we wouldn’t want to “offend” any sinners.

    Just watch how his ‘tolerance’ plays out as he eventually begins to crack down on anyone who resists his liberal campaign.

  • Jake

    Great points GGB. I just can’t believe that Mike Gendron can accuse the Pope of not knowing the word of God. It makes it seem like Pope Francis just stumbled into this position without having a commitment to knowing a preaching the Gospel every day. Even when proclaiming the Good news to everyone, what do we get by judging them.

    All we have to do is look at the greatest commandments. This is one of the only times Jesus outright answers a question, so you know this is what He came to do, the rest were just distractions and trivia that He used to illustrate some greater point. Love God, Love your neighbor as yourself. He did not say Love God and judge your neighbor. We are human and the more we judge people, the harder it is to show true love for them. This is exactly what Pope Francic is returning to. He does not say that homosexual acts or abortion is okay, but that we sin in many other ways that will keep us from the kingdom of God. He is warning that we can’t get too caught up in any one thing or we will ignore things in our lives that are keeping us from accepting Jesus’ mercy.

    This is certainly a Pope that puts himself out there, so critics have a lot more ammunition. Fire away, I’m thinking he can handle it.

  • Patrick

    I am someone inside the Catholic Church – practicing and I actually work in the ecclesial structure. I am so used to the secular/mainstream media completely misreading, misrepresenting, and doing damage to what Popes and many Church documents and teachings actually say. But I am not upset. It goes with the culture and territory – the Church is not the only entity/person in this position. Today “info” and “learning” is too fast – and often, therefore, un-researched (in a way that takes time and experience), and out of context. Again, it happened with Pope Francis. Unfortunately Christians are doing the same thing! Please, take the time to know the Church’s teachings and this Pope’s full statements (read the interview)! He has not abandoned the Word of God. Perhaps the best analogy he used in the interview was that of a field hospital (in war). Soldiers come in with a leg missing, with a hole in their arm, blind… etc. The doctors do not start taking to them about high blood pressure and high bad-cholesterol. HELLO – they need their life-threatening immediate needs addressed. Today, that is where we are says Pope Francis. The life-threateneing need is an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. If someone in a “gay” lifestyle does not know Christ, is coming first with the sin they are in going to work if they do not know Jesus Christ? Not likely. Pope Frrancis is telling the Church to lead with the love, mercy and life of Jesus Christ. All the morality (which he has never compromised – Church teaching remains) will only be truly full of joy and a life to live ONCE one is in an intimate relationship with the Lord. Read his actual words – in full again.

  • r williams

    I am a Christian.being reared in the Catholic Church.I see how quiet the church is wrt homosexuality.not a word is spoken about it.I have a lesbian and a gay in my family.the church never taught about the sin of such lifestyles.yes,even I accepted it(the lifestyle),untill I met the Living Word.And discovered that it is an abomination in Gods eyes.Yes,I love my two family members,but my greater family know that I do not aprovethat type of lifestiles.I lovingly explain the Word to them.I know what it is to be rejected by your own family because of living the Word.and this all because the Catholic church does not teach about the sinfulness of such acts.And I don’t need to be stoned.I left the church at age 40,not so very long ago.so I’m talking of my very own experience here

  • iris

    Love the sinner (even believers still sin) but hate the sin. If we don’t abhor what God abhors, if we don’t believe He is telling us the truth when He plainly states in Scripture that He abhors it, then how can we say we know Him? Our battles are actually God’s to fight and He will win every one of them, ultimately. In His will, Christians are to be included somehow in those battles, sharing the truth, humbly and in agape Love. I agree with certain points of what has been posted here in different camps, but there can be no Good News without understanding that there is also very bad news for those who do not receive Christ as the Lord and their Savior from the power of sin and death. To say that what God calls evil, is good, is lying about Him and it insults Him, not to mention the many others who suffer by the continuance of a sin. There is a difference between a person who is attracted to the same sex and a person who acts upon the attraction. There is a much greater difference between a person who admits their sin and asks God for help in simple faith, and a person who flaunts their behavior and vilifies those who disagree.

    The increased acceptance of practicing homosexuality was promoted by some in the psychiatric community for 20 years before it actually became considered normal behavior legally. This same group is now actively pushing that pedophilia and bestiality enjoy the same acceptance. That a helpless infant-adolescent child would be exposed to such sexual exploitation legally, is unthinkable to me.

    We need to believe the timeless word of God and rely on the power of His Holy Spirit through the transforming good news. He takes us as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us there.

  • Eri

    No one needs to listen to the pope.They go against Scripture and say prayers to Mary and the angels.Which is not okay according to Scriptures. In Colossians 2:18-23 it is written :”18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”
    So why should we listen to him Mr.Francis on this issue.If they cannot get those things write(stated at the first)Then why suffer them about this issue?Homosexuality is a sin and so is murdering innocent babies who were robbed of life by abortionists?We shall not shall not.
    Abortion is Moloch and Baal worship plain and simple.Worshiping”Mary” is worshiping the “queen of heaven” which is an abomination in the eyes of God Almighty, Who is and was and is to come,the Almighty.Though shall worship the Lord your God and Him alone shalt thou worship.Behold The Almighty is a God of justice.No man can undo what He has said nor what He alone has done.Nor the amount of laws which man passes whether it be law of the land or the catechism nor any other book that elevates itself above the Word of God shall stand nor speak away His Holy commandments and Word.Ever.