Pope Francis Shocks Liberals on Same-Sex “Marriage”

In his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis once again defended marriage, and he again edged closer to a firm, unequivocal papal statement against same-sex “marriage.” As Francis clearly continues to carefully move in that direction, liberals, both secular and non-secular, non-Catholic and Catholic, are going to feel a severe sense of betrayal and grave disappointment, contrary to the most optimistic expectations they’ve eagerly imposed upon their first “gay-marriage” pope.

Before considering what Francis said last week, I want to back up and reiterate related points I made in a piece posted here a few weeks ago, which created a backlash among some readers who thought me at best naïve and at worst a complete fool.

My piece was on liberals’ love of Pope Francis on gay issues. Being driven as they are by emotion, they easily construed his kind and tolerant words toward gays as a certain coming embrace of gay marriage. For a liberal, A must always lead to B and then to Z, with nothing in between. I argued that they are deceiving themselves, a duping of their own doing. I laid out various Francis’ statements affirming traditional-Biblical-natural marriage, as well as his extremely strong remarks back in Argentina, where he declared same-sex “marriage” a diabolical effort of “the Father of Lies” to “destroy God’s plan … and deceive the children of God.” He said then—only four years ago—that gay “marriage” discriminates against children “in advance,” depriving them of “their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God.” At stake, said Cardinal Bergoglio, was “the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts” and the very survival of the human family, with Satan at work.

I noted that if one actually pauses and does a little research, examining each of Pope Francis’ many comments on marriage, one finds an obvious consistency that has never wavered from Church teaching. It’s only his language and tone that has changed.

I further noted the increasing number of statements from Francis in recent months, including widely unreported remarks just after the synod, when he remonstrated “that the family is hit, that the family is knocked and that the family is debased.… Can everything be called a family? How … much relativism there is in the concept of the Sacrament of Marriage!” He complained: “What they are proposing is not marriage, it is an association, but it is not marriage! It is necessary to say things very clearly and we must say this!” The Holy Father condemned the “new forms, totally destructive” of marriage.

He was equally strong in his address to the “Humanum” conference, where he affirmed that “family is a family,” and that such is an “anthropological fact” that “can’t be qualified by ideological notions.”

I concluded by noting that “gay-marriage” liberals are setting up themselves for a major letdown as Francis inevitably further affirms his opposition to same-sex “marriage.” I added that when it becomes painfully clear to them that Francis isn’t what they expected, the Holy Father shouldn’t expect any charity from them. All hell could break loose.

As noted, some fellow orthodox Catholic readers of that piece were shocked at my alleged naïveté. They disputed my thinking on Francis from all sorts of angles. I would urge them to keep their eye on the ball that I tossed out. My focus was and is same-sex “marriage.” And that brings me back to the pope’s remarks in the Philippines.

In the Philippines last week, Francis stated unequivocally that the family is being threatened by relativistic “powerful forces” that are looking to “disfigure God’s plan for creation” and to “redefine the very institution of marriage.” He denounced what he called the “ideological colonization of the family.” To cite the larger quotation reported by Catholic News Agency, the pope warned against increasing efforts “to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life,” and against “powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture.”

Bear in mind, when this particular pope speaks of “powerful forces,” he is very likely including what he considers satanic ones.

In short, Francis was clearly referring to the most obvious attempt to redefine marriage: same-sex “marriage.” This was understood even by the liberal, secular, mainstream media. Here are just a few examples:

MSNBC ran the headline, “Pope Francis suggests gay marriage threatens traditional families.” Its opening line stated: “In a reference to gay marriage, Pope Francis on Friday warned against an ideological colonization of the family.”

Reuters opened with this: “Pope Francis on Friday warned against an ‘ideological colonization of the family,’ a reference to gay marriage around the world.”

The UK’s left-leaning Independent likewise had no trouble interpreting the pontiff’s words, running the headline, “Pope Francis warns that same-sex marriage ‘threatens the family’ and ‘disfigures God’s plan for creation.’” Of course, Francis never used the words “same-sex marriage,” but there’s no question what he meant, and the Independent knew it.

Reporter Ben Smith at The Daily Signal wrote that “the pope reaffirmed his commitment to traditional marriage, speaking to the crowd about his concern for the ‘ideological colonization of the family,’ which many took as a swipe at gay marriage. The Vatican later confirmed that marriage was on the pope’s mind.” Smith concluded his piece: “Last October, during the Synod of bishops, many progressive church-watchers were hopeful for a more liberal church. They believed Francis would support friendlier language toward gays.”

Of course, it’s typical of liberalism that one cannot be seen as “friendly” toward gays unless accepting the entire gay agenda on marriage, and thereby rejecting one’s Church’s sacred teachings. Such is the binary, simple universe of the liberal mind, never as nuanced and sophisticated as prideful liberals insist.

I believe we can expect more of this from Pope Francis, especially with the synod on the family in Philadelphia this fall. And when we do, there will be hell to pay from “same-sex-marriage” fanatics who had fully convinced themselves that he is one of them, and will thus convince themselves (remember, they are driven by emotion) that he has lied to them.

Francis’ statements on marriage seem to be following a preconceived plan. On that, one of the most insightful assessments comes from Austen Ivereigh, who has written a book on Francis called The Great Reformer. He points to the role of Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises in forming Jorge Bergoglio’s thinking and unlocking the mystery of Francis’ papacy. He states of Francis: 

He absorbed at a very deep level St. Ignatius’ rules for distinguishing the action of the Holy Spirit from spiritual motions that come from the devil, which often come disguised in angelic form.

He discerned, in the move to create same-sex “marriage” in Argentina in 2010, precisely that kind of temptation: In the name of “good” things, such as dignity and equality, what the government was doing was destroying a child-centered institution based on an anthropological reality.

The Exercises are also key to understanding Francis’ reform of the Church.

St. Ignatius’ retreat is a four-week cycle. In Week I, you discover yourself to be a sinner, yet at the same time unconditionally loved and forgiven by God; in Week II, you choose to follow Christ, renouncing distractions and temptations, and commit to the truth taught by the Church. You’re able to get to Week II because of Week I; it’s the pattern of conversion. Yet, too often, we focus on the saving truth of the Church’s teaching while making it hard for people actually to experience that healing love.

What Francis is trying to do is get the Church to focus less on a Week II-type proclamation and more on Week I. It’s not an attempt to soften or dilute the Church’s teaching, but to fill it out—to show the part that too often gets skipped. Hence, his vision of the Church as a healer and a mother, not just a teacher. That’s the program of his pontificate.

I think that program may be exactly what we’re witnessing with the steady divulging of Francis’ position against same-sex “marriage.” It looks like he’s now moving through phase two of the program.

Unfortunately for this merciful pope, I fear we’ll also be witnessing some serious vituperation from his soon-to-be ex-friends on the liberal/progressive side of the aisle. I doubt they will give him the conversion to the faith and the truths of the Church that he was hoping for. Get ready for not only some further clarification from Francis on same-sex “marriage,” but for some real nastiness from the apostles of “tolerance.”

Editor’s note: In the image above is pictured Pope Francis and President Benigno Aquino III at the presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on January 16, 2015. (CNS Photo / Paul Haring)

Paul Kengor


Paul Kengor is Professor of Political Science at Grove City College, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, and author of many books including The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage (2015). His new books are A Pope and a President and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism (2017).

  • ForChristAlone

    I pray, Paul, that you are correct on all counts. The faithful of the Church pray you are correct. “Hail Mary, full of grace…”

    • guest

      Wishful thinking. Like what happened after Vatican 2 – they will boast they are NOT changing Doctrine… but they will change the practices nevertheless… and the faithful will accept it a s a change in doctrine… and changes will come as the defense of homosexual unions in Florida by Bishop
      Lynch. Read http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/the-florida-divisions-a-tale-of-two-cities

      • I am rather a pastor and shepherd looking to the peripheries for people in the Church who long have felt alienated, unwanted, embarrassed, angry and marginalized.”

        Lynch ought to quit, because he think’s he’s a social worker.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          That’s often a dubious occupation even if one isn’t a priest.

      • Maize

        Lynch is caught up in the confusion of the linguistic gymnastic terms foisted on society by the politically correct left. National Catholic Register, by the way, is a platform to display a collection of lunatics.

        Lynch says: “Therefore, I do not wish to lend our voice to notions which might suggest that same-sex couples are a threat incapable of sharing relationships marked by love and holiness and, thus, incapable of contributing to the edification of both the Church and the wider society.”

        Same sex couples–the term leads to confusion. Use Sodomite or homosexual. The term “love” as used in the plea from the LGBT community–“We should be able to love whomever we choose,” is a sexual double entendre with love substituted for the word sex. There is no law against love on the planet. Laws do regulate certain disordered sexual urges. It’s an advertising slogan.

        Lynch is confused. Many people in society were too. All the newspapers, all the media, all the courts, all our representatives were caught in a whirlwind of these poor discriminated unequal special class of persecuted people–and then they attacked us and we woke from our stupor.

        I’m sure Lynch woke up. There is nothing holy about sodomy. there is nothing holy about forcing others to celebrate your fall from grace. There is nothing holy about the state forcing a grandmother to bake a cake for two homosexuals celebrating sodomy and making a Christian woman bow before their sin and recognize with her “artwork.” That’s just insulting, rude, disrespectful and tyrannical.

        Who said it–it’s the Christian Kristalnacht.

  • Margaret O

    Yes, I do, too……

  • Daniel P

    Some of the mystery of Francis goes away when you notice that he almost always talks positively about groups of people, except when he is specifically focusing on a sin. So for example, he does not say “liberal Christians are all wrong”, but he does say “there is a temptation to water down the Truth which many people have fallen into, and which must be resisted.”

    I wish Mr. Kengor would do the same thing, with his own discussion of liberals. It is absolutely right to say that many people (including liberals) don’t understand how one can be merciful without being accepting of sin. But it’s not right to pin that view on *all* liberals, since you can see plenty of liberals who have said all along that there was no chance in hell Francis would accommodate gay marriage. (Consider Andrew Sullivan, for example.) Painting with too broad a brush unnecessarily offends people, which violates a Christian duty.

    • Prolifedem6M

      I very much like what the author has to say, but I dislike the use of the word, “liberal” in this context. I wish he and others would use some other word, because this one implies that in order to be an orthodox Catholic, one must think in lock-step with the troglodytes on all other issues. I consider myself a moderate liberal (or a middle-of-the-road extremist) on political issues, but am nevertheless a totally orthodox Roman Catholic who strongly supports all the teachings of the Church.

      • Daniel P

        Yes, absolutely. We want you in the Church, Prolifedem, even if there are some things we’ll disagree on!

        (Please don’t call conservatives “troglodytes”, though. I know it was meant to be humorous, but it could come off as just unkind.)

        • collegiate

          There you go again Dan…Spoken like a true liberal…BTW, we traditionalists don’t necessarily want YOU in the real Catholic Church. And also BTW, there’s no such thing as a traditional Catholic, because if you’re not traditional, you’re not Catholic.. You are a Neo-catholic, you know, a glorified Unitarian..

          • Daniel P

            If you don’t want me in the Church, you’re not Catholic. Catholics want everyone in the (universal) Church.

            (You may feel free to desire heretics to stay out of the Church UNTIL they are willing to submit to its teachings. But what makes you think I’m a heretic?)

            • bonaventure

              The Church is not universal because we should want everyone to be in, but because the Church’s doctrine has always been the same everywhere and at every time.

              • Daniel P

                CCC: “He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church.”
                In other words, we should want everybody to be in.

                • bonaventure

                  We do, especially the sinners (which we all are).
                  But that’s not the primary meaning of the word “catholic.”

        • Prolifedem6M

          To GG as well: I should have been more specific. Those who imply that only conservatives can be orthodox Catholics and only Republicans can be pro-life exhibit the thinking patterns of troglodytes. This includes many of the usual commentators to Crisis articles. Many call themselves “liberal” who are not truly liberal, just as many who call themselves “feminist” are not truly feminists but are simply libertines. Use some other term or use a modifier which does not paint with a broad brush.

          • GG

            If you are not a liberal then do not call yourself one.

          • RufusChoate

            I like the utter conceit of your improved Our Father. Hilarious.

            Our Father in Other Words

            March 16, 2013 at 9:00pm

            Creator and father of all of us Who made us and keeps us in existence, but still allows us to call You “Dad,”” we ask and invite You into our lives.

            Heaven is whereever You are.

            May Your Name always and everywhere be regarded as holy.

            Open our hearts and minds to accept Your kingdom so that we may live in it forever.

            Grant us wisdom to recognize Your Will and courage to act on it here on earth as the angels and saints know and act on it in heaven.

            Grant us confidence that you will see to our needs everyday, that you will provide the bread we need to sustain our bodies and the Bread of Life to sustain our souls.

            Grant us discernment to recognize our sins and humility to ask you to forgive us for our stubborn persistence in repeating them over and over. At the same time grant us patience with our brothers and sisters so that we can and will forgive them the injuries they do us simply because you have forgiven us.

            Protect us in times of temptation so that we always choose good over evil.
            Open our eyes to the true nature of evil and save us from being seduced by its attractions.

            As we pray His prayer with Jesus, we ask all these things in His Name. Amen

            Interpreted by Mary Ann Chimera, Lent 2012

            The hubris of even attempt to improve on the words of Christ with such verbose and vapid gibberish explains much about your use of the term troglodytes for your betters.

            • Joan59

              You like to humiliate and punish women, don’t you?
              Nobody, I mean NOBODY, will follow YOU to Christ’s Cross!

              • RufusChoate

                The Left is always amusing first they attack then they fall back to Victorian sensibility of Gentlemanly decorum with the “Ladies”. You’re no Lady but a Woman.

        • The heck with unkind, the troglodytes are creatures of the left. Its inaccurate.

      • GG

        I assumed by liberal the author uses it to denote those who reject the moral law. The Church has used it this way in the past:

        “But many there are who follow in the footsteps of
        Lucifer, and adopt as their own his rebellious cry, “I will not serve”;
        and consequently substitute for true liberty what is sheer and most
        foolish license. Such, for instance, are the men belonging to that
        widely spread and powerful organization, who, usurping the name of
        liberty, style themselves liberals.”


      • St JD George

        How about then … like the overlords that are currently in power who wish to force their beliefs down our throats while marginalizing and eventually eliminating the role of Christianity in society … you know, to make themselves the center of worship.

      • collegiate

        Lady, if you are a moderate liberal on ANY issue, you are neither Orthodox Catholic or PROLIFE! You are a phony and underminer, and you’re not fooling anyone!

        • Prolifedem6M

          Do you also disapprove of Jesus healing on the Sabbath? Is He welcome in your exclusive club?
          This is precisely what I mean by “troglodyte.”

      • “consider myself a moderate liberal (or a middle-of-the-road extremist)”

        You know the pretentious snobs who snickered when Al Gore spoke of the “extra chromosome” crowd..

        • Prolifedem6M

          To keep the record straight, Republicans (not liberals) gave our country abortion on demand. Five of the seven justices who decided Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton were GOP appointees, as were five of the five who retained abortion on demand in Casey v Planned Parenthood. Eisenhower was titular president of Planned Parenthood after he stepped down as POTUS until his death and Barry Goldwater sat on its board for a number of years. The GOP kept telling us that if we elected them, we’d get justices who would overturn those cases. Forty years and three GOP presidents later and it hasn’t happened yet. Roberts and Alito regard it as established law (“stare decisus”), or so they said.
          I am not responsible for what Democratic politicians say and I don’t hold you responsible for stupid statements by various GOP celebrities. I reserve the right to disagree with my party on some issues. With the exception of the moral issues (life and sham marriage), I pretty much agree with it.
          Abortion came into law as a libertarian issue, not a liberal issue. Don’t know why the Democratic Party got bamboozled into supporting abortion. Abortion is neither liberal nor conservative. It’s just evil. The devil knows how to influence people on every part of the liberal-conservative spectrum.

          • “Don’t know why the Democratic Party got bamboozled into supporting abortion””
            Because of the fact that Ted Kennedy and Mario Cuomo were secretly members of a group that included Murray R

      • ForChristAlone

        except that we recognize here that “pro-life dem” is oxymoronic

        • Bart Stupak proved that.

      • RufusChoate

        Mary Anne Chimera,

        Sorry but I had to look at your facebook picture and profile to discern where on the evolutionary stream you are be granted the right to call anyone a troglodyte. To be charitable you didn’t quite make the cut by about 40 million years. .

        The word liberal is incorrectly used by the Left to describe themselves to conceal their Leftism. I am a Classical Locke/Montesquieu/Smith Liberal that you and the Left now called Conservative and you and Dan etc.. are Robespierre/Stalin/Castro Leftists but you’re just not mentally adept enough to apprehend it.

        Moderate Leftists are people who change their opinion according to the company they keep and comfortable with the easy virtue of making someone else pay for their charitable inclination. .

        • Prolifedem6M

          According to the article, that puts you at odds with the Church, which was my original complaint about the unqualified use of the term, “liberal.” I am not going to leap to false conclusions about your character because I know less about you than you think you know about me.

          • RufusChoate

            As a pro-Life “Bert Stupak” kind of democrat, what legacy and tradition of the democrat party do you hold most dear? Slavery?, Segregation?, the Klan?, Wilsonian Fascism?, Institutionalized Racism?, Eugenics?, Jackson’s theft of the Cherokee Nation’s lands?, Copperheads or is it just the affectation of good old urban ethnic tribalism?

        • Joan59

          Prolifedem is right. You are a troglodyte, in the sense of being a despicable human being who takes great pleasure in humiliating others.
          Jesus weeps.

          • RufusChoate

            And you believe that killing children in the womb is a choice. Is this the best you have? You are inhuman monster while even as a Troglodyte I will evolve into a human being at some point while you will not.

        • papagan

          “I am a Classical Locke/Montesquieu/Smith Liberal…”

          That’s hardly encouraging, and it’s certainly not in harmony with Catholic social teaching (CST), but you’re probably not interested in CST.

          • RufusChoate


            What do you have against Locke/Montesquieu/Smith and the synthesis of a modern constitutional republic when compared to the Left? Are you opining that Robespierre/Stalin/Castro Leftists are more in conformity with Catholic Social Teaching?

            • papagan

              “Are you opining that Robespierre/Stalin/Castro Leftists are more in conformity with Catholic Social Teaching?”

              Definitely not. That would be silly.

              “What do you have against Locke/Montesquieu/Smith…”

              You believe they can be reconciled with CST? Or do you think CST is optional?

              • RufusChoate

                Politics is the art of the possible for most sane people so your point might be a tad absurd. You and I don’t live in a Catholic culture (outside of our homes and church) or polity but in a culture that is tangential christian with a majority of our fellow Americans being inimical and frequently openly hostile to Catholicism because of their identity with nation state based heresies. This tangentially christian culture with a large Catholic minority has been in opposition to the totalitarian barbarians of the Left since Burke and the French Revolution.

                The international Left has destroyed and despoiled much of the world while this flawed Country has strived to be better than the state of nature and frequently succeed.

                The Church can’t even honestly or faithfully project its teaching authority on the most rudimentary of Catholic ethical propositions for its own adherents so the likelihood of implementing the more expansive Catholic Social Teaching is even less likely without defaulting to large state socialism.

                The women who posted the original comment as a “Pro-Life” democrat called people who were not like her Troglodytes which might be a sentiment that you share but for all your sniffed and complaining to people like hombre 111 about people who post here being angry but I am sure none of them adhere unlike Hombre 111 and ProLifeDem to a political philosophy, party or ideology that murdered 200 million people around the world, murder 60 million unborn children in this county, impoverished and enslaved billions.

                So you may put me down as a realist and an anti-Leftist who is an obedient and assenting member of the Body of Christ to all of the Social Teaching of the Church even the hard parts.

                • papagan

                  Politics is the art of the possible for most sane people so your point might be a tad absurd.” (Emphasis added.)

                  Sometimes people will say “politics is the art of the possible” in order to mask a desire to preserve unjust political or social or economic structures. Didn’t some Jewish carpenter say something like the following: “For man, it is impossible, but for God, all things are possible”?

                  “This tangentially [C]hristian culture with a large Catholic minority has been in opposition to the totalitarian barbarians of the Left since Burke and the French Revolution.”

                  Let’s not overlook the fact that the totalitarian temptation can be found among right-wing partisans, not only among left-wing partisans.

                  “The international Left has destroyed and despoiled much of the world[,] while this flawed Country has strived [sic] to be better than the state of nature and frequently succeed.” (Emphasis added.)

                  You may wish to believe that; however, I’m afraid that the truth of the matter isn’t that simple. In view of the grave moral and spiritual crisis which envelops modern society and which is visible to all who have eyes to see, we’re not exactly out of the woods. For that reason people need to take Catholic social teaching much more seriously.

                  “The Church can’t even honestly or faithfully project its teaching authority on the most rudimentary of Catholic ethical propositions for its own adherents so the likelihood of implementing the more expansive Catholic Social Teaching is even less likely without defaulting to large state socialism.”

                  Catholic social teaching (CST) is an essential part of Catholic moral doctrine. The former is not peripheral to the latter. Furthermore, CST is incompatible with socialism. Anyone who believes the contrary has no more than a superficial grasp of CST. The truth of the matter is that socialism and capitalism as we encounter it today have much more in common than initially meets the eye!

                  “The women who posted the original comment as a ‘Pro-Life’ democrat called people who were not like her Troglodytes…”

                  That’s unfortunate; however, those who defend “an economy of exclusion and inequality” are not entirely on the side of the “Gospel of Life.”

                  “I am sure none of them adhere[,] unlike Hombre 111 and ProLifeDem[,] to a political philosophy, party or ideology that murdered 200 million people around the world, murder 60 million unborn children in this county, impoverished and enslaved billions.”

                  That’s tendentious. For it ignores the great spiritual harm caused by other factors, including the widespread philosophy of individualism, consumerism and the lust for wealth. Socrates recognized that harm to the soul is more dangerous than harm to the body.

                  So you may put me down as a realist and an anti-Leftist who is an obedient and assenting member of the Body of Christ to all of the Social Teaching of the Church even the hard parts.

                  Does that include the teaching expressed in Caritas in Veritate and Evangelii Gaudium?

                  • RufusChoate

                    Tendentious, too funny. What self proclaimed “good” person on the Left has ever claimed their heritage of madness and mass murder? They must drink from the river Lethe QED or they would be mad.

                    What you call the right is false narrative created to conceal the complicity of the Left/Socialist and other worshippers of the comprehensive state in most of the mass murder and moral depravity of the last hundred years. The concept that the National Socialists in Germany as the former allies of the International Socialist in the Soviet Union have anything in common with the modern American Conservative movement is just a simpleminded propaganda fantasy concocted by the Communist Internationale and the American Left.

                    Capitalism is an economic system not a political philosophy. It is also another phantasm of the Left that has never actually existed in pure or even diluted form anywhere in the world unless you are referring to state controlled and run industries.

                    No conservative of the Burkean, Hayekian, Lockean, Montesquieuan , Smith or Gladstone schools ever created a single gulag, death camp or political famine or economic collapse that destroyed the lives of millions to enrich the few.

                    You simply can not have tyranny with the small and impotent state that is the foundation of the American “Conservative” philosophy. In a word Subsidiarity is the key inclination of American Conservative not the seductive nonsense of the Left that is merely a veil to conceal their avarice and lust for power.

                    Of course, I accept both.

                    • papagan

                      “You simply can not have tyranny with the small and impotent state that is the foundation of the American “Conservative” philosophy.”

                      Apparently you’ve not heard of the “tyranny of evil,” which comes in various forms, including perverse ideologies which can lead unwary souls into endless darkness.

                      “In a word Subsidiarity is the key inclination of [an] American Conservative…”

                      To the extent that that is accurate, that’s a cause of real concern. It’s problematic in view of what it omits. As Pope Benedict XVI recognized (Caritas in Veritate, 57-58), totalitarian political regimes are truly dangerous and harmful, but it remains the case that individualism is spiritually lethal. The connection between subsidiarity and solidarity must not be ignored or de-emphasized. They can and should be distinguished in thought, but they ought not be separated in practice. (Analogously, the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act can be distinguished in thought, but they cannot be separated in practice without distortion and disorder.) “The principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latter without the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to those in need.” (Caritas in Veritate, 58; emphasis in original.)

                      “Of course, I accept both [Caritas in Veritate and Evangelii Gaudium].”

                      Then, in view of your other statements, it would appear that you have misunderstood essential aspects of Catholic social teaching promulgated by the Church’s Magisterium. If you haven’t misunderstood Catholic social teaching, then you follow the example of individuals like the author of “Caritas in Veritate in Gold and Red,” National Review Online, July 7, 2009 http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:68VVuh2hNyoJ:www.nationalreview.com/article/227839/caritas-veritate-gold-and-red-george-weigel+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.

                    • RufusChoate

                      I am still amused that you can blithely conflate the evils produced by mainline Leftism with only the extreme individualism of the small minority of libertarian-conservatives. If ever there was a flimsier straw man I have not encountered it.

                      Where is the proof?

                      What you seem to desire is the avoidance of reality that most Conservatives who are Catholic easily apprehend: that the Left is far more evil and corrupting than any other political movement in history save the Mongols and produce nothing of merit except aggrandizing their power.

                      My experience of living in New England has been that my family and like minded Catholic are far more generous and open to bearing the burdens of Catholic Social Teaching than any one on the Left and study after study has shown this.

                      Do you define fellow Catholic Joseph Biden whose charitable contributions, that are on the public record, range from paltry ~$300 to nonexistent.

                      Is he a good man merely because he advocates for the looting of the productive to buy votes from the underclass?

                      No I think I understand both Catholic Social Teaching and the Left quite well. One is a good and the other an evil.

                    • papagan

                      Straw man. In any case, I don’t expect that you and I will reach any meeting of minds. So there’s no need to respond.

                    • RufusChoate

                      I am pretty certain that you and I have far more in common than you wish to believe but I will not cede ground on the evils of the Left or the democrats and my complete abhorrence of them and their policies which was the start of this line of thought.

                      Cheers and God bless.

                    • papagan

                      “I am pretty certain that you and I have far more in common than you wish to believe…”

                      You think so? I’m not so sure. For example, elsewhere you wrote:

                      “The Free Market is the best solution for everything[,] even government. Privatize everything except defense.” https://disqus.com/home/discussion/thedailycaller/verizon8217s_mocking_response_to_the_fcc8217s_net_neutrality_vote_is_perfect/#comment-1879232213

                      Compare that with this excerpt from an encyclical by Pope Benedict XVI:

                      “In the face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession, for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth. One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect[146] and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and economic order which can increase and give direction to international cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity. To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish the common good[147], and to make a commitment to securing authentic integral human development inspired by the values of charity in truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights[148]. Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums. Without this, despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and international cooperation require the establishment of a greater degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for the management of globalization[149]. They also require the construction of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged by the Charter of the United Nations.” (Caritas in Veritate, 67.)

                      Clearly CV 67 is consonant with the Catholic Church’s understanding of the principle of subsidiarity not isolated from the related principles of human dignity, solidarity, and the common good.

                      The view you articulated earlier, however, does not reflect the teaching expressed in, for instance, Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, Centesimus Annus:

                      Rerum novarum is opposed to State control of the means of production, which would reduce every citizen to being a ‘cog’ in the State machine. It is no less forceful in criticizing a concept of the State which completely excludes the economic sector from the State’s range of interest and action. There is certainly a legitimate sphere of autonomy in economic life which the State should not enter. The State, however, has the task of determining the juridical framework within which economic affairs are to be conducted, and thus of safeguarding the prerequisites of a free economy, which presumes a certain equality between the parties, such that one party would not be so powerful as practically to reduce the other to subservience.43

                      “In this regard, Rerum novarum points the way to just reforms which can restore dignity to work as the free activity of man. These reforms imply that society and the State will both assume responsibility, especially for protecting the worker from the nightmare of unemployment. …

                      “Returning now to the initial question: can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system, and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?

                      “The answer is obviously complex. … But if by ‘capitalism’ is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.” (Centesimus Annus, 15, 42.)

                      The position you favor is an extreme position not in harmony with authentic Catholic social teaching. It’s a position which presupposes a distorted anthropology (favored by modern thinkers), not a Christian theological anthropology underlying Catholic social teaching. The difference between these competing anthropologies is quite profound.

                      So, I’d say that any similarities between our respective philosophico-theological perspectives are purely superficial. Moreover, lest anyone be tempted to reduce my perspective to that of persons like Marx or Stalin or Obama, I want to make it clear that my position cannot rightly be considered compatible with their ideological perspectives.

                    • RufusChoate

                      Thank you, I will carefully consider your points. It is Lent after all and a little self examination is called for. Cheers.

                    • papagan

                      As regards the frequently misunderstood principle of solidarity, a video recording of an exceptional presentation on this complex notion can be found here: Russell Hittinger, “The Poor, Virtue, and Practical Action” http://www.utulsa.edu/academics/colleges/henry-kendall-college-of-arts-and-sciences/Departments-and-Schools/Department-of-Philosophy-and-Religion/Our-Faculty-and-Staff/H/FRussellHittinger.aspx.

                    • RufusChoate


                    • papagan

                      “I am pretty certain that you and I have far more in common than you wish to believe…”

                      Do you agree with this? https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crisismagazine/why_8220progressives8221_favor_the_state_over_society/#comment-1917478504

                    • RufusChoate

                      Yes and thank you for your link to the DSPT – Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. It is excellent. Cheers.

                    • papagan

                      “Is [Joseph Biden] a good man merely because he advocates for the looting of the productive to buy votes from the underclass?”

                      The best that I can say about Mr. Biden, who on television made disparaging statements about natural law theory, is that he is a seriously misguided person. I’d much prefer to see someone like Alan Keyes holding Mr. Biden’s political office. (Incidentally, there are various online videos of debates between Dr. Keyes and Mr. Obama, in which the latter is, in my judgment, decisively defeated by the former.)

                    • RufusChoate

                      That is great. My Parents supported Alan Keyes as far back as his run for the Senate in Maryland while I supported him in every race since and met him repeatedly when he was running in New Hampshire where I lived. He is an extremely fine, humble and brilliant man. He even attended my Church for Sunday Mass during the campaign without a hint of fanfare or crowds slipping into a back pew with his family and only being seen when he went up to communion and disappearing without notice after the mass.


    • collegiate

      Hi Daniel! Since liberals have been running the world for quite sometime and have really screwed it up, they deserve no leeway! It’s much too late for that. In the attempt to salvage something of the former Christian West, there’s no time for polite discourse with the demonic liberal inclination, regarding any endeavor whatsoever! Your very whining, ridiculous “complaint” simply reveals that you are part of the problem, yet you have no “guts” (no profanity used here) to admit that you are a liberal. Personally I have ZERO tolerance for any form of liberalism whatsoever…And neither should anyone else who would save his own soul!

      • Daniel P

        I oppose gay marriage, abortion, contraception, and welfare payments. I’m hardly a liberal.

    • If you told me there was a Christian duty of non-offense in person, I’d play the role of St. Nicolas.

      • Daniel P

        I said “unnecessarily” offend.

    • bonaventure

      …[Francis] almost always talks positively about groups of people…

      Try this:

      “Old maid!”

      “Fomenter of coprophagia!”

      “Specialist of the Logos!”

      “Rosary counter!”


      “Self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagian!”


      “Ideological Christians!”


      “Mr and Mrs Whiner!”


      “Rigid Christians!”

      “Modern gnostics!”

      “Liquid Christian!”

      “Superficial Christians!”

      “Slaves of superficiality!”

      “Museum mummy!”

      “Renaissance prince!”

      “Airport Bishop!”

      “Leprous courtier!”


      “Long-faced, mournful funeral Christian!”


      “Careerist Bishop!”




      “Querulous and disillusioned pessimist!”

      “Sad Christian!”

      “Pickled pepper-faced Christian!”

      “Children! Afraid to dance! To cry! Afraid of everything!”

      “Asker for certainty in all things!”

      “Christians allergic to preaching!”

      “Closed, sad, trapped Christian who is not a free Christian!”

      “Pagan Christian!”

      “Little monster!”

      “Defeated Christian!”

      “Creed-reciting, parrot Christian!”

      “Watered-down faith, weak-hoped Christian!”

      “Inquisitorial beater!”

      “Seminarians who grit their teeth and wait to finish,

      follow rules and smile [who] reveal the hypocrisy of clericalism – one of the worst evils!”

      “Abstract ideologue!”


      “Smarmy, idolator priest!”

      “Worshiper of the god Narcissus!”

      “Vain, butterfly-priest!”

      “Priest-wheeler dealer!”


      “Religious who have a heart as sour as vinegar!”

      “Promoter of the poison of immanence!”

      “Those closed in the formality of a prayer that is cold, stingy [who]

      might end up as Michal, in the sterility of her formality.”

      “Older people nostalgic for structures and customs which are no longer life-giving in today’s world!”

      “Young people addicted to fashion!”

      “Pastry-Shop Christians!”

      “Luscious cakes, sweet dainties. Delectable, but not real Christians!”

      “Existential tourist!”

      Anesthetised Christian!

      “Christian hypocrites only interested in their formalities!”

      “They disguise themselves, they disguise themselves as good people: they make themselves up like little holy cards, looking up at heaven as they pray, making sure they are seen—they believe they are more righteous than others, they despise others!”

      ‘Mah,’ they say, “I’m very Catholic, because my uncle was a great benefactor, my family is this, I’m that… I’ve learned… I know this bishop, this Cardinal, this priest… I am this or that…’ They think they are better than others. This is hypocrisy!”

      “Sloth-diseased, acedic Christians!”

      “I think of many Christians, of many Catholics: yes, they are Catholics, but without enthusiasm, even embittered!”

      “They are people without light – real downers!”

      “And how many Christians are like this?” he asked, “selfish, out for themselves.”

      “Christians who do not leave space for the grace of God – and the Christian life, the life of these people, consists in having all the paperwork, all the certificates, in order!”

      “The theologian satisfied that his thought is complete and conclusive is mediocre.”

      “The theologian who does not pray and does not adore God ends up drowning in

      the most disgusting narcissism.”

      “This is an ecclesiastical sickness.

      The narcissism of theologians and thinkers does such harm; it’s disgusting.”

      “Your institutions are not machines for producing theologians and philosophers.”

      “There are Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord!”

      “Starched Christians, too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea!”

      We have heard of so many good Catholics, good Christians, friends and benefactors of the Church that – it has been revealed – acted for personal profit. They presented themselves as benefactors of the Church and made money on the side…”

      And in the Church there are climbers, people driven by ambition! There are many of them! But if you like climbing go to the mountains and climb them: it is healthier! Do not come to Church to climb!

      A simple numerary in this sect!

      Weathervanes! All of them!

      Rotting in the heart, weak, weak to the point of rottenness! Gloomy in the heart!

      Weak-hearted Christians!

      So much sterility within our Mother Church: when because of the weight of the hope in the Commandments, that pelagianism that all of us carry within our bones, she becomes sterile. She believes she is capable of giving birth… no, she can’t!

      Many times I think that in some places the Church is more like an entrepreneur than a mother.

      A discouraged, anxious, sad Church; a Church who is more spinster than mother; and this Church isn’t useful”, such a Church is no more than a museum.

      Christians in appearance! Made-up Christians, because when the rain comes, the make-up runs off!

      “So many ‘apparent Christians,’ collapse at the first temptation,”

      Appearances! Christians of appearance … they are dead!

      “Band of the chosen” in that “ecclesiastical microclimate!”

      I think about how many Christians prefer a spectacle to the silence of the Kingdom of God.

      “Have these people come to receive a Sacrament, to have a feast like at Cana in Galilee, or have they come to have a pageant, to be seen, for vanity?”

      A Christian without strength, without fertility”. “A Christian out for himself, to serve himself.” His is a “sad life”, “the many great things of the Lord” are “wasted”.

      Christians enemies of the Cross of Christ!

      “Pagans with two strokes of Christian paint, so as to appear like Christians, but pagans nonetheless!”

      “A pastor who opens the doors of the Church and stays there, waiting, is sad”.

      “There are bright Christians, full of light – noted the Pope – who seek to serve the Lord in this light” and ” there are dark Christians” who lead “a life of sin, a life distant from the Lord” and who use those four types of words that “belong to the evil one”.

      “But there is a third group of Christians”, who are not “neither light nor dark

      “”They are the Christians of gray areas. And these Christians of gray areas are on one side first and then the other. People say of these: ‘Is this person with God or the devil?’ Huh? Always in the grey area. They are lukewarm. They are neither light nor dark. And God does not love these.”

      Christians who live that way,” he continued, “for appearances, for vanity, seem like peacocks, they strut about like peacocks.”

      How many Christians live for appearances? Their life seems like a soap bubble. The soap bubble is beautiful, with all its colours!

      “Moralistic quibbler!”

      “Faraway contemplative!”

      • Daniel P

        Quite the list! Many of these simply *specify* groups of people defined by the sins they commit, but I get your point. My bad.

      • James

        God reward you for the listing. Believing it would soon come to an end, I never thought it worthwhile to compile them. Unfortunately, it will not come to an end…he is stuck in 1967 and a Jesuit to boot.

  • Don

    I hope Professor Kengor is correct that Pope Francis’ views will gradually come into orthodox focus BUT why does he take the long way around the barn? (I’m from Nebraska). It is the consistent blurred messaging that has created false expectations on the Left and grave concerns from the Orthodox faithful – and surely he must be aware of this. I am hopeful but remain concerned.

    • Joseph

      Attempting to view things through a liberal/progressive lens, I still don’t understand the false expectations. “Who am I to judge?” related to whether a gay man, living according to God’s will, can become a priest. That’s a different sacrament.

      • St JD George

        The only way to view through that lens is to suspend reality and accept that there are no absolute truths, everything is relative. But, I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush … maybe a blunt crayon is more appropriate.

        • “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

          -Pope Francis.

          • St JD George

            That’s the essence of relativism isn’t it in a nutshell. You have your truth and I have mine. Or as Pilate said, we both have truths, are mine the same as yours? What happened to leading us on the path to the truth, the way and the life?

            • So we’re left with hedonic wordplay.

              • St JD George

                Deceit and cunning are his ways, and hedonic play indeed is his elixir. Oh the agony when the fog of the mind wears off to find the chains already bound.

            • Maize

              No. Pope Francis knows that the law of God is written on every human heart and has faith that man knows what is good and what is evil.

      • Maize

        Francis did not say the word gay.

    • Vinny

      I’ve mentioned this before about the Pope, he seems to believe that most Catholics have a formed and informed conscience that comes from, at least, a more than general awareness of the New Testament and Church teaching and tradition. I don’t think most Catholics are anywhere near the understanding that the Pope thinks they’re at. Thinking this way, the week one and two analogy makes sense. We need much better teaching however at the local church level. I consider myself very lucky to have a great pastor.

      • “I consider myself very lucky to have a great pastor.”

        Me too. His assistant as well. Mine should be giving speaking lessons to the Pope. He’s clear, concise, thoughtful, umabiguous…

        • Vinny

          Our one assistant was transferred, He’s very scrupulous and I also learned from him as well. Just the pastor now and he’s getting older. Hopefully he’s mentored a lot of the younger priests. The one drawback from having a great Catholic priest is it’s very difficult to attend Mass anywhere else and not be at least a little disgusted for one important reason or another, or many.

          • TruthWins

            Vinny, indeed!!!

            • Vinny

              That is an important part but mainly it’s the teaching that I miss in other parishes, including the teaching how all what you mentioned is intrinsic to the worship of God.

  • jacobhalo

    The pope has to be against same sex marriage. If he were for it he would be teaching heresy. I don’t understand this liberal-conservative ideology that pervades the Catholic church. There is only one teaching on each religious truth held by the magisterium. How can some be pro or con on these teachings? According to the church teachings, if one denies a TRUTH, he or she is a heretic.

    • Jay

      Exactly. There are only faithful and non-faithful Catholics. Not liberal or conservative (especially in the “American” context).

      • Joseph


        True, I expressed your post…. “Not liberal or conservative”. Jesus did say, “Either you are for me or against me.” We only have two choices, “Yes” or “No” to God….faithful or unfaithful…orthodox or unorthodox…..

    • Tony

      Not only heresy but nonsense, a biological impossibility.

  • Peter Arnone

    Why does it take a Paul Kengor to translate what the Pope said in the first place? While I appreciate Paul’s fidelity to Church and Holy Father, Francis’ words have created wishful thinking on both sides of not only the marriage issue, but other issues as well.

    • Chris Rawlings

      Because an incredibly large number of people, Catholic and not, conservative and liberal, have an interest in skewing what Francis has to say in order to further their own ideological agenda. That is a lot of it.

      • GG

        His words can be “skewed” because they are often impenetrable and vague.

        • I’m often reminded of the phrase “Jesuitical Causuistry”…

          • GG

            As many have written the goal seems to be to say doctrine is unchanged, but pastoral practice is changed. IOW, the truth in that dusty old book is still there, but ignore it.

        • jessej

          I recall plenty of times the most careful language of Benedict’s was met with media outlets running around wetting their pants about some cryptic slight of this group or another or a pontifical rejection Church teaching. The best two had to be his Regensburg lecture as well as his promotion of homosexual, condom wearing, male prostitution 😀

          I don’t see any point in beating up Francis for getting the same treatment as Benedict even if you or I or Benedict would have been more careful and less vague.

          • Maize

            “The best two had to be his Regensburg lecture as well as his promotion of homosexual, condom wearing, male prostitution :D”
            You think condoms used as a tool to prevent AIDS is not an intelligent idea?

            • jessej

              Thank you Mazie for telling me what I believe.

              This really isn’t a discussion about homosexuality or even how many people like to accuse Christians of wanting homosexuals dead.

              Accusing someone of having murderous intent isn’t really the best way to start a discussion. It actually can imply a lack of good argument from the accuser himself.

        • Maize

          No. Only for those who are too lazy to do their homework.

      • AugustineThomas

        You would have had some time trying to skew Pope BXVI’s words–they were unskewable because they were so undeniably orthodox.

        • John O’Neill

          Amen Benedict XVI left no doubt to the orthodoxy of his theological teachings. He is sorely missed. Francis has become an American politician talking out of both sides of his mouth, so afraid to offend the elite in the hive.

          • jaybird1951

            Well, Benedict was not given to off-the-cuff remarks. When speaking officially, Francis is very orthodox in his statements.

            • John O’Neill

              How can one tell when he means to talk from the magisterium and when he is playing his role of rock star to the media?

            • accelerator

              Not really. His encyclical has some humdingers in it that are highly contestable. Francis as a theologian is a mess.

          • WSquared

            I dunno– “condoms,” anyone?

      • RufusChoate

        Ahh no. Try again.

      • bonaventure

        Because Francis has been, so far, incapable (or unwilling) to clarify him own confusing words.

        • Maize

          The only ones confused are those reading into his words meaning that doesn’t exist.

      • Maize

        Skew? People should learn to do their homework.

  • samnigromd


    Editorial Department,

    Lexington Avenue

    New York, NY 10016


    Lee Steorts’ “Two Views of Marriage” (February 7) fails to prove “the falsity
    of the choice between them.” Overlooked
    is that the Traditional View is consistent with the planet, Nature, and the
    animal kingdom, while the other is a grotesque excretory function, i.e.,
    pollution–human activity at odds with the normal world. One is a dual unity; the other is selfish
    individualism no matter how many are involved.
    One view promotes privacy and decency; the other fabricates victimhood
    while it victimizes all whenever possible including insulting parades of exhibitionism. One view enhances personhood and creates life
    and unition by a commitment to truth, oneness, good and beauty; the other
    exploits by pseudopleasurable squirting-sliming any way every way pretending
    all to be a “maximal experiential union.”
    One view supports the family; the other view disrupts commitments and
    vows. One view creates transcendental
    love; the other promotes an obsessional compulsive contest of masturbating,
    urinating, defecating and even vomiting all over each other as exciting
    “relief” which would be animal cruelty if subhuman animals were forced to do the same. One view blends a man and a woman into a
    single creature of the home; the other view creates pornography—two or more
    dogs licking as many rear ends as possible.
    One view promotes Natural Law; the other view supports the abnormal functioning of organs (which is
    a definition of “disease” and “disorder”). One view promotes essential values which give
    life meaning and corrects humanely; the other is a mutual meaningless toileting
    of misguided “relief”—sexcretion is
    the needed euphemism. One view is in
    tune with the planet; the other is unnatural and abnormal undeserving of
    anything but consideration under the Disability Act.

    choice between these views is not false.
    The planet teaches that mating is biochemically determined by
    pheromones: mating is a reproductive effort
    with a mature opposite sex member of
    the same species (There are isolated exceptions because subhuman animals
    have mental illnesses too). Even though humans have freedom from
    biochemical control, Nature should be followed by “psychosocial pheromones”
    from the Roman Catholic Church, consistent with its being the only organization
    promoting Natural Law and Transcendental Love.

    law, by another disgraceful antinomy, may decree the views equal. But the law cannot overturn Nature or the law
    of pheromones any more than it can overturn the law of gravity.

    Samuel A. Nigro, M.D.

    • collegiate

      Wow! Fantastically stated! No more need be said in order to refute perversion!

  • Dr. J

    Well, there goes Elton John’s approval of Pope Francis!

    • St JD George

      Elton who?

      • fredx2

        John Elton.

        Google “Rowan Atkinson interviews Elton John”

        • St JD George

          Oh, that one. No wonder, the name is confusing. Was that a cross he was wearing over his left lapel as an accessory to his outfit? It certainly had the shape, but I couldn’t tell if it was just coincidence. Rowan’s in great form, as usual.

  • GG

    More wishful thinking. There will be no massive revolt by the libs. That was already predicted by other professional Catholics from the start of this Papacy. Not gonna happen in any significant way.

    The libs are in charge now. Right now we have Cardinals claiming some sort of “gay union” should be affirmed by the Church. WE have a synod stacked with liberals. We have orthodox bishops “resigning”.

    That is just to name a few things.

    • fredx2

      There are no cardinals claiming that gay unions should be recognized. There is one lonely bishop from Belgium, which has a nearly destroyed Catholic church. He is just furthering the damage.

      • This “lonely Bishop” should be removed. Isn’t this sort of malpractice at least as bad as the reports of extravagance that caused an episcopal removal in Germany?

        • GG

          He is not the only one too.

      • GG

        Please see cardinal elect Dew.

  • John O’Neill

    Yet what will he say tomorrow when Elton John the high priest of the gay life style declares Francis the new Messiah? Let your yes be yes and let your no be no; all else comes from the Evil One. Francis is the epitome of ambiguity and it is never certain what he is saying or declaring. The Church faces dark days ahead.

    • Chris Rawlings

      I really doubt that, with all of the challenges facing the Church today, Pope Francis is wasting much time deliberating over what to do about Elton John.

      • bonaventure

        Then why is he wasting so much time on useless synods?

    • fredx2

      I hear they are considering making Elton John the first gay saint.

      • Don’t give anybody ideas.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Well, who knows? Perhaps John is going to publicly renounce his previous life as sinful and ask for the mercy of God to forgive him of his sins, eh? Always nice to daydream.

  • Dan

    The problem is that the liberals are not interested in the Church’s teaching, they never were. When a Pope condemns Contraception, or so-called “same-sex marriage” they simply don’t listen. When a Pope gives them a sound bite, that when taken out of context, is used to degrade and disparage faithful Catholics, they will make this the top news story. The 1% of Catholics who care to decipher official Church teaching from out of contexts sound bites, can argue till the Second Coming of Christ that the Church never has and never will change its teaching. The 99% will go on believing the Church’s teaching has changed and that we are the rigid Pharisees who quote only select things from the Popes to prove our point.

    • Christ likened people to sheep for a reason. Ovines aren’t very well equipped for cryptography, and should be insulated from the task, due to their basic lack of aptitude.

      • Nancy

        My family is currently caring for a lamb that was rejected by its mother. It follows ANYONE, anywhere. It’s quite annoying and I feel a little miffed at the biblical comparison. I’d gather be a goat who is smarter and more discriminating – a kid goat usually only follows the human who feeds it.

        • “I feel a little miffed at the biblical comparison”

          People, not every person. I am decidedly taurine or ursine in disposition.

        • jessej

          Jesus offers an option for complete goatness in Matthew 25. It doesn’t end well though 🙂

      • St JD George

        Off topic, didn’t feel like going back to look for earlier thread. Lancaster County PA is in my opinion one of the prettiest in the East (my heart lies in the West, my livelihood is eked out in the Midwest). Love Lapp Valley Farm ice cream. Every time I see New Holland blue I think of there too, though all my equipment is JD green. Can’t say it’s just about being made in the US because the Diesel engines in them were made in Japan. Spent a few years just North of Philly (brotherly love?) and trapsed around the country side quite a bit. Won’t say how long ago, let’s just say a few decades. A lot of train history there, but I don’t guess you know much about that – ha.

        • What? trains in Lanaster County? How’s I miss that?

      • Maize

        Sheep are one of the few herd animals that are led from the front by a leader. the other herd animals are driven from behind.
        We, unlike the sheep, have been given every possible tool to distinguish truth from lie and the free will to follow one or the other.

        • Ad we have ears ad hear not, eyes and see not and I’ll add minds but think not..

    • SnowCherryBlossoms

      They are simply delusional and willfully chose to remain so and do scream oh so loudly when their delusions are shattered.

    • publiusnj

      I agree 100%: loose lips could sink the Barque of Peter too. Phrased another way: what reason is there to cheer the possibility that the Pope is “edging closer to a firm, unequivocal papal statement against same-sex ‘marriage.’” I thought the Pope was Catholic? Therefore, it ought to have been a given from the start of his pontificate that he opposed same-sex “marriage.”

      The Pope’s got more than one sheep going astray. Some of us who have believed in Catholic Tradition for the past half century and more are looking at this pope’s loose statements and wondering if he is a Manchurian Pontiff. I pray not, but the “don’t need to breed like rabbits” sound bite is just the latest enigma of this man’s Papacy.

      • Mark

        I concur with your analysis. The problem that I see in this Pontiff’s “edging closer”, is in the possibility that he is establishing a straw man, whose wellspring is the Truth of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He is building his position of doctrinal Truth, yet he will find a “pastoral” end around, which will be the change in “discipline, not in doctrine”, which is an utter absurdity, as discipline leads the mind into a certain understanding, with certitude, whether that understanding is true or false. If a discipline is in error, so will the “truth” be that it leads one’s mind into.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        I recall the old joke, “Is the Pope a Catholic?” Doesn’t seem like a joke anymore, does it?

      • jaybird1951

        Francis did not say “breed like rabbits.” The media placed the word “breed” in his quote that we should not “be like rabbits,” i.e. we should be responsible parents. That word “breed” changed the tone and context. Once again, it is important to read what he actually says and not the distilled version we are fed by the media.

        • publiusnj

          Oh stop it. “Be like rabbits” means “breed like rabbits” or enough people will think that so it is the message anyway. The Pope shoots his mouth off either without thinking or with the intent to be provocative in a “liberal direction.” Both do immense harm to the Institutional Church and to those of us who consider his message important.

          The Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church is supposed to speak for the ages. Any misstep he makes will be remembered down through the Ages. Remember the gaffe of Pope Honorius who last spoke on Oct. 12, 638? That is over half a million days ago. Yet his slip up is still thrown up as a roadblock to acceptance of Papal Infallibility. That is why we don’t need loose lipped statements from this Pope. His successor (God willing) will have a hard time reconciling Francis’s malapropisms (to put an optimistic spin on them) with the faith received from the Apostles.

          • Maize

            What he meant is you have more sense than rabbits so start behaving like you do.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      They’ll unfortunately also be confirmed in that error by clergy, who will tell their unsuspecting flocks that “See, the Pope says so.” It can really make life as an RCIA instructor very difficult.

      • TruthWins

        I hear you. That “See, the Pope says so” weapon is making it very difficult for all of us, isn’t it? Kids are using it against parents, spouse against spouse, family member against family member, friend against friend…you name it! If you’re known as a faithful Catholic, everyone wants to get a piece of you, using the Pope’s (misunderstood) words against you.
        At our family dinner table recently (the day the Pope’s “rabbit” quote hit the news) we were discussing how we best be prepared for many “Gotcha!” comments from those wanting to challenge us using the newest Pope Francis much ballyhooed statement. (No matter that it was later “clarified.” These things, once out there, are forever out there and it’s impossible to overcome that.) At that very moment, as if on cue, our oldest, a college junior, received a text from a not-so-well-catechized Catholic friend asking what our son thought of the Pope’s recent statements. This is why every time another issue arises, I brace myself. I try to embrace it as a chance to evangelize but it is exhausting, to be sure, and I fear I don’t always do a very good job at it.
        Social media is drowning in the unfettered celebration of each and every one of the pontiff’s statements (that is, the ones with perceived liberal underpinnings…the “conservative” or “traditional” statements never see the light of day on Twitter or Facebook, after all!) This makes it extremely challenging to respond to the volume of statements out there. And, when you attempt to respond, you’re left looking as if you’re always saying the same, tired things: “That’s not what the Pope REALLY meant….” Or, “Didn’t you hear? He changed what he said!”) How many times can we use those types of phrases wihout looking stupid? (Or worse, completely losing people, failing to help them understand the TRUTH…which, of course, has far graver consequences than how I am viewed. Ultimately it’s the salvation of souls that is at risk, not how I’m regarded.)
        I can only imagine how hard it is to address the conversations this dilemma must surely spawn at RCIA. God love you and keep at it. I am confident your influence is much needed there.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          I can’t tell you how many times I – at lots of the rest of the good guys here at Crisis – have heard that record in the past two years. But thanks for the encouragement and same to you.

        • NDaniels

          This is the nature of the beast, to cause chaos and confusion.
          There is order in Truth as there is order in Love, which is why a man is not called to Love his wife, in the same manner as he is called to Love his daughter, or his son, or his mother, or his father, or a friend. Love is ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons, which is why the new gender ideology, which denies the inherent essence of the complementary nature of man and woman, is disordered.

          • TruthWins

            What beautiful Truth, NDaniels. Thank you for sharing.

    • Guest 2

      There are some criteria of ethics and morality that cannot be punctured or watered-down without also destroying civilisations.

      As though it were not difficult enough to grow a settled civilised culture
      through stability of the family, the family is now under attack from a new
      front. Families and are now also faced with another insidious enemy
      which has slowly been undermining the stability of the family – the insistence
      of about 1% of the population who are now ever-more strident in demanding the
      same kind of “rights” to Marriage, previously only afforded as a special
      privilege to (some) suitable couples. This group of individuals demand the
      right to appropriate the TITLE of Marriage as though everybody had automatic
      right to it.

      We must immediately recognise the DANGER: that if couples of the same sex
      were to somehow obtain this “right”, it would then legally justify and
      enable for
      other types of “marriages” to have similar legal “rights“, eg., multiple partners, father and daughter, close siblings, etc.)

      This would spell the end of our culture by completely over-turning it.

      It would destroy the sacredness of (true) Marriage.

      It would destroy the sacredness and stability of family to which children DO
      have every right.

      Ethics and morality (the most comprehensive of which are only provided by
      Catholicism) are like a Life-Saver’s inflatable Rescue Boat: once punctured it
      becomes a deadly trap for all the occupants.

      Most “gays” describe themselves as “non-believers” and are particularly hostile to any idea of God … therefore all that “gay” “marriage” becomes is merely a distillation of satirical caricature of very bad taste.

      Thisvis NOT “gay-bashing”. It is our right to complain against the willful
      malicious destruction of our very culture. It is no less destructive than if they set fire to ourvParliament.

      It is interesting to note that even though homosexual groups evidently “don’t
      seevthemselves as anything more than 1 to 3% of the population, and most
      saying that they are not even being remotely interested in marriage (because they “crave variety” in partnerships), a growing number of them now openly admit that what they actually really want is “to turn western culture on its head altogether” by “normalising“ their lifestyle:

      Why? Apparently desperate to eliminate the burdensome “cloud of guilt” which even non-religious “gays” appear to find particularly unsettling .


      1. “Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process transforming the very fabric of society…”
      – Paula Ettelbrick, (ex-legal director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education

      2. “In the gay life, fidelity is almost impossible. Since part of the compulsion of homosexuality seems to be a craving on the part of the homophile to ‘absorb’ masculinity from his sexual partners, he must be constantly on the lookout for (new sex partners). Consequently the most successful homophile ‘marriages’ are those where there is an arrangement between the two and to have affairs on the side while maintaining the ‘semblance of permanence’ in their living arrangement.”
      – Former Homosexual William Aaron (William Aaron, Straight (New York:
      Bantam Books, 1972)

      3. “Typical gay city inhabitants spend most of their adult lives in
      ‘transactional’ relationships, or short-term commitments of less than
      six months.”
      – research by University of Chicago Sociologist Edward Laumann (Adrian Brune,
      “City Gays Skip Long-term Relationships: Study Says”, Washington Blade –
      February 27, 2004)

      4. “Few homosexual relationships last longer than two years, with many men reporting hundreds of lifetime partners.”
      – Researcher M. Pollak (M. Pollak, “Male Homosexuality in Western Sexuality:
      Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times”, ed. P. Aries and A. Bejin,
      translated by Anthony Forster, New York, NY: B. Blackwell, 1985)

      5. It is even more alarming to note that “gays” themselves further expose their (REAL) agenda:
      “…to get the public to affirm their lifestyle” … “to see government and society affirm our lives”
      – (United States Congressional Record, June 29, 1989).
      (again, to lift that inconvenient “cloud of guilt”)

      But most disturbing is that part of the homosexual agenda seems to be to
      alienate people from Christianity – which they perceive as “the enemy“:

      “The teaching that only male-female sexual activity within the bounds and
      constraints of marriage is the only acceptable form – should be reason
      enough for any homosexual to denounce the Christian religion” –
      (Advocate, 1985). So what is their “Trojan Horse” strategy?

      “DESENSITIZING the public“: “The first order of business is “desensitization of the American public concerning gays”…..To desensitize the public is to help
      it view homosexuality with INDIFFERENCE … Ideally, we would have “straights” register differences in sexual preferences the way they register different tastes for ice cream or sports games….At least – in the BEGINNING – we are seeking
      “public desensitization” … if only you can get them to think that it is
      just another thing…then your battle for [“equal rights”} is VIRTUALLY
      – (“The Overhauling of Straight America.” Guide Magazine. November, 1987.)

      — The “gays” own admissions about their (REAL) agenda – put the whole matter in a very differing perspective.

      It is so important for us to defend WITHOUT DELAY what is worth defending –
      the very future of families and the defence of civilised customs and
      traditions which are slowly, insidiously being undermined and destroyed.

      The family has been under serious malicious attack for decades and also by
      a spiteful and destructive minority who would have us believe that that
      they do not ALREADY have legal rights (eg inheritance, superannuation,
      etc.) under the ALREADY available “legal unions” available to any two people, regardless of sex.

      Therefore: Let “gays” take advantage of the above legal avenues … BUT do NOT allow such irresponsible people to (FALSELY) appropriate the TITLE of “Marriage”.

      It is time for the public to take note of this (admitted) sinister agenda that would terrify even George Orwell himself.

      • Maize

        Great post. Thank you. Here’s more examples for you: Dan Savage and the Virtues of Infidelity–NY Times June 2011; Why Gay Marriage is Good for america by Andrew Sullivan, Newsweek, July 2011; Masha Gessen and Destroying Marriage–LifeSiteNews, by Joanna Dasteel, May 1, 2013.

    • Maize

      If you remember, the Pharisees twisted the word of God to benefit themselves and make them more appealing to society at large.
      Today, in most “Catholic” universities in America, the speakers invited in to fill auditoriums and to address the student body with pearls of wisdom are radical feminists, Jesuits who support homosexuality and a woman’s right to choose and homosexuals discussing their “civil right” to Marriage. (There is no “civil right” for homosexuals to Marriage. Decriminalizing sodomy did not make it the equal to the union between the two beings that comprise the human race–man and woman which is what makes it Pro-Creation–in favor of all creation and not, like a homosexual relationship–anti-creation or gender discriminatory.)
      Decriminalizing sodomy made it on a par with other questionable legal sexual conduct requiring adult consent like swinging, orgies, voyeuristic watching of pornography.
      How any “educated” intellectual Jesuit missed the subtle error in the argument comparing the LGBTs quest for Marriage Equality with the Civil Rights Movement, is interesting. While The Civil Rights movement was led by a Christian Preacher, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, and called on the rights of man given by God, the LGBT movement attacks Christians and any mention of the word God–unless, of course, His words are twisted.
      For “Jesuits” or nuns to embrace a “woman’s right to choose” and to believe in this patriarchical feminist nonsense designed and sold as one of the greatest advertising campaigns in the history of mankind and the single most successful propaganda campaign ever instituted by eugenists to reduce the surplus population, means that they forgot to look to the “fruits” to find the truth. 55 million murdered children and counting is the fruit of that campaign.

  • BXVI

    People have labeled Pope Francis as a pastoral Pope. I dispute that label and posit that he is not primarily a pastoral person. I am not saying he has zero pastoral qualities; I am saying that being a pastor is not his primary focus. A pastor is a shepherd who is intensely devoted to feeding, defending, nourishing and shepherding his flock.

    Pope Francis seems, rather clearly to me, to be primarily an evangelist. His almost exclusive focus seems to be to reach those outside the flock, i.e., to those who are not believers or who have fallen away. However, it remains to be seen whether he is an effective. It seems to me that he has offered the “world” a sort of bait and switch. He has done this by downplaying the hard parts of the Christian faith and instead implying that the Church will welcome everyone “as they are” without any demands. His statements have even been ambiguous enough to give some people the impression that the Church’s old demands and may be cast aside altogether.

    He is exceedingly popular, both with Catholics and with the “world”. But why? What qualities make him popular? Is it because people are coming to know Christ Jesus through him, or is it because people are projecting their own ideologies onto him? If it is the latter, then the day of reckoning will be a dire one indeed, as the author suggests.

    • We are now just shy of two years into this Papacy. There is much popular acclaim.
      Now for the important questions. Are confession lines longer. Is it harder to park at Church. Are we overwhelmed with stories of prodigal children returning home? Are young Catholic couples rejecting cohabitation and contraception? Is the collection plate fuller? Does Hombre111 feel any sense of grief at his leading people into sin?
      Its very early, but I don’t see any evidence of those things.

      • St JD George

        Be patient. It may not be Francis that accomplished those things though. I suspect in time it will have a lot more to do with what Bill had to say in the other column today. When the sharia circus comes to town there will be a lot of eyes opened that are shut today, and they will be clamoring for answers on how they let themselves be duped all these years by the sweet poison of tolerance, and indeed of all sin.

        • The Sharia Circus has come to town.
          I pray for a new Catherine of Siena.

          • St JD George

            Yeah, I saw that yesterday, and know that area. I saw a lot too when I lived there. Italy has the unfortunate geographical attribute of being a short row from Africa and so many illegal immigrants with a different faith made there was across the straight and then up the peninsula. They were pretty much on most every corner wanting to clean my windows or sell me stuff every morning at the traffic light.

      • GG

        Well, when tolerance is confused with true mercy and when doctrine is placed in contradiction to being “pastoral” what can you really expect?

        I think many of those prelates in very high positions are quite worried about many things. A few have started to speak up publicly. Let us pray more do so and quickly.

      • fredx2

        Two years is too early. The Pope does not really become the Pope until after the first two years. Then he starts his program, which may take several years to get working. Ask us again in five years.

        • He’s not a President or Pime Minister.
          Personnel is policy. Blaise Cupich inspire confidence in you?

          • GG

            And that is but one example.

          • bonaventure

            Fredx2 believes that Francis’ program hasn’t yet started, while in fact it’s been in high gear for a while already.

            As you mention, Blaise Cupich = Francis’ program for America.
            And I will add: Synod mess = Francis’ program for the universal Church.

            Not very comforting.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Nope, they are all convinced he’s giving them a break. They don’t need to worry about any of that stuff anymore. “i know that I’m a good person, and the Pope says so too.” God help us.

      • jaybird1951

        You expect decades of decline to be reversed in two years? I have read though that church attendance is up in several places overseas, in parts of Italy and Spain.

    • GG

      Your last paragraph nails it perfectly.

    • fredx2

      Just so you know, Pope Benedict, in the first couple of years, had a 83% approval rating. Not much difference.

      • accelerator

        Approval ratings for a Pope are gay. God’s ways ar not normally popular with the world.

    • Correction: it’s mostly the developed world that’s amused by the pope. Much of the 3rd world, especially Latin American countries, used to such mealy defense of the faith by bishops, doesn’t hold Francis in particularly high regard, on the contrary.

      • Then what you refer to as the “developed world” might not be an accurate description.

      • GG

        Interesting. The self appointed enlightened ones are those who are overjoyed thinking that the Church is finally getting with it. The problem with such things is that no one seems to be correcting their misunderstanding. What a strategy.

    • C.Caruana

      Utterly sensible. As Palm Sunday teaches us, for a Catholic popularity never augers well. The Pope’s Evangelical strategy has failed and is failing in his own continent. With St Paul, he will have to preach only Christ and Christ crucified to be true to his Petrine calling. And St Peter was crucified head down – that was his humble glory.

    • Maize

      Look. You say: “Hence, his recent admonishment of a group of bishops to ‘resist the temptation to try to change people’ and to ‘accept God’s children as they are.’ ”

      Let’s look at the woman at the well. Did Christ start his discussion by condemning her way of life? No. He spoke to her heart. She heard, recognized the truth and made her own decision. Then Christ said, knowing full well everything about this woman and she knew he knew, go and sin no more. When someone recognizes the Word of God and the truth, your job is done. You speak to their heart–that’s what Francis is trying to tell us.

      On a larger scale, to all of society, we are to judge. The oft misquoted Do not judge phrase means–Do not be afraid to judge because you fear being judged, but by the measure you use to judge will be the same measure used to judge you. Man is supposed to judge the angels as well. It is our duty to call on our leaders, especially when America is a country established under the will of God and in whose every courtroom and every governmental position people are required to take an oath to God typically on a Bible, when they are surreptitiously instituting a “state” religion called Secular Humanism and forcing everyone to abide by those tenets diametrically opposed to the universal laws of God which is the foundation of this countries body of law.

  • John Albertson

    Elton John’s canonization of Pope Francis seems not to have been an infallible act.

    • fredx2

      More likely, it was inphallible.

  • jacobum

    The last 2 years have confirmed Cdl Bergoglio’s self admission that he is an “undisciplined” individual. The “humble” Pope Francis is liable to say anything at anytime to anyone that comes to his mind. The linguistic gymnastics required to understand his comment(s) have become tiresome. Much better to adopt the axiom of…”Watch what he does rather than listen to what he says”. One word comes to mind…”Disturbing”

    • St JD George

      Everyone needs a cousin Eddy.

      • collegiate

        What the hell does that mean “Saint?”

        • St JD George

          No knock, a glib reply … one who talks freely without introspectively contemplating how what they say will be perceived by a world who more or less listens to every word that they say. Distinctly human quality for some I know … but not a great attribute for our pontiff, me thinks.

          • SnowCherryBlossoms

            But what has he ever said that goes against the teachings of Jesus or the Church? I think people are much too rigid and quick to judge.

            • GG

              That is a very low bar and frankly misses much. It is not about some formal pronouncement. If the Church allows people to think error is correct then the changes have taken place without any formal acknowledgement.

              • SnowCherryBlossoms

                I don’t agree with you at all. That delusional people ran with and misinterpreted anything he stated is their own problem and we can clearly see they do it with anyone and everyone, they did it with the last 2 elections and they will continue to do it.
                They have eyes but do not see and they have ears but do not hear.

                • GG

                  I do not agree. It is not just delusional people. We have obligation, particularly those in high authority, to speak intelligently and clearly. Please note Cardinal Burke’s point after the last Synod.

                  • SnowCherryBlossoms

                    This verse perfectly describes what I see happening to Pope Francis.
                    Luke 7:31-35. (DR)
                    And the Lord said: Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? They are like to children sitting in the marketplace, and speaking one to another, and saying: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have mourned, and you have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and you say: He hath a devil.The Son of man is come eating and drinking: and you say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a drinker of wine, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by all her children.

  • kmk

    Pope Francis is doing his job and he is doing it well. He is attempting to evangelize both Catholics and non-Catholics. He is speaking from his heart which is always respectful and loving of all humans. He also knows his Catholicism. We need to support Pope Francis, he is doing everything right. Those of you that naturally assume the worst and have free rein of the internet are not helping the cause of Catholicism. Do your homework before blathering and change your defeatist attitude that the media put into your brains shortly after Pope Francis was elected.
    God is good all the time.

    • GG

      Huh? Is Cardinal Kaspar running around spreading nonsense a sign of hope?

      • kmk

        How did you read Cardinal Kaspar from the letters; P-o-p-e F-r-a-n-c-i-s?
        Little wonder that people don’t understand Catholicism.

        • GG

          And you think there is no relation? It is no wonder you live in denial.

        • collegiate

          YOU don’t understand real Catholicism idiot!! KASPAR is supported by Francis! Francis called Kaspar’s “elocution” on the need to make Communion available to the divorced and “remarried, a “sublime and beautiful theology.” Never mind that it is against Catholic dogma which is based on the very CLEAR words of Our Lord in the gospel about those who remarry as committing adultery..Really,kmk, you are quite dense or you are a very disappointed liberal! Which is it, moron?

          • fredx2

            No, you don’t understand what happened at that February consistory. Kasper had written a book on Mercy. He gave a presentation on that book to the cardinals. When Pope Francis said that it was sublime and beautiful theology , he was talking overall about Kasper’s ideas of mercy, which perhaps are shared by most cardinals. They differ on his ideas on divorced and remarried Catholics. Pope Francis, when asked about this, said that Kasper presented a five part talk, and only one part was about divorced and remarried. The media promptly went out and reported that Pope Francis was all on board with Kasper’s ideas on communion. which is not the case, he has never indicated anything on that.

            Sorry, you fell for the anti-Catholic media’s grossly distorted representations of what happened.

    • collegiate

      KMK-Typical ne-catholic pablum.

    • SnowCherryBlossoms

      I agree completely! Agenda driven people on both sides need to wake up!

    • Interesting beverage.. Straight clericalism mixed in a rose-colored glass.

      Some of us do our homework everyday.

  • fredx2

    No, Mr. Kengor, you are wrong.

    No one will say anything about Pope Francis stance against gay marriage. They have already said to the public, over and over again, that the Pope is in favor of all things gay. They want to leave that impression alone, so that they can continue to USE this Pope for their own aims.

    They will simply ignore any Papal statements about gay marriage, at least until next June, when the Supreme court makes its decision (which will, in all probablility, leave it to the states, unless they want another Roe v Wade fiasco. )

    Only then, will the hatred start to be aimed at the Pope.

    • If the CTFC didn’t shut down Intrade, I’d be betting on the Court finding some “unenumberated penumbrae” that provided for SSM.

  • Carol

    I was cheered by the seemingly-pro Humanae Vitae statements, but then totally deflated by his having children like “rabbits” statement. I do not like this pope.

  • JP

    Go and ask almost any Bishop about Humanae Vitae and almost all will speak well of it and defend its teachings. Yet, few if any mention the prohibition against birth control. It is not taught, and as a consequence almost all Catholic couples us some form of artificial birth control.

    You want to transform the Church? Forget about changing Doctrine; just stop teaching it. If you’re a bishop you can have it both ways. This is how gay marriage will enter the Church. Not through the front door, but through the back. Watch the Synod on the Family this year very closely

    • GG

      Exactly correct. Called plausible deniability. Claim no changes in teaching, but allow heterodox pastoral practices. That way you can say see everything is still the same while everything is totally different and illicit.

  • SnowCherryBlossoms

    I was confused by the confusion on all sides. Pope Francis is a joy and he just speaks from his heart.

    • GG

      The last two Popes did not speak from their heart?

      • SnowCherryBlossoms

        I never said that. I love Pope Benedict and Pope JPII dearly. God gave us Pope Francis at this time for a reason.

        • GG

          Yes, we get the type of bishops and Popes we deserve for sure.

      • They governed their hearts with their heads.

        • barbieahayes

          Which is as it should be. The Church used to actively teach about the inner hierarchy which God gave us to interact with our world. First our intellect, then our will and finally our emotions (in that order). I was taught to never make decisions based on emotions. And a well-formed intellect must enlighten the will. The will has been explained to me as being like a muscle; it’s weak unless it’s exercised frequently. Our free will and intellect will only serve us if God is in the mix. We were made for God and if we deviate from how fearfully and wonderfully He made us then we will suffer.

          • Gallibus

            Yes, Jesus has said in His modern Messages that ‘the devil uses the mind to trap the body to trap the soul’. This is worth deeply pondering.

  • papagan

    «As Francis clearly continues to carefully move in that direction, liberals, both secular and non-secular, non-Catholic and Catholic, are going to feel a severe sense of betrayal and grave disappointment, contrary to the most optimistic expectations they’ve eagerly imposed upon their first “gay-marriage” pope.»

    Since Pope Francis (just like Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI) was never a “liberal” (nor a “conservative”), “liberals” shouldn’t feel betrayed or disappointed. As other authors (e.g., Ralph McInerny) have noted in the past, the proper distinction in this context is between “orthodox” and “heterodox.” Pope Francis is quite certainly orthodox. On the heterodox side, one may find both “liberals” and “conservatives.” Critics who accuse Pope Francis of falling short of orthodoxy need to look in the mirror.

    • Daniel P


    • GG

      The pope himself said he was not a “right winger” and said he does not mind debating “conservative” bishops.

      The pedantic nomenclature is a distraction.

    • No, but you are a statist, so you take great comfort in Francis’ statism.

      • papagan

        “…you are a statist, so you take great comfort in Francis’ statism.”

        That is a false and irresponsible accusation! Moreover, your false accusation that Pope Francis advocates statism indicates that you do not think with the mind of the Church! Those who emphasize the principle of subsidiarity and ignore or downplay the principle of solidarity (or the reverse) do not think with the mind of the Church. Perhaps you don’t claim to be Christian. I’d appreciate a clarification as to where you stand with respect to religion.

        • Exactly what should I infer about the political leanings of somebody who says “I’ve never been a right-winger” (but never made a similar disclaimer about being a left winger).
          You’ve revealed yourself with your statement that libertarians are more dangerous than socialists. We’ve been over the facts, but you ignore them.
          Your last two sentences indicate that you are either terribly misinformed or disingenuous. I’m not indulging them with any response, because you will not accept it. I certainly find an interrogation by somebody using the pseudonym “paPAGAN” rather amusing.

          • papagan

            “Exactly what should I infer about the political leanings of somebody who says ‘I’ve never been a right-winger’ (but never made a similar disclaimer about being a left winger). [sic]”

            Nothing! Your faulty inference (non sequitur) illustrates your reasoning skills.

            “You’ve revealed yourself with your statement that libertarians are more dangerous than socialists. We’ve been over the facts, but you ignore them. Your last two sentences indicate that you are either terribly misinformed or disingenuous.”

            Your comments suggest that you give priority to politics over theology. (In this connection, you might learn something especially important from James V. Schall, S.J., The Order of Things, Chap. 5: “The Order of Polity” http://www.ignatius.com/Products/ORT-P/the-order-of-things.aspx. ) Your reversal of priorities helps to explain your irresponsible and false accusations, and why you fail to grasp the real spiritual danger of libertarianism, an ideology implicitly rejected by Pope John Paul II in Centesimus annus, no. 42.

            • 1.) A personal declaration is not a non-sequitir. Try to understand terms before you use them. Your evasion is obvious.
              2.) You’ve purposely misappropriated CA 42 to serve your conception of a nebulous political philosophy whose policies even adherents can’t agree upon. Socialism is defined and rejected by the Church. Libertarianism is not, Socialism has a body count in the hundreds of millions.
              3.) I recognize your prose now, it is the specious reasoning of the Soros trolls.
              4.) As I recognize you as a Male Fide actor, I’m not going to respond further. other than to point out no serious Christian would use the word pagan in their pseudonym.

              • papagan

                “A personal declaration is not a non-sequitir [sic].”

                You were caught drawing a faulty inference.

                “[1] You’ve purposely misappropriated CA 42 to serve your conception of a nebulous political philosophy whose policies even adherents can’t agree upon. [2] Socialism is defined and rejected by the Church. Libertarianism is not…

                Regarding 1, my interpretation of CA 42 is more than tenable. You, in contrast, don’t appear to fully grasp the significance of CA 42 with respect to what is says about freedom. Regarding 2, socialism is rejected by the Church, and the distorted notion of freedom underlying libertarianism is rejected by the Church (e.g., CA 42), notwithstanding protestations to the contrary.

                “I recognize your prose now, it is the [i] specious reasoning of the [ii] Soros trolls.”

                Truly risible. You commit the fallacies of (i) begging the question and (ii) ad hominem. You don’t really know what you’re talking about.

                “[1] As I recognize you as a Male Fide [sic] actor, I’m not going to respond further. [sic] other than to point out [2] no serious Christian would use the word pagan in their pseudonym.”

                Regarding 1, look in the mirror. Regarding 2, you seem to have a strong tendency to jump to hasty conclusions. Strive to regulate your passions. If I weren’t a serious Christian, I wouldn’t have posted the comments I’ve posted in this forum.

                • No serious Christian would include the word “pagan” in their pseudonym. Be gone socialist apologist troll. And brush up on the tern “ad hominem” before you use it again.

                  • papagan

                    “This is all your interpretation, because you have made an nebulous and eccentric political affiliation with a complete lack of intellectual or organizational unity into a worse force on humanity than socialism…”

                    The misunderstanding displayed above can be explained by a certain blindness which stems from the not uncommon error of giving primacy to politics over revealed religion. Those under the spell of that error often distort Catholic social teaching and the Gospel to fit their political agenda. They should carefully ponder, however, a particular passage in Sacred Scripture:

                    “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves. And he said to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.” Luke 21:12-13

                    Your political agenda prevents you from grasping the full anthropological, moral, and spiritual significance of CA 42. Socialist ideology is a great evil, but libertarianism is no less toxic to the life of the spirit, and what corrupts the life of the spirit is a great evil. Your failure to recognize the latter indicates how you view the relation between politics and revealed religion.

                  • papagan

                    Now, Be [sic] gone socialist apologist troll.

                    And brush up on the tern [sic] “ad hominem” before you use it again.

                    Evidently you don’t understand the multivalent ad hominem fallacy. In your response to my post you commit the very fallacy in question. Moreover, you’re guilty of the fallacy of non sequitur. I’m not an advocate of socialism, just as Pope Francis is not an advocate of socialism. Apparently you’re ignoring some of my posts. In view of your false and unjust accusations, you owe some people an apology. Perhaps you’re using the term “socialism” in some idiosyncratic sense opposed to common usage.

                    Have you thought about changing your pseudonym to something other than “pagan”, which no serious Christian would use?

                    Your comments about my username are personally offensive. Regarding my username, I strongly recommend that you keep your thoughts to yourself.

                    • Your offense is your problem. I find your tedious replies and absurb argument that libertarianism is more dangerous than socialism offensive.

                      I didn’t say PF is a Socialist. Calumny.

                      You aren’t using your family name. Non Sequitir.

                    • papagan

                      “In this, and other exchanges, you write with derision and contempt, with an authoritarian haughtiness.”

                      Take a look in the mirror.

                      “[1] I find your tedious replies and absurb [sic] argument that libertarianism is more dangerous than socialism offensive. [2] No one could make that argument without ignoring the historical record and the hundreds of million dead.”

                      Regarding 1, you distort by ignoring context. Here’s what I actually wrote:

                      In a sense, libertarianism is more dangerous. For the threat it poses to the spiritual life is more subtle. Losing one’s soul is the greatest of evils. Cf. Luke 16:19-34.”

                      (Emphasis added.)

                      Your distortion exhibits fallacious reasoning, and perhaps dishonesty if deliberate. If the distortion was not deliberate, then you’re a careless reader. And if you really believe that libertarianism, which presupposes a perverse conception of freedom, poses no serious spiritual threat, you’re sadly misinformed and naive at best. Note also that the distorted, anti-Christian conception of freedom underlying libertarianism can claim no small credit for the slaughter of 56,000,000 innocent lives since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Not a pretty picture…

                      Regarding 2, you focus on temporal evils and downplay or ignore spiritual harm to souls. That points to the belief in the primacy of politics over revealed religion. Such a belief certainly isn’t consistent with Christian orthodoxy.

                      “Your appropriation of CA42, which addresses lawlessness and anarchy shows the paucity of your knowledge.”

                      You aren’t the first person to distort CA 42. Among those who distort CA 42, some have little or no excuse. In your case, however, it’s probably a lack of familiarity with the relevant philosophical and theological concepts employed in Catholic social doctrine. Still, you could begin to remedy your ignorance in this area by reading texts like Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html. One must approach such texts, however, without political blinders.

                      ”I didn’t say PF [sic] is a Socialist. Calumny. I called you an apologist, not an advocate, but the more you continue this, the more I impute advocacy.”

                      I have three comments. First, here’s a definition of apologist: “One who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something.” Here’s a definition of advocate: “A person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.” This forum is public. So, if it were true that I was an apologist for socialism or statism in this forum, it would follow that I’d be an advocate of socialism or statism. Thus, your distinction would make no real practical difference in this case.

                      Second, you wrote this earlier:

                      “…you are a statist, so you take great comfort in Francis’ statism.”

                      “DE-173,” those are your own words. Here is a definition of statism: “the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.” Your accusation is groundless and false. If anyone has made a calumnious statement, it is you.

                      Third, the more you publicly accuse me (or Pope Francis) of defending or advocating statism or socialism, the more guilty you are of making unwarranted and false statements about the views of other persons.

                      ”You aren’t using your family name. Non Sequitir [sic].”

                      First, it seems extremely likely if not absolutely certain that “DE-173” is a pseudonym; “papagan,” however, might or might not be a pseudonym. You really don’t know. So think before you jump to hasty conclusions.

                      Second, unless someone has a username like “HailS*t*n,” one would be well advised not to comment on an interlocutor’s username.

                      Third, the statement that no serious Christian would use the name “pagan” is still offensive to believers whose family name is “Pagan.” You should take that as a final warning.

                      ”You are clearly trolling.”

                      Take a look in the mirror.

                    • Yeah, question everybody else while issuing threats-want to meet in person and see if your man enough to back them up?

                    • papagan

                      “Now since you believe a philosophy of excess personal autonomy that has never been defined or implemented is more dangerous than the socialism that has, numerous times and ignore the hundreds of million dead, and the suppression of religion, you are an apologist.”

                      It isn’t simply a matter of “excess personal autonomy.” Apparently my comments are too subtle for your jejune mind to grasp.

                      “Now tell everybody just how Christian you are while issuing threats.”

                      You believe that Christians who give warnings aren’t Christian? Amazing…

                      “Would you like to stop the internet bravado and meet in person to see just how foolish it is to issue threats sight unseen? Consider that a FINAL WARNING.”

                      One might expect such puerile rhetoric from a macho teenager. Do you by any chance play with popguns?

                      “By the way, I have personal knowledge of a certain subset of your other targets, and you should be embarrassed to harass them.”

                      How cryptic! Very convenient. A dishonest tactic which does not permit interlocutors any response. Furthermore, the allegation concerning harassment is unsubstantiated and utterly vacuous. Could you be referring to “Thinker”? He’s a confused atheist troll.

                    • “Apparently my comments are too subtle for your jejune mind to grasp”

                      You have subtlety and insanity confused.

                      “You believe that Christians who give warnings aren’t Christian?”

                      You aren’t issuing a warning, but a threat. You have civil or religious authority to issue “warnings”. In the vernacular, who the hell do you think you are?

                      “Do you by any chance play with popguns?”

                      No, I much prefer the real thing and I don’t “play”.

                      “How cryptic! Very convenient. A dishonest tactic which does not permit interlocutors any response. Furthermore, the allegation concerning harassment is unsubstantiated and utterly vacuous.”
                      I’m not revealing anybody’s identity on here to satisfy you. I’ve read every one of your ~140 some comments. Almost every one is a pretentious ipse dixit.
                      So now when do we get to meet in person, so I can firmly disabuse you of your delusions of grandeur?

                    • papagan

                      Sounds like you have some unresolved anger issues, and perhaps some other emotional (and spiritual?) problems. You might consider speaking with a professional.

                    • Are you projecting?

                      Perhaps you wouldn’t be so casual with your accusations if we were to meet like men. Ok, well I know I’m a man, perhaps I shouldn’t make that presumption with you.

                      I live in Pennsylvania.

                    • papagan

                      Care to disclose your real name?

                    • No and if you had given any kind of thought to this, you wouldn’t ask.

                    • papagan

                      Not surprised. Pseudonyms make it very easy for immature persons to utter irresponsible statements.

                    • If you want to put your real name on an unlimited forum have at it. I’m a lit more prudent. I’d laugh if
                      Of course, If I told you my name was Bartholomew Cooper, you’d accept it because

                    • papagan

                      “If you want to put your real name on an unlimited forum have at it. I’m a lit [sic] more knowledgeable and prudent. I’d laugh if you came after me, but I have no right to expose my family.”

                      I’m sorry that you feel so insecure and that you think the best way to resolve personal disagreements is to resort to the use of physical force. See Matthew, 26:52 http://biblehub.com/drb/matthew/26.htm. Among rational persons violence is not the way…

                    • Except I never threated physical force and you know it.

                      “Would you like to stop the internet bravado and meet in person to see just how foolish it is to issue threats sight unseen?”

                      “Perhaps you wouldn’t be so casual with your accusations if we were to meet like men.”

                      Not a single threat there, unlike the one you issued. You might want to get your aphasia checked.

                    • papagan

                      DE-173 wrote: “So now when do we get to meet in person, so I can firmly disabuse you of your delusions of grandeur?”

                      Clearly your emotion-driven rhetoric is immature.

                    • You really need to quite projecting.

                    • Crisiseditor

                      I think it’s time for this threat to end. It’s getting a little heated and it’s not shedding much light on anything positive. A healthy debate is one thing. A shouting match is something else. Just agree to disagree and be done with it.

                  • papagan

                    “Now, Be [sic] gone socialist apologist troll.”

                    If you don’t like my comments, don’t read them. Name-calling is unnecessary.

      • papagan

        How might you react if someone were to call you an anarcho-capitalist?

        • I’d laugh. It’s pretty funny.

  • AugustineThomas

    I agree with you, but it’s still extremely scary when the current pope is a fool.

  • bonaventure

    In other headlines:

    “Kasperite Indoctrination for the Archdiocese of Chicago?
    Cupich on the 2014 Synod: ‘the media reported what actually took place'”

  • clintoncps

    While homosexual “marriage” may not fly in the Church (thanks be to God!), there is still the issue of homosexuality itself. The current language of the Catechism is clearly political in its soft-peddling of the sin of homosexuality (by this I mean the nurturing of homosexualized personas and the entertaining of homosexual fantasies, not just the performance of homosexual acts); and there are clergymen who want to “soften” the language still further by removing the reference to “disorder”, which is what homosexuality manifestly is. But if homosexuality is NOT a disorder after all, then what objection can anyone raise to homosexual “marriage”?

    If homosexual “marriage” is to be definitively rejected by the Church, then homosexuality itself must also be rejected. The language of the Catechism needs to be strengthened, not weakened, on that score (pray that the Holy Spirit will prevail over the influence of politicians and demographers in the Vatican); as well, homosexuality needs to be re-listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as the psychological disorder it has never ceased to be. A rotten tree does not bring forth good fruit, so the axe must fall to the root. Only then can those disoriented by the spirit of homosexuality be helped and liberated from their obsessions, and only then will society and particularly children be protected from its imagination-contaminating influence.

  • Michael

    Shocked? Hardly. However, I’m sure many anti-gay “Christians” are shocked to learn that the majority of American Catholics support the right of loving gay families to marry and protect their children. We shall overcome.

    • Since when can two men or two women have children?

    • I’ve known for a long time American Catholicism is a cesspool of nominalism.

      Hell will be crowded with The Fashionably Christian types.

    • GG

      There is no right to vice or to harm children.

  • tanyahe

    More people (brethren) need to pray for our pope and quit criticizing him which is akin to cursing him We need to keep him lifted up to the Father,Son and Holy Spirit with our acts of love and our good works.Some who would like Church teaching to change need to understand that you cannot change anyone but oneself.

    • GG

      Let us not exaggerate. It is true some are uncharitable in criticizing the Pope, but that is not an excuse to say all criticism is unjust. People who criticize also do pray. I suggest you read more especially things by Cardinal Burke.

      We live in very dire times.

      • tanyahe

        The fact that people don’t pray enough, especially for the Holy Father is evident. If you haven’t anything good to say , pray for the person. It is always more effective, and you will be going on a better path as well.

        • GG

          No, serious problems require prayer and action. We need more people to speak up. If you read what Cardinal Burke has said he mentions all the faithful who have told him of their concerns. He is speaking up because of that.

          • tanyahe

            I repeat more prayer is needed. We can go and listen to what all the people have to say to Cardinal Burke, but the pope is the vicar that has been entrusted to us to guide and lead. (are they really all that faithful when they have grievances without end and airing them to the 4 winds?) He has the state of grace that we don’t. He needs to be supported, not dragged down by what we think he is saying. pray more and show charity. The criticisms are part of the problem. If you have objections, go to the Holy Father and air them, don’t show your divisions for the world to think that Catholics are falling to pieces. The ones that do not wish to love the Holy Father with their prayers are traitors. They will be the ones to break away, just like the protestants. pray. peace.

            • GG

              Rash judgement and clericalism. You need more prayers.

              • tanyahe

                I’d appreciate that.

            • papagan

              “…don’t show your divisions for the world to think that Catholics are falling to pieces.”

              One of the problems is that there are many who attempt to politicize the faith. Our Lord was neither a Republican nor a Democrat, neither a “liberal” nor a “conservative.”

              Believers need to think in terms of particular issues (e.g., procured abortion, labor and unemployment, attempts to redefine marriage, poverty, physician-assisted suicide, foreign aid and immigration policy, corporate welfare, pornography and human exploitation, environmental pollution and wastefulness, political corruption and war, marginalization and alienation of persons, economism and consumerism, population control, individualism, relativism and radical secularization, etc.), and recognize that both parties in the two-party system in the USA have real and serious weaknesses. (Indeed, a two-party system itself is highly questionable.)

              It isn’t that Our Lord is on one or another side of the political spectrum. The problem is that each party has, to one degree or another, strayed from the Gospel of Life toward a culture of death based on a warped anthropology incompatible with a sound human ecology http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3087/the_green_pope_and_a_human_ecology.aspx , http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-to-emphasize-human-ecology-in-forthcoming-document-says-theolo.

  • FreemenRtrue

    Marriage is an anthropological truth? How about Jesus Christ’s explicit definition of marriage?

  • Miketom

    I agree with Don completely. If it’s “step one” that’s been going on in the Pope’s pontificate-to-date, then why hasn’t it worked for the last 30 years? If I hear, one more time, that we have to be more “pastoral,” I’m going to throw-up! This has been nothing more than a code-word for modernists in the church to completely throw-out many truths of the faith in order to move forward on a liberal agenda that disregards doctrine in many areas.

  • Glenn M. Ricketts

    I hope this is all true, how I hope that. But for me, it’s still more than bewildering that we should even need to be happy and gratified that the Vicar of Christ is actually doing what the holder of that office ought to be out front, ahead of everyone else doing. Very troubling times are these outside the Church, even more so within. You just don’t expect it from the very top.

  • eddie too

    I have been trying to keep close track of what pope francis says and teaches. I have not heard nor read one word from pope francis that I considered unorthodox, much less heretical.
    it may be that people need to review and perhaps advance their reading and listening comprehension rather than blaming pope francis for their spiritual angst and confusion (or so it appears to be for many of them).
    I can think of nothing more absurd than the idea that pope francis speaks with little forethought.
    to me, the teachings of pope francis have been illuminating and spiritually uplifting. I pray that all catholics hear him and reach out to the poor (that would include the spiritually impoverished) and the needy, addressing their needs and preparing the soil they are to receive the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    surely we who consider ourselves devout and obedient catholics do not need pope francis to speak as though he were a catechism. if we feel righteous enough to public demean and ridicule pope francis, surely we are intelligent enough to know the catechism without pope francis having to speak as though he were reading from a catechism.
    I suggest that, instead of demeaning, insulting and ridiculing pope francis, we help others understand how pope francis is teaching us the spiritual gifts and techniques we need to grow in our faith and in God’s grace. instead of having gut-check reactions to pope francis words, maybe we can find the humility to study them and determine what it is that is missing in us that we find them to be negative and deadly, which they definitely are not.

    • Guest

      Is this Cardinal Kasper or Marx posting here?

    • papagan

      “I pray that all [C]atholics hear him and reach out to the poor (that would include the spiritually impoverished) and … addressing their needs and preparing the soil … to receive the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

      It’s important to recognize that poverty is analogous! Poverty is both material and spiritual. Many overlook the latter, which is actually worse than material poverty. For, as Christian martyrs know extremely well, the good of the soul takes priority over the good of the body, which isn’t to say that the good of the body is unimportant. A heart bereft of virtuous love, which we cannot purchase, is a most terrible poverty. In this connection, a work I’d warmly recommend is Aelred of Rievaulx’s Spiritual Friendship http://www.amazon.com/Aelred-Rievaulx-Spiritual-Friendship-Cistercian/dp/0879079703.

  • Enoch14

    If Pope Francis is against “same-sex marriage” but is okay with “same-sex civil unions” what is the difference?

    • papagan

      «If Pope Francis is against “same-sex marriage” but is okay with “same-sex civil unions” what is the difference?»

      It certainly does not mean that he thinks that sodomitic acts or other sexual acts between same-sex individuals are consistent with the natural moral law. If one takes the time to inquire further, one can find statements like the following:

      “The Pope did not choose to enter into debates about the delicate matter of gay civil unions,” said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant to the Vatican press office.

      “In his response to the interviewer, he emphasized the natural characteristic of marriage between one man and one woman, and on the other hand, he also spoke about the obligation of the state to fulfill its responsibilities towards its citizens.”

      “We should not try to read more into the Pope’s words than what has been stated in very general terms,” Rosica added.

      If some expect Pope Francis to contradict the Church’s traditional understanding of marriage, they will be disappointed.

      • NDaniels

        One cannot support same-sex sexual “unions” without supporting same-sex sexual acts.

        • papagan

          “One cannot support same-sex sexual ‘unions’ without supporting same-sex sexual acts.”

          Granted. I didn’t say anything to suggest the contrary. If I’m not mistaken, however, the amoral concept of (1) same-sex sexual union is not necessarily entailed by the legal concept of (2) civil union, nor does 2 preclude 1. Unless one is careful with terms of art in this type of situation, one could end up, knowingly or otherwise, contributing to harmful gossip.

          • NDaniels

            Once you remove that which separates the marital relationship from every other form of relationship, the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife, every relationship can be redefined as a marriage or a civil union.

            At the end of the day, the question we are left with is whether or not it is unconstitutional to recognize the sanctity of the marital relationship, and afford the relationship between husband and wife, special privileges for the sake of marriage and the family. The Supreme Court has already ruled that existing in relationship as husband and wife is constitutional. If the Court decides that in order to be married it is no longer necessary to exist in relationship as husband and wife, thus invalidating the validity of a valid marriage, while promoting marriage fraud and adultery, simultaneously, then it is only logical to assume the Court must recuse itself from validating the relationships of those persons who have the desire and ability to exist in relationship as husband and wife.

            • papagan

              There appears to be a misunderstanding. The legal concept of civil union does not capture or reflect the full significance or reality of the natural institution of marriage. It’s a mistake to equate or reduce the traditional notion of marriage to the legal concept of civil union, which neither logically implies nor logically precludes homoerotic or sodomitic acts.

              Note also that sodomitic acts can occur between a lawfully married husband and wife, although such acts, like contraceptive acts, are not consistent with a proper understanding of marital acts open to the possibility of the transmission of human life. (See Humanae vitae http://www.ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P6HUMANA.HTM. )

              Furthermore, a lawfully married husband and wife can live together and lovingly support each other without engaging in sexual or venereal acts, as in the case of Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, and Mary, the Mother of God (Theotokos).

              • NDaniels

                True, but no misunderstanding, as one cannot be validating a marriage contract or The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, if one removes that which separates the marital relationship from every other relationship, the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife. You are correct when you state that it is a mistake for any court to reduce marriage to a civil union, by removing a necessary requirement for a marriage contract as well as one of the necessary requirements for The Sacrament of Matrimony.

                • papagan

                  “True, but no misunderstanding, as one cannot be validating a marriage contract or The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, if one removes that which separates the marital relationship from every other relationship, the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife.”

                  That isn’t entirely accurate. In fact, it perpetuates a serious misunderstanding. “[T]hat which [distinguishes] the marital relationship from every other relationship” is not simply “the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife.” That alone is compatible with the barren logic of contraception. An essential aspect of the matrimonial covenant is the ability (at least in type) and openness to procreate via the conjugal act, which presupposes a heterosexual couple. For instance, in cases where there was never the intention to bear and raise children, there is no valid marriage, according to the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.

                  • NDaniels

                    Only in an ordered, complementary communion of Love, between a man and woman, joined together as husband and wife, can two become one body, one spirit in Love, creating a new family, open to new life.
                    Marriage serves for the a Good of the husband, the Good of the wife, and the Good of the new family that is created when a man and woman are joined together as husband and wife.
                    Two men or two woman cannot exist in relationship as husband and wife, so while it may be similar to the barren logic of contraception, it is not the same. A marriage between a husband and wife who use contraception can be transformed; whereas two men or two woman cannot exist in relationship as husband and wife from the start.

              • NDaniels

                It is a mistake to reduce marriage to a civil union. The only sexual act that our Government should be condoning is the marital act, which affirms and sustains human life.

                • papagan

                  “The only sexual act that our [g]overnment should be condoning is the marital act…”

                  Does a contraceptive act count?

            • papagan

              Has anyone in this forum already pointed out that the widely accepted logic of contraception (see Griswold v. Connecticut, and Russell Hittinger, “A Crisis of Legitimacy” http://www.firstthings.com/article/1996/11/004-the-end-of-democracy-a-crisis-of-legitimacy , idem, “When the Court Should Not Be Obeyed” http://www.firstthings.com/article/1993/10/001-when-the-court-should-not-be-obeyed ) opens the door to attempts to redefine marriage? The groundwork for the upcoming Supreme Court case on whether same-sex “marriage” is constitutional was prepared over the course of many decades. Those who embrace the inherent logic of contraception cannot consistently oppose attempts to redefine marriage!

              • NDaniels

                Regarding the “Crisis of Legitimacy”, if I were not being blocked for some reason from commenting at firstthings.com, I would like to comment there, as well as there, that the legitimacy of the Court was undermined, the moment it denied the self-evident truth, that can be known through both Faith and reason; a human person can only conceive a human person, thus from the moment of conception, every son or daughter of a human person can only be a human person.

          • NDaniels

            What separates the marital relationship from every other relationship, is the ability and desire to exist in relationship as husband and wife. If the Court desires to remove this necessary requirement for marriage, thus invalidating the validity of marriage, while promoting marriage fraud and adultery simultaneously, it must recuse itself, because it no longer has the ability to distinguish between marriage and any other form of relationship.

            • papagan

              If SCOTUS redefines marriage, one could argue that it acts ultra vires. Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacrament established by the Author of nature. I do not support attempts to redefine marriage, and I’m skeptical of claims to the effect that Pope Francis supports attempts at redefinition.

              • NDaniels

                In essence, to attempt to change God’s intention for Sexual Love, is an attempt to try to change the definition of marriage; God is both our Creator and the Author of Love.

                • papagan

                  “…God’s intention for Sexual Love…”

                  What precisely does that mean?

  • Howard

    I’ve heard this line of reasoning before. Maybe; but liberals seem to be very good at ignoring “inconvenient truths” when it suits their purposes. So far they have been able (with the help, it must be admitted, of several peculiarly ill-worded utterances from Francis himself) to create a “Pope Francis of legend” that need have no more relationship to the Pope Francis of history than Santa Claus has to St. Nicholas. I suspect they will keep that up as long as they can, which might last to the end of Francis’ papacy — in which case, it will become permanent.

  • Sixtus Maximus

    The Chair of St. Peter is protected by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never, I repeat never accept the false notion of a gay marriage. Because anything Married without the approval of God in not a marriage but a mirage no matter what an immoral supreme court pretends to rule. Sodomy is not natural and goes against God’s Creation and His Image. It is truly from Satan and his offspring.

  • Deacon Joseph Pasaquella

    Bravo, well written and orthodox Truths present throughout.

  • Gallibus

    The way I see it is the following: –
    Firstly, language is an inaccurate medium of communication – that is why the Lord uses visions and spiritual enlightenment to fill in what is not well expressed in words;
    secondly, there is the inherent weakness in the human race, evidenced in the fall of our first parents, to be satisfied with half-truths, without engaging the mind further to examine the fullness or the consequences;
    thirdly, we are too easily led to accept what we desire rather than what is correct – we lack strength of character – emotion leads through the weakness of nature rather than rationality leads with the wisdom of God as given to the soul.

  • Sixtus Maximus

    Pope Francis other blunder besides Catholics are likened to Rabbits, is the Paris Terrorist attacks. Saying that insulting Islam is like calling someone’s mother a name what happens is you get punched in the nose. The Pope then made a fist and made a punching motion in an angry gesture. Pope Francis was justifying the terrorist attack. Why? Because Pope Francis loves Islam witch is a false religion and has no truth about it. There is really no solid evidence that Mohammed ever existed and haps been just an allegory for a false religion to replace another false religion Paganism which dominated the region in the middle east in the seventh century. Does Pope Francis believe that these Muslims retain 72 virgins in their Fantasy heaven!!!!

  • The_Monk

    In the ‘for what it’s worth’ department, the Pope acting on his own wouldn’t have the authority to officially change the status of same-sex marriage, would he (even if he had such an inclination, which he doesn’t)? Natural law kinda over-rides emotional ties to such a gambit. May God bless Pope Francis….

  • SnowCherryBlossoms

    So well written. I couldn’t agree more, Pope Francis has never wavered in teaching the Truth on any matter. As faithful Catholics we can not agree with, or in any way be complicit in this lie and so can never accept the demands for same-sex “marriage” because to do so would be to help Satan in his cause to destroy the Sacrament of Marriage and the family as God so clearly willed it to be. Man can never change what God has decreed.

  • Joan59

    Come now.
    We “liberals” had no such illusions about Francis.
    He a breath of fresh air, and he has some depth of thought, but he is has blind spots.
    He is fulfilling his purpose well, redeeming the RCC’s public image, but he has to walk a tightrope with the more vociferous members of his church.
    One false step, and he gets a knife in his back.

  • Rosemary58

    I get it. The “tone” has changed.

  • Adoration Servants

    Bl Pope Pius IX started out being declared “liberal” and was hailed by the liberals of his day very similar to Pope Francis. Once they realized Pius IX would not be their champion and would not let them use him to foster their agenda they viciously turned on him. Pius IX became a most conservative pope. http://blog.adorationservants.org/2013/03/10/pius-ix/

    • papagan

      Bl Pope Pius IX started out being declared “liberal” and was hailed by the liberals of his day very similar to Pope Francis. Once they realized Pius IX would not be their champion and would not let them use him to foster their agenda they viciously turned on him. Pius IX became a most conservative pope.

      The Gospel is neither politically “liberal” nor politically “conservative”! As I’ve indicated previously, the political distinction between “liberal” and “conservative” is misleading and inapplicable in religious matters. The proper distinction is between “orthodox” and “heterodox.” Truth in religious matters should not be reduced to political categories.

  • NDaniels

    He supported same-sex sexual “unions” as an alternative “association” to marriage as long as these associations do not involve children and are not called marriage, and thus, according to Francis, do not affect society. See various media reports and his book, On Heaven and Earth page 117.

    • papagan

      He supported same-sex sexual “unions” as an alternative “association” to marriage… See various media reports and his book, On Heaven and Earth page 117.

      Media reports are not always trustworthy. I don’t have a copy of On Heaven and Earth, so I’m unable to verify whether the statement “He supported same-sex sexual ‘unions'” is accurate. I remain skeptical of any claim to the effect that Pope Francis endorsed sodomitic acts. Also, it is not entirely obvious that (1) “same-sex sexual unions” is strictly equivalent in meaning to (2) “same-sex unions” understood precisely as a legal category for insurance or related purposes. One must be careful about how language is employed.

      • Well, I’ve heard more than a few Latin American cardinals state that the Church has always respected same sex civil unions (v. http://bit.ly/18w0GFR ), but, regardless of what Bergoglio wrote before, the Vatican has denied that Francis favors it, though it had to untwist a convoluted language that he used to La Nacion and to the Corriere de Sera that allowed the same interpretation.

        • papagan

          Here is an interesting piece on this question: “Cardinal Dolan: Pope Francis opened door to gay civil unions debate” http://ncronline.org/news/politics/cardinal-dolan-pope-francis-opened-door-gay-civil-unions-debate. Nowhere does it support the claim that Cardinal Bergoglio/Pope Francis supported or supports the idea of “same-sex sexual unions,” not to be confused with the legal category of civil unions.

          Moreover, given the present hostile cultural and political climate, in which the barren logic of contraception is widely accepted even among Catholics, it is not immediately evident that the Catholic Church cannot tolerate the legal concept of civil unions without thereby implying a favorable endorsement of this legal concept.

  • “Bear in mind, when this particular pope speaks of “powerful forces,” he is very likely including what he considers satanic ones.”

    In the spiritual world, what powerful forces could there be other than God’s and Satan’s? Anything that opposes God’s plan is satanic.

  • NDaniels

    The line that was drawn in the sand does not separate liberal and conservative, it separates those who are with Christ from those who are anti-Christ.

    One cannot condone same-sex sexual acts, or any sexual act that does not respect the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, and remain in communion with Christ, and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    Prior to being elected pope, Francis supported same-sex sexual unions and thus was not in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    The election of Francis as pope is not valid.

    Pray for a conversion of hearts. Only The Truth of Love can set us free.

    • papagan

      “Prior to being elected pope, Francis supported same-sex sexual unions…”

      That appears to be an unsubstantiated claim at this point. If the claim is false, then the claim is scandalous.

      “The election of Francis as [P]ope is not valid.”

      So, you’re a sedevacantist. Okay… Time to move on.

  • NDaniels

    It is not possible to deceive the elect unless they have already fallen away.

  • NDaniels
  • Why just edged closer? What gives with this? John Paul II and Benedict XVI never stuttered like this.

  • profling

    But look at his partial citation of a French text on that issue in footnote no. 60 of the Apostolic Exhortation. One might think the quote was leaning favorably in that direction.

  • In his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis once again defended marriage, and he again edged closer to a firm, unequivocal papal statement against same-sex “marriage.”

    When will you learn?

    Attacking Gay Marriage is only wrecking the sanctity of marriage, not defending it. Many have become clanging gongs in these last days, that is why the church is under attack, you have lost love.

  • Maize

    I never have a problem understanding this Pope. Of course, as soon as anything he says is reported in the media, I search for his exact words in the context in which they were made. How anyone could think Pope Francis was leaning to approve same sex marriage or homosexuality in general is beyond me. Perhaps I find it easy to understand Pope Francis because he chooses words that having an exacting definition and uses them according to that exacting definition. There is a big difference between the word gay, the word homosexual, the words sexual orientation and the words sexual conduct.
    Pope Francis thinks before he speaks and most of our journalists in the Western world don’t think and jump to conclusions.
    When Pope Francis said we should be talking less about abortion and homosexuality and more about healing the walking wounded–he said the field hospital is open–he is talking about proselytizing and conversion. Those whose hearts and wills are aligned with God’s will know sin when they meet it. Those who need healing will know the truth when they hear it because the laws of God are written on every human heart–even on the heart of an atheist. Find the way to reach them is what Pope Francis said. Not deny sin exists.
    About homosexuals he said if he is striving towards God, who am I to judge. Well anyone who is striving towards God and is homosexual is certainly not engaging in the gay sexual lifestyle–unless, of course, he’s reading Bishop Spong’s diatribes against the Blessed Mother. And, if he is, he is certainly no longer a Catholic.
    Nothing in the Church has changed.
    I think you are correct that once the left realizes they were wrong there will be vitriolic attack against the Pope. I think to stem that tide, we should all begin to use words properly like sodomy, homosexual and dispose of the labels given by the politically correct liberals like gay and straight.
    The people who need to hear the truth are the faithful and the children of the faithful. They need to hear it for their certitude and the formation of their consciences. The deceit and the confusion being doled out by many “Catholic” organizations, magazines and orders in order to pacify certain Catholic political opinions and feminist stances has to stop. You cannot help sinners when you condemn the only ones that can help them–the faithful.

  • Maize

    So, I see you took down my comment about Catholic universities and schools. People need to know what is being taught.