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Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

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Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Old 09-19-13, 10:18 AM
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Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

From CNN:


Pope Francis: Church can't 'interfere' with gays
By Eric Marrapodi and Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors


(CNN) - Pope Francis said the church has the right to express its opinions but not to "interfere spiritually" in the lives of gays and lesbians, expanding on explosive comments he made in July about not judging homosexuals.

In a wide-ranging interview published Thursday, the pope also said that women must play a key role in church decisions and brushed off critics who say he should be more vocal about fighting abortion and gay marriage.

Moreover, if the church fails to find a "new balance" between its spiritual and political missions, the pope warned, its moral foundation will "fall like a house of cards."

The interview, released by Jesuit magazines in several different languages and 16 countries on Thursday, offers perhaps the most expansive and in-depth view of Francis' vision for the Roman Catholic Church.

The pope's comments don't break with Catholic doctrine or policy, but instead show a shift in approach, moving from censure to engagement.

Elected in March with the expectation that he would try to reform the Vatican, an institution that many observers say is riven by corruption and turf wars, Francis said his first mission is to change the church's "attitude."

"The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things," the pope said, "in small-minded rules."

"The people of God want pastors," Francis continued, "not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials."

MORE ON CNN: The pope said what? Six stunners from Francis

The interview was conducted by the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal based in Rome, over three meetings this August at Francis' apartment in Rome.

The pope approved the transcript in Italian, according to America magazine, a Jesuit journal based in New York that initiated the interview and supervised its translation into English.

Advance copies of the interview were provided to several news organizations, including CNN.

Jesuits from around the world submitted questions to Spadaro. Francis answered them with the frankness that has become a hallmark of his young papacy.

To begin the interview, Spadoro bluntly asks, "Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?" - Francis's name before he was elected pope.

"I am a sinner," the pope answers. "This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.

The pope didn't mention any particular sins, and Catholic theology holds that all humans are sinners, a consequence of Adam and Eve's original transgression. Still, a pope describing himself foremost as "sinner" is striking.

Offering new glimpses of his personal life, Francis said he prays at the dentist's office and that he felt trapped in the Vatican's traditional papal apartments. (He moved to a smaller one in a nearby building.) He has a taste for tragic artists and Italian films and keeps the will of his beloved grandmother in his prayerbook.

But it was the pope's vision for the church's future - painted in broad strokes - that's sure to rile or inspire Catholics, depending on which side of the church they sit.

Here are some highlights:

On Women

Francis said, emphatically, that the "door is closed," on women's ordination, a statement that disappointed many Catholic liberals.

But that doesn't mean the church should consider women secondary or inferior, Francis said. "The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions," he told Spadora.

Francis also called on Catholics to think hard about the function of women in the church.

"Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed," the pope said. "The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role."

On Homosexuality

When Francis was a bishop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received letters from gays and lesbians who said they were "socially wounded" by the church, he said.

"But the church does not want to do this," Francis said in the interview.

The pope then recalled his comments in July, when he told the media aboard a flight to Rome, "Who am I to judge" gay people?

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

"By saying this, I said what the catechism says," the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church's book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity."

"Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person."

Francis said that someone once asked him if he "approved" of homosexuality.

"I replied with another question," he said. "`Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being."

Abortion, gay marriage and contraception

Some American Catholics grumble that Francis has been largely silent on signature Catholic political issues.

"Im a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis that he hasnt, at least that Im aware of, said much about unborn children, about abortion, and many people have noticed that," Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, said earlier this month.

Francis said that he's aware of the criticism, but he is not going to change.

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," he told his Jesuit interviewer. "I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that."

But the pope said the church's teachings on those issue are clear, and he clearly believes in those teachings, so what else is there to say?

"It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," Francis said.

False prophets and quick decisions

Only false prophets claim to have all the answers, Francis said.

"The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt," he said. "You must leave room for the Lord."

But church leaders, including himself, haven't always practiced humility, the pope admitted.

Many of the bad decisions he made while leading Catholics in Argentina came about because of his "authoritarianism and quick manner of making decisions," the pope said.

That won't happen again, Francis said, as he begins to steer the church in a new direction.

He didn't offer an exact course, but he said change will come. Sooner or later.

"Many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time," he said. "I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment."
My wife is a lapsed Catholic and I've spent some time around Catholicism. It's refreshing to hear modern viewpoints from the leader of this ancient religion. I agree that the church in general gets too hung up on issues like abortion and gay rights. Those issues now define religion and have been responsible for a lot of the polarization between the Church and the congregation, conservatives and liberals, and many more issues.

"Who am I to judge?" as a response about gay people is outstanding. I wish more people would take that view.

"The people of God want pastors," Francis continued, "not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials." - another refreshing quote. Church leaders absolutely should get out of politics.
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Old 09-19-13, 10:46 AM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

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Old 09-19-13, 10:58 AM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Dude keeps this up, he's gonna get himself killed by someone who feels he's deviating too far from the church's message.
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Old 09-19-13, 11:48 AM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

I'm not really sure how to read this.

On one hand, it might look like he doesn't want the church to be defined by its views on gay marriage and abortion. On the other hand, it might look like he's saying that the church's views are clear and not up for debate.
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Old 09-19-13, 11:51 AM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Its refreshing when Christian leaders don't make me go nutty. The Catholic Church has a significant PR hole to dig themselves out of, and I think this Pope knows it. However, if he goes against what has been considered "doctrine" for so long, I too worry for his safety.
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Old 09-19-13, 11:53 AM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the views of the new Pope. I think the college of Cardinals made a good choice this time.
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Old 09-19-13, 11:57 AM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

orangecrush is going to be so disappointed when he clicks this thread.
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Old 09-19-13, 11:58 AM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

*Cough* Remember John Paul I *Cough*
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Old 09-19-13, 12:11 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

He also said that God will forgive athiests...which will really piss off believers and atheists don't care if God forgives them...because they don't believe in God and all.

Seems like a lose/lose statement, but I do appreciate this Pope who seems to lead with heart. Not a bad start for religion.
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Old 09-19-13, 12:22 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by magiccmom View Post
He also said that God will forgive athiests...which will really piss off believers and atheists don't care if God forgives them...because they don't believe in God and all.
Well, I think most atheists recognize the importance and significance of the Pope, whether or not they agree with him. So, when the Pope says atheists who live by a moral standard aren't evil, and God will forgive them, it is pleasing. As an atheist, when I read that, I felt good about the direction of the Church.

I might not believe in God, but it would be akin to a Ostrich with my head in the ground if I did not recognize all the good they actually accomplish.
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Old 09-19-13, 12:40 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
I'm not really sure how to read this.

On one hand, it might look like he doesn't want the church to be defined by its views on gay marriage and abortion. On the other hand, it might look like he's saying that the church's views are clear and not up for debate.
I read it as "Here is what the church believes, but we need to quit being pricks about it and learn to follow the example of Jesus in how we treat people."
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Old 09-19-13, 12:49 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by Decadance View Post
Well, I think most atheists recognize the importance and significance of the Pope, whether or not they agree with him. So, when the Pope says atheists who live by a moral standard aren't evil, and God will forgive them, it is pleasing. As an atheist, when I read that, I felt good about the direction of the Church.

I might not believe in God, but it would be akin to a Ostrich with my head in the ground if I did not recognize all the good they actually accomplish.
I totally agree.
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Old 09-19-13, 01:15 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

No change in theology or doctrine, but this pope is doing wonderfully in being engaging and meeting people of all kinds where they are at in life.

Reading some of the news headlines.. I think the reporting is missing the distinction between being loving and outgoing while maintaining principles at the same time.

Last edited by Artman; 09-19-13 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 09-19-13, 01:23 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I read it as "Here is what the church believes, but we need to quit being pricks about it and learn to follow the example of Jesus in how we treat people."
Agreed. That is a position I can completely respect.
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Old 09-19-13, 01:43 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Well, according to a few of our noted Christians here, the Pope "isn't a real Christian" so it'll mean nothing to most fundamentalists.

I don't think this is PR move at all. I get the feeling that he is being sincere in his words and actions. It's really refreshing to see this much humility and kindness from the church.

He's the exact opposite of the Christians (in the persecuted thread) who only fed the homeless if they could force them to be within their adorned room, preaching, and Bible passing out, set-up. Once they were told to move it to the other room the declined the food offer.

This Pope is the sort of guy who would have started out in the other room and just fed the homeless because food should come before proselytizing.
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Old 09-19-13, 01:46 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Yeah. Far too many "Christians" feel that not approving of homosexuality and treating homosexuals as a sub-class of human beings are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 09-19-13, 02:08 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Where are the replies/users that I expected in this thread?
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Old 09-19-13, 02:35 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by DirkUSA View Post
Where are the replies/users that I expected in this thread?
Silly, they only read and acknowledge information that already agrees with their world-view on God. Everything else is ignored.
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Old 09-19-13, 02:53 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

I like this Pope. He's a refreshing change from Emperor Palpatine.
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Old 09-19-13, 02:56 PM
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New Pope is cool. We all like New Pope. Here's the thing, though: Will the church stop actively opposing condom use in sub-Saharan Africa?
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Old 09-19-13, 02:58 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by DirkUSA View Post
Where are the replies/users that I expected in this thread?
They do not acknowledge the Pope in Rome, the Harlot of Babylon
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Old 09-19-13, 03:57 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

He's going to be facing a Tea Party challenger in the next election!
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Old 09-19-13, 04:13 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by emanon View Post
Dude keeps this up, he's gonna get himself killed by someone who feels he's deviating too far from the church's message.
I'm sure all the thumpers have already pegged him as the anti-christ.
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Old 09-19-13, 04:16 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by DirkUSA View Post
Where are the replies/users that I expected in this thread?
Probably searching youtube...
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Old 09-19-13, 05:06 PM
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Re: Refreshing views from the Pope on gay marriage, abortion, politics, etc.

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I'm sure all the thumpers have already pegged him as the anti-christ.
And all along I thought it was the President

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