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Rob in Baltimore 1
It's a baby step forward, but it is forward. Churches see the cultural shift in attitudes towards gay people, and as they've always done, they are changing in an attempt to stay relevant in a changing society. They will reinterpret the Bible about gay people the way they have reinterpreted it on women's issues, slavery, a flat earth being the center of the Universe, etc.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on July 30, 2013 at 6:11 AM · Report this
Dr. Z 2
This Pope is likely to have a short tenure, not only because of his age (76) but because he's been stirring up shit with the "businessmen" who operate the Vatican Bank. That he seems to have a bit of a populist streak only further tweaks the actuarial numbers. John Paul I was a "barefoot pope" too, and he lasted a month.
Posted by Dr. Z on July 30, 2013 at 6:29 AM · Report this
Beth in NJ 3
It sounds to me like a step back to where the Catholic church stood on the subject of gay people before Benedict, which the priests at the church I used to attend (back when I actually believed in this crap) always said was that people were judged based on their actions, not on their desires. So, from what I was taught, the church's position was that a person couldn't help having same-sex attraction, but acting on that attraction was a sin. Basically, it was fine to be gay as long as you were celibate. In fact, a lot of people held the belief that if you were gay, that was God's way of telling you to take a vow of celibacy, become a priest or nun, and dedicate your life to Him.

So, what Francis said is not exactly a great leap forward towards tolerance or anything, but it's still better than that asshole Benedict.
Posted by Beth in NJ on July 30, 2013 at 6:41 AM · Report this
Original Andrew 4
This is like an abusive marriage, with people saying that their looney tunes, religion-crazed husband promised not to beat them again.
Posted by Original Andrew on July 30, 2013 at 7:46 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 5
Francis would have been 26 when Vatican II was around, so it could be coming back to that. He seems like he wants to carry on where John XXIII left off. Of course, the last guy in that position was John Paul I.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 30, 2013 at 7:48 AM · Report this
Rotten666 6
"Who am I to judge?"

I love that line. You're the pope, dude! That's what you do!
Posted by Rotten666 on July 30, 2013 at 7:51 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
Timothy Dolan, in his usually arrogant demeanor, is one horrible spokesman for American Catholicism. He insisted that he can judge actions. Really? Well, than let's judge the church's actions regarding the rape of children in their care. Let's judge the church's continued attempts at cover-ups.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 30, 2013 at 7:51 AM · Report this
8
I want to be optimistic, but my niggling concern is that too many in the hard core catholic camp will use brain ju jitsu to focus on the equation hypothetical gay priest equals the long standing problem with sex abuse of children.

The Catholic church has a gay problem that is they seize upon a couple minor references in their holy book and conflate it to a grievous family-threatening sin, AND the catholic church has a sex abuse problem that is millennia of systematic sexual repression in an environment of obedient frightened small boys. the two problems are very distinct things.

I hope Francis realizes this.
Posted by JAT on July 30, 2013 at 7:52 AM · Report this
9
Hard-Core Catholics exist?
Posted by ryry on July 30, 2013 at 8:33 AM · Report this
10
There is no progress, here, and it's annoying that it's being received as such. This is merely consistent with official Catholic doctrine established decades ago by John Paul II.

It helps if you imagine Francis as a Southern belle:

"Of course, what you *do* is intrinsically disordered and an abomination unto the Lord, bless your heart, but [bats eyelashes]... who am I to judge?"

It's disingenuous at best. Who is he to judge? He's the head of an institution that does more to demean gay people worldwide than arguably any other institution, measured in lives affected. Who are you to judge, indeed, you stupid motherfucker.
Posted by Meat Weapon on July 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Cascadian 11
@10, it's not doctrinal progress, but it's progress in terms of emphasis. It looks like he's trying to find a way that the church can tolerate (and in a very limited way, accept) gay priests without having to disregard existing dogma and alienate conservative members. He's trying to figure out how he can encourage non-Catholics to work with the church on issues of agreement (with regards to charity for the poor, opposition to unjust war and the death penalty, and so on), which means reaching out even to atheists and other non-believers, again without alienating the large number of conservatives who are attracted to Catholicism specifically because they want to judge people who believe differently.

As an atheist who shares some of the Catholic concerns (about poverty, war, and so on), I welcome this rhetorical shift. They can have whatever backwards doctrine and theology they want, so long as it's an internal code of conduct and they aren't using it as a cudgel to attack people of good will inside or outside their ranks who happen to disagree with them.
Posted by Cascadian on July 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM · Report this
12
Benedict was attempting to blame the sexual abuse scandal on gay priests. This pope isn't doing that. But neither are doing anything about the abuse, so where's the change?
Posted by sarah70 on July 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 13
I have enjoyed watching Catholic talking heads on Fox try to spin this comment to the 'homos are terrible' usual speechafying.
Its not easy to do.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\www.shelleyandlaura.com on July 30, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 14
what about a gay priest who searches for the Lord in gay bathhouses?
Posted by scary tyler moore http://pushymcshove.blogspot.com/ on July 30, 2013 at 3:51 PM · Report this

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