By Skip Chatterson - March 6, 2014
It is no secret, I have defended the Pope’s comments in respect to Church Cannon. Pope Francis has been misquoted numerous times by the liberal press who have hoped beyond the rainbow that Pope Francis will see their view of morality as opposed to the views of that outdated guy….Jesus.
The latest quotes by the Pope have me wondering where the Pope is intending to take the Church.
Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with “much mercy.”…
“Matrimony is between a man and a woman,” the pope said, but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.” Asked to what extent the church could understand this trend, he replied: “It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.”
The mainstream press is focused solely on homosexual civil unions, when referring to the Pope’s comments. I will again, as I bloviate about this comment, keep in mind that the fault may lie in the translation of the Pope’s comments, which could completely change the meaning. The quote did not mention homosexuals at all, however in referencing “civil unions” the Pope’s comment did not exclude such unions either.
As I dissect the Pope’s comments I will say the idea of “civil unions” coming out of the Vatican bothers me and this goes beyond a homosexual context. The Vatican should stand firm against any ideas of sin and to float the tacit approval for “civil unions” for heterosexuals or homosexuals seems to me to be antithetical to Church teaching about pre-marital sex. I believe the comments are made believing some people live together simply for the financial benefits that such a situation brings, but to approve such a living condition without believing that it will not be platonic is naive. I am certain there are a FEW (and I mean a darn few) situations that are platonic, but this is not what is being taken from Pope Francis’ comments. Don’t get me wrong I can not cast a stone, my sins are written in the sand before me, it is not for me to judge, but the Church has a responsibility to guide the flock. What the Pope, seemingly, did was to set the flock free to roam in this realm. The Church is suppose to set up a fence to help keep the flock from danger (sin) and when some sheep escape the secured area, the Church should be happy when those lost souls return or are found. It would seem the Pope has blown a hole in the fence of morality and the danger here is those sheep lost through this hole will not return. Their escape was sanctioned by the Pope, so why return?
I have been very impressed with the Pope’s concentration on the poor and the down-troddened, even though he possibly castigated the free-market system, which has been very beneficial to the poor, not only in donations but also in the ability to rise out of poverty within this system. I am having a difficult time with Pope Francis’ latest comments. I feel I need guidance as to the meaning. Perhaps I will visit with Father Mike about it and while I’m at it I can go to confession:
Bless me Father, for I have sinned….wait…the Pope is redefining sin, so maybe I’m fine!
UPDATE: Context is everything! Here is the Question and the Pope’s answer:
Q: Many nations have regulated civil unions. Is it a path that the Church can understand? But up to what point?
A: Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures, of which I wouldn’t know how to list the different ways. One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.
Apparently CNN picked what they wanted to pull out of the Pope’s comments. Never trust the mainstream media. I guess I can’t get away with assuming the Pope has changed the definition of sin, so I had better make that trip to confession.