"This is the worst coverage of a religious story I have seen to date."
"I wasn't great at judging homosexuals my first year in the job, either. But now I can do it without thinking."
So the Day One stories, aftter Pope Francis gave his surprise impromptu press conference following his Brazilian beach party on World Youth Day, were all about how His Holiness is OK with Teh Gays and who is he to judge them?
Hence, HuffPost yesterday
Pope Francis has had a busy week at World Youth Day in Rio as he visited his slums and prisons, blessed the Olympic flag and brought three million people to Copacabana Beach for a final Mass on Sunday morning.
Now he has made another headline, this time when the pontiff said, "Who am I to judge a gay person?"
While taking questions from reporters on the plane back to Rome, Francis spoke about gays and the reported "gay lobby." According to the Wall Street Journal, the Pope's comments about homosexuality came in the context of a question about gay priests.
The pontiff broached the delicate question of how he would respond to learning that a cleric in his ranks was gay, though not sexually active. For decades, the Vatican has regarded homosexuality as a "disorder," and Pope Francis' predecessor Pope Benedict XVI formally barred men with what the Vatican deemed "deep-seated" homosexuality from entering the priesthood.
"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" the pontiff said, speaking in Italian. "You can't marginalize these people."
Which set the stage for the Day Two stories, which were more along the lines of "What the Pope Really Said." Like this, on HuffPost today, from Religion News Service:
Blogs and social media immediately exploded with commentary that either hailed -- or lamented -- the pope’s words as a shift in Catholic teaching on the role of gays and lesbians in the church.
But did Francis really signal such a change?
As far as church teaching, the pope said nothing that would indicate that there would be any change in the tenet that homosexuality is, as the Catholic catechism states, “objectively disordered." . . .
There's some sense of relief for me that other people are realizing that substantively what the pope said about teh gays was pretty much Standard Church Bushwah.
Note, for example, how HuffPost Day One truncated the key to quot to: "Who am I to judge a gay person?" from the original "Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" It seemed pretty clear to me that "a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord" is one who has recognized the error of his way and is engaged in negotiating his terms of surrender with the Lord.
NEVERTHELESS, THERE WAS CLEARLY SOMETHING
IMPORTANTLY NEW IN THE PONTIFF'S REMARKS
And it's the thing that probably set all those Day One folks off on the wrong track: His Holiness's tone. He talked about gay priests as if they're actual people
, not to be "marginalized" and to be treated as, you know, real people.
And this is by way of being earth-shaking. Obviously no pope has ever spoken thusly about teh gays, and I think you'd be hard put to find comparably pitched comments about gay people from any ranking member of the Catholic hierarchy in good gracews with the highest ranks.
For certain kinds of people, this must be scary as heck. Because the Catholic Church has stood tough as probably the world's mightiest, most uncompromising fortress of homo-hating. A substantial portion of the world's most virulent homophobia marches under the banner of the teachings of Rome.
And so, even if there's no clear doctrinal alteration in the pope's remarks, it's not hard to understand why the Church's legions of hard-cord homo-haters freaked out on Day One, and may not be feeling too much better on Day Two. These are people whose lives are given meaning -- possibly all the meaning those lives have -- by their righteous homo-hating.
Which brings me to the daffiest of the Day Two jeremiads I've seen, that of Fox Noise's house priest, Father Jonathan Morris, he of the "This is the worst coverage of a religious story I have seen to date" wig-out in his FoxNoise.com screed, "What Pope Francis really said about gays -- and no, it's not new
Father Jon makes the perfectly valid point that Pope Francis had quite a lot to talk about in his remarks. I'm not sure, though, that there's much to report in his supposedly inspirational finaly words to the 3.2 young million gathered on Copacabana Beach for World Youth Day, characterized by Father Jon as "Go back to your homes, and serve others without fear." What on God's green earth does that mean, and what is it supposed to inspire those young people to do?
Still, Father Jon is right that there was lots else that the pope talked about during his impromptu press conference. (He kindly directs us to his very own tweets!) I don't know, maybe there was stuff there worth talking about.
But from here the good father goes nuts.
Let’s begin with the fact that the pope has always been “OK” with homosexuals. In fact, by the demands of his own religion he is required to be much more than just “OK.” The Christian faith teaches that every person is endowed by God with an inviolable dignity and therefore deserves our unconditional respect and love.
Of course Pope Francis's record is far from unambiguous. More importantly, for someone who spends so much time stressing Church teaching, the good father manages to miss the truly abysmal record in these matters of the current pope's predecessors.
And still more importantly, if you don't take note of the startling chang in discussion mode on the subject of homosexuality between Pope Francis's remarks and everything that has preceded them from bishops of Rome, you're either a puling imbecile or a scumbag liar.
Then, as Father Jon tap-dances around the Church's dreadful history with homosexuality he comes up with this eye-popper:
Pope Francis simply and compassionately reiterated Biblical teaching. The Bible and the Catholic Church have never taught that it is a “sin” to be homosexual. They teach it is a sin to have homosexual sex because it goes against the laws of God’s nature, specifically his plan for human sexuality.
On its face, this is simply bullshit. It's not a sin to be homosexual, it's just a sin to have homosexual sex. I guess it's just a fancy version of the old "hate the sin, not the sinner." But of course if you've got a working brain, and even the tiniest understanding of human sexuality, then you know that this is just sophistry, pure bullshit. Everyone knows that the Church is herewith requiring its flock to hate homosexuals.
Certainly "good Catholics" everywhere have gotten the message, and nobody connected with the Vatican has seen fit to try to correct it.
Credit Andy Borowitz with giving us the perfect example: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, whose formal opinions on the subject have made it blindingly plain that he believes his religion not only permits but requires him to be repulsed by what homosexuals do, and that Supreme Court rulings that infringe on his right to be repulsed are an infringement on his freedom of religion. For Catholics like Justice Nino, taking away their right to hate the homos deprives them of one of the things that gives their lives meaning.
July 30, 2013
Posted by ANDY BOROWITZ
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) -- Responding to Pope Francis's suggestion that the Pope is not capable of judging gays, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia contacted the Vatican today to say that he would be "more than happy" to help the Pontiff do so.
"If he's having trouble judging homosexuals, well, then I'm his man," Scalia told reporters after making his offer. "I have over a quarter century of professional experience."
Justice Scalia said that he was sympathetic to Pope Francis's difficulty in judging gays, but added, "Once he spends a few weeks watching the master at work, I'm sure he'll get the hang of it."
"I wasn't great at judging homosexuals my first year in the job, either," he said. "But now I can do it without thinking."
Justice Scalia said that once Pope Francis feels confident about his ability to judge gays, he would help the Pontiff learn how to judge minorities and women.
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Labels: Borowitz, Catholic, homophobia, Pope Francis, religious bigotry