Pope Francis put his shoulder to the doors of the Catholic Church and shoved them open a little wider Friday, calling for the church to be more tolerant in practice, while not changing any official doctrines.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Catholic Church brags that it never changes, and on some levels we agree with that statement. They were wrong from the moment they were founded by Constantine in 325 AD, and have never been right. But in practical terms, the Roman harlot is changing dramatically as Pope Francis is steadily and firmly letting Catholics know that in the “new” Catholic church, the ‘out-and-active’ LGBT will be welcome with open arms. The Vatican’s official line is that this is ‘not a change of church doctrine’, but it absolutely is. The One World Church is coming together rapidly.
Pope Francis urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gay men and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers “irregular” situations. “A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws … as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives,” Francis writes in a sweeping paper outlining his stance on family matters. He urges more common sense and less unthinking following of rules.
Pope Francis Comments on Gay Priests, Homosexuality: ‘Who Am I to Judge’
“By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,” he writes. He emphasizes that “unjust discrimination” against gay men and lesbians is unacceptable, downplays the idea of “living in sin,” and suggests that priests should use their own discretion on whether divorced Catholics in new marriages can take Communion.
The paper has much to please both liberals and conservatives, though it may not go far enough for either group within the church.
“I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion. But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness,” he writes.The statements come in a highly anticipated paper called “On Love in the Family,” or “Amoris Laetitia” in Latin. Running more than 260 pages, it comes after Francis summoned the world’s Catholic bishops twice to discuss the issues in conferences known as synods. The first was in October 2014, and the second was a year later. Francis has been working on the document since then.
For those paying attention to Francis since he became pope three years ago, the opinions in the paper are unlikely to come as a surprise.
This is, after all, the pope who said, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about homosexuality. The Pope said what?!? But Friday’s paper is not simply a remark made in an interview. It’s what’s called an “apostolic exhortation.”
That means it is an official statement from the Pope on how Catholics should live their lives. It’s the second exhortation Francis has issued since taking the throne of St. Peter, and the first based entirely on synods he summoned himself.
His aim “is to help families — in fact, everyone — experience God’s love and know that they are welcome members of the church,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and writer who called the paper a “groundbreaking new document.” On divorced Catholics, whose religious lives Francis has made it a priority to ease, the Pope writes: “The divorced who have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church.”
“It can no longer simply be said that all those living in any ‘irregular situation’ are living in a state of mortal sin,” he writes. source