Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why, after some thought, I don't really think the media got it wrong...

...Regarding Pope Francis and his quotes on homosexuality.

So, I know you were all dying to hear my thoughts on the top new's headline regarding Pope Francis and his impromptu press conference. First, you should know I am typing on the ipad, so, lots of mistakes will be made, but here goes.

Top headline, "Pope Francis says, 'who am I to judge' a gay person".

First thing I did was check context. He was referring to the 'gay lobby', a perceived movement within the Church/hierarchy of men who have ill will and whilst claiming a love of church, acting in corrupt ways. But, he really did a good job in that context speaking in love about our gay brothers and doing so while referencing long standing church teaching.

Next, I was a bit ticked off. Why the heck were people acting like Pope Francis said something revolutionary? Why was the media acting surprised at what the Church has always taught.

Then I was defensive...why are so many people acting like this is new information? Why is my newsfeed clogged with such ignorance? I am a naturally defensive person, I didn't like people acting like what the Pope said was any different than what's always been said.

BUT, then I read a few comments that caused me to pause. A read a few comments from gay friends of mine, and from total strangers, and they said, "my goodness, this is so good to hear" (paraphrase). "You might know it, but it's good that it is being said THIS WAY from the leader of the Church".  And then, some of my defensiveness went away. And I thought, "thank you Pope Francis for being messy and speaking simply".

You see, this time, for the most part, I didn't see the media twisting the Pope's words (that often happens). This time, I saw the media and others being genuinely surprised by what he said. People were surprised that the leader of the Catholic Church said we don't have the right to judge the personhood of others and to marginalize them because of that. And if people are surprised by that, maybe instead of being too defensive, we should take a pause.  Maybe, just maybe, we, as heralds of God's message of love, need to be doing a better job. And maybe that's the lesson we can learn from Pope Francis.

When we speak the Truth of sexuality do we do it with love? Do we do it with invitation? Do we speak truth in a way that engages relationship? Or... Do we do it in a way that alienates, judges and, worse yet, reeks of a righteousness only the Pharisees would love?

You know, I'm not always awesome at transmitting the faith in a way that is loving, but Pope Francis is gonna make me work harder at it....mostly because people shouldn't be surprised that as Catholics, we don't judge people.  This week has taught us that media conspiracy aside, people really are surprised that our Chruch Forbids us to judge others.  And I, for one don't care about the reasons why....rather, I'm gonna work to fix it.


  1. I completely agree, well said.

  2. i actually didn't even bother to see what the media said or the pope said. all i heard was this buzz of how the pope views homosexuality positively etc blah blah ...i didn't want to see it since i knew it didn't matter really. the pope would only ever say the basics of truth--love one another. period. it has nothing to do with allowing homosexuality to be ok or not or whatever. people make what they want out of it but i knew that he could only possibly mean one thing. love and forgive and be a witness to christ.