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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 31 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 44
Good Pope, bad Pope
Don't 'bastardize' marriage, Francis says
Section One
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Good Pope, bad Pope
Don't 'bastardize' marriage, Francis says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Pope Francis used a Papal audience to make clear that his supposed 'openness' to LGBT Catholics does not include recognition of same-sex relationships.

'The family is being hit, the family is being struck, and the family is being bastardized,' the Pope said on October 25 in the Vatican.

'What is being proposed is not marriage, it's an association. But it's not marriage! It's necessary to say these things very clearly and we have to say it! So many families are divided, so many marriages broken, (there is) such relativism in the concept of the Sacrament of Marriage. There is a crisis in the family because it's beat up from all sides and left very wounded!'

According to the Catholic News Service, the Pope spoke in response to questions from members of the Schoenstatt Movement, who were granted an audience with him. The group is based in Germany and is particularly devoted to the Virgin Mary.

The Pope's words seemed to be a clear rejection of language used in a preliminary report from his synod on the family, in which Gay and Lesbian relationships were characterized as 'a precious support' for the people involved.

The draft report also said that LGBT Catholics have 'gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.'

The draft statement was promptly denounced by conservative Cardinals, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who called for 'major reworking' of the document.

Within 24 hours, the Vatican started walking back the nice words about Gays, and the synod ultimately failed to come to consensus on a statement about Gay and Lesbian partnerships.

The Pope's latest pronouncement seems to dash the hopes of liberal Catholics that their church might be prepared to modernize its position on same-sex relationships - or, for that matter, on opposite-sex relationships outside of a church-blessed marriage.

At times, Francis even seemed scornful of contemporary relationships. '[Y]ou can call everything family, right?' he sneered.

The Pope also stepped back from an unequivocal commitment to internal reform of church government. Asked about his process of reforming the Roman Curia, the church bureaucracy based in the Vatican, Francis said that renewal is often equated with adapting to the times. But that is not true renewal, he continued.

'It's strange (that) no one speaks of the reform of the heart,' the Pope said. 'They don't understand anything of what the renewal of the heart means: which is holiness, renewing one's (own) heart...'

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Good Pope, bad Pope
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