Quest in Arundel and Brighton?

I'll be the first to say that Pope Francis's comments on homosexuality to journalists on the plane from Rio to Rome were not terribly clear on the sinfulness of homosexual acts, but how come The Pink Paper is able to discern in their report on those comments what Terence Weldon, homosexual activist of Queering the Church, is not?

Mr Weldon has a habit of revising what the Church teaches and now he has developed the habit of revising what a Pope has taught on a plane.

Pink News, not known to be an organ that disseminates Catholic teaching, is at least intellectually honest enough to say this of the Pope's words...

'In a significant development Pope Francis has said that gay people should not be judged or marginalised and should be integrated into society. Speaking to reporters on Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican following his trip to Brazil, the global Catholic leader said: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

However, he also referred to the Catholic Church’s universal Catechism, which states that while being gay is not sinful, homosexual acts are. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalised because of this, but that they must be integrated into society,” he said.

It was my personal impression that the Pope struck a change in tone, not a change in teaching. To say that all the Pope said on homosexuality was 'Who am I to judge?' and left it there would, again, sorry Terence, be a little simplistic and would omit both the context of his words and rest of what he said. Still, Terence, don't let a little thing like truth get in the way of another attempt to undermine Papal teaching and the Magisterium of God's holy Church.

It is worth noting that since the Pope left Rio on a jet plane, Cardinal Dolan of New York has helpfully clarified the Pope's remarks and as yet has not been censured by the CDF for doing so, saying...

“Pope Francis “would be the first to say, ‘my job isn’t to change church teaching; my job is to present it as clearly as possible.’"

That remark, the cardinal said, reflects “a gentle, merciful, understanding, compassionate” approach to church teaching which emphasises “that while certain acts may be wrong, we would always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity.”

The Archbishop of New York said that the Pope’s words “may be something people find new and refreshing. I for one don’t think it is and I hate to see previous popes caricatured as not having that,” he said in the interview.
“While we are rather cogent in our teaching we’re equally compelling in the mercy, the graciousness, the respect with which we say it,” he added.

Of course, it is always important to state with clarity the Church's position on homosexuality and, not clamouring for a change in the Church's teaching on the issue, I simply took the words of the Pope to signal a loving embrace of those who are worried that their struggles with the sins of the flesh could mean forced exclusion from the Church and public flogging.

As Pope Francis often says, the Church is a Mother and like all good mothers, the Church does not desire to thwack sin out of the sinner, but draw the sinner to Herself, so that he, she, we may be given the pure milk of God's healing, forgiving and cleansing love. Jesus came to heal, not kill, save, not condemn. It is Christ-like to reach out to poor sinners who, let's face it, already know the Church considers their actions to be gravely and mortally sinful.

The Popes words were, as Cardinal Dolan says, "gentle, merciful, understanding" and "compassionate". Only someone with an agenda wholly opposed to the Gospel could argue that the Pope's words signalled the complete denial of Catholic teaching or a hint that this teaching was ripe for changing. This is yet more evidence that if the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton is working in any way to support the work of Quest, a group well and truly dropped from a list of approved Catholic organisations by Cardinal Basil Hume, that His Lordship should cut the cord now, since the man is today as he was yesterday, a clear and present danger to souls.


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