Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Well, that didn't take long.
When I saw the Pope's comments on homosexuality during the wide-ranging interview he granted on the plane ride back from Brazil to Rome, one thought came to mind.
For the record, this is what the Pope said.
"When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers."
Of course, to anyone paying attention, this constitutes the status quo in the Church's position on same-sex attraction and homosexuality.
Same-sex attraction, or in the Pope's terminology 'the tendency to homosexuality' is not a sin. Those with same-sex attraction should not be marginalized if they accept the Lord (and consequently His teaching and the teaching of His Church), However, if they do not accept the Lord and His teaching and 'lobby' or advocate for homosexuality, this is sinful and a problem. Even more so when a priest is involved.
As I said, to anyone paying attention, this constitutes the status quo in the Church's position on same-sex attraction and homosexuality. But to an uninformed world being fed information by a willfully deceitful press? Like I said, "oh boy."
As soon as I saw the comment, I knew what would happen.
I called my brother and we discussed it. He wrote later that we should all prepare ourselves to be beaten over the head with 'Who am I to judge?" line from now til eternity.
The headlines spewing out just confirmed what we knew would happen.
NYT: On Gay Priests, Pope Francis Asks, 'Who Am I to Judge?'
LAT: Pope Francis says gays should not be judged
WSJ: Pope Signals Openness to Gay Priests
WaPo: Pope Francis calls for inclusion of gays in society, saying he has no ...
And so on. Amazing that zero change in policy or position can generate so many headlines.
As the work day wrapped up yesterday, a few folks approached me as we headed for the door. For what it is worth, my Catholicism is well known in my office. Two men came up to me. I could see they had something to say.
"Did you hear what the Pope said today about homosexuality?"
"What did you think?"
"Not much. That is the Catholic position after all. What do you think he said?"
"He said that gay marriage is fine or something... Who is he to judge?"
I just hung my head and sighed.
"No," I said. "We'll talk tomorrow."
Like I said, Oh boy.