Pope Francis said “Gay Parents Aren’t Capable Of Loving Children Like Straight Parents”
Pope Francis once again stressed the importance of children being raised by heterosexual parents, likening a long-lasting marriage to a good wine, in which a husband and wife make the most of their gender differences.
Francis addressed a crowd of about 25,000 followers from the Diocese of Rome, saying the differences between men and women are fundamental and “an integral part of being human.”
“They’re not scared of the differences!” the pope said. “What great richness this diversity is, a diversity which becomes complementary, but also reciprocal. It binds them, one to the other.”
He stressed that heterosexual marriages ensure a couples’ happiness and are essential for good parenting. “Children mature seeing their father and mother like this; their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have, confronted with this difference,” Francis said.
The pontiff’s address came a day after Rome celebrated gay pride with a parade which included the city’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, just outside the Vatican walls.
What children need are parents. Parents who will love them, nurture them and protect them. What they don’t need is to be told that the anatomy of the parents raising them will somehow make them into better people. In fact, research shows that children raised by same sex couples do as well as those raised by heterosexual couples.
It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no …. I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher …” And a double face is also a current coin today: to say something and do another. Hypocrisy …l But let’s see what happened in the last century: in ’14, ’15, in ’15 in fact. There was that great tragedy in Armenia. So many died. I don’t know the figure: more than a million certainly. But where were the great powers of the time? Were they looking elsewhere? Why? Because they were interested in war: their war! And those that died were persons, second class human beings. Then, in the 30s and 40s the tragedy of the Shoah. The great powers had photographs of the railroad lines that took trains to the concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also Christians, also the Roma, also homosexuals, to kill them there. But tell me, why didn’t they bomb that? Interest! And shortly after, almost contemporaneously, were the lager in Russia: Stalin … How many Christians suffered, were killed! The great powers divided Europe among themselves as a cake. So many years had to pass before arriving at “certain” freedom. It’s that hypocrisy of speaking of peace and producing arms, and even selling arms to this one who is at war with that one, and to that one who is at war with this one!
Is the Pope rolling around on the podium, tormented by a hawk on one shoulder and a dove on the other? No. Rather, there are several important language and thought patterns being used here that we need to recognize and understand.
1. “High Context” vs. “Low Context” Speech
When we say someone’s manner of speaking is “high context” what we mean is that there’s a whole backstory you need to know if you want to understand the real message. “Low Context” means that everything is completely spelled out for you. The statement stands alone, crystal clear.
Some cultures are well-known for being “high context.” Communication is subtle. You’re expected to read between the lines. People who don’t “get it” are considered a bit thick. They try your patience. High-context speech works well if the people communicating have the common experience necessary to pass subtle cues. This is why my older sister and I used to be able to win Pictionary every time: We could draw on a whole lifetime of references to inside jokes, family stories, and preferred words and phrases to quickly get a point across.
Americans as a nation use “low context” speech. We’re a nation of immigrants, and that massive diversity means that your neighbor probably doesn’t know what you’re referring to in your subtle hints or witty references. You have to spell everything out. We dislike jargon, we resent people who won’t say plainly what they mean, and we expect you to mean what you say and say what you mean.
Interestingly, though, American Internet Catholics are a high-context people. We have a whole collection of cultural references that quickly paint a picture of what we mean. Say, “the Spirit of Vatican II,” and an astute reader will look at the source (National Catholic Reporter or National Catholic Register?) and know exactly what is being implied, no further explanation necessary.
Because AIC’s live in this dual world, when someone uses a high-context reference to mean something other than what it usually (to us) implies, we expect it to be spelled out. If you tell someone on the internet, “I’m a social justice Catholic,” you know that you have to quickly say, “who is faithful to the magisterium of the Catholic Church!” unless you wish to be taken for someone who picks and chooses among the doctrines of the faith. Our high-context habits require low-context speaking to clarify anytime we deviate from code.
This creates a huge conflict with Pope Francis: He’s a high-context speaker, but who is using a completely different set of contexts than we American Internet Catholics are used to. His frame of reference is the deposit of the faith and his decades of living between two worlds: The richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor. We AIC’s are used to questioning whether someone believes and accepts the entirety of the Catholic faith; Pope Francis takes it for granted that it’s his job to promulgate the fullness of truth. We AIC’s are used to moral discussions focused on our particular corner of the world; the Pope is often referring to circumstances utterly unlike our own.
The shrill and ignorant responses to Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si continue to pour in and sadly most of those I'm seeing are coming from those I'm usually allied with. What follows is from a comment left on Friday's Wizbang post:
Because of his complete rebuttal of the concepts explicitly stated in the Holy Bible including dominion granted to man, as well as man's standing as God's foremost creation; because of his reliance of the statements of historical popes rather than the revealed Word; because of the unbiblical personification of God's created earth and heavenly bodies; and because of his penchant, even in speaking of the work of creation, to prefer the findings of science over the revelation of scripture, I deem the current pope not a liberal, socialist, or communist, but rather a heretic. May God have mercy on him and the Catholic Church, and may God make Himself known in the redemption of that great body of believers.
Here are the Pope's alleged 'heretical' comments taken directly from the encyclical:
67. We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. This allows us to respond to the charge that Judaeo-Christian thinking, on the basis of the Genesis account which grants man “dominion” over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and destructive by nature. This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church. Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature. Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations. “The earth is the Lord’s” (Ps 24:1); to him belongs “the earth with all that is within it” (Dt 10:14). Thus God rejects every claim to absolute ownership: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with me” (Lev25:23).
68. This responsibility for God’s earth means that human beings, endowed with intelligence, must respect the laws of nature and the delicate equilibria existing between the creatures of this world, for “he commanded and they were created; and he established them for ever and ever; he fixed their bounds and he set a law which cannot pass away” (Ps 148:5b-6). The laws found in the Bible dwell on relationships, not only among individuals but also with other living beings. “You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and withhold your help… If you chance to come upon a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting upon the young or upon the eggs; you shall not take the mother with the young” (Dt22:4, 6). Along these same lines, rest on the seventh day is meant not only for human beings, but also so “that your ox and your donkey may have rest” (Ex 23:12). Clearly, the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures.
69. Together with our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly, we are called to recognize that other living beings have a value of their own in God’s eyes: “by their mere existence they bless him and give him glory”, and indeed, “the Lord rejoices in all his works” (Ps 104:31). By virtue of our unique dignity and our gift of intelligence, we are called to respect creation and its inherent laws, for “the Lord by wisdom founded the earth” (Prov 3:19). In our time, the Church does not simply state that other creatures are completely subordinated to the good of human beings, as if they have no worth in themselves and can be treated as we wish. The German bishops have taught that, where other creatures are concerned, “we can speak of the priority of being over that of being useful”. The Catechism clearly and forcefully criticizes a distorted anthropocentrism: “Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection… Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things”.
Notice the many Scriptural references. Notice how beautifully it's woven together. Did you notice anything resembling heresy? I did not. Now I'll allow some may have issues with the interpretation... but heresy? Please.
“Essentially what this papal encyclical is suggesting is that every Catholic should vote for the Democrat [SIC] Party,” Limbaugh ranted last week. “How in the hell else do you interpret it when the pope comes out and sounds like Al Gore on global warming and climate change?”
“This is one of the great blessings of America,” Wuerl replied with a smile. “We’re all allowed to speak our mind even if we don’t have all the facts, even if we don’t have a clear view of what the other person is saying. We’re all allowed to speak our mind, and that’s what he’s doing.”
“I think what the pope is doing is something very, very different from that,” he continued. “He’s saying, why don’t we all discuss this, why don’t we come to the table and before we start eliminating other people from the discussion or renouncing them or even ridiculing them, why don’t we listen to them and see what they’re saying and see where we really ought to be going as a human family?”
There are lots of folks speaking their minds these days absent any real facts and certainly any clarity and the best way to recognize them is in seeing how they deal less with the substance of what the Pope has written and more with using ad hominems to describe who in their minds they believe him to be.
Don't be fooled by those whose religion is largely politically sourced and ideologically driven.
I have seen some seriously shrill screeds about the Pope's new encyclical coming from folks on the right who I believe do the conservative movement real harm. If they best represent conservatism, then I'll consider myself a former member despite the fact that I think liberalism and libertarian-ism to be seriously, irreparably flawed.
Their thoughtless critiques of the new Papal document focus more on the person of the Pope and his alleged ties to Communism or Marxism and less on what it is the encyclical is actually saying.
It's rather embarrassing really.
Not embarrassing however is this piece by Robert Royal, the editor-in-chief over at The Catholic Thing. He nobly shows how to praise but also critique the Pope's work:
Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, was, even before its publication this week, being drawn into the usual partisan divisions. Unfortunate, for multiple reasons, not least because what may be getting lost in sheer controversy is the most important, beautiful, even inspiring dimension of his text, his heartfelt vision of nature as divine Creation: “The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” 
That’s the kind of thing popes – particularly this pope – do best. Their views on science, politics, economics, ecology have some practical value, but their greatest gifts lie in the realm of ultimate values.
In that vein, Francis early confronts a distorted philosophical attitude in our culture since the time of Francis Bacon, who remarked that we should “put nature on the rack. . .for the relief of man’s estate.” Not a very Christian – or even humane – way of thinking about our fellow creatures. Descartes gave us essentially the same: we should become “masters and possessors” of nature. But we are neither. We are stewards, and the only person who can properly be said to “possess” nature is the Creator Himself.
That is the deep vision that animates the pope’s thinking about current environmental issues: if we wish to be wise in pursuit of what is good for our “human ecology,” we need to be concerned about our proper relationship to all creatures and the totality of creation. Genesis, unlike otherworldly religions, affirmed the goodness of the physical world from the outset (and that world’s importance in helping us to know the Creator), even as it denied nature is itself divine.
Secular environmentalists and journalists will ignore it, but the Holy Father emphasizes at several points that an integral part of this vision is that abortion, coercive means of population control, experimentation on embryos, and other offenses against the sanctity of life are part of the very same callous stance towards the natural world that the environmentalists deplore.
That’s a fresh and original point, to be sure, but we can be certain that the main media attention will be focused elsewhere because, it has to be said, when he comes to discussing specific questions – climate change in particular – the Holy Father follows what may fairly be called some of the more extreme environmental views.
One consequence of taking an idealized view of nature is that it makes it more difficult to address the plight of the global poor, who have been a central concern of all recent popes. Laudato Sirightly points out our obligations to those poor around the globe who would be most severely harmed if significant climate change occurs: peoples living in low-lying areas vulnerable to sea-level rises, those whose water supplies may be disrupted by drier climates or desertification, etc. The whole world would, of course, have moral responsibilities towards protecting and rescuing them.
But the encyclical relatively ignores the much large group of poor, at least 2 ½ billion people on several continents, who simply need development, meaning primarily clean water, electricity, and stable governments that will allow them to improve their lot and deal with whatever nature – or climate change – may throw at them.
There’s much moral denunciation of “finance” and “technology” in the encyclical, much less appreciation of how the efficiencies of markets (properly regulated) and globalization, combined with technical innovation and the entrepreneurial spread of its use, have already lifted hundreds of millions around the world out of age-old misery. And will continue to do so.
Catholic social thought has a tendency to denounce “capitalism” as if all business activity were merely about some pure “logic of markets,” short-term financial gains, and above all greed. Conscientious business people will rightly feel that the one or two paragraphs in the encyclical that concede some value to economic activity may be lost among pages and pages of broad-brush criticism. The world needs many more such conscientious men and women in the economic sphere, both for the sake of the poor and for the environment.
Read the whole thing. Mr. Royal masterfully gives credit where credit is due but isn't shy about what he perceives to be the encyclical's shortcomings.
A far, far cry from the idiocy being doled out by too many of the unthinking on the right.
Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command held a re-designation ceremony at Stone Bay, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 19, 2015. The ceremony was held to officially adopt the name Marine Raider, carrying on the heritage and legacy passed along by the Raiders of World War II. During the ceremony, the units' colors were cased and their new colors were unveiled. (Emphasis mine)
There will be more from me (and clearly and thankfully those to whom I'll link) on Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si but I wanted to put something up quickly after hearing Rush Limbaugh's initial reference to it in his opening monologue heard moments ago where he wondered aloud if il Papa had thrown environmentalists and leftists a huge curve-ball. He cited this National Journal piece:
For Pope Francis, caring about the environment goes hand in hand with taking a strong stand against abortion. "Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion," the encyclical says. "How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?"
Francis suggests that efforts to slow population growth are misguided and a distraction from the underlying cause of the world's environmental crisis—the hoarding of the Earth's resources by the rich and powerful. "To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues," the encyclical says.
Mr. Limbaugh has been a strong critic, unfairly in my view, of this Pope but as I listened to his opening moments ago, and subsequent comments he's since made, he seems to be praising the Pope for "setting up the Left" by strongly tying abortion to climate change.
I'm sure he'll go on to slam the climate change aspects of the Pope's encyclical but, he must also know, that by slamming those pieces, he too is setup, in essence.
It's an interesting and intriguing take on things and once again makes me proud to be a fan of Pope Francis.
“It is absurd to believe that He Who wrote only once in His Life, and that was in the sands, and Who never told anyone to write, should have intended that His Truth should be available only and exclusively in a few memoranda that were written down by a few followers over twenty years after His Death, and were never gathered together in their approved form until three centuries later? Grant that they are inspired and revealed, and I believe it and confess it and read those writings daily; but I still say it is unthinkable that these books which were not written until His Mystical Body was already spread throughout the whole Roman Empire, should be His only way of communicating Truth. If He did not take some effective guarantee to preserve His Truth, which was so sacred that He died for it, then Truth did not matter to Him. If He could not prolong His Truth, up to this hour, then He is not God. Either that infallible Truth of Jesus Christ is living now, available now, or He is not God.”
~Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Rock Plunged into Eternity)
Anticipating being asked to become involved in something I oppose, an opposition sourced in sound and firmly entrenched Catholic teaching. I recently sought the advice and wisdom of my Deacon, and indirectly, my priest on the matter. After some research, my own and that of those whose wisdom I was seeking, it became more than obvious, and painfully so, that I should not become involved. Though in the end, no one in the CHurch would forbid my involvement, it became clear in my mind that my conscience was going to be a serious roadblock.
A couple of days ago, as expected, I was formally asked about my anticipated involvement and had to tell the person, whom I love and respect dearly, that I could not participate. They were respectful and cordial about it but the pain seemed evident and that of course, caused pain in me as well.
For the mainstream of the Catholic intellectual tradition, love is not primarily an emotion, but an act of the will. To love, Thomas Aquinas says, is to want the good of the other. Consequently, hatred is not primarily a feeling, but desiring evil for another, positively wanting what is bad for someone else.
Given this, when is hatred called for? When is hatred morally permissible? The simple answer: never.
God is nothing but love, and Jesus said that we are to be perfect, as our heavenly father is perfect. This is precisely why he told us to love even our enemies, to bless even those who curse us, to pray even for those who maltreat us.
Does this mean that our forebears were obliged to love Hitler and that we are obliged to love ISIS murderers? Yes. Period.
Does it mean that we are to will the good of those who, we are convinced, are walking a dangerous moral path? Yes. Period.
Should everyone love Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner? Absolutely, completely, unconditionally.
But here is where a crucial distinction has to be made: to criticize someone for engaging in immoral activity is not to “hate” that person. In point of fact, it is an act of love, for it is tantamount to willing good for him or her. Once the sense that there is objective good and evil has been attenuated, as it largely has been in our society, the only categories we have left are psychological ones. And this is why, in the minds of many, to question the moral legitimacy of transgenderism is, perforce, to “attack” or “hate” transgendered people.
A very real danger that flows from the failure to make the right distinction in this regard is that moral argument evanesces. If someone who disagrees with you on an ethical matter is simply a “hater,” then you don’t have to listen to his argument or engage it critically. You are permitted, in fact, to censor him, to shut him down.
Sadly, this is what obtains in much of the public arena today: the impugning of motives, the questioning of character, and the imposition of censorship. Just a few weeks ago, two Princeton faculty members, Cornel West and Robert George, had a public debate regarding same-sex marriage, West arguing for and George against. What was so refreshing was that both men, who are good friends, actually argued, that is to say, marshalled evidence, drew reasoned conclusions from premises, answered objections, etc., and neither one accused the other of “hating” advocates of the rival position. May their tribe increase.
Distinctions are called for, furthermore, regarding the word “tolerance,” which is bandied about constantly today. Typically, it has come to mean acceptance and even celebration. Thus, if one is anything shy of ecstatic about gay marriage or transgenderism, one is insufficiently “tolerant.”
In point of fact, the term implies the willingness to countenance a view or activity that one does not agree with. Hence, in the context of our wise political system, each citizen is required to tolerate a range of opinions that he finds puzzling, erroneous, repugnant or even bizarre.
There are lots of good reasons for this toleration, the most important of which are respect for the integrity of the individual and the avoidance of unnecessary civil strife, but it by no means implies that one is obliged to accept or celebrate those perspectives.
Read the whole thing, it's most worthy, particularly Fr. Barron's description of that which led him to write the piece.
I hope and pray, and I mean this sincerely, that love and respect for a person can be genuinely expressed, and accepted as such, despite painful decisions made to not engage in something that might communicate the acceptance and/or celebration of, that said something.