On why the Pope's words are so consoling to so many.
Because we hunger and thirst for love and acceptance, to be recognized, acknowledged, affirmed in our humanity, our existence. The Pope does that - he says God does that - he tells us God looks upon us with love.
I talked to a friend last week, right after the Pope's interview. My friend is an old man, and he is not Catholic, not religious. He was crying as he tried to tell me how he felt after hearing news reports on what the Holy Father said in the interview. He struggled to repeat what the Pope said here:
In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this.
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing..." - A Big Heart Open to GodAnd he repeated, "... I've always felt so condemned ..."
The Pope's words opened my friend's heart to the Church, to the Gospel.
Catholic bloggers and media - please stop criticizing the Pope, please stop dissecting, dismantling, tearing apart what he said. Please stop ridiculing mainstream media for how they report on what the Pope said. Please stop putting obstacles in the way of people who do not have a sophisticated understanding of theology and catechesis...
The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. - Pope FrancisDo not stifle the Holy Spirit.