Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Apostolic Exhortation, Rejoice in the Gospel: What the gays are saying...

Not too much.

Skimming the document myself, it appears the Holy Father didn't have much to say about sexuality or homosexuality.  Nothing at all in fact.  One writer noted:
The document does not discuss sexuality, gender, or LGBT issues.  In fact, in chapter two, he outlines many of today’s social ills, and unlike the previous two popes, he does not single out any sexuality issues for discussion here.  His only reference to these topics is a passing one, and noteworthy for NOT naming any hot-button issues such as same-gender marriage:
“The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, it is not born ‘of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life’.[60] ”  (chapter 2, section 66) - Source
Another LGBT writer expresses his enthusiasm over the document:
The title itself is of major importance: “The Joy of the Gospel – Evangelium Gaudium”. Along with the announcement of the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict introduced what he described as the “New Evangelisation”. Under his papacy, there was always a danger that this “evangelisation” of the West would be seen as an opportunity to bang on about Catholic doctrines (especially on sex and the sacraments), and to chastise those perceived to be out of line. For Francis, the need for evangelisation is continuing and permanent, but with a very different emphasis.
This “Good News” applies to all – and that most certainly include sexual and gender minorities, along with the poor and all other previously marginalised groups. Historically, we have so often been subjected to different forms of textual abuse, based on a mere handful of verses (appropriately described as “clobber texts”, or “texts of terror”) that many gay men and lesbians look with deep suspicion on any references to “Bible”, or even to religion in general. But we need to remember that none of these verses are found in the Gospels, which displays many elements reflective of queer values, rather the “traditional family values” claimed by the Christianist right.  And so, fully in keeping with the relative importance of sexual considerations in the Gospel, Francis says on the subject – absolutely nothing. In the entire text of some 50 000 words, there is  not a single one to “sex” (let alone homosexuality), and only one in the footnotes, referencing a 2006 document of the US bishops). - Source

 Of course, the Gospels do not mention homosexuality either. 

It's interesting to me that anyone with a website, or a blog, or a Twitter account, feels compelled to inform their readers they will study the Exhortation more closely and follow up asap with further analysis.  If only they had been given a press kit beforehand.  Now with the holiday and all!

The world waits.



  1. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Jesus refers to the city of Sodom - and that Very Bad Things happened to it - repeatedly in the Gospels, so it's not entirely true that homosexuality isn't mentioned there.


    And while the discussion continues about the Holy Father's apostolic exhortation...someone who should know better has called Papa Francis a Marxist.


  3. So many self-righteous, "good " catholics, who have claimed to be more catholic than the Pope, with Francis.


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