Friday, July 01, 2016

A comment I posted at Aleteia

The discussion actually turned about to be about apologizing to gays...

And I chimed in:

No offense but this is kind of nuts.  Asking for forgiveness and making apologies can't be a knee jerk reaction to something the pope said in an interview on the plane.  It seems to me if someone feels the need to apologize it would happen in some sort of context - you just can't go up to gay people and say 'please forgive me for how other homophobic Catholics have treated you - or I beg your forgiveness because I thought you were a pervert but now I realize just the way you have sex is perverted.'  I'm exaggerating, but if you do that you are still placing yourself on some sort of higher plane - it strikes me as condescending on some level.

I'm convinced the Pope is talking about a change of heart, I don't know why that's so confusing to people.  He's not at all saying homosexual acts are now okay - but that the person is just like the rest of us - all of us are sinners.  For instance, if I offend you, I can come back and apologize and ask your forgiveness - for a specific offense - and hopefully show you more respect in the future.  If you don't accept it and won't forgive and counter with insults - then and there I can turn the other cheek.  As the Gospel suggests, and the examples of the saints have shown us.  If he asks me to give him my shirt, I can then give him my coat as well - that sort of thing demonstrates one's sincerity.  

But don't stand on the street corner with a sign saying I apologize to my gay brothers and sisters and ask their forgiveness for the way religious people have treated them.  If some stranger came up to me in church and said something like that I'd be so embarrassed - for him and for myself.  You also can't ask forgiveness for stuff other people have said and done.  Likewise, some gay people may not want an apology.  

This whole matter has been exaggerated to the point of silliness.  People are getting upset and going online and upsetting others.  They are misrepresenting what the pope said.  First of all, the pope said some of the things gay people do are not easy to accept - and he reaffirmed Catholic teaching by citing the catechism, directing his listeners to the entire passage on homosexuality in the catechism.  The asking forgiveness part was included within context of a short litany of things Christians/Catholics - not the Church - need to apologize for.  His words always echo what Christ teaches in the Gospel: 'Quit judging, quit condemning, love one another, associate with the lowly, let no one think they are better than another', and so on.

The pope isn't asking us to compromise teaching - but I think he's suggesting we quit banging people over the head with it or using it to put people down.  

Treat people with respect.


  1. I predict that the Pope will be misunderstood once again. Follow this link for a taste of what the traditionalists are saying It will only get worse and go downhill from here.

    1. I agree. It has taken on its own trajectory now.

  2. Terry, you hit the nail on the head.."Treat people with respect," and "we are all sinners, so get off your high and holy horse." It has been very interesting to read various places like Fr. Douche and Crisis where the commentators with a complete lack of irony, are doing the exact thing that Pope Francis was chiding us ALL on...(kind of like me calling Zzzz a douche...he was wagging his finger at me point taken Holy Father, and let me think about that for a while!)

    1. A year or so ago everyone was writing about kindness and trying to define what it meant and how is so wasn't charity and so on. Ignoring the fact St. Paul said, 'be kind to one another' - respect and kindness, 'they' seem not to grasp that idea.


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