Pope Francis with Diego Neria Lejárrag (to right of pope)
and his spouse (to left of pope.)
Actually, the transsexual and the pope.
Remember that story? OMGOSH - the pope meets with transsexuals and eats with them. Diego Neria Lejárrag, the Spanish transsexual who wrote to the pope, was invited to visit and met and talked privately to the pope. It was a story not a few critics took issue with, accusing the Holy Father of error, blasphemy, heresy, and so on, as well as insisting he therefore approved such lifestyles and relationships. The original story:
Diego is actually a woman and has gained the masculine given name after a sex change. Pope Francis received Diego with his girlfriend.
According to the transsexuals they received a phone call from Pope Francis on Christmas Eve 2014. At the weekend she was now the guest of the head of the Catholic Church in Santa Marta Guest House, received in audience at the Vatican. Neria Lajarraga describes themselves as "practicing Catholics". - RVThen the condemnations rolled out.
In his latest interview, the Holy Father spoke about Diego once again - as well as speaking about his pastoral care and friendship with homosexuals as a priest. If you ever doubted the Holy Father, if you think he is naive and doesn't understand LGBTQ life, lifestyle, or theory - think again. If you are one of those critics who accuse the Holy Father of watering down Catholic teaching, think again - try thinking even harder.
The Holy Father spoke lovingly and compassionately, and most especially, respectfully:
In his address to Francis, Spanish transsexual Diego Neria Lejárrag, used an illuminating example to describe the situation in the Church today. His example summed up the entire interview. This is the account the Pope gave of it:
“He (the transsexual, Ed.) told me that in the neighbourhood where he lived there was an elderly priest, the old parish priest and the new one. When the new parish priest saw him, he would shout to him from the sidewalk: ‘You will go to hell!’ When he came across the old man, he would say to him: ‘How long has it been since your last confession? Come, come so you can confess to me and go and take communion’.” This difference in attitudes is striking. The younger priest had already convicted Diego. The older priest, who was trained back in the 1950s, tried to approach and accompany him. When he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires and he was asked what he wanted to have written on his grave, the current Pope said: “Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Priest”. It is prey easy to guess which of the two priests he identifies with, suggesting to others to follow his example.
When one comes into contact with people’s lives, sufferings and sometimes dramatic experiences, whatever condition they may be in, the Pope explained during the in-flight interview, they need to put themselves in Jesus’ shoes. St. Ambrose wrote about this in the “De Abraham”: “When it comes to bestowing grace, Christ is present; when it comes to exercising rigour, only the ministers of the Church are present, but Christ is absent.” - Vatican Insider
The Holy Father upholds the teaching of the Church regarding homosexuality and gay marriage, no doubt about it. No matter how people spin it or suggest he opened a door for a change in doctrine, he did not. While emphasizing Church teaching, he also emphasized the need to avoid unjust discrimination ...
When he came across the old man,
he would say to him:
‘How long has it been since your last confession?
Come, come so you can confess to me
and go and take communion.'
Think about that. It's kind of like 'go and learn the meaning of mercy'...
It seems to me that the heart of Pope Francis' teaching is the need to bring the sacraments to those who are on the 'peripheries' as it were. To invite them to the sacrament of penance. Just like the older priest Francis mentions above: ‘How long has it been since your last confession? Come, come so you can confess to me and go and take communion’. Every confession seals the conversion in the Blood of Christ, as it were. Our sins are washed clean, washed away, and we are forgiven - and the soul is sealed with the Blood of Christ.
Very seriously, I think gay people make too big a deal about their sexual identity. At this stage in my life, looking back, I think, 'what a waste'. Seriously - what difference did it make? The most important thing is to work out our salvation - to work on it. To acquire the virtues. To do good - especially to others. To do this we need the sacraments. We can't live, we can't love without the sacraments.
Yesterday I posted what the Holy Father had to say about gender theory and quoted New Way's Ministry spokesman DeBernardo's claim that the Church has to educate herself about the lives and experiences of LGBTQ persons. I think Church officials actually do that, without buying into the ideology. My God, Francis is making that clear all the time - outraging conservatives-rigorists every day. I think New Ways and other LGBTQ groups have to re-educate themselves, to understand Catholic teaching without supplanting it with ideological theories of genderlessness and sexual-fluidity, only to be complemented by the latest queer-theological, theosophical-development of doctrine.
You need a support group? Join one. But, the Church is the ordinary means of salvation. The sacraments - take you directly to the source. Be holy. The Church is the support group you most need. You go directly to Jesus. Consecrate yourself to the Blessed Virgin Mary - devote yourself to her, and she will devote herself to you. Pray, frequent the sacraments, keep the commandments, and do good - fulfill the duties of your state in life. You go directly to Jesus.
“The reason no one has yet been able to come up with a good word to describe the homosexualist (sometimes known as gay, fag, queer, etc.) is because he does not exist. The human race is divided into male and female. Many human beings enjoy sexual relations with their own sex, many don’t; many respond to both. This plurality is the fact of our nature and not worth fretting about.” - Gore Vidal