Ever since the invocation of Pope Francis, I must admit, I’m glad to finally hear talk of some progression on relative issues the Catholic church has been loathe to grasp. The past cannot be erased, but it seems they’re finally realizing they can no longer remain an exclusive club in a changing world, considering their rapidly falling membership.
The Catholic Church admitted in a preliminary report that homosexuals are people, too, saying they have “gifts and qualities” to offer the church. Although their lifestyle is at odds with Scripture, Pope Francis has taken a “who am I to judge?” stance on the issue of gay marriage. The preliminary report also stated the church plans to be more welcoming of cohabiting couples, in an effort to steer them towards a lifelong marriage with the church.
For now, Catholic Bishops say, “gay marriage is off the table.”
This news, combined with the Supreme Courts decision to stop hearing cases on gay marriage bans, has left the LGBT crowd charged with new found inclusiveness, as more and more states move to legalize gay marriage.
Other issues such as birth control, divorce and cohabitation were also discussed at the closed-door meeting, and there’s quite a bit of speculation decisions on those issues will be as progressive as their reversal stance on gay marriage, in an effort to stop marginalizing people who are not perfect. You know, like Jesus would do.
Conservatives, of course, are calling this a “major betrayal.” In a report from The Associated Press, Maria Madise of Voice of the Family, a conservative catholic organization said, “What will Catholic parents now have to tell their children about contraception, cohabiting with partners or living homosexual lifestyles? Will those parents now have to tell their children that the Vatican teaches that there are positive and constructive aspects to these mortal sins? This approach destroys grace in souls.”
Catholic parents are still free to disdain these practices and teach their children whatever they please, and Pope Francis certainly isn’t advocating that parents have to teach anything different; he’s just acknowledging that every family is different and that it’s an individual conversation each parent has to have with their children. The religion absolutely has to adapt if it expects to survive in this day and age. A recent poll shows more Americans than ever want the church to drop their position on premarital sex, gay marriage, contraception and divorce.
While the fight is far from over, it’s rewarding to see the Catholic church soften their hard-line stance, opening their arms to LGBT worshippers. There seems to be a chance that even the most conservative of religions may become more accepting of people the Old Testament labeled simply “sinners.” With the right leadership, there could be hope yet for the GOP. That or come election time they will start singing a different tune when they realize people in their state have become more accepting, too.