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On Plane Back to Rome: What Did the Pope Really Say about Homosexual Practice vs. Media Hype Comments

On his return from the historic World Youth Day in RIO de JANEIRO, Pope Francis had an informal conversation with journalists aboard the plane. In the midst of a warm and even humorous dialogue, he expressed the teaching of the Catholic Church - and the Sacred Scripture - concerning mercy and forgiveness. A part of that liberating teaching is that when someone repents of sin, they should not only be forgiven - but their past failure should ... Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 28 Comments

  1. KarlVDH
    1 year ago

    Somehow, this comment keeps getting lost. I cannot imagine a Catholic site dedicated to Christ and His Church would be avoiding it, so I'll repost:
    Deacon, respectfully, you and all the people who so often rush to "clarify" what the Pope says when it makes them uncomfortable are absolutely hilarious.
    The Pope is doing his JOB. He's SUPPOSED to challenge us, make us uncomfortable. And he said what he said. How about if we let the Holy Father speak for himself, instead of pretending he needs a spin-doctor or an interpreter all the time? The Pope scares the Establishment... GOOD.
    The Pope is serving as Christ did... he reaches out to the sinner, the filthy, the untouchable, the "beneath," and he does it in a way that makes it clear that THEY are his priority. And like Christ, he saves his scorn, his correction and his hard remarks for the privileged, the powerful, the corrupt and the religious "leaders" who can't handle the sinner outside their own position of authority.
    Think the Pope needs someone to explain what he says? He's already GOT that... Jesus said the same things, reached out to the same people, at the expense of the same people and those of you who're so eager to "clarify" the message ARE COMPLETELY MISSING WHAT THEY'RE BOTH SAYING! Are you in the stink and mud among the poor and sinful with Jesus and Pope Francis, or are you standing aside in fine clothes and religious vestments wishing they'd both go away?
    Now, THIS is a POPE !! Habemus Papam!!!

  2. Edward (Ted) Ward
    1 year ago

    The sad thing about so much discussion in the Church about homosexuality is that the understanding of the possible origins of same sex attraction is ignored and the opportunity for healing is never mentioned. A reading of the excellent study in the book "Homosexuality and the Politics of Love" by Jeffery Satinover, a well known clinician and the handbook, "Homosexuality can be Healed" by Dr Francis MacNutt of Christian Healing Ministries, a prominent Roman Catholic, indicate that studies reveal that same sex attraction often begins with a disconnect by a young boy with his same sex parent. Healing of memories prayer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has been found to be effective for many years in providing freedom to those who want out. As a Roman Catholic who teaches on healing prayer and is active in healing prayer ministry, I can vouch for the validity of these claims. By ignoring the possibility of God bringing healing to those who ask, the Church is failing these unfortunate people who are victims of their own upbringing.

  3. Deacon John M. Bresnahan
    1 year ago

    The pope emphatically stated his embrace of the Catholic Catechism on "gay" issues during that impromptu press conference. His only mistake was in apparently believing the mainstream media would do "due diligence" and read the relevant few passages in the make sure they were reporting accurately instead of using his off-the-cuff words to promote their own agenda.

  4. Kevin Nolan
    1 year ago

    I find it troubling that so much is made of the "problem" of homosexual behaviour and so little is said officially about sexual abuse. Of course some would say that the former contributes to the latter, but that is false. Others would say that sexual abuse is not exclusive to Church leadrs and that is true. The Church has done an inferior job of dealing with sexual abuse within its ranks. It needs to apologize loud and clear, not just once in awhile or in some parishes. It needs to ask forgiveness of those damaged and it needs to remove those priests who are unrepentant from public celebration of the Eucharist.
    The Church needs to lead by example and confess its own sins and ask forgiveness

    1 year ago


  6. Clinton C. Somerton
    1 year ago

    To say that people who embrace homosexual tendencies are "born that way" or that "God made them that way" is to impute to God the work of the devil. What evidence is there of genetic predispositions to homosexuality? This is wishful thinking because it excused us from personal culpability. There are innumerable influences -- familial, societal, educational, experiential, etc. -- that all contribute to the formation of a person's sexual self-image. Each person must take responsibility for the choice -- yes, the choice -- to either embrace or reject sexual practices that deface the very nature of man and God's created order.

    Our society's acceptance of homosexuality is now resulting in the very meaning and nature of marriage being made irrelevant. in children being deprived of one of their natural parents or of a natural family environment through artificial reproduction or adoption by homosexual partners, and in the extension in some places of hyper-sexualized school curricula that is nothing less than the psycho-sexual molestation of very young children. How is our Creator glorified when the minds and bodies of his creatures, including children, are abused through homosexual ideology and practice?

    If, for one moment, those suffering from homosexual impulses could see beyond the sexual mask they have embraced and have chosen to project into the world and try to recognize the image of God in themselves -- the God who calls us honour our bodies, to purify our hearts and minds, and to love faithfully and fruitfully -- then the prison of sexual obsession might begin to give way to hope, healing, and salvation. Let's not try to deny our sins; let's accept them, repent, and fight against the temptations to choose what is immoral and then blame God for it. We all speak so much about love, but we cannot love without truth. Jesus, author of truth, heal us and set us free!

  7. Jimmychonga
    1 year ago

    I won't condemn or judge either; GOD All-Mighty has already done that. What is my pitiable judgment to compare to His condemnation?

  8. Clinton C. Somerton
    1 year ago

    I am so sorry that the wording of the Pope's comments leave so much room for misinterpretation. Particularly, I find the use of the term "gay" disheartening, as it seems to conform to the preferred lexicon of homosexual activists, whereas the use of the word "homosexual" is clinically accurate in describing the disordered condition.

    Catholics and other Christians who are serious about living the moral life in accordance with Divine revelation and who really believe in the eternal consequences of their behavior can never embrace or even excuse homosexual acts. I pray that the Church will one day make a definitive statement in the Catechism that homosexuality is not an immutable part of a person's identity, but is a spiritual affliction that needs to be healed through God's grace. Modern secular efforts to invent a sub-species of humanity out of people who experience homosexual impulses and obsessions is misguided and false.

    Jesus made it clear that nothing is impossible with God, not even being set free from sexual addictions and disorders. The question is, do we want this? Are we willing to give up those cherished labels, disguises, and personas with which Satan, through secular society, keeps us in bondage? Are we willing to lay down those burdensome self-images and deceptions at the foot of the Cross?

    Pope Francis has been a remarkable and energetic Pope so far. As his presence at World Youth Days and his recent, apparently spontaneous participation in a pro-life parade in Rome demonstrate, the Lord is doing great things through him! So let's pray fervently for our beloved Francis and trust that the Holy Spirit will always guide him as he continues the tremendous work of shepherding the Church in these latter days. He must be under relentless attacks from the Enemy of souls and It's our job to support and persevere in prayer, sacrifices, and Mass intentions for the Holy Father!

  9. Tom McGuire
    1 year ago

    "There is absolutely nothing new or newsworthy in these comments." Deacon Keith, your universal statement is less than accurate. Francis, Bishop of Rome, made a news worthy statement about not judging a person who is gay. News worthy in two senses first it is true but often ignored, second no pope has ever made such a clear simple unequivocal statement about gay people. That made Francis' words big news. Sure some will take it to mean a divergence in Catholic teaching, but good journalist like Rachael Donadio reported Francis' words in context: "Never veering from church doctrine opposing homosexuality." I say "in context" because her statement, although not an accurate reflection of Catholic doctrine, accurately states the context of the common understanding of Catholic doctrine.

    I wish in your article you could have taken the opportunity that Francis' has given us to help the readers of your posts to overcome homophobia and begin to enter dialogue with people who struggle with the existential experience of being gay and the deep desire to be in union with God and the Church. Such a dialogue does not have to be adversarial, it can be a search for truth that transforms and encourages participation in the "love story", the Church, which Francis's is calling for.

  10. Brett Gardner van der Meer
    1 year ago

    How awesome for a leader to be reflecting the heart of God! The Pope did not indicate "someone (who) struggles with same sex attraction he declared "that gay people should not be “marginalised” and that it was not for him to judge a person who was homosexual.". I do not struggle with my "same sex attraction" I thank God everyday that He blessed me and made me the way I am. With so many church people conducting witch hunts against gays and any other marginalised group, what Francis has said is extremely good. Jesus himself said that He didn't come in to the world to condemn it. Sometimes I wonder if that bit fell out of the Bibles that some people carry around to wave at people.

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