CNN Struggles to Figure out How the Pope…

can still possibly be Catholic.

Turns out he still teaches all that weird old stuff the Church has always taught. Who knew?

There’s something childlike about the media’s complete innocence of any actual knowledge of the Faith.

"Old PLM new PLM, it does not matter. Each are fighting in different ways for ..."

“They Didn’t Get to Design our ..."
"Rerum Novarum: Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular ..."

“They Didn’t Get to Design our ..."
"And yet the only place I see activists is at the front door of our ..."

“They Didn’t Get to Design our ..."
"Yellow journalism is a thing again. We don't need truth in reporting."

The Trump-Protecting Anti-Trumper

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jedinovice

    What is truly touching is the media’s total childlike faith in Marxism and it’s attributes.

    The hundreds of millions dead under atheistic, Marxist regimes does not give them the slightest pause for thought.

    The fact that the lifespan of the average homosexual is thirty years younger than their heterosexual counterparts, that suicide and drug abuse rates among homosexuals dwarf those of heterosexual, yeh, even (indeed, especially) in San Fransisco and Brighton, does shake not their faith in the sanctity of homosexuality for an instant.

    The street gangs on the streets of the UK’s major cities with eight year old involve in lethal knife fights due to the utter destruction of family like – such that many children no longer even have a conception of ‘daddy’ being a permanent feature – does not give them the slightest pause in declaring the family, indeed, even basic monogamy, as unnatural.

    Heck, with the West’s entire economy in free fall, facing total collapse such that countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia look more powerful in comparison once one factors in debt and market exposure; the media concentrates on the proclamation of the true faith – Gay Rights across the world, along with more taxes and more spending on aid projects that do not aid anyone, even as the White middle class professional – like me, flee to safer shores, both financially and socially.

    And then they accuse us of Fideism, mistakenly calling it ‘Faith’ because.. they know nothing about religion.

    • $2346491

      Perhaps the suicide rates among homosexuals has to do with lack of acceptance in society? And the lifespan difference was due to the AIDS crisis.

      • Dave G.

        It’s unlikely. If that were the case, the stats would be plastered everywhere. The likelihood is, we will probably find that rates vary based on individual circumstances. Just like anyone else. Otherwise we would have to show that rates are significantly lower in all countries where it is more acceptable, and that rates are in synch with the rates of others who are also socially considered unacceptable. As for AIDS, well yeah. Esp. male homosexuality which continues to dominate as a demographic particularly susceptible to HIV/AIDS. That’s one of the issues.

      • Jedinovice

        Ah, that child like faith. 🙂

        Dave G pretty much says it but once you factor in suicide rates – even in places were homosexuality is *celebrated* and the rates of sexually transmitted diseases (most countries do not allow homosexuals to donate blood just because of the infection rates among gays – except the UK of course which wants to be the Gay capital of the world.) The whole ‘lack of acceptance’ argument has been done to death with suicide rates among homosexuals increasing as their lifestyle is more and more endorsed. Besides, in the West now, to be a homosexual is to be a demi God. In the UK, which I have departed from, by the time I left to be a homosexual was to be put on the gravy train for life.

        And the conversation has switched to homosexuals which is ALWAYS does – ignoring the tanking economy, wider issues of social and moral breakdown, tearaway kids, etc, etc.

        It’s always about the gays.
        Glad to be in the East, I tell ya. The work is hard and there are difficulties but I can say “I think homosexuality if accepted as normal by society causes harm to the host society” will not lose me my job and result in a visit by the police. Hey, I can even say “I am a Christian” without people charging at me with the 100+ ‘proofs’ that God does not exist. I am still adjusting to being able to say grace in public. Quietly, but the sign of the cross does not result in glares from people in a cafe. Such is the legacy of the push for Gay Rights. It automatically means the end of religious rights.

        After all, if religion was/is wrong about the nature of the family then it can’t be infallible. Which means it is not guided by God, ipso facto, religion must be wrong. Therefore, we must impose atheism.

        So now we have lack of acceptance in society for religion. But nobody cares about that, least of all the media.

        Marx rules! Get those Gays out of the closet! And put those religious in the their place!

  • orual’s kindred

    “What good is a more pastoral church when ultimately[…]starving families[…] are denied access to condoms?”

    Why do so many people think starving families need access to condoms?! Whyyy?!

    • etme

      They can sell them and buy food.

      • orual’s kindred

        I’m not sure you’re trolling very well.

        • etme

          Irony? Anyone? All-too serious.Catholics exhaust their eyebrows.

          • orual’s kindred

            …from hearing the above uttered in a non-ironic way (not by you, to be clear). Nevertheless, it’s rather a novel thing for me to be kinda sorta included among all-too serious Catholics! 😀

    • $2346491

      Many African bishops, Cardinal Turkson for instance, are more open to condom use to stop the spread of HIV.

      • Andy, Bad Person


        • $2346491

          I am pointing out that there might be practical reasons why Catholics in the Global South, particularly Africa, might want to use a particular type of birth control.

      • orual’s kindred

        If I’m not mistaken, Pope Benedict talked about this too 🙂 I’m not sure how relevant this is with regards to starving people, though.

        • $2346491

          I was just pointing out that there are practical (and non-selfish reasons for birth control). Another one is that many families in the Global South face actual poverty. Having six children in the U.S. means that kids might have to share a room or wear hand-me-downs. (These aren’t hardships). For a poor family in the Global South, it might mean that their children don’t get enough food to eat or that they have to work or beg rather than attending school. Of course, the Church teaches that natural birth control can be used in situations of economic difficulties. Again, this works for Western couples, but it might not work for a poor woman with limited access to health care or health education and who lives in a patriarchal society where it is unheard of for the woman to tell her husband “no.”
          This doesn’t mean that the Church has to agree with the liberal population control types, but it does have to figure out a way to alleviate these sorts of situations.

          • orual’s kindred

            Having six children in the U.S. means that kids might have to share a room or wear hand-me-downs. (These aren’t hardships).

            Oh, I don’t think anyone here will contest that 🙂 Also, while of course the Church is (already) figuring out ways to alleviate the difficulties brought by poverty, condoms are not the answer (practical or otherwise) for people with limited access to health care or health education.

            • $2346491

              The Church doesn’t have the resources to deal with the problem. It can obviously help people on the edges with programs, but cannot help entire societies. I really don’t care whether or not people decide to have large families, use birth control, or use natural methods and think that the Church’s teachings on the Pill and condoms are sort of silly. But I also don’t think that anyone is harmed by it in the West. Catholic women who don’t want large families just choose to ignore the Church and the Church chooses to look the other way.

              That don’t ask, don’t tell policy doesn’t work in places like the Philippines where I believe that contraception is outlawed and people don’t ignore the Church’s teachings on this. I think that saying Church policy on this is leading to people starving is over the top, but it is a problem in the Global South that the Church needs to articulate an actual solution rather than pointing to a few charity programs with Caritas.

              • orual’s kindred

                Well, what do you mean by ‘resources’ and ‘dealing with the problem’? We may be referring to slightly different things 🙂

                And when people ignore Church teaching, it’s kind of hard to say that no one is harmed by it, West or no. Also, 1) people ignore various Church teachings (as well as government laws) outside the U.S. as well, where ‘looking the other way’ in not so very un-heard of; and 2) things are much more complicated than that.

                • orual’s kindred

                  *is not so very un-heard of. Bah. I probably need to sleep.

                • $2346491

                  “Well, what do you mean by ‘resources’ and ‘dealing with the problem’? We may be referring to slightly different things :-)”
                  The only thing that I could think of is that the Church would have to go even farther to the left on economics than it currently does and endorse some form of quasi socialism (similar to Israeli kibbutz) as well as policies restricting globalization and preventing people from moving from the countryside to crowded cities in the developing world.

                  • orual’s kindred

                    Economics of this sort isn’t my strong suit, but the distinctions between ‘left’ and ‘right’, even in this regard, differ in certain ways in many countries outside the U.S. Incidentally, ‘preventing’ may not be the best term, especially when opportunities in the countryside are really scarce. ‘Encouraging to stay’ would perhaps be better–which may involve, among many other things, finding/improving food and water resources/services, overhauling/installing electrical services, reforms to the educational system, and re-working roadways and other infrastructures, all of which are badly needed in the crowded cities. These problems, and (especially) the problems that caused these problems, will take a lot to be dealt with properly, whatever the larger system may be in place.

                    So yes, I was thinking along more…comprehensive lines 🙂 (Which includes the Church being concerned in these particular details as too!)

          • kmk1916

            It seems that the real problem is that nations or cultures do not support strong marriages. If the basic building block of society (husband, wife, children) is not intact, it doesn’t matter what money or condoms you throw on the problem.
            Condoms do nothing more than make women objects–if there is now “no excuse” for sex, it is crazy to think that women will not be exploited.
            Also, how insulting is it to throw the condoms and abortion kits in with emergency food aid or (worse!) tie the aid to the country accepting our “population control help.” Nothing anti-brown-baby there, eh?

            • $2346491

              We’re talking about the Global South, not the U.S. A poor Catholic woman in these countries is not going to get divorced or have children outside of marriage. She would likely be shunned by her neighbors, village, family, etc. if she did. The Philippines doesn’t even have divorce. They just don’t have the money to support the children that they have.

              The Church doesn’t like the secular organization’s solution to this (i.e. birth control), which is fine. However, if that is the case, then the Church should also do a better job proposing a solution. And “supporting strong marriages” or “condemning the breakdown of the family” isn’t really a solution to this problem. This contributes to poverty in America and other western countries, but in many parts of the world, a family can be a two person household and still live in extreme poverty.

              • kmk1916

                By supporting strong marriages, I mean financial, practical, etc. support. I didn’t mention the condemning part (and I can’t think of any Catholic ministry to the poor that harps on the condition of a person’s family before they help–that would be USAID, the ones who hand out the condoms to those deemed too fertile!) because in a broken-down family, sadly, I don’t think one needs to be told that it is a problem. Members of the church have always stepped in over the centuries to help broken people–like St. Frances X Cabrini (it’s her feast day). It is tough to envision people like her, or Mother Teresa, or St. Camillus, or any of the saints to think that the solution to poverty, which will exist until the end of time, is to debase people by giving them the means to their self-destruction.
                You are right, though, that sometimes the organizations in the Church which have the tools to help are slow to move, bureaucratic, and it is frustrating, but here we are–a Church of sinners : ) . But even more frustrating is when those organizations begin to think with the mind of the world and attempt to implement wordly solutions, which make it even worse (Humanae Vitae prophecies–we are living them!). We just have to keep going and trust that God in His infinite Mercy and Love will take care of this mess.

          • faithandfamilyfirst

            Condom use does not alleviate starvation.
            Here’s a radical idea — how about us rich, western countries actually share our food with the world’s poor, instead of wasting it (half of our food is thrown out). Rather than forcing the pill, condoms, and abortion down the throats of the world’s poor, how about actually sending food? We have more than enough.

            • $2346491

              First, there is a difference between abortion and birth control methods. Abortion is not birth control. And some sort of family planning does alleviate poverty. Second, no doubt that Pope Francis wants the Global North to stop being so materialistic, which is a nice message. However, people are selfish, so this would require some sort of mandatory government action. It is really easy to suggest that the Global North not waste, but do you recommend that Western governments fine people for throwing out food? Or perhaps some UN action requiring that the wealthier countries give a percent of the GDP to the poorer countries?

          • Sister S

            The church is already working on these issues, by finding ways not to empower selfish men and educate women.

            This is the same old spin. that men are brutes so women need to protect themselves.

            Short-term solutions do not address actual issues.

            The issue is changing behaviour that liberals do not want to promote. They would rather let the man have his cake and eat it too.

            • $2346491

              Even for a normal couple in the Global South, the Church’s ideas on natural birth control probably wouldn’t work. It is my understanding that the NFP methods used are pretty elaborate and doesn’t just involve calendar counting. A couple in the U.S. has access to these tools but a couple in rural Africa would be lucky to have access to a good clinic to treat basic ailments.

              • Sister S

                There are NFP clinics in Africa.


                This is the whole purpose of the global survey on these issues. To find out what difficulties people encounter in following these teachings and to help them overcome it.

              • Gail Finke

                NFP is easy to use and very inexpensive. The most expensive part is a special thermometer, and even without that the simple charts and observations are far more effective than doing nothing. Getting birth control pills or condoms is more expensive and difficult, yet people seem to think rural Africans can drive over to the corner Walgreens and get it.

    • faithandfamilyfirst

      I agree. Starving families need food. Why do liberals have such a hard time understanding this?

      • MarylandBill

        The liberal solution is the easy one. Reduce the population and there will be more food to go around without us having to change our lifestyle. Of course it ignores the problem that a declining population means declining food production… but then the answers start getting hard.

  • James H, London

    Perhaps less childlike than puerile?

  • etme

    The money quote:

    “Until there is an openness to new interpretations of Scripture regarding homosexuality, until the new thinking on natural law is accepted that sexual orientation is not a choice but part of the nature of the person and until the growing number of moral theologians who offer compelling arguments that sexual acts should be seen in terms of harm or good to individuals rather than in terms of offending God, there is no lasting change and the wounds remain open.”

    Sin remains sin. Until we change (“reinterpret”) Scripture and natural law, that is. Based on what? “In terms of … man”, he says, “rather than in terms of … God”.

    This comment, however, does not take away, of course, from the inherent dignity of all human beings, whether SSA or not, and their essential love-worthiness.

    • D.T. McCameron

      “In terms of … man”, he says, “rather than in terms of … God”.

      Ah, that oldest of sins.

      “and ye shall be as gods.”

  • Julie Peitz Nickell

    “What good is a more pastoral church …. (when) starving families in countries like the Philippines are denied access to condoms?” In what twisted mind are condoms the answer to starvation?? And she also had said, “women in need of lifesaving abortions are forced to die.” And these quotes are from a National Catholic Reporter writer! That shouldn’t be surprising, but it does indicate that perhaps liberals are better propagandizers than the Nazis were. They seem to be in a panic that the Francis phenomenon will make it difficult for them to put their nasty medicine out there unquestioned.

    • D.T. McCameron

      Clearly the reason that poor people are starving is: poor people. If we could only find a way to reduce the number of, or even eradicate all poor people, we’d have solved poverty!

      • MarylandBill

        You know the funny thing is this. My parents, both grew up in Ireland on farms. They may not have been quite as poor as the average farmer in the Philippines, but they would have been regarded as very poor by American standards (particularly my Dad who grew up in the Great Depression and WWII). The thing was, kids were actually an advantage. Kids could pick crops, milk the cow, collect eggs, etc. And when my uncles and finally my Dad were old enough, they went to England to earn money and send it home (not unlike many immigrants in this country now). My family worked its way out of poverty precisely because it was a large family that supported itself.

      • faithandfamilyfirst

        The liberal answer to helping poor, starving people: give them the pill and abortion so we’ll have fewer poor, starving people.
        The Catholic answer to helping poor, starving people: give them food and jobs so we’ll have fewer poor, starving people.

  • Gail Finke

    “Until there is an openness to new interpretations of Scripture regarding homosexuality, until the new thinking on natural law is accepted that sexual orientation is not a choice but part of the nature of the person and until the growing number of moral theologians who offer compelling arguments that sexual acts should be seen in terms of harm or good to individuals rather than in terms of offending God, there is no lasting change and the wounds remain open.”

    And he basis this interpretation of Scripture on what, exactly, other than what he would like to be true? ALL sin is an offense against God. If I am a single woman and I have sex with my brother (incest), my friend’s husband (adultery), or an unmarried man (fornication), those are all sins and all offenses against God. If I am a married but divorced woman and I have sex with anyone but my former husband (fornication) it is a sin against God. Homosexual sex isn’t magically immune from the very possibility of being an offense against God, even if one accepts his premise that attraction to the same sex is part of some people’s nature — because being attracted to the opposite sex is part of most people’s natures, and it doesn’t exempt them from anything. Where does he get the THEOLOGICAL notion that sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex, or sex between anyone at all, should be judged only in terms of “harm or good to individuals,” or the idea that determining whether something causes “harm or good to individuals” doesn’t include whether or not it is a sin? His argument is not structurally sound.

    • If there’s a systematic, fully-articulated alternative sexual ethic out there–either compatible or incompatible with Christianity–I’ve not managed to find it. Which shouldn’t be surprising, as we have almost completely lost the ability to engage in coherent moral reasoning in the contemporary West, ruled as we are by relativism and sentiment. Structurally sound doesn’t enter into it.

      Most who oppose or deny traditional sexual ethics start from two (mostly unspoken) fundamental propositions: that all sexual activity should be considered to be morally neutral until proven otherwise, and that proving otherwise should itself be considered immoral until proven otherwise. It’s all navigating by feel situationally from there, within a few broad inherited boundaries that still remain standing only because they are still largely unquestioned.

      You trenchantly describe the ultimate destination here: the idea that sex is “magically immune from the very possibility of being an offense against God”. (It may be the homosexual cause that’s doing the most right now to advance this proposition, but this liberation is not meant for them alone.)

      This is why the equality argument for same-sex marriage posits that homosexual relationships and acts are equivalent to and should be treated in precisely the same way as heterosexual ones…but never goes on to conclude that traditional moral principles should therefore be applied fully and equally to both, once the definition of the marital act has been altered enough so that same-sex couples can engage in it. That would suit no one.

      • Gail Finke

        Great points, all!

      • Sister S

        Well said. The same people who couldn’t care less about sacramental marriage, are now pushing for a total overhaul, just to fit in gay marriage. Unbelievable.

  • Joejoe

    “Jamie Manson, a Yale trained theologian and a writer for National Catholic Reporter, suggests that we should not get too excited. For her, the bottom line is that in spite of the warmth and sincerity of the Pope’s words, he is not indicating any change in church teaching.”

    In SPITE of? Church teaching IS warm and sincere. Because it’s the Truth! You may struggle with it, sure, but calling it cold and insincere is positioning yourself as one who embraces lies.

  • ivan_the_mad

    It seems that the pope is upsetting navel-gazing Americans of all political stripes.

    • Andy

      The mess he says we are to make. Forcing from being self-referential is painful for all of us. It is refreshing to see the way he is affecting all of us.

  • kirbys1916

    SO he spent how many years working for Catholic Charities and never bumped into the beauty and truth of Catholic teachings? Was there no time in this particular career path to study the faith, spend time before the Lord at Mass (surely there was daily Mass nearby a Catholic Charities building), or in Adoration, never spoke to bishops or priests or religious or theologians who could discuss? Even just to be able to accurately explain what the Church teaches, though he might be personally against it?
    That is a shame, truly is.

    • Rosemarie


      This part of the article possibly explains his attitude:

      “I’m a 73-year-old, white, heterosexual male and have not been on the
      receiving end of the ignorance, hate and narrow orthodoxy that religious
      belief can still stir up. But… My son and his partner have been.”

      The implication seems to be that his son is gay.

  • Paxton Reis

    “There’s something childlike about the media’s complete innocence of any actual knowledge of the Faith.”

    Their knowledge centers around birth control and abortion, so their faith is that the Church will change its position on these matters.