Vatican Says the Media is Manipulating Pope Francis’ Comment on Families

The upside of the rampant twisting and manipulating of every word that comes out of Pope Francis’ mouth is that it is a testimony to just how relevant the Catholic Church, Jesus Christ and the need for moral legitimacy are in the lives of ordinary people, everywhere.

Name one atheist/satanist/politician/media star who is taken this seriously. Name one person, other than the Pope, on this planet who is taken this seriously.

The downside of rampant twisting and manipulating of every word that comes out of Pope Francis’ mouth is that the media’s deliberate twisting of things can mislead people who have a sincere longing for God into thinking that their sins are not, in fact, sins. This is no small thing, since it can deprive them of the chance to get right with the God Who made them.

A case in point is Pope Francis’ recent statement of concern about how we are to evangelize children who are being raised by gay couples. He simply asked the question about what is the best way for us to teach these children about Jesus, given the environment in which they are being raised. The press turned that on its head to become a quasi endorsement of gay marriage.

Not so. Not even close. Which is why the Vatican has stepped up to say that the press is manipulating the Holy Father’s statements. 

The Church has always known that its mission is to bring Christ to the lost. All Christians, everywhere, know that we have a charge to reach out to those who are living their lives without Christ. The reason is because Jesus Christ is the Way to the Father. He is the Truth by which we must live our lives if those lives are to have eternal significance.

It would be the darkest form of child abuse to write off children — any children — because of the things their parents do, and thus deprive them of the opportunity to claim their inheritance as children of the living God.

 

 

  • Sus_1

    While I agree that the Pope’s words are being manipulated, I’m very disappointed in the Vatican powers that be.

    To just say that the Church hasn’t changed their teachings about gay marriage is NOT ENOUGH. It isn’t fair to the children in gay families. It isn’t fair to everyone else sitting in the pews with these families.

    For the Vatican to come out saying that the Church hasn’t changed their teachings WITHOUT giving guidance on how to deal with these kinds issues is wrong. Gay families aren’t going away. The more the Church ignores, the more they are alienating people and giving permission for Catholics to talk badly about gays and other people to talk badly about Catholics.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    That may be so in this case, but it seems to happen way too frequently for the problem to be solely on the media’s side. The Pope and the Vatican’s communication office needs to figure out a better approach. But why didn’t this happen (the frequency of it, not just an occasional occurence) to the previous Pope? Pope Francis is also benefiting from these media mistakes. He’s got positive approvals like you wouldn’t believe and some of it is because the media makes his message more Liberal. So call me skeptical if it’s all the media’s fault.

  • pagansister

    An honest question, Rebecca. If a SS couple, married (married in the eyes of the law in their state) had children, and wished to raise them as Catholic, would they be allowed to do so, and attend Mass with their children on Sundays etc. I expect they would not be allowed to receive Communion, but when the children were of age, that they would be. I would hope the child/children would be admitted to a Catholic school, no matter the gender combination of the parents.

    • Sus_1

      We have a few gay families and members of our parish. As far as I can tell, they seem to be treated just like every one else.

      I haven’t noticed what goes on with communion because that’s the time my kids will act up if they are going to do so I’m on alert about that. I do see the families at confession and at volunteer clean up and maintenance of the Church and buildings.

      I haven’t attended Mass at other parishes in a few years so I really don’t know what goes on elsewhere. My town is very conservative so I would think if they are welcome here, they would be welcome at others.

      • pagansister

        I think I would like your parish, Sus_1. :-)

    • FW Ken

      PS, I’m not Rebecca, but have to ask: kids learn what they see. What are the chances that parents are going to raise Catholic kids when they aren’t living a Catholic life? Why would they even want to expose the kids to the dissonance of going to a church that doesn’t accept their parent’s lifestyle? Wouldn’t it make more sense to raise them in an Episcopal congregation?

      • Sus_1

        From the Reuters’ article http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/05/us-pope-homosexuals-idUSBREA040BX20140105

        “Francis, in a conversation with leaders of religious orders published by a Jesuit journal on Friday, said the Catholic Church had to try not to scare away children who live in complex family situations, such as those whose parents were separated and those living with gay couples.”

        “The pope told the leaders of religious orders that a great challenge for the Church would be to reach out to children living in difficult or unorthodox domestic situations.”

        How can the Church reach out to these people if Catholics are telling them to leave and become Episcopal?

      • pagansister

        I expect there are many SS couples who were raised Catholic. Why wouldn’t they want to raise their children in a church they love? Yes, that church says they are not following the teachings on marriage, but they are willing to have their child/children learn the faith they, the parents, wish to continue in. Yes, the children would be taught that their parents are not following the teachings, and the parents would have to deal with that. In the long run, those children will make up their own minds as they grow—most do. Telling them to go to another church, Episcopal for instance, doesn’t teach the children the Catholic faith, does it?

        • FW Ken

          But that’s my point: children don’t make up their own minds. They either ape what they see, or rebel against it. My sister’s family is “nones”, the kids having copied their parents, who had rebelled against their parents religions.

          Being Catholic does get into your bones, but when you have made a choice to not live a Catholic life, then the honest thing is to do something different. In fact, the best outreach to people who persist in sin is to excommunicated them. A priest in Italy was recently canonized as a martyr for rejecting mafiosi. Racists were excommunicated in New Orleans in the 50s. Somehow, the pelvic issues are thought to be exempt from the natural and moral law.

          • pagansister

            You mentioned your sister’s family and their children are copying them by being “nones” . I have a son-in-law who was raised in a very conservative religious fashion, and he totally has rejected that, not following any faith at all. He chose not to follow or ape what he saw. My sisters stayed Christians, following what we were taught, me being the only one that left. My 2 children were raised liberally, but had influences from my Christian parents, and they both have made up their own minds as to faith decisions. I still contend that children usually end up making up their own minds on matters of faith and other things in life. Who knows, perhaps your sister’s children may come to a faith one day or not. I suspect those SS parents that want to continue being Catholic and want their children to be raised that way, are the liberal ones and still have a pull to the Church, because they are comfortable there in spite of the current teachings about their situation.

            • FW Ken

              Those are not the “current teachings” but the consistent witness of the Church for 2000 years, and Judaism for 3000 years before that. That are not going to be changing, and persons living in sin (of any kind) are not living as Catholics, however comfortable they are.

              • pagansister

                OK, they are 2000 year old teachings for the Church (don’t know about Judaism). However, not everyone Catholic agrees with that being a “sin”. IMO, the fact that some SS couples wish to have the Church be the faith of choice for their children, I would think would be a positive for the Church in keeping folks coming and introducing the children to those teachings. But that is just my opinion. :-)

                • FW Ken

                  Since when is it a good thing to live a lie? And that’s true not just from the Catholic side, but the gay side as well. Some gay advocates would call them hypocrites faster than Catholics.

                • FW Ken

                  Ok, I suppose I should admit here that I’m not being a good Catholic boy with this line. I should not be discouraging anyone to not come to Mass, if I truly believe that they will meet Jesus there. My problem comes when people (including me) use sitting in a pew as a nice emblem of respectability and affirmation that I am ok. Faith ought to challenge us in our comfortable self-sufficiency and sinful ways. A gay couple who comes to Mass and leavs with a warm glow about their normalcy has been lied to. It’s that to which I object.

                  And whether someone agrees with Church doctrine is irrelevant. That’s a Protestant formulation, not Catholic (or Orthodox).

                  • pagansister

                    I suspect everyone who leaves a religious service, no matter what faith it is, leaves with a different “feeling” . Those SS couples who attend Mass I would suspect know they shouldn’t receive communion, and don’t go up for it, but can and hopefully do, participate in the rest of the service. What feeling they have could be a “warm glow” by being in a place of love and caring and acceptance. Though I obviously couldn’t receive communion when I attended Mass with the children I taught, I did like being in the church and feeling calm and loved in the surrounds and in that Church, its’ physical beauty also. You seem to object to SS couples feeling accepted. I thought Christianity was about love and acceptance, which can happen, IMO, without always agreeing with their “marriage” or commitment to each other. How those folks who are not in compliance with the teachings deal with it is between them and their God. If they feel they are living a lie, then again, that is between them and their God.

                    • FW Ken

                      I object to same-sex couples – or anyone – being lied to. Love without truth isn’t love at all. It’s cheap sentimentality.

                      Christianity is about fitting our souls for heaven. If we live this life in the fellowship of God, we will find his company natural in the next. If we live rejecting him, we will reject him at the end. Of course, deathbed conversions are a Catholic thing, so it’s not all cut and died. But presuming upon final Grace is a dangerous business.

                      Secondary, and intrinsic to the live off God is love of neighbor. But shallow clubbish “fellowship” isn’t love.

                    • pagansister

                      WHO is lying to who, FWKen? Was I being lied to by being accepted as a teacher in a Catholic school and being allowed (if you will) to attend Mass with the children? I was part of a community of what I considered loving and caring people, who accepted that I wasn’t Catholic. In all honesty, what is the difference? Just asking.

                    • FW Ken

                      When same-sex attracted people are given the tacit (or explicit) message that fornication – gay or straight – is ok, that’s a lie. If you got the message at your school that being Catholic doesn’t matter, that was a lie. Obviously, being part of this accepting community didn’t impact your faith. So in what way does it relate to Pope Francis’ call to evangelize?

                      Don’t get me wrong: a nice group of people to be around is a nice thing. I have that at my job, among other places. But Church is a body of people bound together in baptism to Christ and one another. It’s not a club.

                    • pagansister

                      Totally disagree that I was in essence lied to for 10 years. I never got the message that not being Catholic didn’t matter. It mattered a lot since is was and still is a Catholic school. I was accepted for who I was and am. There was one other teacher that wasn’t Catholic and she is still there. I helped teach the little ones their early prayers etc. I was totally surrounded by faithful members of the Faith. 5 days a week I was immersed in that faith. No lying going on there. In all honesty, my not being Catholic never came up as I was an active participant in all activities, obviously not receiving Communion, but attending Mass, and teaching kindergarten level religion. I already knew many of the prayers before I started teaching and learned more. How did those 10 years affect me? Increased my respect for those that are Catholic, and my knowledge of the faith. We had students who were not Catholic, and one year we had a couple of children who were not Christian. I agree, Church is not a club. One other thing, I was hired for my credentials, and experience. Not being Catholic wasn’t at that time a problem. The pay wouldn’t have attracted too many folks. I was not a single parent or a single person who had to totally support myself. The year I accepted the position, I had just moved to the area from another state and in taking the job I lost a good bit of income, as my previous salary in a public school was much higher.

                    • FW Ken

                      Then you weren’t lied to. That’s what “if” means. :-)

                  • Sus_1

                    Why are you assuming what people are feeling when they leave Mass?

                    • FW Ken

                      That’s sort of the point of the conversation. And I’m not really concerned with how anyone “feels”. Do same-sex couples leave Mass challenged to repent of their perverted lifestyle? Do I leave Mass challenged to repent off my sins?

          • irena mangone

            If you talk of excommunication why not members of the IRA who bombed and shot and maimed and yes pedophiles of all types not just clergy. And other so called catholic terrorists .

            • FW Ken

              Works for me.

              Did they repent? Call their sin not sinful? These things do matter.

              • irena mangone

                IRA and repentance in the same sentence and what about them going to Holy Communion and then knee cApping and bombing after and catholic funerals .also generals in Argentina in their troubles same thing . It’s not simple do you think if they were excommunicated they would stop don’t think so .some might . Shall we speak of nazi and the fascists in Italy after the war go to mass then carry on nasty stuff afterwards we all answer to God whether believers or not . Sorry I go on a bit injustice annoys me no end

                • FW Ken

                  So you don’t believe that people can change and be forgiven. There are many beautiful stories of just that happening.

                  • irena mangone

                    Yes I do believe people can change and be forgiven but many of them have not done so but they still take advantage of all the church offers there are still hard liner terrorists in Ireland doing their best to derail things and other terrorists who hide behind the church and the church has turned a blind eye seems sometimes like do as I say and not what I do or some such . Any way seems like the USA. Is going through a hard patch at present but does it not say in the bible Upon this rock I build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. Remember hundreds of years ago popes got up to awful things and the church still grew now we have had many good popes bishops. And priests and may The Lord preserve them and make them blessed on earth and deliver them not up to the will of their enemies and whilst we are at it pray for the conversion of our leaders presidents etc.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      It would make sense for them to welcomed the same way that heterosexual couples who are either not married (but are still living together and sexually active) or are civilly married but not sacramentally. My husband was in this situation in his first marriage. He attended church but did not receive communion. His daughter was baptized and in catechism classes. He was not allowed to teach catechism, though.
      I think anyone who is not intentionally disruptive can come to mass.

      • pagansister

        Thank you for responding to my question. I like to think that the Church is welcoming to all, even those that can’t receive communion. :-)

  • pagansister

    Just commented a minute ago, but meant to add that I do think the media is doing what some in the Vatican are suggesting, and manipulating what the Pope says, especially regarding hot topics.

  • FW Ken

    Deacon Greg is on the case. His first link is a perfect example of how the media distorts the pope’s words, our maybe better, uses them selectively to make their own points. The link to the Reuter’s article gives you some actual information on what the pope said.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/01/pope-francis-on-children-of-gay-unions-divorce-how-can-we-proclaim-christ-to-a-generation-that-is-changing/


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