Pope Francis: Going Inclusive

Alright, I really should have seen this coming, but somehow I’m still gobsmacked:

Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion

Pope Francis, in the first extensive interview of his six-month-old papacy, said that the Roman Catholic church had grown “obsessed” with preaching about abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he has chosen not to speak of those issues despite recriminations from some critics.

In remarkably blunt language, Francis sought to set a new tone for the church, saying it should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings.

It’s been noted several times before that there is a conservative wing of the church that would be happy to see a much smaller Catholicism if it could be made “pure.” One journalist even compared it to a star going nova, shedding the bulk of its mass and being reduced to a neutron star.

Francis has now made it clear that this will not happen on his watch. He wants a broader, more inclusive church that is not hell-bent on fighting the culture wars to the death.

It’s still early days yet, and we may see him tack back to the conservative wing as time passes. But for now, it looks like we’ve got a much more moderate pope than I would have guessed. We’ll see how much headway he can make against the reactionaries.

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  • Shoebutton
    • Lyra Belaqua

      “”Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord,” he said.”

      Ohhh boy. Too bad he’s so vague with “unjustly”. Many women with wanted pregnancies who experience a spontaneous abortion/miscarriage would likely call that “unjust”.

      And I love how da unborn baybeez –but only those whose mothers are planning an abortion– have the face of Jesus, but that face is instantly changed the moment they’re born & they’re a sinful human being.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        “”Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted,
        has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord,” he said.”

        Well, that Jesus sure gets around! That would constitute an argument against a celibate priesthood.

  • guest

    I still wouldn’t join the Catholic church, but this is good news for all the gay or contraception-using Catholics, which let’s face it, is most of them.

    Of course he’s not actually changing the teachings, he’s just not talking so much about them. We already have a Church that is inclusive, a ‘home for all’- the unitarian universalists. And look how effective and popular they are.

    I think everyone* is secretly hoping the Catholic Church will just drop the gay-bashing and misogyny and focus on feeding the poor, so any step in that direction is jumped on eagerly by the media.
    (*By everyone I mean most decent people, which includes many Catholics and atheists)

    • Guest

      Certainly, the Catholic Church is a large and powerful enough worldwide organization that it could choose to do great good and/or great harm and expect to see results. Even small suggestions that don’t condemn gays or contraception are a small turn in the right direction. Anything that gets them closer to breaking bonds with fundamentalist and evangelical Christian powers is a good sign.

  • kessy_athena

    So I wonder just how much blowback from the conservatives there’s going to be? Isn’t there already a splinter sect who think there hasn’t been a real Pope since Vatican II? I always got the impression that the Catholic hierarchy was by and large very socially conservative – is this going to turn into a power struggle?

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    As a progressive non-denominational Christian I really enjoy pope Francis and find his Italien sermons wonderful.
    I hope he will onde day have the courage to reject the doctrine of eternal suffering, or say at least that this is only one of several option for pious Catholics.

    It is also great he said (or implied) that a honest atheist dying will be in heaven if he truly desires God.
    This is very similar to my own views:

    Yes faith is capable of evolving :-)

    Friendly greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son


  • vito

    I don’t get all this talk about “focus”. He should state clearly: are homosexuality and contraception still mortal sins (for which people go to hell for eternity) or aren’t they. If they still are, how can he downplay the importance of talking about it, how can he say it’s an obsession? On the other hand, If they aren’t, if it’s ok to be gay and/or to use contraception, well then the Pope should say THAT, clearly and openly. Saying, well, it’s still kinda bad, but I don’t want to talk about it, is very umbigous and very misleading, especially for believers..

  • evodevo

    Good luck on that, Francis. I’d be watching my back if I were you – there are a LOT of nutjob winger Catholics who wouldn’t mind pulling the trigger here in the good ole US of A. I bet those blogs’ comments are just exploding this week.