Pope says Catholic Church too obsessed with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.

The pope made headlines again by saying that the Catholic Church is too obsessed with gay rights:

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 is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” the pope told the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, a fellow Jesuit and editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal whose content is routinely approved by the Vatican. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.

“We have to find a new balance,” the pope continued, “otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

If you’re speaking from a PR perspective, yup, that’s the problem.  If you keep advocating a discriminatory position that is at odds with most civilized people, it’s going to hurt your rep.  Gay people and gay marriage creates happiness with no perceptible downsides.  Contraception is a moral necessity, not a soul-forfeiting evil.  Saying otherwise makes you look like ignorant humans, not the keepers of god-given wisdom.

From a moral perspective, constantly advocating positions you hold is not the problem.  The problem is that the Church actually holds those positions.  The problem is that the Catholic Church endorses and even pursues discrimination, and the pope is not changing this.  He is saying that the Catholic Church should be a home for all, and he apparently thinks this can be achieved by still trying to deprive gay people of equality, but just not talking about it as much.

How I wish the Catholic Church was more interested in fixing its morals, not just its PR.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Pofarmer

    Problem is, the Catholic Church doesn’t think it’s morals are broken.

  • ZenDruid

    Slowly crawling up into the 20th century. Or maybe he’s sensitive to the stench of hypocrisy, seeing as how every one of his club mates is a professed sexual ‘deviant’ of one stripe or another.

  • hotshoe

    I hope Mark Shea has a heart attack when he hears that the pope disapproves of authoritarian assholes like Mark․

  • Neil Schmidt

    If the Catholic church is to amend its ways, it will do so kicking and screaming bloody murder just like it did when it got dragged into the 20th century. This church has a lot to beg forgiveness for. Anyone remember the Ustase?

  • Shoebutton

    I’m thinking marketing strategy.Hundreds of churches closing, nuns and priests pretty much old and gray, the 18 to 35 gang sprinting from the pews…

    • Kayjulia

      Always follow the money trail. Of course that is hard to do with the religious as they don’t have to publish a financial audit on yearly basis, if they did there would be veins popping and eyes bulging. Frank is just the guy to pull off a PR turn around for RC, smooth, humble acting, kisses babies, touches people and smiles like an infant with gas, no Nazi trail.

  • unbound55

    It would really be nice if we could match these kinds of statements with donations going to the church. I would bet a lot of money that the church’s donations are trending strongly down, so it’s time for some PR to get the money flowing again…

  • NicholasJohannsen

    I am going to go ahead and say this is a good step. Talking less about their beliefs will lead to many allowing themselves to change their beliefs. If enough people openly change their belief the church will have to follow suit or become obsolete.

    It would be better of course if they just changed their held beliefs right away. However, I do not think that is possible and if possible not likely so I will take the small steps.

    • JohnH2

      I believe this is the Popes intention, it is what happened with the Catholic Churches stance on freedom of religion, democracy, and so forth (compare Quanta Cura to Vatican II). Change comes very slowly to the Catholic Church, and shifting the focus away is the first step.

      • ZenDruid

        I’ve wasted some time reading the Catholic blogs, and the consensus seems to be that Frankie expressed some beautiful imagery, so good job Frankie!

        Meanwhile, the status is quo.