Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Pope's Previous Stand on Gay Marriage and Adoption

A new Pope has been elected, who will stand as the 266th Pope, and will take the name Pope Francis. He's a Jesuit, the first Latin American Pope, and he's from Buenos Aires.

During various interviews this week I've watched people in the US express what they'd like to see in a new Pope. One of the most popular wishes was that he bring people together. The other was that he reform some of the pasts rules and regulations. Most people when asked were not hesitant to mention things like birth control, the church's stand on gay marriage, and divorce. For those who don't know, the Catholic Church only believes in sex as procreation, they oppose gay marriage in any way, shape, or form, and if you are Catholic (straight) and you get a legal divorce you are excommunicated from the church unless you get a Papal annulment. Getting one of those is about as simple and as realistic as the outfit the Pope wears.

I don't know how the new Pope feels about all of these things, and more, and I do know that he has to remain true to the doctrine of the church first and foremost. I may respect it, but I don't have to believe it. Here's his past stand on contraception, gay marriage and gay adoption:

Amid changing mores on sexuality, including same-sex marriage, Francis' traditional views have clashed with cultural changes in Argentina. Before the nation legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, Francis called it a “destructive attack on God’s plan.”

At the same time, the new pope is expected to uphold church orthodoxy on sexuality, abortion, marriage and contraception. The same year he said same-sex marriage attacks God's plan, he also said gay people adopting children is an act of discrimination against children.

The last line is interesting, considering the child abuse scandal within the church, not to mention the cover up and all the Catholic Priests who have been prosecuted and handed sentences that often include prison time. Or, or the millions of dollars they've paid in civil law suits. It not only shows how out of touch the man is with respect to the topic, but how disconnected the entire church is with the realities of discrimination and life in general. The acts that children have suffered through the discriminatory practices of the church will go down in the history of the world as an abomination.

Whether or not Pope Francis will change his opinions on these issues remains to be seen. I don't have high hopes. Nowadays as more gay people let go of the shame they've been taught thanks to institutions like the Catholic Church, their straight friends, relatives, and co-workers are also letting go of the shame. So it's not just about gay people anymore. It's about the gay nephew, grandson, son, daughter, neighbor, doctor, and so on and so on...


naturgesetz said...

You are entitled to your opinion about the Catholic Church's doctrines, so I'll try not to argue with you about those, but there are a couple of points where you've obviously been misinformed.

You write that "the Catholic Church only believes in sex as procreation, they oppose gay marriage in any way, shape, or form, and if you are Catholic (straight) and you get a legal divorce you are excommunicated from the church unless you get a Papal annulment. Getting one of those is about as simple and as realistic as the outfit the Pope wears."

Actually, the thing on sex as procreation isn't that simple. They think it's okay to have sex during the times of the month when a woman is infertile, knowing that there will be no procreation. But it's true that they say all sex should be the kind that could lead to procreation, that is, penis ejaculates into vagina.

As for divorce, there is no excommunication for getting a divorce. One who has obtained a divorce may not remarry without an annulment, but that can be granted by the judicial tribunal of any bishop around the world. So you don't have to go to the Pope to get them. If someone remarries without an annulment, they're not supposed to receive communion, but that's not official excommunication. It's because they are not considered married, and sex outside marriage is a serious sin, and anybody who is guilty of serious sin shouldn't receive communion until they've been absolved.

I don't think these points are central to your post, but since you brought them up, I figured I should give you the true story on them.

ryan field said...

I think that 12 years of Catholic School qualifies me on this topic, with all due respect. As for procreation, they do say the rhythm method is okay. Only it doesn't work and is not realistic anymore. I was taught, in Catholic School by priests, masturbation is a sin because it is not procreation. As for divorce, if you remarry it is not recognized as valid and you cannot receive communion or be remarried by a priest in the church unless the first marriage had an annulment. This is a form of excommunication brought about as a form of shame. Most divorced Catholics do, indeed, remarry and rebuild their lives. And I personally just finished a long multiple page question and answer for a close family member who is seeking a "papal" annulment. And while I did not think anyone would take me literally about going directly to the pope for an annulment, it is done with some antiquated tribunal and it is, indeed, almost impossible to obtain. Not to mention the time period involved and the shameful personal questions asked about good decent people. The family member for whom I did this did NOT even want the divorce. These points really weren't what the post was about, but since you brought them up I figured I would speak from my own experience as a disgruntled Catholic and not from hearsay. The things I saw on web sites about annulments sounded so simple and carefree. They are far from that, trust me.