Online news reports on August 2 are abuzz about Pope Francis’ comment on gay priests, when he said:
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Various interpretations emerged, some saying, the church has lessened its strict stance concerning gay persons. Most devout Catholics understand, though, that the Pope’s statement does not mean that he approves of gay relationships.
His reaction is expected from a genuine Christian, who does not condemn anyone as a sinner because he, himself, is not perfect. The story of Mary Magdalene in the Holy Bible is a classic example.
When people wanted to stone to death Mary Magdalene because she was a sinner, Jesus Christ challenged anyone from the crowd:
“He, who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
The Pope has done exactly that; he treats gay persons as Jesus Christ would, but it does not mean he is condoning whatever lascivious acts or abuse that may stem from the person’s gay orientation. The action is called “mercy” and “Christian love,” which every person should have for others.
In the Holy Bible after the crowd put down their stones and left Mary Magdalene and Jesus alone, Jesus instructed Mary Magdalene “to go and sin no more.”
Hence, this should also be applicable with what Pope Francis said. He is not giving the go signal for gay relationships. He was talking about gay priests who are willing to stay celibate and who would want to dedicate the rest of their lives to God.
Most news reports stated that the Catholic Church had loosened up a bit with their fight against homosexuality. The truth is that the church-still-does not approve of gay relationships.
The message of the Pope with regards to women becoming priests and his important message to the youth has all been put to the sidelines because of his gay comment.
The Pope expressed his desire to the youth for mutual respect between Muslims and Christians during the World Youth Day in Rio.
He stressed the crucial need for Muslims and Christians and other religious sectors to dialogue and cooperate with one another through education and other useful activities.
On his Twitter account, The Pope tweeted:
“The security of faith does not make us motionless or close us off, but sends us forth to bear witness and to dialogue with all people.”