Pope Francis' list of controversial remarks is extensive. He's claimed that a belief in God isn't essential to go to heaven, Jesus failed on the cross, that all religions worship the same god, and that nations must open their borders to immigrants. Now, he's adding to the list, with his assertion that gays are a-ok in his book.
Pope Francis put his shoulder to the doors of the Catholic Church and shoved them open a little wider Friday, calling for the church to be more tolerant in practice while not changing any official doctrines.He urged priests around the world to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people living in what the church considers “irregular” situations.
“A pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws … as if they were stones to throw at people's lives,” Francis writes in a sweeping paper outlining his stance on family matters.
He urges more common sense and less unthinking following of rules.
“By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,” he writes.
He emphasizes that “unjust discrimination” against gays and lesbians is unacceptable, downplays the idea of “living in sin” and suggests that priests should use their own discretion on whether divorced Catholics in new marriages can take Communion.
One would think that, of all people, the most fundamental Catholic would be the Pope, but its become ever more clear by the day that that simply isn't the case. Whether the Pope is saving his church by pushing into a new era, or damning it by watering down its values remains to be seen, but he's clearly bent on making a change.
The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years.Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan Bagus, as well several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug.In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grassi said the visit was arranged personally with the Pope via email in the weeks ahead of Francis' highly anticipated visit to the United States.“Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug,” Grassi said.The meeting between the Pope and gay couple adds another intriguing twist to the strange aftermath of Francis' first-ever trip to the United States. Since news broke on Tuesday of Francis' meeting with Davis, conservatives have cheered the seemingly implicit endorsement, while liberals have questioned how much the Pope knew about her case. Davis spent six days in a Kentucky jail last month for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.