The Associated Press reported on world-wide reaction to Pope Francis's recent statements about homosexuality, abortion, and contraception, and asked people in several countries with high numbers of Catholics for their reactions. Cardinal Timothy Dolan weighed in as well, according to the AP:
"'He's captured the world's imagination,' Dolan said after Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. 'Like Jesus, he's always saying, "Hate the sin, love the sinner."
"But Dolan said Francis' change in tone didn't signal a change in doctrine.
"'He knows that his highest and most sacred responsibility is to pass on the timeless teaching of the church,' Dolan said. 'What he's saying is, We've got to think of a bit more effective way to do it. Because if the church comes off as a scold, it's counterproductive.'"
First of all, the popular hypocrisy, "Hate the sin, love the sinner," heard so often from the lips of people like Pat Robber's Son and almost all of the other televangelists -- who dreamed it up, Oral Roberts? Falwell? -- is found nowhere in the Bubble. Second, when applied to either gays or pro-choice women it is the worst sort of bigotry, an ingenuous credo that simply ignores the reality of biological diversity, situational ethics, and plain old human nature. Until Francis becomes more strident in his condemnation of people like Dolan there is little point in singing his praises beyond simply saying he's beginning to see the light.
Meanwhile, Dolan is working the old Yes-No hustle: Come back to the church where you are welcome but when you get here we're going to make you feel guilty as hell so you'll confess and put money in the plate to buy your way up the staircase to heaven. The Ponzi scheme lives on.
Actually, I wonder if either Dolan or Bergoglio get it. They fail to see that the differences which set gays and Lesbians apart in their eyes will always do so, because of their bible-based insistence on the supposed wrongness of homosexuality. They're still married to their stupid book, and they can't envision any form of divorce from it.
I'd remind them that their cassocks and fancy hats are doubtless made of more than one type of fiber, as surely as they and others enjoy lobster, crab, mussels and other shellfish, all of which is proscribed by that same stupid book. I would ask them why two sets of verses in Leviticus are important enough to observe without exception than two or more others which they fail to observe, but they don't want to hear me.
They just want to cling to their self-defined dogma.
I suspect that if Yeshua the carpenter had one look at what had become of what he taught (presuming he taught it at all in the first place), I suspect he would vomit. His next move might very well be a reprise of his performance in the temple, only this time, he'd be hammering archbishops and cardinals rather than money-changers and sellers of sacrifices.
Almost might be worth watching, maybe even sell tickets for it.
You mention what Yeshua would think. There's an excellent movie entitled The Man From Earth, about a person claiming to have lived for 14,000 years, and was, in fact, Yeshua the carpenter. In reference to the twisted nonsense his teaching became, he makes the comment that people venerate cookies and wine, with priest selling heaven and hell to regain our souls based on original sin which we never lost in the first place. You can see the whole movie on Vimeo here.
Pat ... that was a genuine treat. Thank you.
Piety is not what the lessons bring to people; it is the mistake they bring to the lessons.
-- John Oldman
James, Oh! My heart sings as I read your piece. Naming the problem is the first step toward finding a solution. Not only does religion need to be held accountable for its thinking and practices, it needs to be challenged when lies, distortions, and delusions get in the way of responsible preaching and teaching.
To me, Joan, your last statement begs the question: just how much responsible preaching and teaching actually occurs? Certainly, not all advice from the pulpit is flawed, but when you consider the integrity of the bible (such as it is!), any recommendation coming from its pages may be suspect at best.
I would find consultation based in common sense and experience far more likely to be trustworthy than blindly accepting the word of someone in a priest's collar. Indeed, that priest would have to demonstrate his reliability to me long before I'd be willing to grant him an audience, never mind take what he had to say to heart.