Pope Francis’ views on same sex marriage appear to be changing from the regimental view long held by traditional Roman Catholics. In an Italian newspaper interview, the Holy Father suggested that strict interpretations of the marriage definition could be relaxed in order to accommodate gay and lesbian unions.
In the interview with Corriere della Sera, as translated by the Catholic News Service on March 5, the Pope spoke on controversial and oftentimes divisive subjects – gay unions and birth control.
The Pope stuck to the Bible’s definition of a marriage bond, then watered down the standard of marriage set by God in order to accommodate concerns such as rising health care costs.
“Matrimony is between a man and a woman,” Francis said, adding that actions to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care… It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.”
This comes just days after the Pope also redefined the Bible’s view on divorce:
“The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said in February 2013 that some legal arrangements are justifiable to protect the inheritance rights of nonmarried couples,” Catholic News Service reported. “But until now, no pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions.”
According to USA Today, Pope Francis “made global news in July when he said he won't ‘judge’ gay priests. ‘If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?’ the pope said during a back-and-forth with reporters on a flight home to Rome after a week long trip to Brazil.”
On the topic of birth control, Francis said the topic would be revisited and discussed at length in upcoming Vatican sessions. He said the church synods would approach all such concerns “in the light of profound reflection,” as opposed to strict “casuistry,” which he described as “Pharisaical theology focused exclusively on particular cases.”
The Bible’s view on gay unions and a homosexual lifestyle is clear.
The Bible condemns acts of homosexuality, speaking of the practice as being “detestable” in God’s eyes. (Leviticus 18:22)
“God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene.”—Romans 1:26, 27.
At 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, the Bible clearly states that “men who lie with men” are included in those who “will not inherit God’s kingdom.”
Of course, God’s word also preaches such things as tolerance, impartiality and love of neighbor. Yet these moralities cannot be used to validate actions that are sordid in God’s eyes. The scripture above at 1 Corinthians includes homosexuality among other gross sins, such as “those who are sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers… thieves, greedy people, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners.”
In his writings to Timothy, the Apostle Paul even included homosexuality on a par with murder.
Now we know that the Law is fine if one applies it properly, recognizing that law is made, not for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, ungodly and sinners, disloyal and profane, murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, manslayers, sexually immoral people, men who practice homosexuality, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and everything else that is in opposition to the wholesome teaching according to the glorious good news of the happy God, with which I was entrusted.” –1 Timothy 1:8-11
Some comments on a related article carried by the Huffington Post were critical of the Pope's remarks.
I really don't care what the catholic church thinks about anything any more. Not that I ever did anyway. Clean up your own house before you start telling others how to live in theirs. -- Scott B.
Seeing the goings on amongst the clergy in Rome on that PBS broadcast made me realize that, once and for all, on this issue, the Catholic Church is hypocritical. -- William S.
I would be fine with the Church sticking with it's original view that same sex marriage is a sin, as long as it kept its nose out of the law. The problem with the church is not whether the Church itself supports same sex marriage, the problem is the church pushing its beliefs into the law. -- Chuck V.