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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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What Did the Pope Say about Unjust Laws against Gays?

It amazes me that the news media repeatedly invents news where in truth there is none.  Pope Francis affirms that homosexual acts are regarded by the Catholic Church as sinful. When was this ever in doubt.  (It should be added that the orientation is not sinful, just disordered.)  

Now a lot is being made of his admonition that we should demonstrate tolerance in not criminalizing same-sex relationships. Has anyone heard of any popes or bishops of late demanding the execution, imprisonment or even fines of outed gay people?  No, although Putin’s Russia has outlawed the LGBT community and many Islamic states target them for death, the Church would challenge them but respect their dignity and lives as persons loved by God.

Missed in the conversation is that “a lack of charity” for one another works both ways. Many in the homosexual community are not satisfied with the Church’s concessions and rudely demand nothing less than full approbation. However, this will never happen.

While I doubt any Church shepherds are actively campaigning for unjust laws, the Holy Father has asked for a movement of “conversion” among bishops in not tolerating or remaining passive to the criminalization and violent persecution of gays and lesbians. What the Pope says is true, that we are all “children of God” and he “loves us as we are.” However, this does not nullify the call to repentance and conversion which is constitutive of the Gospel. It would also not negate the termination of positions from parish and parochial schools because of poor Christian witness.

As a further instance of distortion in the news, much is made of the Pope’s support for same-sex civil unions (not marriages), stating that “homosexual people have a right to be in a family.” It may not be the ideal family, but we recognize many variations as with those that are missing a spouse or with grandparents within family units. The Church cannot sanctify sin so her ministers cannot bless same-sex unions or witness feigned marriages. However, there is some speculation that the Church might restore an ancient rite where people pledge themselves as chaste brothers and sisters to one another. The Church insists that sexual activity must be between a man and woman in marriage. However, the Church is no enemy of love.