Pope Francis has called for the church to be more tolerant while not changing any official doctrines … especially when it comes to marriage equality.
“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.
CNN reports, “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.
The Sword would like to report that marrying the one you love is not an “irregular” situation.
The Washington Post adds, “Single women get pregnant, and need the support of those around them, Francis wrote. Children sometimes need punishment – and, he notably added– sex education. Gays and lesbians deserve protection from “unjust discrimination.”
“And while he clearly upholds his church’s teachings of marriage as only between a man and woman, he notes that unconventional unions do indeed form. And they are not, he writes, without their “constructive elements.”
Perhaps most importantly, he exhorts the church – specifically it’s clergy – to use “discernment,” and not paint with a broad brush. Do not, he warned, wield “moral laws” like a weapon.
Like a weapon. That part I agree with. After all, the church already has plenty of experience wielding some of the biggest weapons around …
Am I too cynical here? Is this more evidence that Pope Francis is trying to nudge the church towards toward a legitimate welcoming environment for our community — or he is simply making the old rhetoric seem more palatable?