In a very poignant interview with Civilta Cattolica Magazine (Italian for Catholic Civilization), our newest Pontiff, Pope Francis, raised eyebrows when expressing his views regarding the ideology of the Catholic church concerning morality and immoral behaviors. According to the Pontiff, “He is not in a position to judge.”
The Pope spoke candidly on several controversial subjects plaguing the church today. “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, homosexuality and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible.”
To some extent the Pontiff is right; but…there’s always a post-script. And here’s mine.
Though I appreciate the Pope’s honest stance on such sensitive issues, I also believe that the Catholic Church should not diminish it’s convergence on these issues, as they are important.
No matter what the religious denomination, churches or other places of worship should be less judgmental, less condemning, less bureaucratic, less bias, and of course, less avarice.
Whether it’s a Catholic Church, Jewish Synagogue or Mosque, those who enter the doors for sanctuary or a peace-of-mind, should feel welcomed. Hopeful seekers should find a positive environment of love, healing, tolerance, acceptance, spiritual guidance, warmth, and help, if possible. Negatives… such as discouragement, condemnation, criticism and judgment should remain outside the door by both parties.
Pope Francis said that the church should see itself as “a field hospital after a battle.” Undoubtedly, as a believer, I concur wholeheartedly with the Pontiff’s sentiments. His liberal and non-judgmental interview was a milestone for those of us wanting to toss bureaucracy out of the window. We know that the Church, like most spiritual entities, has a lot of growing to do. As well, it should constantly maintain its division between church and state at all costs and remain unadulterated.
Even though the Word of God strongly abhors homosexuality, it has been the subject of much Church controversy over the years. Though quietly kept, homosexuality and the Catholic Church have been synonymous with each other for decades. Allegations of sexual abuse, law suits, convictions, and polite out-of-court settlements, have resulted millions-of-dollars in victim-payouts, from the Church in years past and present.
Though the Church has tried over-and-over to right homosexual wrongs amongst their own, with demotions, defrocking, disciplinary action, and ultimately with money, God’s word clearly states that:
‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
Unfortunately for the Catholic Church, those who are meant to be ‘enforcers’ of the Word are also the biggest ‘breachers’ of it.
In his interview, the Pope stated that he was not in a position to judge. Only God could do that. So should the church be open-minded and welcome those who go against God’s word? Yes. Should we condemn? No. Should we forgive? Most definitely. Why? Because according to Matthew 6:15:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
And to reiterate the Pontiff’s point-of-view, we are not in a position to judge.
Written By DeBorah Heggs-Alston