I am amazed to see how much is written and talked about the interview, Pope Francis gave on his way back to the journalists being able to ask all sorts of questions. There was nothing new under this sun – when it comes to substance – but there was something new in tone. First of all I have never heard a pope taking the word “gay” in his mouth – homosexual was the term normally being used by church officials. Secondly I have never seen a pope being able simply to answer all sorts of questions without council and preparation, without going through the questions especially when they are tricky.
And seeing the reaction world-wide – with all kinds of interpretation depending which camp ones belongs to – it shows only one thing: how much the good people of the church and outside the church have yearned for a trace of humanity, humility and down-to-earth in the reaction and answers of the supreme leader of the Roman-Catholic Church. One can actually hear the deep breath taken and the gasp of relief that church is touching ground again. That in itself is amazing and moving.
For me there is no doubt that this pope is not to be framed by labels like “conservative’ or “progressive” – he seems totally to be himself and enjoying what he is doing. And he seems to be able to listen – but I am also sure he can be very firm when once made a decision.
Does that mean more openness in the church and within the church? Does it mean substantial change? I am not sure – seeing how a conservative John XXIII has triggered quite some development within the church I just want to wait and see and simply enjoy what I am seeing and hearing, even if I don’t agree with everything said. I just want to enjoy that people start talking again positively about church.
Who had thought two years ago that a pope resigns? Who would have predicted that a pope talks about “gay” priests without flushing or feeling insulted? Who would have predicted a pop asking youth do “mess” around? So, let’s not over interpret everything he is saying or doing, but enjoying the fresh air he brought to millions of believers and surely to every priest and religious who works hard to live his or her vocation every given day.
- A “Revolutionary” Statement on Gay Priests from Pope Francis (slog.thestranger.com)
- Pope Francis: ‘Who am I to judge gay people?’ – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Pope says gay people shouldn’t be marginalised (radionz.co.nz)
- Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people? (metro.co.uk)
- Pope Francis says gays should not be judged (q13fox.com)
- “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” – Pope Francis (rainbowethiopia1.net)
- ‘If a person is gay… who am I to judge?’ asks Pope Francis (euronews.com)
- Pope Francis Speaks on Gays (guardianlv.com)
- Dont Tell the Press: Pope Francis Is Using Them (firstthings.com)
- Pope Francis On Gay Priests: ‘Who Am I To Judge?’ (thinkprogress.org)