Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Saturday, October 22, 2016

After Pope Francis’ suggestion that the Catholic Church not be “obsessed” with abortion, contraception and homosexuality, American conservatives tended to react by stressing that the pontiff wasn’t changing any dogma, but rather just presenting a more conciliatory tone — much as Republicans were supposed to do after the 2012 election.

They played this angle up when Francis seemed to walk back his outreach by reminding people he really doesn’t like abortion.

But others on the right aren’t willing to be so accepting of a Pope who had already said in July, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

“I know even the pope has said when we talk about these things, we imply a kind of intolerance. That is not the point at all,” Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia E.W. Jackson said Sunday. “The point is to be true to the word of God. The point is to stand up and tell the truth. There is no better way found, ever, to raise children than with a mother and a father in the home. Even sociologically, you can make the argument.”

Actually, sociologically, the kids of gay parents are doing better than average children, according to the largest study ever on the subject.

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera — a walking Smithsonian exhibit for virulently anti-gay sentiments that all too recently were sanctioned by mainstream society — made the disproven connection between the acceptance of homosexuality and the abuse scandals that plagued the Church in the last decade.

Further, LaBarbera doesn’t buy the argument that the Pope’s change in tone isn’t significant.

“We understand that the pope is not embracing a change in Church doctrine, and that he truly wants to help homosexual strugglers come to God,” he wrote. “But at the same time we recognize that words matter in this debate — indeed, they often drive it.”

He vowed to keep a “close eye” on the Holy See.

Bryan J. Fischer, radio host and “Director of Issue Analysis” at the American Family Association, merely took the Pope’s comments as a chance to blame gay people for his need to be anti-gay.

When the Pope is provoking reactions like this, it’s not hard to see why liberals are so thrilled by his words.

Photo: markn3tel via

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • John Kruger

    There is still the “gravely disordered” part in there, as well as the eternal torment. Is it really all that much better that the tone has changed, but the message remains “you can be gay, just don’t ever have sex if you are”? Sounds exactly the same to me.

  • Guest

    I didn’t say YOU would think its better.

  • seazen

    If you read all of the things this Pope has said it is truly exciting and encouraging. This man is bring the whole notion of “Christian” back to its core – and it is going to drive all of those who have made a living distorting and abusing that concept for their own interests nuts!

  • JDavidS

    The pope and the Tea Clowns…if you’re a sane, thinking person one is as irrelevant as the other.

  • Dominick Vila

    Likewise, former President Reagan, the protector of the safety net and the architect of the biggest cut and run in U.S. history, would have been labeled a RINO if he was still around.

  • latebloomingrandma

    This is a very pastoral Pope, where the previous one was an academic. I read the entire interview for the Jesuit journal and he said some very interesting things. While not changing actual dogma, he is warning about adhering so rigidly to dogma that you fail to see the humanity in us all, thereby bypassing the ultimate message of Christ.
    Jesuits are used to not sitting still, so to speak, but constantly questioning and learning.
    He speaks much of “discernment” and conscience. I think that rigid Catholics are very much like fundamentalist Protestants. Their beliefs are firmly set with laws and parameters that they can understand, therefore, follow, and now can get to heaven.. They have the secret. Along comes a progressive Pope. Some one who challenges you to think about the actual gospel message. Someone who states that faith is a journey of the heart, not a set of rules. This just throws a monkey wrench into the comfortable fundamentalist view of their clear cut faith.
    No he’s not throwing out the rules, just tempering them. there lies the dilemma and our faith journey.

  • Mortalc01l

    Hey, when you’re significantly to the right of the Catholic Church, to the point where you’re calling them communist gay-sympathisers, it can only mean one thing…. You’re a Tealaban Republican. Tealaban members make Mussolini look left wing.

  • Megumi Yuuki

    People shoudl not negotiate with Terrorist, aka:Tea Party