The Francis Era
The "Pope Francis Effect" Strikes Again
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  • free_agent

    Like the British constitution, it seems Francis changes how things really are without changing the official form. What Francis seems to be doing is handling homosexuality like other sins, it’s not denied that it is a sin, but those who habitually practice the sin aren’t cast out into the outer darkness, they just have to pray harder.

    Perhaps my shallow knowledge is showing, but it seems that the RCC has generally been tolerant of those who sin habitually (ongoing adultery seems to have been frequently tolerated, and certainly skeezy business practices have not been a problem) but has been much harder on publicly overt lifestyles based on sin. OTOH, I’ve seen statements that rank sodomy with deliberate murder (and denying the worker his just wages), so there may be a lot of tradition to swim upstream against.

    • Jim__L

      Not just tradition — Scripture. The pope simply does not have the authority to make changes like that. No one does.

      • free_agent

        In reality, theologians do… there’s a lot of ex-post-facto revision of the understanding of revelations. Even a document so fully within the historical record as the US Constitution gets reinterpreted. (The first amendment was carefully written to ensure that Massachusetts’ established church couldn’t be affected by the new federal government, but now it guarantees the complete separation of church and state.) I can assure you that if some particular dictum of the RCC becomes unpopular with 98% of Catholics, it will somehow vanish from sight.

        • Jim__L

          Sorry, not buying it.

          “So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” – John 6:67-68

          Christianity has always been able to regrow, even when 98% abandon it. And I wouldn’t really put too much stock in Catholic numbers declining, when Evangelical numbers are still on the rise, despite their having views that would make one very unpopular at NYT cocktail parties.

  • ljgude

    To channel Archie Bunker, “EEdith, you got it backwards again. it isn’t God that tells the NY times what to think.”

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