Yes, the new pontiff is a simple man. Yes, he has great compassion for the poor and a different way of expressing it than may have been seen in the past. And yes, he is likely to be a reformer when it comes to the workings of the Vatican bureaucracy and so many other things -- but that does not presage a wholesale change in doctrine and dogma to embrace that which the Church has rejected but the world embraces, no matter (indeed, because of) how pastoral his approach is, much to the dismay of certain theological and political types..
Known as a compassionate Argentine archbishop who eschewed the trappings of his role to live amid his flock and who focused on the poor, Pope Francis will likely keep to Catholic teachings that reject abortion and same-sex marriage, experts said Wednesday.
Francis washed the feet of 12 AIDS victims living at a hospice in 2001, an action filled with symbolism in the Roman Catholic Church since it was reminiscent of Holy Thursday and the washing of the apostles’ feet by Jesus.
But in 2010, while Argentina was debating same-sex marriage legislation, he was quoted as calling the bill that ultimately passed “a plan to destroy God’s plan,” and said it was a “move by the father of lies to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
He has also said gays and lesbians should not be allowed to adopt, according to Bernard Schlaeger of the Pacific School of Religion.
“The pope will be Catholic,” Professor Christopher J. Ruddy, an expert in church theology at the Catholic University of America, said of how he expected Francis to respond to some of the controversial social issues. “He speaks and he teaches what the Catholic church teaches on these issues.”
Nonetheless, gay and lesbian advocacy groups called on Francis to embrace LGBT people and their families.
“For decades the Catholic hierarchy has been in need of desperate reform. In his life, Jesus condemned gays zero times. In Pope Benedict’s short time in the papacy, he made a priority of condemning gay people routinely,” the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said in a statement.
What we have here is the fulfillment of what we read of in 2 Timothy 4:3 -- For there will be a time when people will not tolerate the teaching of sound doctrine. Instead they will follow their own desires and seek after those who will teach that which they are itching to hear.
The New York Times at least gets it -- a simplicity of style and a concern for the poor and downtrodden does not necessitate a rejection of the traditional teachings of the Church on matters of faith and morals. Pastoral concern for sinners does not mean telling them that their sins are not sins, but instead in calling them to repentance in a spirit of love. Those whose want to hear sin called virtue and evil called good will need to look elsewhere for someone to scratch those itching ears..
H/T Sister Toldjah