The Pope has decreed that Roman Catholic clergy may bless same-sex unions … but maintains that as far as the Roman Catholic church is concerned, marriage is between a man and a woman.
Oh, the snark that ensued.
A pastor I respect said pointedly that same sex marriages do not need the blessing of the Pope.
Others felt the Pope had not gone far enough.
These people have missed the significance of this proclamation.
No, same-sex couples do not need the Pope’s blessing. But many who are Catholic believers have found meaning in this proclamation. If you’re wondering how gay people could also be Catholic believers, join the club. But some are, and for those people, it is a meaningful act. And symbolic.
And sure, it would’ve been logical if the Pope had simply sanctioned all marriages as valid in the eyes of the Church. But that is not how the church moves. Like a big ship, this institution changes direction very slowly and with difficulty. Centuries of repressive history tell us that it’s not going to suddenly become a bastion of liberal spirituality.
If you listen closely, you can hear the Church creaking as Pope Francis attempts to move closer into this century.
I’m not sure it will get there before it becomes completely irrelevant.
Some American bishops do not approve of the Pope’s action. To that I say, “so what?” These are likely some of the same bishops who covered up sexual abuse. It’s hard to respect a group that so clearly has damaged some of its faithful. But of course, to believers, this disapproval is painful.
The Church is becoming less relevant to its flock than ever. Although I was born and baptized Catholic, the Church never had any impact on me at all. I do not think of myself as a Roman Catholic. I do love the nostalgia and history of the ritual, especially in my favorite church, Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. But it’s not my spiritual connection.
Pope Francis is an old man who is trying hard to move the Church closer to our world’s reality before he dies and his office passes to someone else. Probably someone far more repressive, because that is the way the world is going. Sadly.
I think we should appreciate his significant attempts to shift the institution into reality.
He should be lauded.
Grief is a bitch, it really is. And it must be processed. Helpful tools here. https://www.etsy.com/shop/AHealingSpirit