Things That Matter

The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

The Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

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According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

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It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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Pope Francis Says That Women Are Now Allowed to Read Scripture During Mass and People Have Conflicting Emotions

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Pope Francis Says That Women Are Now Allowed to Read Scripture During Mass and People Have Conflicting Emotions

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On Monday, Pope Francis announced that he has amended the Code of Canon Law, the official Catholic doctrine to formally allow women to give readings from the bible during mass.

Pope Francis said he made the change in order to recognize the “precious contribution” Catholic women make to the Catholic community.

While some have praised Pope Francis’s decision as a step in the right direction, some have taken issue with the papal decree that also seems to go out of its way to make a distinction between “ordained” ministries (like the priesthood and the diaconate) and other types of priesthoods that are open to both men and women.

It seems that Catholic equality activists are divided into two camps: those who believe that the decree will “open a door” towards women being ordained priests, and those who think the ordinance explicitly shuts down the possibility.

“This is the first codification of allowing women inside the sanctuary,” said historian Phyllis Zagano to AP News. “That’s a very big deal.” Zagano believes that the decree is a step towards female ordination because “you can’t be ordained as deacons unless you’re installed as lectors or acolytes [first].”

Critics are also saying that the ordinance is simply an empty gesture to appease Catholic women who want more leadership roles within the church.

“There is nothing new in the decree — it effectively recognizes the roles that many women have been doing for decades, only now they will be controlled by a bishop,” Lucetta Scaraffia, former editor of the Vatican’s women magazine “Donne”, said to “The New York Times”.

“It seems as though the pope is conceding something to women, but it is something that they’ve had for decades, while denying what they have requested, the diaconate,” she continued.

Indeed, the act of allowing women to read from the bible during mass is already widely practice in Catholic Churches across the world.

When Pope Francis amended the Canon Law to “officially” allow it, he was simply adding greater legitimacy to a practice that was already in place in many ministries across the developed world.

The Argentinian pope explained his decision in a letter, saying that the newly-formally ordained practice would “allow women to have a real and effective impact on the organization, the most important decisions and the direction of communities, while continuing to do so in a way that reflects their womanhood.”

But what “womanhood” is remains up to interpretation. And it definitely isn’t the same as what was when the Roman Catholic Church was first established in 313 A.D.

It is also worth noting that some religious historians believe that women held leadership roles like deacon (ordained minister) in the early history of the Catholic Church.

In fact, since he’s been in office, Pope Francis has created two separate commissions to further investigate the role of women during the early Catholic Church. If it is found that women were, indeed, sometimes ordained as deacons, that fact could give a precedence to women becoming ordained ministers in the current era.

But until then, Pope Francis has made it clear that he has no plans to change canon law to include women in the priesthood or diaconate.

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Pope Francis Is Over All You People Complaining About Covid Restrictions So Do Better

Things That Matter

Pope Francis Is Over All You People Complaining About Covid Restrictions So Do Better

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Covid numbers are out of control in the U.S. Numbers are increasing in every state and the holiday weekend is expected to make the crisis worse. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cannot limit religious gatherings. Pope Francis is really over people complaining about necessary Covid restrictions.

Pope Francis is really over everyone complaining about life-saving Covid restrictions.

We have all seen the videos of people protesting against Covid restrictions. These restrictions are created to protect public health and slow the spread of the virus. Following the guidelines and restrictions is a simple matter that can let the rest of us get back to some kind of normal faster. Ignoring the guidelines and restrictions is what prolongs the lockdowns because of the idea that your personal choices are more important than everyone’s health.

Pope Francis wrote an op-ed for the New York Times calling out the people fighting the restrictions.

“Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom,” Pope Francis wrote in his op-ed. “Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.”

The pope made it clear that disregarding the restrictions is an act of selfishness.

Pope Francis’ op-ed comes one day after the Supreme Court sided with religious groups complaining about New York’s restrictions. The newly conservative court responded as expected. Many are pointing to Amy Coney Barrett as someone who followed their religion over the good of the American public, as many predicted she would.

“If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish than when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others’ pain,” Pope Francis wrote in his op-ed for The New York Times. “There’s a line in Friedrich Hölderlin’s “Hyperion” that speaks to me, about how the danger that threatens in a crisis is never total; there’s always a way out: “Where the danger is, also grows the saving power.” That’s the genius in the human story: There’s always a way to escape destruction. Where humankind has to act is precisely there, in the threat itself; that’s where the door opens.”

Pope Francis added: “This is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities — what we value, what we want, what we seek — and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of.”

The pope’s willingness to speak out on issues is earning him respect from people around the world.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike are celebrating Pope Francis for his willingness to call out the failures he sees in our governments. Pope Francis has also been pivotal in pushing the Catholic church forward in accepting the LGBTQ+ community. It seems like Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court has energized Pope Francis’ push to make the Catholic church more accepting and believe in science.

Covid has given the pope a perfect time to talk about true religious values like caring for your neighbor and he is using it.

READ: Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

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