Thursday, November 07, 2013

"Illinois House approves gay marriage, speaker cites Pope Francis"

This article from the Christian Science Monitor (November 6, 2013) prompted Augustinus to publish the following post today, entitled "Words have consequences" over at Rorate Caeli (November 7, 2013):
No, the Pope's words on homosexuality do not change the doctrine of the Church, and in no way excuse what these 'lawmakers' have done. At the same time, this does not bode well for those who have argued that the Pope's strategy of putting the accent almost exclusively on inclusion and compassion will do little harm to the Church, while miraculously attracting large numbers back to the faith.
Turning to the Monitor's article, Augustinus then highlighted a number of key passages thusly:
After months of false starts, the Illinois House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to legalize same-sex marriage, and Pope Francis's recent comments about homosexuality may have played a small but significant role, reports suggest.

At least one Catholic lawmaker cited the pope's statement as she explained her recent decision, and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, also a Catholic, used the pope's words to articulate his own reasons for supporting the bill. Previously, he had been criticized for not pushing hard enough to rally support for the bill. Other factors played into the shift that made passage through the House possible Tuesday, including two US Supreme Court decisions this summer in favor of gay marriage, reports suggest. But with polls showing public opinion moving toward greater acceptance of gay marriage, the events in Illinois raise questions about whether opposition among Catholic lawmakers could be waning.

Pope Francis caused international ripples in July, when he warned that the Roman Catholic Church had become too focused on its opposition to homosexuality, asking, "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?"

At that point, the Illinois bill had passed through the state Senate but was languishing in the House. The House convened in both January and May without voting on the bill, as its supporters struggled to assemble a majority amid a tide of organized opposition, with churches among the leading opponents.

But according to The Chicago Tribune, Pope Francis' comments "sparked a wave of soul-searching by several Catholic lawmakers who had battled to reconcile their religious beliefs with their sworn duty to represent their constituents who were increasingly supportive of gay rights even as Cardinal Francis George remained opposed."

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D), who had spent much of the summer undecided, voted for the bill on Tuesday, telling the Tribune, "As a Catholic follower of Jesus and the pope, Pope Francis, I am clear that our Catholic religious doctrine has at its core love, compassion, and justice for all people."

And House Speaker Madigan (D) echoed the Pope's words in the Tribune, adding a legal twist: "For those that just happen to be gay – living in a very harmonious, productive relationship but illegal – who am I to judge that they should be illegal?"

Though he was an early supporter of the bill, his commitment to it had been question. But on Tuesday, advocates told the Tribune that he had been instrumental in rounding up the needed votes in recent weeks – and Madigan told the paper that he had personally helped persuade at least five legislators to support it.
[Hat tip to JM]


bill bannon said...

Let's take Christ talking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:
" 'Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. ...23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Based on the way people are judging Pope Francis,
Christ led this woman and all the Samaritans she would talk to...into believing that there would be no places of worship in the new covenant. Earlier Christ talks to her of spiritual water which draws all attention away from His blood in the Eucharist:
" 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
If Pope Francis repeats that kind of language, all hell will break loose about his not talking about the Eucharist.
Fr. Raymond Brown, terrible in some areas...brilliant in others, said that John's gospel found
acceptance last in the Church because the gnostics loved it with its talk of light and darkness. Yet presently....who sees its alleged dangers anymore.
Do a piece on the diseased man Francis embraced. I suspect from the secular comboxes that that moment has made several million human beings begin the turning toward God.

JFM said...


Foul ball. Jesus did a lot that confounded people. Of course then again, He was God. Sort of a game changer. The Pope is not, and his parallel is Peter, who had to be straightened out by Paul. Therefore to use Christ as our Example in the more unusual aspects of our communication is risky at best. I wonder, for the millions now tuning in due to PF's positivism, does that compensate for the thousands of young Catholics struggling with their sexuality who may now begin to indulge *those* feelings due to tacit understanding?

I don't know. I do know that we have already seen from more recent centuries what vague talk on hot-button issues get us, and it is not more conversions, but less Catholics. All the bickering back and forth can't cover up the fact the Church's biggest problem is not how the world sees us from the outside, but the uncertain sound coming from the inside.

SInce we are talking about Wellsognmark, this says it all, well, well.

bill bannon said...

Thanks...I see no game changer. Christ was the God/man talking in human words in the communication process wherein Peter in Galatians was rebuked by Paul for non verbal conductof at first eating with the Gentiles but then withdrawing from that habit once certain Jews arrived.

JM said...

Verbal or non-verbal, he was *corrected.* Popes have no more guarantee of infallible verbal teachings, outside of ex cathedra statements, than they do of non-verbal conduct! Besides, if Francis would simply withdraw from the habit of granting scandal-breeding interviews, that'd be enough. Like Peter, he's had his share of impressive media moments as well. Sure, we all can fall into the trap of being like the Samaritans, but the folks voicing concerns aren't by any means uniformly deserving such labels.