Pope Has Changed the Tone—if Not the Teaching
John Corvino: Pope Francis brings 'love' back to 'love the sinner'
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2013 10:47 AM CDT
Pope Francis waves to faithful upon his arrival to the Church of Jesus to celebrate a mass, in Rome, Wednesday, July 31, 2013.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – Pope Francis once again made headlines this week when he asked, "Who am I to judge a gay person?" That's not because the Roman Catholic Church is changing its official stance on homosexuality, writes philosophy professor John Corvino in the New York Times, but it is changing its tone—"and tone matters." Why? "Because it signals that the Vatican might stop scapegoating gays for its problems of personnel and governance," he writes, and "it matters to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth, especially those raised Catholic, who grow up thinking that their desires are not just a sin but a perversion, a moral stain of the highest order."

The pope is not the only one who has softened his tone on this issue, notes Corvino: US Cardinal Timothy Dolan has made similar remarks, saying the church must "do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that." This, he says, is both "simple human decency" and "good politics," given the majority of American Catholics support marriage rights for same-sex couples. Yes, "Love the sinner, hate the sin," is an old adage, Corvino writes, but by adopting a tone of humility and referring to homosexuals as "our brothers," he "brings the 'love' part of 'love the sinner' front and center." Click for Corvino's full column.

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Aug 1, 2013 6:08 AM CDT
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Jul 31, 2013 9:05 PM CDT
Pure grade A Bullshit. The Pope has changed NOTHING. So far he's told gay men that they aren't welcome in the Catholic Church as anything but repentant worshipers with a 'disorder', and he's told women to forget about having any significant role in the Church. The status quo is maintained. If you're a gay man or a woman and you keep your mouth shut, they'll let you in to pray and they'll take your money, and that's it. Meanwhile, the Vatican continues to protect their rapist priests and the Bishops and Cardinals who have defied the law and hidden the rapist priests. They greet this clown like a rock star in Brazil while ignoring his criminal behavior. He and his predecessor both belong in jail.
Jul 31, 2013 2:52 PM CDT
And yet homosexuality is a sin. The idea that the Pope was changing that lies only in the minds of those who want to see that. The homosexual is a child of God. Like all of us though, it is their behavior that gets them in trouble and for which they'll have to answer to God. And only He knows their heart. His call, not ours with respect to their entrance into heaven. Our call to reach out to them.