March Madness?

Just when you think you’ve figured out the Roman Pontiff, Francis throws a wrench into the works.

It’s no secret that I haven’t been head cheerleader for the current Roman Pontiff. I’ve had serious doubts regarding Jorge Mario Bergoglio since shortly after he ascended to the papal throne in 2013 as Pope Francis. To say that I’ve been troubled by this man is an understatement

The teachings of Pope Francis, especially his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,“ have indeed been both troubling and confusing, especially, but not limited to the areas of human sexuality, homosexuality, and divorce. Topping off my ire was the 2019 Amazon Synod Pope Francis hosted in Rome, which featured pagan rituals, including the idolatrous graven image of Pachamama, the Amazonian or South American version of “Mother Earth,” and the pagan rites with which the Pontiff attended and participated.

After his elevation, Francis was heralded by LGBTQwxyz activists, liberal media, and especially Modernist Roman Catholics, for his forward and progressive thinking. Many interpreted his writings and encyclicals as reversing traditional church moral teachings, that is, until recently, has he seemingly, and suddenly changed his tune?

Pope Francis has a history of inviting LGBT advocates to the Vatican. He has spoken warmly about the place of gay people in the church. He has called for national laws for same-sex civil unions.

But Monday (March 15th), Francis signaled that there are some limits to his reformist intentions, as he signed off on a decree from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican office that defines and articulates Church teaching. The CDF issued a brief “responsum” to the question, which has come up in countries—notably, in Germany—where same-sex marriage is legal. reaffirming age old church teaching and bars priests from blessing same-sex unions.

The pronouncement, flies in the face of many clerics, and even bishops, who have expressed interested in performing such blessings, leans on the kind of language that LGBT Catholics have long found alienating — and that they had hoped Francis might change. It says that same-sex unions are “not ordered to the Creator’s plan.” It says acknowledging those unions is “illicit.” It says that God “cannot bless sin.”

Father James Martin, a New York Jesuit, said he feared the directive may prompt “some LGBTQ Catholics to leave the church, after years of feeling rejected and unwelcome.”