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Pope Francis blesses gay Catholic group in written letter

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  1. Michael 2912 10 Oct 2013, 6:15pm

    Same old same old. I’m sad enough that there are such people as gay Catholics but sadder still that they persist in their naïveté. The churches teaching is clear and unbending. Ignore it or it’ll destroy you.

    1. Troll

      1. Michael 2912 10 Oct 2013, 8:40pm

        That is grossly offensive. Please see my later post.

      2. You can’t just call anyone with a different opinion a troll.

      3. Colin (london) 10 Oct 2013, 10:50pm

        That’s no way to treat anyone please. I agree with Michael 2912.

        Nothing has changed. To me it’s the PR department working. Do you think we are even on his radar. He has bigger fish to fry and bigger problems. Leave them to their saint and fairy stories and lets do something meaningful with our lives.

    2. Does it make any difference whether the Pope blesses gays or curses gays as long as he maintains that any physical expression of sexual love between gays is always sinful?
      What dialogue can you have with a brick wall?

    3. Michael, the bible is NOT anti gay! It is mainstream christians who do this and twist it to sound like it is gay people. As an apologist gay christian, I do like it when people claim this with no evidence.

      1. Jess – how can you claim that there is no evidence for the bible being anti-gay? Lev 18:22-23. 1 Cor 6:9. 1 Tim 1:9-10. Rom 1:26-27. The evidence is there in black and white.

        1. The text of Leviticus is incomplete therefore we don’t know what is being condemned in the famous clobber passage , nobody today can be certain what “lay lyings of a woman” actually means, words have been inserted to make it readable and to make it anti-gay sex .

          Corinthians refers to male prostititution and sex wth boys and slaves, not homsexuality per se.

          Romans describes a grouo of heterosexuals devoutly engaged in ritual same sex acts of Pagan worship in order to be closer to their deity as was their belief, again it does not describe nor condemn homosexuality per se…K?

        2. Stop banging on about the old testiment.

          The new testiment was written to complete and correct the missunderstandings of the old testiment. The new testiment does not say anything bad about gay people at all and talks of love, harmony and acceptance.

          There is even a story about Jesus healing a “Special” male servent of a roman soldier. the bible at best is unclear so all the hate is purely down to people who read what they want to.

          The same can be said for the Quaran, there is barely a mention but some get a histeria about it.

          1. as long as there are people in Catholic Churches reading sermons from the Old Testament, it will still be “banged on” You claim that it isn’t as valid, but that is not at all the way things are presented.

      2. Michael 2912 11 Oct 2013, 7:25pm

        Hi Jess – I don’t want to make an issue here but I didn’t mention the Bible. I write as an atheist reader who’s spent time reading the KJV and the annotated NRSV in parallel. How weird is that you might ask? Indeed!

  2. Now if we can just get many of the bishops to stop contradicting him. Our local bishop is one of those who keep coming out with statements like “The Pope didn’t really mean that, nothing has changed”.

    1. Michael 2912 10 Oct 2013, 8:42pm

      Given your comment I’m at a loss to understand why you think it’s appropriate to call me a Troll. Please see my later post. I’m perfectly happy to exchange private email addresses for a civilized discussion. In the meantime I’m very deeply hurt. There are enough folks out there trying to damage us without us damaging each other – don’t you think?

    2. Colin (London) 10 Oct 2013, 10:53pm

      I now get it. I don’t believe in god or catholics or religion. I simply have no need for stories and when my time is up I’ll die and return to the dust that made me. All chemicals by the way. I believe in science

  3. The Pope now needs to sit down with all the cardinals and whatnot and go over their translations of the bible and their interpretation of the texts that lead them to demonize homosexuality.

    If they are honest, they will come to the conclusion that the bible never speaks about homosexuality at all.

    And to all the atheists who will now proceed to bash me, religion – despite all the ills of the past – can serve a useful social function. Remove the corruption, and you still have guidelines for successful social interaction, you have a ritual aspect that can bring comfort to people in distress (and yes, while I may not be able to quote them, I do know I’ve seen some studies that demonstrated that the ritual aspect of religion, even when completely divorced from any “supernatural” elements, have positive and constructive effect on a community).

    1. The placebo effect is scientifically proven to have an effect and the benefit of religion to any individual is just that , a very elaborate sugar pill that must be vigilantly protected from being exposed as what it really is.

      1. Why assume that the placebo effect is a bad thing? If sugar pills reduce pain, for example, then I’d say bring on the sugar pills.

        1. I assumed nothing of the sort in what I wrote in my previous comment.

          Sugar pills can bring relief but only so long as the recipient has belief that they are an effective drug.

          Religion is different in that it often requires you place your burden of sin upon a scapegoat as in, “Gays are intrinsically sinful and as I am less sinful than those sinful creatures I am more likely to go to heaven”
          This idea apparently brings comfort and relief to many religion enthusiasts, they must cling to it as a belief because once you dispel this delusion then they are forced to examine their own shortcomings instead of concentrating on the shortcomings of the gays and that might not make them feel so good at all.
          In a sense gays are the sugar pill or scapegoat that the church dispenses to it’s sick.

        2. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 6:55am

          It’s called living in the real world…facing up to change and not promising people a better life when they are dead while robbing them.

          Peru…village after village of real poverty and catholic silver alters three stories high everywhere….robbers.

  4. Gay catholics? Why would you patronise an organisation which hates you? Sounds a bit like Jewish people joining the Nazi Party. If these people really need to ‘believe’, couldn’t they find a less hateful bunch of god-botherers?

    1. Michael 2912 10 Oct 2013, 8:45pm

      Interesting: I made a very similar comment at the head of this thread and expanded it later in response to being called a Troll. I trust you haven’t been shown the same discourtesy.

      1. I’ve received three ‘reds’. I can only assume the mark-downs are from saddos who, for some reason, need to feel hated. Perhaps, because of the indoctrination of their catholic upbringing, they are self-haters and need that re-enforcing by an organisation which, throughout history, has persecuted those who refuse to toe-the-line. In my book, anyone who supports an outfit like the catholic church is simply allowing it to believe that it has a right to hold power over people. IT DOES NOT…. unless, of course, those people ALLOW it to, for their own pathetic reasons ….

    2. This is so naive. Catholic doesn’t mean homophobic…

      1. Catholic doctrine is intrinsically homophobic however.

      2. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 7:00am

        Yes it does ..ask my catholic sisters who teach in catholic schools….in the UK.

        Controlled to the nth degree by doctrine. Ask catholic teachers about what can be said to gay kids in their classes in primary and secondary schools.

        My sisters have gay children.

        To me there is nothing good about catholics or any religion. It mass control, power and money laundering.

        How many religious wars have we had in history..tells it own stories you don’t need me to highlight this. Get religion off this planet.

      3. “Catholic doesn’t mean homophobic”. It means supporting – politically and financially – an organisation that has relentlessly worked on oppressing and marginalising gay people. To claim that being a Catholic doesn’t make you homophobic is like claiming being a member of the KKK doesn’t make you a racist.

    3. FYI there was such a thing as Jewish Nazi collaborators- they were called Kapo and were brutal in their treatment of other jews.

    4. Paul Brownsey 11 Oct 2013, 12:50pm

      For many, it’s not a matter of patronising an organization that hates you. It’s about believing that that stuff about the Mass, etc, is actually TRUE, and you can’t alter what you believe just because you don’t like the people who promulgate it. Many sensible Catholics roll their eyes at the crazy and sick antics of the hierarchy; that’s perfectly consistent with believing the heart of the *doctrines*.

  5. Every time I read one of these stories I just can’t believe it. It’s almost as though it’s happening in a dream, like parrallel universe kind of stuff. I almost can’t believe it, and I’m half expecting this to be a trick, or a hoax.

  6. Philip Breen 10 Oct 2013, 7:21pm

    If Pope Francis’ gestures can discredit homophobia in religious ranks, by showing it to be as discriminatory and Christless as it is, his contribution in this matter will have been specifically valuable.

  7. St. Stevens in Honolulu is spending lots of their tax exemption money to sway their flock to call, write or email etc to prevent Same Sex Marriage, even to get it voted on by popular vote. They should loose that exemption. Will the pope please spank them too?

  8. Michael 2912 10 Oct 2013, 8:39pm

    I’m astonished to have been marked down for the comment that I posted at the top of this thread. One contributor has called me a Troll. Excuse me!

    By “Same old same old” I meant the cynical and insincere words of the Pope. Yet again he says something to suggest that he’s changing the Church’s stance when he clearly isn’t doing anything of the sort.

    My sadness that there are gay Catholics derives from a genuine regret that my LGBT brothers and sisters should remain in a Church that has no love for them.

    Am added sadness is that they clutch at very thin straws when they imagine that they’ll ever be accepted.

    My suggestion that Catholics will be destroyed if they didn’t ignore the message of the Church is a reference to a destruction of the spirit which happens when you continually seek approval from where it will never come.

    In short: The Pope should get lost – LGBTs (and everyone) should stop being Catholic and the vile message of the Church should be ignored. Thanks folks!

    1. Colin (London) 10 Oct 2013, 10:47pm

      My goodness we have the religious nutters on here tonight..

      Nothing has changed…a few words of NOTHINGNESS. The teachings of the church have not changed in any way. It’s PR working behind the scenes.

      I just don’t get why people need gods. Are you so terrified to live and to die. Death = the end as far as I’m concerned.

      We are simply passing through. Live well, live responsibly and savour every moment as best you can.

      1. you do realize that you are just as guilty of forcing your equivalent of “religion” on others as you keep accusing Christians of doing?

        you don’t believe in God. good for you, I guess. I don’t mind, it doesn’t affect me… until you start calling me an idiot for believing. You think that when you die, that’s it, just back to dust. I’m fine with that… until you start telling others that they should believe that too.

        You don’t get why people believe in God. That’s ALSO fine. But it doesn’t mean that somehow, your lack of belief in a deity makes you superior.

        Not all people of faith are fundamentalists. Not even the majority of people of faith (in the western world) are fundamentalists. Many, if not most, of us believe in evolution, science, and facts. And for many of us, we have doubts about God’s existence, but that sliver of faith we have is still a comfort to us.

        I’m really sorry that you feel you have to force that sliver of hope out of the hands of people.

        1. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 7:10am

          Yes but your lot affect my life..stop human rights…stop Gay Families…stop marriage….try to control me..try to tell me how I should live…try to tell me what to believe…try to tell me that others are wrong…tell me to go to war….RELIGION

          My belief system is about inclusion…allowing people to be what they can be…alternative ways of living….creativity…personal expression…working to help the poor not rob them.

          Lift the planet up.

          Sorry Mikey we simply see the world differently.

          I live today and look forward. I tend to find religious people look backwards…no solutions, control, rob.

          1. and all I’m telling you is that you are wrong on so many fronts. “ALL” religious people are not like that.

            I belong to a large church, nation-wide, and quite often sermons deal with latest scientific discoveries. they are discussed as marvels, not as evil or threatening. why do you have to link all religion to fundamentalist ravings?

            And the study I had read on the “ritual” aspect of religion had used a completely non-religious test group. they found there was a very positive effect in “belonging” and “participating” in a shared communal “ritual” – regardless of any mystical significance.

            See the world differently. I have absolutely no issue with that. But stop repeating that ALL people who see differently from YOU are wrong. Because that makes you no better than the rabid fundamentalists.

            If you really think that religion is never about helping the poor, about inclusion, creativity, personal expression, then you have a VERY poor understanding of religion.

        2. Your seriously not in the right place to complain about non religious people, this site is a place for a group of people who have been under attack from religion for many years and we don’t want to hear about your beliefs.

          There are plenty of religious sites where you can express your views with people who feel the same as you, here is not the right place.

          1. 1. I am not “complaining about non-religious people”. I am making the comparison that many of the atheists in this thread are acting in exactly the same way they accuse theists of acting, ie: intolerant and close-minded.

            2. This site isn’t an “atheist website”. It’s a LGBT news site. As such, that means there are LGBT people of faith. If YOU don’t want to hear about religion, then I am perplexed as to why you would bother POSTING in a thread that specifically deals with a religious issue… oh wait!! You posted to BASH religion! Do you see any irony in your actions?

            3. It isn’t up to you to tell people to go elsewhere. The galling arrogance of your stance is mind-boggling. The LGBT community is made up of both people of faith and atheists. There is room for both and there should be – at least between LGBT people, no? – a MODICUM of respect.

          2. (cont…)

            The Roman Catholic hierarchy may be in the wrong about LGBT people (they are), but I’ve been to plenty of sermons in Roman churches where the priest has been welcoming to LGBT people, with nary an ounce of judgement, contradicting church policy in every way.

            I’ve been to services that have been warm and embracing of LGBT people. This is the reality of the Roman cult.. the hierarchy are completely out of touch with reality, but a large segment of the grassroots are in complete disagreement with that hierarchy.

            You haven’t been “under attack from religion”. You’ve been under attack from homophobes who use religion as a shield.

            By the way, have you noticed that I haven’t attacked any atheists for their beliefs? I haven’t told anyone in this thread that they are wrong to believe what they do, or that they are idiots for doing so?

            And yet, the same courtesy has not been granted me. I haven’t pushed my religious beliefs on anyone.

  9. Jorge Mario Bergoglio has affirmed Catholic teachings on sexual morality. He said that while homosexual acts were sinful, the homosexual orientation was not.

    Totally unhelpful, we gay humans come as whole integrated physical, emotional ,intellectual, sexual and sometimes even spiritual packages I’m afraid, you can’t just have the bits you find acceptable I’m afraid, the problem is yours and your inability to accept human sexual nature and it’s natural diversity.

  10. Celibacy is unnatural and against nature but that said as it turns out there are far fewer celibate clergy than we have long been lead to believe and notonly that but they are also engaging in all sorts of unnatural and unpleasant sexual activities while pretending to be celibate and pious

  11. Paul Brownsey 10 Oct 2013, 9:37pm

    The fact that the Pope has sent a blessing to gay Catholics doesn’t imply support of them as *gay*. I remember the former Archbishop of Glasgow, Thomas Winning, sending blessings to a conference of gay Roman Catholics. The sending of a blessing costs nothing, as it were. It could be interpreted as meaning, “And I pray that God will show you the error of your wicked ways–that is the blessing I hope for.”

    1. What makes me laugh is the Pope’s disingenuous inference that there is any possible “dialogue” thing to be had between gay people and the church while the church continues to declare that all homosexual acts are always sinful, it’s a wicked, evil and untrue thing to say and it is always a block to any genuine dialogue.

    2. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 7:13am

      I remember him too……not a good man at all. Bigot through and through.

  12. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 7:14am


    Totally agree with the way you see this topic.

  13. Marky Mark 11 Oct 2013, 7:32am

    As a committed atheist, I find it impossible to comprehend why anyone would want to belong to an organisation that barely tolerates them (love the sinner, hate the sin). Gay Catholics hungrily consume any tiny appeasing crumb that is occasionally lobbed their way such as this blessing and are quick to tell the world about this wonderful breakthrough. The sad truth is that for every one of these, there are many more in the church hierarchy just queueing up to metaphorically kick the life out of them.

    1. Paul Brownsey 11 Oct 2013, 7:31pm

      Yes, but these Catholics *believe* the stuff about the Mass and heaven and hell, etc, no matter how obnoxious some members of the hierarchy are. You can’t switch off belief in the doctrines of the church just because the people who promulgate them are nasty. Do think a bit about the nature of beliefg. It’s not like joining a fan club.

      1. Marky Mark 12 Oct 2013, 9:22am

        I love the way you’ve presumed that I haven’t considered the nature of belief and based your critical comment on your own presumption.

  14. its rather laughable when non catholics and non believers express opinion on faith and being catholic, its like telling the mother of four what is it like to give birth, without going through the experience in the first place

    1. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 9:32am

      Many of us where brought up in religious families. Our rejection is therefore very valid indeed.

      1. and childless midwife still wouldnt know what is it like to give birth

        1. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 11:38am

          And your point is…

          1. exactly what it says in my first post

        2. The midwife is a recognised expert on these matters, would be more knowledgeable about the subject than the woman going through it even if she has given birth many times before and as such is more than capable of expressing an opinion.

          1. yes but most of posters on here seems to be ‘… recognised expert…’ on issues concerning faith and being catholic

            comments like the one from Marky Mark perfectly sum up my point

            ‘….As a committed atheist, I find it impossible to comprehend why anyone would want to belong to an organisation that barely tolerates them…’

    2. Marky Mark 11 Oct 2013, 9:52am

      I too was brought up as a strict Methodist and was a Sunday School teacher (because I didn’t dare so no in those days) so can quote doctrines and bible passages to you until you’re bored rigid. So please, don’t cast your whiny assertions in my direction until you know better.
      One of the most liberating days in my life was when I left home at 19, found others who didn’t believe and I realised that I wasn’t such a freak for thinking there is no God.

    3. I was brought up in a Catholic family and attended Catholic schools until high school age, I have a better knowledge of Bible text than do most practising Catholics.

      1. if you were such splendid catholic as you claim then you would know that unlike other western branches of christianity, catholics are not required to be obsessed with the bible.

        although bible, especially new testament is central in catholic teachings it is catechism based around dogmats and church doctrines that take central stage in catholic church life

    4. Paul Brownsey 11 Oct 2013, 12:55pm

      If the RC Church confined itself to exercising its sway over the consenting adults in its tabernacles, perhaps it would be an impertinence for outsiders to comment. But the RC Church strives to have its teachings imposed on *everyone*, RC or not. It didn’t just tell its own members, “Don’t have a gay marriage.” It tried (ah, yes, Cardinal O’Brien tried so terribly hard…) to get gay marriage forbidden by law to anyone, Catholic or not. And in Scotland, a school sex education programme for all kids makes no mention of condoms because the RC Church vetoed it. Given that the RC Church is so assiduous in trying to get all of us compelled to follow its teachings, then it is perfectly in order for outsiders to weight in against it.

      1. clearly you have problem with differentiating. again im not defending RCC. my first post clearly convey my point

    5. If they kept their beliefs to themselves, you might have a point. Since they do not, neither do you.

      1. im not defending roman catholic church, learn to read with understanding

  15. Marky Mark 11 Oct 2013, 9:50am

    I too was brought up as a strict Methodist and was a Sunday School teacher (because I didn’t dare so no in those days) so can quote doctrines and bible passages to you until you’re bored rigid. So please, don’t cast your whiny assertions in my direction until you know better.

    One of the most liberating days in my life was when I left home at 19, found others who didn’t believe and I realised that I wasn’t such a freak for thinking there is no God.

    1. ‘…One of the most liberating days in my life was when I left home at 19…’

      clearly you were never a believer in the first place, so my ‘ whiny assertions’ still stand

      1. Wow Kane, I really hope you are just pretending to be faithful here, going around and deciding who really believed in god and who didn’t. Otherwise that whole “Judge not lest ye be judged yourself” would bite you right in the ass.

        Look, I get that it’s a big deal for the office of the Papacy to be filled by someone who isn’t a rabid homophobe, but that doesn’t make the criticisms of the church itself any less valid.

        In fact, while this pope may seem to be ok with homosexuals as people, it’s the same condescending BS it has been, as he is still referring people back to the old “Don’t hate the Sinner, Hate the Sin” Where it’s perfectly fine to BE gay as long as you don’t do anything to ACT gay (You know, like kissing the one you love)

        Sure it’s a step forward, but it’s a baby step, not the leap that it is constantly being presented as.

        1. im not pretending anything nor deciding who really believed in god and who didn’t i conclude and im not defending roman catholic church.

          read my first post

      2. Marky Mark 11 Oct 2013, 4:58pm

        I was a believer because I was told to believe from a young age. I didn’t get a choice and just thought EVERYONE believed. When I started to develop my own mind and questioned those beliefs, I became confused as to how I could come to some satisfactory conclusion. Then I stepped out from my mother’s Christian apron strings and entered the world of work; a world with many non-believers. Suddenly I realised that it was okay to not believe in God and I’ve become happier with this decision with every passing year of my very full and interesting life. So Kane, you were wrong again!

        1. children rarely get to choose they are not mature enough to make right choices. its responsibility of parents to decide for them. yes as i child or young person you believed because you were told to do so but probably your were not mature enough to develop faith

  16. So what does this mean? That we should all somehow be grateful that the head of this evil corporation of misogynistic, child raping, child torturing homophobes has uttered a mealy mouth platitude that we can choose to interpret as some level of approval?

    1. clearly you have problem with differentiating. again im not defending RCC. my first post clearly convey my point

      1. posted in wrong place

  17. Although Catholic doctrine looks to remain the same on Gay sex, recent comments of a more compassionate nature by the pope are extremely valuable. Such is his power over the “flock” that lives could be saved by these gestures. It is right we still remain intolerant of religious bigotry but let us recognise when things go in the right direction.

    1. Be ever so grateful for what at a stretch might possibly be interpreted as the tiniest mercy drops from heaven, you mean?
      It’s just too tenuous and vague, it’s simply not enough to signify any change of stance on the part of the church or to be described as compassionate.
      Tricky and devious is a better way to describe it.

      1. Pavlos, I share your skepticism. However, recognition and gratitude are not the same thing. His statements are not enough but they are better than the statements on Gay issues made by Ratzinger, which directly led to beatings and murders around the world.

  18. This man understand what a lot of Catholics and Christians fail to comprehend… societies have evolved, they are abandoning religion, they are becoming more secular and the power and influence of these organized religions is collapsing around them.

    He understands this, and he is attempting to modernize the religion to survive this age of enlightenment.

    They have two choices, they either modernize and accept that society has evolved and their absolutist opinions are defunct, or they stick to their dogma like rabid wolves on a rotting carcass and die out like the dinosaurs.

    It’s really that simple. If these religious factions of society refuse to move forward, within another fifty years they’ll likely be no more effective or relevant to the world than $cientologist.

    He understands that organized religion is facing a backlash for their draconian and outdated opinions and he is trying to move it down a path of survival.

    1. Colin (London) 11 Oct 2013, 11:52am

      Let it die out. It and other religions hold the world back. Worse there god wars.

      We now have laws science society that adds to the planet and people who care for others and the planet.

      Religion hides behind funny clothes money art political pawns for their survival hiding their deviations to the ones they profess to look after. Priests and nuns and the other religions as well. They are human so have no right to hide behind a book written for simple people embellished beyond belief.

    2. Marky Mark 11 Oct 2013, 5:10pm

      BlokeToys, my hubby is Argentinian Spanish and knows of the Pope from when he worked in Buenos Aires. He has a very good reputation for dealing with the disenfranchised and ensuring that people are treated equally. I suspect that while towing the party line somewhat in loving the sinner but hating the sin, his main message is one of tolerance……certainly more than the last two Draconian Popes. However, he cannot just make one great proclamation and declare his love for all gays as he will end up going the same way as John Paul I.

      The grassroots of the Catholic Church would not tolerate such a radical shift……I know of many of hubby’s Spanish family who will eat nothing other than fish on Fridays to name but one ridiculous and outdated ‘ritual’. Can you imagine the seething mass of intolerance and bigotry that exists among those people who follow Catholic doctrine to the very letter?

      I say let religion just die out naturally.

  19. This man giving his blessing is about as much interest to me as a blessing from Mr Blobby.

    He appears to be a nice old man but that is it, sadly many of the haters who claim to follow this religion will ignore his words because they don’t actually want peace and acceptence.

    1. and guess what? many of the followers WILL follow his words. As a matter of fact, many of the followers have already been doing for years what it’s taken the hierarchy so many years themselves to express.

  20. David Cade 11 Oct 2013, 6:53pm

    The thought of any group of homosexual Catholics rejoicing because they have received “a blessing” from the pope of the day moves me to pity. That should expect a great deal more than “a blessing”.

    The Church is the best friend of homosexuals, both because she tells them they are made in God’s image and have intrinsic dignity and rights and are called to be saints, and because she is the only social force left that insists on moral absolutes—so when they sin against themselves she says NO, just as she does to heterosexuals who sin against themselves sexually, but when others sin against them she says NO also.
No one else dares to say NO. She speaks up for everyone, including homosexuals.

    1. I definitely do not need “friends” like the church.

    2. I said NO once back in 1986 and regretted it ever since as he was gorgeous. From then on, I made it my mission to always say YES. YES. OOOOH YEEESSSS! etc etc

  22. Colin (London) 14 Oct 2013, 8:10pm

    This guy is an uneducated prat…

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