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Thread: Papal Visit: No, Pope Francis Isn't Changing Catholic Teaching

  1. #1
    Real American™ nam's Avatar
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    Papal Visit: No, Pope Francis Isn't Changing Catholic Teaching

    My Facebook post:

    Well Pope Francis is here in the USA. There is a false notion that exists about this Pope that he is somehow changing the Church's stance on things.


    Here's the thing: there is not one word to exit the Pope's mouth that diverges from long held Catholic teachings.


    Respect and dignity for gay people? Nope. Nothing to see here. While the Church has long held that acts of homosexuality to be a sin, the Church's official teaching on the dignity and rights of gay persons has long been affirmed by the Church. In fact, the Catholic Church has officially opposed sodomy laws because they demean the dignity of gay people and inhibit the ability of the church to minister to gay people. Nothing new here.


    Perhaps the Pope's distaste for unbridled capitalism is new? Nope. The church has always opposed unbridled capitalism and warned against the greed to such systems inspire. Nothing new here.


    Perhaps it is his emphasis of doing more for the poor and the support of government social programs meant to aid the poor? Nope. This is the typical view of the Church on this matter. Nothing new here.


    Maybe it is his concern about pollution and global warming? Nope. Pope John Paul II first made the environment and global warming a moral concern for the Church in 1990. Nope nothing new here.


    So, how is this Pope different? Perhaps he emphasizes these things more frequently than past Popes, but, really, he is not different on the bottom line of these issues. So, it is fallacy to say that he is changing anything about Catholicism.


    Oh, and here is a good article on the Church and environmental issues:


    "John Paul II’s message on that day pointed to a worldwide ecological crisis, and while it did not mention climate change by name his references were clear. 'Industrial waste, the burning of fossil fuels, unrestricted deforestation, the use of certain types of herbicides, coolants and propellants: all of these are known to harm the atmosphere and environment,' he said. 'The resulting meteorological and atmospheric changes range from damage to health to the possible future submersion of low-lying lands.'"
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    Member WQ's Avatar
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    Good post, Nam.

    Frankly, quite a lot of it comes down to how things are reported, as well.

    I saw a funny thing when Francis was more recently elected called "proof the Pope is a liberal" that had a bunch of quotes from "The Pope." At the end, they were all revealed to be from Benedict XVI.
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    Camacho 2016 tpatt100's Avatar
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    I was thinking people heard what they wanted to hear, I remember several stories and thought "I don't think he is saying what you think he is saying".
    Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.


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    Great post!

    Here's an article from the NCR:

    http://m.ncregister.com/daily-news/f...#ixzz3mVZ196yb

    People love to misunderstand this pope. I don't know if he's just a terrible communicator, or if people can't deal with the fact that they really like him and need to misunderstand him as a coping mechanism. :P

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    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    From someone on the outside looking in, this pope seems to be exactly what the Catholic church needed.

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    Unrelentingly Oppositional Andrea's Avatar
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    He isn't any different but he has people talking about something other than child sex abuse, a topic which was front and center of any discussion on the Catholic Church for a long time.

    "When politics becomes a religion, then simple disagreements become apostasies, heresies. And you know what we do with heretics." -- Peggy Noonan


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    I guess he's been allowed to move on to other topics. JPII sure as fuck didn't handle it well and BXVI had to deal with all of it.
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    Moderator Shaena's Avatar
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    I love this Pope. He is also a Jesuit, which makes me love him more.
    He is also very charismatic, and approachable in a way Benedict was not. Like any leader people need someone they can relate to. He is not changing doctrine, what he is changing is attitude.

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    Real American™ nam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandora View Post
    Great post!

    Here's an article from the NCR:

    http://m.ncregister.com/daily-news/f...#ixzz3mVZ196yb

    People love to misunderstand this pope. I don't know if he's just a terrible communicator, or if people can't deal with the fact that they really like him and need to misunderstand him as a coping mechanism. :P
    No. It is not so much that he's a terrible communicator. I think he's a great communicator on these issues. I just think that the last two Popes, and the American Catholic Bishops weren't so good at emphasizing these parts of the Church's teachings the way Pope Francis is. The American Bishops have pretty much allied themselves with the Christian right, and so, although they do speak of these things, it is more in hushed tones to not offend their political allies, so what if they speak loudest about is sexual morality and abortion. That's where the religous money and religious politics are in this country. So, with Pope Francis being so outspoken in this way, it SEEMS like a change, but it is not.
    If you are not willing to fall flat on your face, then the only thing you will have is a pretty face.

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    Premier Sponsor beccaphel's Avatar
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    I think he has placed more emphasis on these issues than the popes in the recent past have done, and, in doing so, has created a much more positive perception of the pope. The teachings haven't changed, the message hasn't changed, but the way the message has been communicated has been different, whether through the way he has spoken or the way the media has reported it. I think, in the past, a lot of this that the current pope has preached about seemed to get lost, either, again, through the way the popes of the past spoke or the way the media reported. I'm glad this pope is getting a more positive message out there, even if it has been the message all along.

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