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Pope opens big week with sex, divorce, homosexuality, gay marriage on agenda

Monday, February 17, 2014
Andrew Medichini, APPope Francis delivers his blessing to the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican to attend the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.

Andrew Medichini, AP
Pope Francis delivers his blessing to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican to attend the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.

VATICAN CITY — Meetings this week between Pope Francis and his cardinals will deal with some of the thorniest issues facing the church, including the rejection by most Catholics of some of its core teaching on premarital sex, contraception, gays and divorce.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper, who has called for “changes and openings” in the church’s treatment of divorced and remarried Catholics, will give the keynote speech Thursday to the pope and cardinals attending a preparatory meeting for an October summit on family issues.

The cardinals are in town for Saturday’s ceremony to formally install 19 new “princes of the church,” the first batch named by Francis to join the group of churchmen who will elect his successor. Saturday’s ceremony is the high point of an intensive week of meetings presided over by Francis that include the first proposals to put the Vatican’s financial house in order.

Ahead of Saturday’s consistory, cardinals will meet for two days behind closed doors to begin preparations for the October summit on family issues.

Francis scheduled the summit last year and took the unusual step of sending bishops around the world a questionnaire for ordinary Catholics to fill out about how they understand and practice church teaching on marriage, sex and other issues related to the family.

The results, at least those reported by bishops in Europe and the United States, have been eye-opening.

Bishops themselves reported that the church’s core teachings on sexual morals, birth control, homosexuality, same-sex marriage and divorce are rejected as unrealistic and outdated by the vast majority of Catholics, who nevertheless said they were active in parish life and considered their faith vitally important.

“On the matter of artificial contraception the responses might be characterized by the saying, ‘That train left the station long ago,’” Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, recently wrote on his blog, summarizing his survey’s findings. “Catholics have made up their minds and the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) suggests the rejection of church teaching on this subject.”

German and Swiss bishops released similar survey results earlier this month. German bishops reported this: “The church’s statements on premarital sexual relations, on homosexuality, on those divorced and remarried and on birth control … are virtually never accepted, or are expressly rejected in the vast majority of cases.”

The Swiss bishops went further, saying the church’s very mission was being threatened by its insistence on such directives.

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81 more reader comments:

  1. Hopefully this will be the week he gets rid of Bishop Finn!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:05pm
  2. fuck the pope and his cult followers

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:05pm
  3. Do you need to be so disrespectful?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:08pm
  4. Hey now! You have a right to your opinion but this Pope rules!

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:10pm
  5. he's fine... for a pope. I won't say he 'rules'. If action replaces words on some of the more important things then I'll reevaluate. And he still won't go any further on the gay issue so I'll still hate him and the institution.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:12pm
  6. he's just expanding his cult so he can steal more money from the poor while doing jack shit about his pedos except moving them around so they can comment more disgusting acts in the name of their invisible man in the sky and their book of childrens nursery rhymes.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:14pm
  7. I just want to point out that he is a good man. He is trying to change an institution which has held these bigotries and prejudices for centuries. It's naive to think it's going to change overnight, but at least he's trying.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:15pm
  8. And saying all catholics are pedophiles is just as bigoted as saying all gays are sexual deviants or all blacks are thiefs or all whites are supremacists. Just think about that

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:17pm
  9. I didn't say though, but nice try of protecting your pedo-filled cult.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:18pm
  10. You sound just like the ignorant people the lgbt are trying to change. I do not pretend the catholic church, as an institution has done horrific things. I believe that it needs to change and it is changing. People like you are hypocrites. You are just as bigoted as the westboro baptists.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:22pm
  11. Yea, it's funny and by that I mean sad that someone can't point out the truth, that there is a rampent problem of pedophila in the money-grubbing church, without certain brainwashed masses (no pun) equating to it being said that everyone in said church is a pedophil than dismissing everything that was said.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:25pm
  12. He is making revolutionary changes and I don't worship this pope but I think he is kind wants to unite people, with good intentions.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:30pm
  13. Didn't I say that I do believe that the things that have happened, and still happen in the church are horrific and that they need to change? I am not defending them nor condoning them, I am disgusted by them. There are many rules of catholicism that I, and many others do not follow. I believe priests should be allowed to marry, whether they be gay or straight, also the sexism in the church needs to end. This man is taking strides to do these things and you have the audacity to sit at your computer and make hateful remarks about catholics. I know many wonderful, kind, caring priests who risked their positions to expose the abuses. It is unfair for you to tag us all as pedophiles. Please check your own bigotries before accusing others.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:38pm
  14. All of you licking the Pope's ballsack shut the fuck up! He is no different than any of the other child fucking FREAKS in this facade of a religion. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. I hope the old pedophile drops dead of a heart attack personally. There. Blasphemous enough for you Catholic pedo apologists?

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:49pm
  15. Chris, you just sound like a vulgar and ignorant child. Please grow up. He is different, very different. You are disgusting. I'm so sad to see this kind of hate in the lgbt, I thought the main message of the lgbt was tolerance.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:54pm
  16. Not expecting much on this one despite his happy talk.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:05pm
  17. People think he’s the anti Christ.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:07pm
  18. Kind of ironic that the ONE Pope who tries to act Christ-like is the ONE Pope Christians call the Anti-Christ. Go figure

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:09pm
  19. Jesus never said anything against homosexuality. The pope & his church do.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:19am
  20. I know. I don't believe in that stuff, but I've over heard it on religious programs my gramma watches and that's how I know.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:20am
  21. I guess this is a baby step?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:11pm
  22. He can kiss my ass…. And he’s rules….

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:11pm
  23. Don’t look for dogma to change! Look for an adaptation based on what is pastorally necessary!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:12pm
  24. Just as unnecessary as religion itself…

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:13pm
  25. Oh my god, I’m so shocked…. Now what are they going to do about it?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:14pm
  26. Pervert

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:17pm
  27. they are so obsessed with gay marriage, one might reach the conclusion that they are stuck in the closet themselves

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:18pm
  28. I feel indifferent. If he can make Catholics open minded and more accepting, all power to him. I’m Pagan so he means nothing to me, I just find it sorta laughable that people think he’s the anti Christ.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:18pm
  29. An interesting read.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:19pm
  30. Open up and change on contraception, divorce, gay rights or get ready to be irrelevant in the modern world!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:22pm
  31. In the US, majority of the Roman Catholics reject the church’s teachings on homosexuality, but 2/3 global Catholics accept the church’s teachings on gay rights but not on divorces, re marriage, etc.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:26pm
  32. The heading looks like a party going on at the Vatican. The only thing missing is drugs and rock and roll.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:27pm
  33. Bless.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:29pm
  34. I agree with Ali 100%. I am constantly seeing people on these comment threads who do nothing but bash all Catholics. It’s beginning to sound like a broken record. If you people care so much about the Church ignoring its problem of child molesting priests, then why are you in turn ignoring other churches’ child molesting preachers? This isn’t exclusive to the Catholic Church. It just so happens that pedophiles attempt to gain access to children through any means necessary, whether it be through the priesthood, becoming teachers, or becoming scout masters. Anyway, this Pope will appoint many new Cardinals throughout his tenure, giving him the potential to influence the Church’s mentality exponentially. If he continues to appoint like-minded Cardinals who concentrate on the mission of taking care of the poor instead of focusing on social issues like contraception and same -sex marriage then I think the Church can finally move forward.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:31pm
  35. YFZ = Yearn For Zion a fundie poly mormon group that is still marrying little girls.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:51pm
  36. Other Churches actually turn in their pedophiles, they don't hide them. Ignoring the parts of humanity that you don't like or treating them as less than what they are(Gay Families) simply lessens your importance to the world at large even more.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:19pm
  37. And ALL having to do with sex in one form or another.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:35pm
  38. Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:41pm
  39. Who is he to judge when the church has child sexual abuse an banking scandals going on to this date?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:43pm
  40. Went to Church and the priest was preaching hate regarding gay marriage? I almost walk out but said to myself, I’m here for God and look up to pray this type of hate goes away. Felt very awkward and sad.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:44pm
  41. Chris Homsley, thanks for showing you are filled with just as much hate as the people I thought we were all supposed to be united in fighting against. You have shown that, just like the other bigots out there, you are incapable of judging the actions of individuals, and instead choose to use broad stereotypes to judge entire groups of people. The word hypocrite fits you very nicely, don’t you think?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:53pm
  42. Totally ignoring sex crimes and the ongoing cover up.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:54pm
  43. You know what’s really curious. There are soooooo many Rabbi,s who have been doing this yet it is barely ever reported. There is no doubt Some Catholic Priest have done this, yet the Jewish atrocities are ignored. How come?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:02pm
  44. Curious

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:05pm
  45. So far he’s nothing but talk

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:06pm
  46. Him and his nasty god can fuck themselves

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:09pm
  47. THE BISHOP OF HAWAII NEVER PASSED OUT ANY SURVEY TO ANY CHURCH HERE IN HAWAII!! I ALSO THINK THE OTHER BISHOPS DID NOT PASS OUT THEIR’S BUT MADE FALSE STATEMENTS THAT THEY HAVE DONE IT!! CAUSE THEY ALL DON’T WANT ANY CHANGE’S IN THE CHURCH!! I THINK THE POPE SHOULD JUST GO AHEAD & FOLLOW HIS HEART & START DOING THE CHANGE’S!! BY MOVING THE CHURCH FORWARD IN TO A NEW FUTURE!! PLUS HE SHOULD LET WOMEN BE PRIEST OF OUR CHURCHES TOO!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:11pm
  48. Homophobic bigot!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:18pm
  49. Well they gotta explain why some were gay & liking lil boys LOL

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:23pm
  50. look !! ,its satan in the background !!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:27pm
  51. a mafia boss judging me on who I can love…

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:30pm
  52. The vatican could just drop all the political and social issues and focus on internal changes that would make them the charitable organization they claim to be.
    I am not a catholic and really don’t need to hear another word from this organization.
    I don’t need any “ruling” from pope dope and the ministers of propaganda to tell me how to live my life. The church doesn’t need a decree from me to tell them how to live their lives.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:32pm
  53. lets talk about sex baby, lets talk about you and me, lets talk about sex…

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:33pm
  54. Except us as God’s children or you MUST Resign as a hater not a lover of God’s children!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:38pm
  55. Never ashamed of Jesus Christ!
    Very much ashamed of many Christians who use God to justify judging and hatred. Very ashamed of the silent true followers of Christ who, by their silence, condone it.

    In my years of study, both in Bible college and independently, like many other theologians, I have not been able to justify hermeneutically or exegetically, that same sex love and marriage are condemned or sinful. However, to address ungodly judging and the vile actions some Christians engage in against gay people. Let us ASSUME it’s a matter of sin. Are Christians now believing they are above Christ who Himself was rebuked for eating with sinners? Are we Christians now exempt from Christ’s command and warning to not judge? Do we not still follow the One who stood between a sinner about to be stoned to death and those who were poised to throw the stones of judgement? Are we not, rather, called to love and protect even a sinner and likewise echo Jesus’ words of wisdom and compassion ” Let the one among you who has no sin cast the first stone?” Are we Christians really willing to deny the purpose of Christ’s work on the cross? Jesus bore the judgement of sin on the cross. It was and is for sinners, not just “repentant sinners,” he endured shame, beating, whipping, insult, bigotry, discrimination, thorns, nailed wrists, choking on His last breaths, feeling forsaken by God, accusation of sin He was not guilty of… He came for SINNERS, the sick, the broken, the condemned. READ THIS SCRIPTURE CAREFULLY. It talks about the fact that Christ’s love, work, suffering, and death was for us WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS! A people still in the sin state very much included!

    (Romans 5:6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, ((((((while we were yet sinners,))))))) Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, (((((((((((((when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son))))))))))))))))))), much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

    Christian. Understand, your job is to preach the good news of Christ. It’s God’s job to handle judgement. You will not be condemning anyone to eternal separation, nor will you be saving anyone from it. This is reserved for God who sees only the blood of His Son for the remission of sins. Don’t let the devil fool you, you are called to LOVE not HATE.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:39pm
  56. That's so right Mike Stimsonreed!! I agree!!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:35am
  57. Jesus we pray that you renew the face of the Catholic Church and the dark side of the Vatican itself…. Thank you Jesus!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:49pm
  58. If you mean the ROMAN Catholic church say so !

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 8:57pm
  59. Everyone you are living in a fantasy.

    Renounce your faith in god and Jesus. GOD is, was and will never be for the LGBT

    Jesus Christ would approve more on polygamy since his grandfathers were and he never spoke against it

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:01pm
  60. Those choir boys have a lot of work cut out for them

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:09pm
  61. Lets see what happens here, he is a wonder as Pope not that I am his religion, but he seems to be bringing his work into a well done badge.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:14pm
  62. …and the Vatican Bank??? …it should be shutdown… …it’s a disgrace to any religion… :/

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:15pm
  63. Is the Pope gonna bum all the choir boys?!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:24pm
  64. This cult-leader has zero influence on my life.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:24pm
  65. Absolutely an outstanding comment Mike Stimsonreed!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:35pm
  66. Hope they come up with more than changing “he took the cup” to “he took the chalice”

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:47pm
  67. Wow mike, what bible were u reading?!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:49pm
  68. Still can’t stand him.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:58pm
  69. He is a man, he is not god! Tax churches! Catholic priests raped and molested children and still get away with the crime.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:10pm
  70. Nothing is going to change…

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 10:32pm
  71. lols. title is kinda a bad way to put it, js.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:25pm
  72. Finally some words of wisdom from inside the Catholic Church. If you are interested in these issues, please read any history of Catholicism or Papacy. “The Oxford Dictionary of Popes” is a good one to start with. It exposes the crimes of the Popes and Catholicism in expressis verbis. The Catholic Church has, over the millennia, concluded that there “is something wrong in the Church, and we need to do correct it”. A decision (there is a Catholic word for that”decision” which I cannot recall) was reached. But nothing happened in actuality. Catholics of today maybe think that their Church has always been the same, the way it is today. NO, it hasn’t. There were Popes who fought with a sword intheir hand killing people, there were those who murdered and killed, there were Popes who had people burned at a stake. There were Popes who had scientists inquisitioned and later burned alive or tortured and finally beheaded. You, Christians and other Catholics think that this is all over. I’m afraid that if you would ever get the power to do so, you would commit the same crimes all over again.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:56pm
  73. Not about the charges of their shielding pedophile priests and financial corruption?! Since they have spent millions of their tax-exempt dollars lobbying against same-sex civil marriage in the US and Europe, they should lose their tax exempt status and be labeled a hate group. Persecution of gay families is not loving your neighbor as yourself.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:06am
  74. The church has always changed and needs to again. We can still be Catholic and be in the 21st century and be inclusive. Love is all you need. :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:56am
  75. Perhaps a small step toward progress . . .

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:14am
  76. Yeah, so?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:15am
  77. Wow cool Pope !!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:28am
  78. Amen thank you Jesus

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:40am
  79. Love our new Pope!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 2:28am
  80. THIS POPE ROCKS

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 3:20am
  81. I like this guy.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 3:23am