Francis: no and yes?

From today’s NY Times:

This (see quote below) seemed to me very good news until I thought about, and wondered if his opposition to gay marriage would have undercut any support for civil unions. Still, it may be that he sees as separable dogma and behaviour: Leave the dogma in place but make it possible for people to act in more sensible ways.

That, it seems to me, could make a huge difference. Much like the difference between saying condoms help spread AIDS (John Paul) and allowing they can be used to prevent spreading an illness (Francis).

One question an orthodox person might have is whether fairly quickly dogma gets emptied of significance or at least current meaning, much like “I am sorry but she is not at home right now.” what do you think?

Argentina was on the verge of approving gay marriage, and the Roman Catholic Church was desperate to stop that from happening. It would lead tens of thousands of its followers in protest on the streets of Buenos Aires and publicly condemn the proposed law, a direct threat to church teaching, as the work of the devil.

But behind the scenes, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who led the public charge against the measure, spoke out in a heated meeting of bishops in 2010 and advocated a highly unorthodox solution: that the church in Argentina support the idea of civil unions for gay couples.

The concession inflamed the gathering — and offers a telling insight into the leadership style he may now bring to the papacy.

Few would suggest that Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is anything but a stalwart who fully embraces the church’s positions on core social issues. But as he faced one of the most acute tests of his tenure as head of Argentina’s church, he showed another side as well, supporters and critics say: that of a deal maker willing to compromise and court opposing sides in the debate, detractors included.

4 thoughts on “Francis: no and yes?

  1. Very interesting. This potential approach to dogma seems to remind me of anabaptists’ way of viewing church/state relations.

  2. Of related interest is this post over at the Women in Theology blog on the new Pope’s inaugural homily. (

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