“Gays, Remarried Catholics Are Just As Sinful As Murderers.” – Cardinal Raymond Burke

Synod On the Themes of Family Is Held At VaticanWhen Pope Francis last year effectively demoted U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke by moving him out of a senior post in the Vatican to a largely ceremonial role as head of a Rome-based Catholic charity, it was viewed as a way to sideline one of the pontiff’s most outspoken critics on the right.

But the move seems to have left Burke free to air his conservative — and pointed — views on efforts to change church practices, not that he was ever terribly hesitant about speaking his mind.

Now the American churchman has spoken out again, telling an interviewer that gay couples and divorced and remarried Catholics who are trying to live good and faithful lives are still like “the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people.” Continue reading

Bishops Declare Open War On The Pope As Too Soft On Homophobia

Pope Francis Visits SardiniaNone of us needs to be reminded of just how homophobic the U.S. Catholic bishops are. But the bishops clearly feel a refresher is in order for Pope Francis. In what is close to becoming an open revolt, the U.S. bishops are letting the pope know in no uncertain terms that they believe homophobia = Catholicism and that they are more Catholic than the pope.

And the pope is letting them know who’s the boss.

The bishops are gathering in Baltimore for their annual jamboree, and while their ostensible agenda is, in the words of one journalist, “sleep inducing,” the actual agenda is the battle brewing between the bishops and Pope Francis. Following the Vatican synod last month, many of the bishops are fuming that the pope is abandoning the hardcore homophobia that has been their bread and butter. Continue reading

Gay rights groups laud new Catholic tone

pope-laugh_2629894cGay rights groups are cautiously cheering a shift in tone from the Catholic Church toward homosexuals, encouraged that Pope Francis’ famous “Who am I to judge?” position has filtered down to bishops debating family issues at a Vatican meeting this week.

There is no discussion that church doctrine on homosexuality will change or that the Vatican will soon endorse gay marriage or even gay unions. It will not, as the Vatican’s top canon lawyer made clear Thursday.

But for the first time, a Vatican meeting is discussing gay and lesbian issues and how to provide better spiritual care to Catholic homosexuals. Day after day, bishops have spoken of the need to change the church’s language about gays from words of moral condemnation and judgment to words of welcome and respect.

“I think what we’re seeing is a crack in the ice that we have been waiting for, for a very long time,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic gay rights group. “It’s a sign of a first step.” Continue reading