"it is necessary to emphasize the right of children to grow up within a family, with a father and a mother able to create a suitable environment for their development and emotional maturity. Continuing to mature in the relationship, in the complementarity of the masculinity and femininity of a father and a mother, and thus preparing the way for emotional maturity," according to the Vatican Information Service.
Already, certain Catholic blogspots are rejoicing and sighing with relief, with comments such as this:
Hear, hear! The Holy Father is so right. But the gay marriage crowd will never get it.
However, the spirited commentary at the Facebook site that hosted this photo shows that plenty of sensible people are speaking up, out, and against the ignorance expressed in the pope's statement, and the rather sinister implication that endorsing gay marriage somehow undermines the rights of children.
Commentary at the Advocate and other gay sites is predictably angry and sarcastic, ridiculing The Advocate's Choice of Pope Francis as Man of the Year.
The best commentary I've seen so far comes from New Ways Ministry's Bondings 2 Blog, which tries its best to see the positive behind the negative, namely that while this statement of the Pope's will shock many and while it testifies to his long existing blind spot, it is also noteworthy that unlike his predecessor, he carefully avoids any condemnation of LGBT people themselves and their relationships. While it is not enough, it is a positive first step.
For my own part, this statement simply highlights the fact that gay people still have a long long way to go before the Catholic Church unbends, unravels and divests itself of it's homophobic attitudes. The Bondings Blog goes on to say that Francis has shown his willingness to learn. Let us hope he listens to the many voices that will soon come forward critiquing this present statement (and its accompanying statement that abuse victims need to forgive their abusers, rather than asking the abusers themselves to beg forgiveness of their victims. Again. Another shocking blind spot from this evidently good man, who nonetheless is trapped within the presuppositions of the system he serves.)
Still, all positive spin notwithstanding, one does sigh in one's heart: How long, Lord, how long before this largest of the world's institutional religions shows some genuine sign of love and acceptance of gay people and their God given right to love and marry whom they choose?