Mar 17, 2013

Pope Francis Approved Adoption by Gay Couple/Hans Kung Overwhelmed with Joy

Following a link from Colleen Colkcoch at her superb blog, Enlightened Catholicism, I wound up at the blog Rorate Caeli, not my usual stopping off place. This blog has posted (disapprovingly, I presume) selections from a recently published interview In Der Spiegel with Leonardo Boff. The comments singled out by Rorate Caeli are shocking enough, so I'll let them speak for themselves.

"Pope Francis is more liberal than what is supposed" 
The Brazilian former priest Leonardo Boff, one of the most preeminent representatives of the so-called Liberation Theology, believes that Pope Francis will surprise many by heading a radical move in the church.

"He now is the pope and he can do whatever he wants. Many will be surprised with what Francis will do. In order to do this, a rupture with traditions will be needed, to leave behind the corrupt Vatican curia to give way to a universal church," Boff said in an interview published by German magazine Der Spiegel in its edition for the upcoming week.

Boff also says that, even though in many aspects - as those referring to contraceptives, celibacy, and homosexuality - Bergoglio followed a conservative line, as a cardinal, that was due solely to pressure from the Vatican, and maintains that there are elements that indicate that the new pope is much more liberal than that.

"A couple of months ago, for instance, he expressly approved that a homosexual couple adopt a child. He is in touch with priests who have been repudiated by the official church because they got married. And, most importantly, he did not let himself be separated from his conviction that we must be on the side of the poor," the former priest says.

Approval of gay adoption? That is the most controversial aspect of gay marriage/coupling. Could this story really be true, because it would portend an earthquake of seismic proportions. (thanks to Colleen Colkcoch for the image).

I presume this story is going to get a lot of press, if true! A lot of flutter going on at conservative Catholic blogs at the moment, with many predictions that liberals will soon turn on Pope Francis with a vengeance. We will see, we will see. I don't usually dip into those kinds of blogs (don't have the necessary moral courage or intestinal fortitude.  A lot of truly nasty stuff being spewed.)

And then it just gets more and more interesting: This comment from the BBC today, that Pope Francis as Cardinal said the Ordinariate for ex Anglicans 'was unnecessary.'

Bishop Venables, who is the Anglican Bishop of Argentina, told the BBC News website that Cardinal Bergoglio, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, had invited him to breakfast in 2009 when the Ordinariate was first suggested.

In Bishop Venables' words as published by the Anglican Communion News Service, "he called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the Church needs us as Anglicans."

Bishop Venables told the BBC News website that the quotation of him was accurate, but had not been meant for publication and had appeared on the Anglican Communion website without his consent.

The Church needs Anglicans as Anglicans? Wow. This just underscores Boff's comments that Pope Francis is a lot more liberal than people suppose.

Wooosh can't keep up with all of this:

CBC Radio has just posted a ten minute radio interview with Hans Kung on the election of Francis.
Here is my rapid, shorthand transcription

(The election of Cardinal Bergoglio) was a very positive surprise for me. When I looked over the list of papabile mentioned in the media from other countries, I thought not good candidates.

When I heard the news of Cardinal Bergoglio's election I was overwhelmed with joy because that is a good man.

I am happy he is a real Christian person, he presents himself not simply as the Vicar of Christ but as a humble Christian person.

He is not just a man of the Roman curia.

I was happy he was a Jesuit.

We are in a very good position to have hope in this man.

I think it is a very good comparison to make between him and John XXIII. Already his appearance is in humility and simplicity, but even more his pastoral intentions...not just following the law of the curial methods and so on.

He will certainly not be a man of pomp and circumstance, like his predecessor. He will follow his namesake, St. Francis.

Certainly he is a person who is conservative in his mind, but he has made a good start.

There is always the danger he might be coopted by the curia.

When I look at Benedict's secretary, Monseigneur Ganswein, I think that is not right that he (Francis) should have the same secretary.

About his involvement during the ' dirty war' in Argentina:

Let us not have a long conversation about his role in Argentina, but focus on the present problems facing the Church. Not concentrate on Francis's past, but on his future.

His first vital task is to choose the right person for secretary of state - will he be a man of the curia or a man of the Catholic Church.

And then there is this:



colkoch said...

Thanks for the shout out Jayden. This is all pretty wild huh? I can see where he may have approved a gay adoption as a special case. That's the beauty of a pastoral mind. It's never a one size fits all kind of thinking, and it operates a different logic system. How does one balance the love for a child against sexual sin? There doesn't seem to be an issue with this when it comes to mindless heterosexual fooling around. Those kinds of sins don't factor into the parenting equation. So why should we use a different sin calculus with a monogamous gay couple?

Yes indeedy, the self proclaimed uber Catholics are going to have anxiety attacks over this pope. As Leonardo Boff said, ain't no authority higher than Francis' conscience. After all, he's now the pope.

I also thought it was a major statement about his independence that he is taking 10 days before making the trek to Castel Gondolfo. Major statement.

Terence Weldon said...

Thanks, Jayden and Colkoch.

It's far too early to be sure, but the more I read, the more I like about Francis.

It's been widely reported that he's "doctrinally conservative" - but I don't think that matters as much as the pastorally sympathetic approach. Most Catholics are not seriously concerned about doctrines - the one on contraception is widely ignored - but they are concerned about the pastoral treatment they encounter at parish level.

The sensitive approach he has shown in the past on unmarried mothers, the divorced, and gay adoption are highly encouraging.

Equally important I suspect, is his Ignatian background and ingrained habits of discernment and group disernment to decision - taking. I simply cannot see him autocraticlly imposing his own conservative views on these matters, without allowing room for open and honest discussion. Once that begins, who can tell where it may end?

Rat-biter said...

""About his involvement during the 'dirty war' in Argentina:

Let us not have a long conversation about his role in Argentina, but focus on the present problems facing the Church. Not concentrate on Francis's past, but on his future.""

## Why does the author not want to discuss the Pope's past ? If his hands are clean, there is nothing to hide. An author who says the Pope is a great guy but is unwilling to look at his past succeeds only in suggesting that there is stuff in the Pope's past that won't stand up to inspection. If he's such a good egg, his past will stand up to scrutiny - if he's a scoundrel, or has been, the Church at large has every right to know: because the Church is supposed to be Christian - and being Christian is not compatible with collaborating with crooks & dictators.

Certainly one should not be imprisoned by the past - but the past of a new Pope cannot be blithely ignored. The men at the top never ignore our past, but judge us by it - so they cannot expect a free pass. The "Dirty War" was a fantastically good way of trying to prove that Catholicism preferred tyranny, torture and murder - to anything remotely Christian - it is not going to go away. If Germans were able to face up to the crimes of Hitler, Catholics elsewhere should be able to face up to the crimes of their tyrants. A past that is not faced becomes a weight that drags one down.

"As Leonardo Boff said, ain't no authority higher than Francis' conscience. After all, he's now the pope."

Fr. Boff is wrong there - the highest authority cannot be the Pope's conscience, otherwise the CC would be a Papal dictatorship. As the CC is (meant to be) a Christian Church, it has to be ruled by the Will of Christ. The Pope is as much subject to Christ as the rest of us - far more so, in fact. To take Christ out of Catholicism, makes Catholicism demonic

Richard Demma said...

Yes, there is so much going on at the moment, and I agree, much to early to tell, yet the signs are significant. I think it wise to remind ourselves that most of us at this end of the spectrum were not fooled in the least by the hoopla surrounding JPII's rock star like status and the media fanfare surrounding him. It left me cold. But what is happening now...this is indeed something very different, and its not simply a matter of being impressed by a friendly wave from a balcony. Rat-biter, I think the comments about conscience are a reference to the difficult position Bergoglio was in conscience wise during his tenure as Jesuit provincial, with general vows of obedience and a fourth (secret) vow of obedience to the Pope ( Secret in that not every Jesuit is invited to take it, but presumably all Provincials are). This must have put him in an extremely difficult position during the Videla years. Now as Pope it is only the man and his conscience standing alone before The Lord Jesus Christ. And I don't think Kung is saying we can't ask questions about his past, but the questions have been asked and too many credible witnesses have come forward exonerating him, including another Jesuit arrested and tortured during those years who insists Bergoglio most certainly did not cooperate with the Junta, but did his best behind the scenes -albeit not very courageously perhaps- to help the arrested Jesuits. In other words, much has already been written and said and written and said, let us focus more energy on the future. If new and credible, really credibly, evidence emerges, well then. But everything surfacing now seems like a rehash.