Vatican softens tone toward gays and lesbians
June 26th, 2014
12:14 PM ET

Vatican softens tone toward gays and lesbians

By Delia Gallagher, CNN

ROME (CNN) - The Vatican said Thursday that gays and lesbians must be treated with respect, their children may be baptized in the church, and admitted that Catholic priests are sometimes unsure about how to deal with same-sex couples.

There is a “certain unease at the challenge of accepting these people with a merciful spirit and, at the same time, holding to the moral teaching of the Church,” the Vatican said in a document, called an Instrumentum Laboris.

The 75-page document is a compilation of the results of a survey sent to 114 bishops’ conferences around the world.  Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary of the Synod, said that 85% of the conferences responded to the survey.

The document will be used as a guideline for discussions at a synod, a meeting of top Catholic bishops convened by Pope Francis, to be held in Rome in October.

The official name of the synod is "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization."

Another synod to be held in October 2015, will provide further reflection on the questions before presenting a final document to the Pope.

Well before the Vatican released Thursday's document, a national bishops' conference in Germany and Switzerland said their surveys exposed a wide gap between church teaching and lay Catholics' personal views.

"Most of the baptized have an image of the church that, on the one hand, is family friendly in its attitude, whilst at the same time considering her sexual morality to be unrealistic," the German bishops said, according to National Catholic Reporter.

Bishops in the United States declined to make their survey results public.

While the Vatican document release Thursday does not change church teaching on homosexuality, it aligns with Pope Francis' softer tone toward gays and lesbians, made famous last July with his question, "Who am I to judge?"

Pope Francis on gays: 'Who am I to judge?'

The document firmly rejects gay marriage, for instance, but also said Catholics leaders, “are trying to find a balance between the Church’s teaching on the family and a respectful, non-judgmental attitude towards people living in such unions.”

“A distinction must be made,” the Instrumentum Laboris says, “between those who have made a personal, and often painful, choice and live that choice discreetly so as not to give scandal to others, and those whose behavior promotes and actively – often aggressively – calls attention to it.”

One suggestion recommends, “not using phrases such as ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’ or ‘homosexual’ to define a person’s identity,” in order to “take every aspect of the person into consideration.”

How to really measure the 'Francis effect'

Another suggestion is a “theological study in dialogue with the human sciences to develop a multi-faceted look at the phenomenon of homosexuality.”

The document also emphasizes that when gay couples request baptism for their children, “the child must be received with the same care, tenderness and concern which is given to other children.”

Other topics to be addressed at the Synod include contraception, and in vitro fertilization, cohabitation, separated, divorced and remarried persons, and teen mothers.

(CNN's Daniel Burke contributed reporting.)

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Leaders • Pope Francis • Same-sex marriage • Sexuality

soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. kristinakaye

    As always ... great and brilliant conversations here!

    June 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
  2. caliboss

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    ENLIGHTENMENT...i was a brainwashed evil, mean, christian conservative until i tried it at 17 years old...i hated gays, immigrants, women's rights, blacks, marijuana, i was Rush Limbaugh's #1 fan....until i smoked marijuana, changed the world...hope the EVIL POPE is enjoying the marijuana revolution around the globe, keeping the flock brainwashed and against marijuana, gays, and women's rights

    1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy...#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed...

    "any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" – cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
Deaths by Tobacco: Millions

    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever


    June 27, 2014 at 10:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I took only two marijuanas and instantly became a schizophrenic, lesbian, nazi, HIV positive prosti/tute.

      June 27, 2014 at 10:36 am |
      • G to the T

        That was you Doc!?! I didn't even recognize you with the corsette...

        June 27, 2014 at 10:40 am |
    • geezohman

      I agree with with the Pope from a generic christian point of view to treat others kindly, however it will not change what Scripture says (about 'gays').

      and as far as Marijuana not 'killing' anyone... soon the laws of Colorado for example will be updated, for example, driving while under the influence, what will be the 'limit' for amount – blood test, and it will hit the news big when that first 'auto' accident kills a very innocent person.

      And thats the way it is.. things will never change, the more things change the more they stay the same. How about a middle of the road approach... not too liberal and not too conservative.

      June 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • observer


        Scripture also indicates that the Golden Rule is MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than selected verses picking on gays.

        Take your pick.

        June 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
  3. blessed137

    Samyaza I could also say the same about you. I could give you explainations to your questions but you wouldnt be interested in hearing them and would twist it around to suit your sinful nature.

    June 27, 2014 at 7:58 am |
    • realbuckyball

      So then. I see you certainly feel YOU are somehow exempt from the "Judge not lest ye be judged" rule.
      Good to see you think he was talking to everyone except you, Church Lady.

      June 27, 2014 at 8:11 am |
      • blessed137

        I said "could say". Proper context realbuckyball. Did not question the intents of his heart. Only God knows if one is sincere. You should be the one to meditate on not judging.

        June 27, 2014 at 8:27 am |
        • blessed137

          Saying is not the same as knowing.

          June 27, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Pro tip #2. Before you preach about imaginary beings, you must prove they exist. Have fun with that. Take your time.

          June 27, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • realbuckyball

          "Saying is not judging"

          Slippery as usual. Pro tip #3 : Look up "intellectually dishonest".

          June 27, 2014 at 8:39 am |
        • blessed137

          Look up the words rude, malice, and bitter. Yes im JUDGING your behavior.

          June 27, 2014 at 8:55 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Thanks for admitting it. You have no clue what I'm really like. I do realize you people are used to getting away with being "Church Ladyish" and presume you're *superior* to everyone, and if all else fails you NEED to attempt to maintain your top position : "Look up the words rude, malice, and bitter. Yes im JUDGING your behavior.".

          The truth bites I know. You'll be ok. You're "blessed", (if you don't say so yourself).

          June 27, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • blessed137

          Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.(In this case types). You know a tree by its fruit.

          June 27, 2014 at 10:55 am |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.(In this case types). You know a tree by its fruit."

          Yes indeed, sweetums; that's why I know you're nothing but a Pharasaic excrescence pretending to be a Christian. And that's probably the only direct quote you've ever given of the One your religion is supposedly based on but you outrage every time you put fingers to a keyboard...

          June 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • blessed137

          A christian is a person who puts their faith and trust in Christ for righteousness and salvation. I have received Jesus into my heart. Im not pretending to be anything. You say that im not in line with my bible and faith You should read the bible. If you have read it again. Jesus, the prophets, and disciples speak about the very things im sharing. If you all dont like what I have to say then stop replying to my post. You stir up the mud then complain when it gets in your eyes.

          June 27, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      And BTW, if that behavior is part of "sinful nature" thanks for admitting YOU are *tempted* in this direction.
      Are you also a latent gay Mr. "blessed if you don't say so yourself 137" ? I see you have also presumed to have already been able to judge YOURSELF.

      Pro tip : Look up the words"self-righteous".

      June 27, 2014 at 8:21 am |
      • blessed137

        Yes I do judge myself everyday. It is written to judge on own's actions. So you think that I was tempted to assume he didnt want to understand? I "could have" but I didnt. Judging one self help keep you in line. If I didnt like the fact that he was assuming i didnt care about his perspective and wouldnt learn anything I'm not going to assume that about him. Yes being stubborn at heart about not wanting to hear the Word of God or any truth and twisted it around is part of the sinful nature. It keeps you apart from Him. The sinful nature is about rebellion.

        June 27, 2014 at 8:50 am |
        • realbuckyball

          "being stubborn at heart about not wanting to hear the Word of God or any truth and twisted it around is part of the sinful nature. It keeps you apart from Him"

          - I do realize you NEED above all to keep the cognitive dissonances at bay, and explain away unbelief to yourself, so you use these sets of meaningless gibberish to do that. "Stubborn at heart" is meaningless drivel/nonsense. Is your god SO dumb, she wouldn't know that someone said "I believe" when they really don't ? (I do realize there is no room for real intellectual honesty in your world).

          June 27, 2014 at 9:58 am |
      • blessed137

        Yes im tempted to sin everyday. Even do sin. Thanks be to God he loves sinners.

        June 27, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • thesamyaza

      i do not twist your explanations i straiten them out, do you know why people like you consider truth to be lies. because the truth always hurts it always offends. to a christian truth is evil, the lie you live that's good your unwilling to see that you live contrary to the universe that you deny creation you deny your own heart. you my friend are twisted, corrupted, vulgar and abusive

      Christianity is a choice one that is harmful the world we live in, it is unnatural, it is contrary to nature .

      June 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.(In this case types). You know a tree by its fruit.

        let us look at the fruit Christ has bore shall we.

        this fruit has lead to the attempted genocide of various northern tribes of Europa, it has enslaved the African, it has bushed it destiny to the Americans driving them into reservations, to has dropped unspeakable weapons of destruction on the Japanese. thanks to the teaches of men being born in the image of god, it has put women into a state of slavery, and thanks the the teachings of nature belonging to man (country to the truth that we belong to nature) it has solid our planet and raped her of her resources. and with the climate change were facing has possibly doomed not just us but the rest of our brothers and sisters you share our one and only mother. Jesus fruit was bad.

        June 27, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • blessed137

          Yes I agree the truth does hurt which is why the Word of God is offensive. It confronts the wicked human heart and spoils the denial that humans are more righteous than they are. It also confronts you that you will be subject to an almighty God's judgment for the evil you have done. You didnt straighten out anything. You only wrote words according to your own limited human logic and reasoning and you think your right. Yes you can claim thatI believe in iminaginary Gods. I read your list of all the problems in the world. Once again another antiGod is blaming him for the actions of sinful man. The world is a sewer because we pour our sin into it. You help everyday.

          June 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          the world is not a sewer it is a vibrant garden full of wonders and life, its you own illusions that pollutes it if you detest the world some much please kill your self. so we can get back to cleaning up your mess.

          no I am not an atheist I'm a polytheistic animist, i believe your god exist; i also believe he wants this world destroyed. if humans are the problem as you suggest why send a ball of fire in the future and a flood in the past, you know how many innocent plants and animals he wants to kill and apparently has already. or is he justified because he says he is.

          your god is the villain that's the truth sin is not the problem it belief in your god that lead to those ills. European settlers did not manifest their destiny because they wanted to sin, but because of there belief god gave them the destiny and wanted them to drive out the nonbelievers to unify this nation under god. Charlemagne did not want to kill for the sack of killing, he wanted to defend Christendom from Turks and pagans. Hitler wanted to remove Jesus killers from the world and reestablish the holy roman empire. Hitler believe whole heartily he was doing gods work, and according to your scriptures guess were he is at.

          June 27, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          humans at their vary core are kind loving and want to do the right thing, some times.

          you teach contrary and that leads to a self fulfilling prophesy

          agreed that some times are drive to belong leads us down a vary dark road and circumstances can force our hands, but humans are not inherently evil,

          the idea of sin is a false constructed created buy the human mind in an attempt to put order in the beautifully chaotic universe. this is because humans unlike most animals believe their needs to be some justice. we are one of the only animals who want some thing better then A-morality. this is why we are inherently good. the rest of the universe that we know of is neutral at best.

          oh and this concept does not come from a person who is stuck with just a humans intelligence. i have had many conversations with animals and trees and even Deities. so little human when you can step out side of your books written buy Childlike humans 2000 years ago and listen to a tree that was alive 2000 years ago, maybe then you will gain some wisdom.

          June 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • blessed137

          Humans are at their very "core" kind and loving? Most people do posses moral qualities however at their very core they are not kind or loving. Love is not a nice warm fuzzy feeling its an action. It the UNCONDITIONAL regard for others, to meet their needs in every way possible, giving one self up to promote others. People act all lovely dovey till they dont get their way or someone doesnt agree or offends them. they are full of bitter, malice, unforgiving, rude, selfseeking. Dont believe me. Go back and read your post. You told me to go kill myself. You must really love me at your very core. My God is just but he is also forgiving. His standard of righetousness is much higher than yours. Yes he did justly put people to death and that also effected their children. And He is going to judge this world. He is compassionate and forgiving. If He was going to just wipe all evil off the face of this earth, that would also include you. The more people reply to my post they more they prove that what the Word of God claims regarding the human heart is more evident. Please dont kill me. Because Im not going to kill myself. May God bless you and your family. I hope the best for you.

          June 28, 2014 at 7:53 am |
        • thesamyaza

          i cannot be used as a valid example I'm a bigget, who know long thinks his human. still i hold to my beliefs that humans are inherently good.


          June 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
  4. Reality

    Dear Francis,

    Some 21st century reality:

    There was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    June 27, 2014 at 5:26 am |
  5. hawaiiguest

    I see absolutely nothing in the story that looks like a "softening" toward the LGBT community.

    June 27, 2014 at 2:05 am |
    • saggyroy

      When I first saw the headline, I thought they were talking about being more tolerant of the guy in the picture.

      June 27, 2014 at 5:48 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      It is becoming a typical strategy for this pope to engage in a lot of nice quotes with no action. He is the PR pope.

      June 27, 2014 at 11:16 am |
  6. Salero21

    Well but of course he is unable to judge even those perverts within the organization he presides, because he is an idolater. And Idolatry which is the worship of demons is one of the causes of that anti-natural condition and practices.

    Rom. 1:19-32
    19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
    21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and 4-footed animals and crawling creatures.
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
    25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
    27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
    28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
    29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; [they are] gossips,
    30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
    31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
    32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    June 27, 2014 at 1:58 am |
    • Salero21

      Can a Bank robber judge a pickpocket just because he is in a higher hierarchy among thieves?

      Or can the pickpocket judge the Bank robber just because what he does is lesser in his own opinion?

      So is the situation in which this man is immerse and that is Idolatry, a SIN that breaks and violates the 1st. & 2nd. Commandments, is the worship of demons, is extremely heretical. For all of that he is unable to do that part of his supposed "job".

      1st. Cor. 10:19-21
      19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
      20 [No,] but [I say] that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.
      21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

      Rev. 9:20,21
      20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;
      21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.

      June 27, 2014 at 2:11 am |
      • Salero21

        Jude 1:7,8
        7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
        8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.

        June 27, 2014 at 2:22 am |
        • thesamyaza

          Demon?? you know asshole some of my best friends are "Demons"
          Demon comes from the Greek word deamon meaning spirit. its a general term for all non-"prime" dimensional beings, under this definition all beings that do not physically exist among us, are demons. IE Ghost,Fey, Stygian (what Christians refer to as demons), Angels, Giants, Totems, Gods, (yes even your god) ect..

          its a word with a broad definition.

          but Idolatry? if your saying it is wrong to worship people, places, and things in our dimension, this includes Jesus. Worshiping Jesus is Idolatry; regardless of you saying he is a god, it is no different then me saying the sun is a god. which i believe she is,.. then again i admit to being an Idolater and i do it proudly. because loving and respecting the world around me is a sure why for me to protect and care for her and all those who are apart of it.

          June 27, 2014 at 4:15 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Too bad for you, (are you like 85 years old ?) it's NOT "unnatural". In fact science has proven SS behavior to by=e the most natural thing in the world. EVERY single species on the planet does it. So there's that. There's also a HIH study that demonstrates that people who are rabidly ho'mophobic are latent gays. Are you gay Salero21 ?

      June 27, 2014 at 8:14 am |
      • realbuckyball


        June 27, 2014 at 8:16 am |
    • nreclleshaj

      20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

      The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

      June 27, 2014 at 8:29 am |
    • Reality

      So Salero what are you? Baptist, Lutheran, Baha'i, Hindu, Sikh?? Of course by identifying your religion, you will be subject to a complete analysis of your beliefs.

      June 28, 2014 at 11:58 am |
  7. Dalahäst

    "Nine biblical citations are cu.stomarily invoked as relating to h.mos+xuality. Four (Deut 23:17, 1 Kings 14:24, I Kings 22:46 and II Kings 23:7) simply forbid prost!tution by men and women.

    Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. The code explicitly bans h0m0s^xual acts. But it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two different kinds of yarn. Tattoos, adultery and s^xual intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period are similarly outlawed.

    There is no mention of h0m0s#xuality in the four Gospels of the New Testament. The moral teachings of Jesus are not concerned with the subject.

    Three references from St. Paul are frequently cited (Romans 1:26-2:1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and I Timothy 1:10). But St. Paul was concerned with h0mos^xuality only because in Greco-Roman culture it represented a secular sensuality that was contrary to his Jewish- Christian spiritual idealism. He was against lust and sensuality in anyone, including heteros^xuals. To say that h0mos^xuality is bad because h0mos*xuals are tempted to do morally doubtful things is to say that heteros*xuality is bad because heteros*xuals are likewise tempted. For St. Paul, anyone who puts his or her interest ahead of God’s is condemned, a verdict that falls equally upon everyone.

    And lest we forget S0dom and Gomorrah, recall that the story is not about s*xual perversion and h*mos*xual practice. It is about inhospitality, according to Luke 10:10-13, and failure to care for the poor, according to Ezekiel 16:19·50: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister S0dom, pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”To suggest that S0dom and Gomorrah is about h0mos*xual s*x is an analysts of about as much worth as suggesting that the story of Jonah and the whale is a treatise on fishing."

    Peter Gomes

    June 26, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
    • G to the T

      Nice quote Dal – I'm not familiar with the author though, I'll have to check him out.

      June 27, 2014 at 9:11 am |
  8. blessed137

    You are correct in mentioning the hebrew translation. However offensive and detestable are different words but the same meaning. You say tomato I say big piece of red fruit. It is important to know the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic text.

    June 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
    • blessed137

      Supposed to be a reply to realbuckyball.

      June 26, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Was that supposed to mean something ? If so YOU failed to demonstrate why.

      June 26, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "It is important to know the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic text."

      Because that is how a perfect, all-knowing god would choose to communicate with the world. Ancient and foreign languages..

      June 27, 2014 at 12:18 am |
      • saggyroy

        You'd think that god would have divinely inspired them to write this stuff down on something a bit more durable than parchment. Oh but wait, they only had to last that one generation until the end of the world and judgement day.

        June 27, 2014 at 6:00 am |
    • saggyroy

      All we would really need to know is the Aramaic if you want to get down to it. That and have the original copies.

      June 27, 2014 at 5:55 am |
  9. nreclleshaj


    The Parable of the Rich Fool
    13Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
    14Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
    16And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
    18“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’
    20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
    21“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

    Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

    June 26, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
    • fortheloveofellipsis

      So...you admit that the Sodom and Gomorrah story is all about greed and inhospitality and not Teh Gayz(tm), right? Right?...

      June 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
  10. blessed137

    If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord that is awesome. I am for gays going to church. It is written "If one sheep is lost He will leave the ninty-nine and search for the lost sheep" this does not exclude gays. God loves us all and hopes that all men come to His saving grace. If you prevent a gay person from coming to church who is trying to search, find, and grow in the love of Christ, that is not the spirit of God. Besides it is God's House not the christians house.

    June 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
    • jimtanker

      That would be all nicey nicey if it wasn't for the fact that the bible says that all gays are to be kiIIed as well as the people who support them.

      Maybe you should read your bible.

      June 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
      • blessed137

        I do read my bible. It is written under the law of Moses in levitcus that if a man lies with a man it is detestable and he must be put to death. Under the law people suffered the pushisment for their own sins. Under the grace of Christ, he died for the sins of all. That includes gays. You go read the bible.

        June 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          So which is it ? Are you bound by "the law" or free of it ?

          June 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
        • blessed137

          For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law...do we nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather we uphold the law- Romans 3:28,31 When a person receives Christ they receive his righteousness. Christ was without sin, he kept the whole law. This grace and salvation is for ALL men.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          So you want it both ways, and you're not really sure. If Jebus freed you from sin, why is it still everywhere, and humanity is EXACTLY the way it was before he died ? Why when the young man in Matthew asked him what he had to do to gain eternal life, he said "Keep the commandments" NOT "Just wait, I'll be dying for you" ?

          June 26, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24).

          "...justifier of him which believeth in Jesus ...By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Romans 3:26-28).

          Those two statements are contradictory. No amount of dancing around can make them say the same thing.

          The fact is, the founders of your cult did not agree.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • blessed137

          They do not contradict. James 2:24 Works is about doing good deeds not the works of the law. James 2:14 – What good is it my brothers if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds: can such a faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, Go I wish you well, keep warm and well feed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompained by action is dead. – So realbuckyball if a person claims to have faith in Christ but at the same time he is not trusting in his finished work for salvation then his faith is dead.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • blessed137

          I meant to say works of good deeds and working faith. Not faith and works of the law.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          So then. You can rationalize anything, and words don't really mean what they say. I believe the appropriate word is "slimey".

          June 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I meant to say works of good deeds and working faith. Not faith and works of the law.

          -- As if it makes a difference. Bla bla bla.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          then why push your religious law unto people who do not necessarily follow it or even have any relationship to Abraham Adam and eve are not my ancestors and unless our Jewish there only your adopted ancestor so why should i fall in line to your ancestral law.

          my ancestral law says the only immoral sex act is incest, your faith is founded on it.

          you call a two men having sexual relations a sin, i call it a joyous celebration of life and love
          i call sex between sister and brother (and father daughter) an abomination, you call it Adam and Eve
          seriously your god created eve from Adams rib making Yahweh the father of Adam and Eve and Adam the other parent of eve, then they fuck Yahweh has committed an abomination buy breeding with "his" kid.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • blessed137

          No i just put the scripture in the proper context. There are different definitions of works in the bible just like the are in the dictionary. I got accused by another bloggers of not knowing the different of judging and criticizing. Yes they can mean the same but judging can also mean using discernment to decision if a action is right or wrong. If a judge tells a serial killer that they did something wrong and passes a sentence are they criticizing him.

          June 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Ah yes. "Proper" and "discernment". In other words, "My truth is the REAL truth".

          June 26, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
        • thesamyaza


          "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law...do we nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather we uphold the law- Romans 3:28,31 When a person receives Christ they receive his righteousness. Christ was without sin, he kept the whole law. This grace and salvation is for ALL men."

          I’m sorry but this is been eating at me all day you do realize Jesus was a wino, i mean to the point of inebriation? he also worked on the Sabbath, not to mention taught people they should hate the family and one of them to abandon his father and follow his, a clear violation of pride and teaching contrary to the law of honoring your father. The son dishonored his father by not burring him to feed Jesus vanity. at one point he chose to stay with the crowd preaching when his mother needed him. He chose his carrier as a "Idol" over that of his kin. not to mention he talked about how those who sin knowingly in the heart after excepting him has committed an unrepentable act buy you not killing gays when its clearly the law to do so you have sinned knowingly look I can give you all the scripture but you won’t learn anything, look it up yourself. Stop interpreting it to make yourself feel better your religions evil.

          June 27, 2014 at 4:33 am |
      • blessed137

        When people spout words without knowledge you do more harm than you think you being smart or funny. There could be a gay person that is interested in knowing about Christ. Yeah great idea. Go tell them that Jesus will put you to death. Your a hindrance to those that are searching.

        June 26, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I think you vastly underestimate your god, if people can't stand to hear the way your cult misinterpreted ancient texts.

          Ho'mose'xuality as an "orientation" was unknown in the history of human ideas until the late Nineteenth Century.
          There was no, (supposed), "lifestyle" until the Twentieth Century. The idea of "orientation" arose when Psychology began to develop as a science. All men were as'sumed to be straight, and only straight, all women straight, and only straight.
          There was also no notion of a continuum of s'exual behaviors, (bise'xuality), as science recognizes today.
          Any "different" behavior was seen as "deviancy" from an absolute inherent norm, which the person was as'sumed to inherently possess, completely by virtue of birth gender.

          In Ancient Israel class and status distinctions were extremely important.
          The injunction in Biblical times, (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), was against (as'sumed), STRAIGHT men, (and only men), (as they ALL were as'sumed to be straight), engaging in same-se'x behaviors. (There is a mistaken use of the Sodom and Gomorrah myth in this context also, which is misguided.)

          Why ?
          It had to do with class structure, and male status. A male, who held the highest position in society, and held the highest class status, was seen to be "feminized" by penetration, and designated as a social inferior, (female), by a male of lower class status, and thus his status was lowered, to that of a woman. THAT is the reason the culture forbade it. It had NOTHING to do with s'ex. It was status, and only status. This concept remains very much, (subliminally and overtly), in place today. This law code, in Leviticus, (the latest law code to be written), is the ONLY place this appears in the Old Testament. The author of Leviticus was very interested in the "equality of all" before God. It was that author's agenda. He also said strangers, and others from outside Israel were all to be treated with equal rights and dignity, which was a departure, from other texts and codes. It is ironic, indeed, this equality has been turned on it's head, to treat gay people, less equality. The author of Leviticus WANTED all people treated equally, and that is why he wrote the injunction into the text, in the first place, to PREVENT inequality. The ideal society for this author was classless, and that could not happen if a male penetrates a male, and makes him thereby, a lower class. It's about class, not se'x.

          This cultural origin was true in the Old Testament culture, as well as the New. That is the reason it ended up in the Bible, and the ONLY reason it was there.

          The law in the Old Testament : "You shall not lay a male as with the laying of a woman, it is an offensive thing". (note: the correct translation is NOT, "it is an abomination"). (The word "toi-va" is used, and in archaic Hebrew, EVERYWHERE else is translated, "an offensive thing").

          Why is this important ? Because there are levels of "offensive things", and levels of meanings of "offensive things".
          There were a number of levels of offensive things in the Old Testament.

          #1. was something which was offensive to God, and this was the worst.
          #2. was something which was offensive to other peoples and cultures, (for example the same word is used with reference to some foods being "offensive" to other cultures, (as hagas might be to Americans), or for example the Egyptians didn't eat, with non-Egyptians, as that was "offensive", or in today's language, "bad manners".
          #3. was something which was just generally "offensive", with no further relational attribution.

          So it can be "offensive" to some people, but not everyone, and is relative to the situation, or to god, or just in general.
          The injunction against male same se'x behavior is the third kind of offensive. It's not related to either God or anything, or anyone else. (There are other verses around it that are stated to be offensive to God, but not this one).
          So in this text, it is offensive to the authors of the text, and that specific culture, (only).

          Same-s'ex behaviors (upper class man penetrated by same class or lower class men), was forbidden, for class reasons. Equal class men, doing non-penetrating activity, or women together was not forbidden.
          ( Woman with woman, in general, was not addressed, and the class issue was not important.)

          So what does this tell us ?
          It tells us the laws were written into the Bible by HUMANS, for human culturally relative, and internally referenced reasons. The laws in the Bible REFLECTED their OWN culture, of the times, and did not "inform" the culture.
          The direction of information flow is crucial. Every Biblical scholar knows this. The Bible was informed by the culture, NOT the other way around. There are no "ultimate" claims possible from culturally relative, historically rooted, human local customs.

          The other main text used to justify the fundamentalist nonsense about ho'mose'xuality, is the Sodom and Gomorrah myth in Genesis. Hospitality of Abraham : In Genesis 18, there is a myth about the hospitality of Abraham, (he welcomes two strangers, who turn out to be angels), as that was an important cultural value, in a society where a wandering desert dweller could get lost, and die. The myth is followed closely by it's counter example of in-hospitality in the Lot myth, (Sodom and Gomorrah). It is not about se'x. It's a counter example to the hospitality story, of in-hospitality. The context is important.

          The great irony is that religious fundies use the Bible to keep gay people away from their "table", and feasts, using the very texts that the Bible intended to teach hospitality, to do precisely the opposite.

          June 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          In other words, blessie, words mean what YOU want them to mean, and those definitions can change from quote to quote depending on what you want them to mean. And then you want to write them into the law code we're ALL supposed to follow? Like Hell...

          June 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
  11. realbuckyball

    Yeah well. The Fundamentalists at the USCCB, (The National Office for Pedophile Protection) is not one to be very open.

    June 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
  12. bostontola

    This pope is leading the RCC in a direction more aligned with my understanding of Jesus. Focusing on love, and taking judgement out of the hands of humans should lead to mutual respect and even partnership.

    My remaining concern regarding the pope is that he is taking too long to take accountability for the atrocious and deeply hurtful actions of some RCC leaders.

    June 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • Theo Phileo

      So, I'd like to know what he considers sinful and how does he deal with it not only in his own life, but also in others. Obviously the Italian Mafia, but what else?

      June 26, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • bostontola

        I can't speak for any other person, but I can conceive of a point of view that a person can be a sinner and still love God and accept him as his savior. You could then leave the judgment to that God and respect the sinner without judging them. That would be an approach I would respect. I'm sure there are other approaches that preserve respect.

        June 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          That's how my Mother was....just a loving, soft hearted person who would give her last dime if she thought it would help. She was a good Christian and she carried that to her grave...when people tell me she is in heaven, my response always is that if it exists she is one who would be there.

          June 26, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • bostontola

          I love people like your mother, how could you not?

          June 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
      • Science Works

        Hey Theo then is poo sinful ?

        Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies – According to Their Poo


        Also Theo you should look into this book it is new for toddlers might help – Grandmother Fish ?


        Hope that helpsTheo BUT i doubt it.

        June 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
      • observer

        Theo Phileo,

        Obviously, you didn't read what Jesus said was "what the prophets and law was all about.'

        Please spend time reading a Bible.

        June 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Read his catechism. European Christianity has always allowed for "free thinkers" (to some extent), unlike American Fundamentalist (literalists). In Roman Moral Theology, if someone does not REALLY think an act is really wrong, it's not seriously sinful. It could be for someone else. They have three requirements for "mortal sin". Unlike childish literalist Fundies, there is room that system for shades of grey, as upsetting as that is to Fundies to hear that.

        June 26, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      This really is a huge monumental shift in the way the direction of "authority" is perceived, and used in the RCC. In the early Church, it was "bottom up", (the "Spirit working") and officials elected etc. Rome has always had a "top down" model. The fact that he sent out a "survey", at all, and is willing to actually look at it, and take even a little guidance from it, is simply amazing. Oh well. Baby steps. I'm sure the red-necks, and Sede vacantists have little black spots in their drawers today. "Oh, see, it's the end-times. Satan is doing this".

      June 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • bostontola

        That's a great observation rbb.

        June 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          There's also another more subtle shift in his statement., (well maybe not so "subtle"). The wording "If someone *is gay* " is itself a moral paradigm shift, and a recognition that se'xual orientation even exists at all, as an "existential" state (of being), and is not just a series of "evil disordered choices".

          June 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • bostontola

          Maybe, you can say a person is a thief, or is a liar as well without it meaning that they can't be rehabilitated.

          June 26, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Well, that's true. But I am surprised he used that phrase.
          Wait about 24-48 hours, The Vatican Press Office will be sending out "clarifications". Mark my words.
          But i think the cat ....... she is out of the bag.

          June 26, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          If the pope recognizes the science that for many gays it's not a choice, then I'll fall out of my chair.

          June 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I suspect that one of the reasons the USCCB did not make the results of the survey public, was that it would be a "black eye", for "authority". I have always thought a fun "research project" would be to go around the country, and "go to confession" to a good number of parish priests, in various locations, and ask about "can I get a divorce", or is "being gay wrong", or something like that. I know for a fact it would be at LEAST 50/50, that privately, the priests would not hold to the church's public pronouncements, in a private setting. They fear for their jobs though.

          June 26, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • bostontola

          That would be an interesting research project.

          June 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • bostontola

          I agree that the RCC is better than most Christian sects at comporting with science. They find a way to accept as much as possible, while staying consistent with a Creator God that endows humans with a spirit. They won't bend on gayness being inherent in some until they have a good explanation for how a sin is inherent (no choice). Otherwise the walls come tumbling down on sin itself. That would undermine Christianity at the foundational level. They have some very smart thinkers, and a lot of time, maybe they'll figure something out.

          June 26, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  13. Woody

    It must be a major shock to the church hierarchy to see the absolute power that they once wielded over the sheep, evaporate before their eyes. Fewer and fewer people are taking their “teachings” as seriously as they once did. Many Catholics are obviously completely ignoring them and are letting their conscious be their guide. The use of contraceptives by most Catholics is a prime example of this. The once feared threat of Excommunication no longer gets people shaking in their boots. Higher education and modern communication, especially the internet, will probably be the death knell of the almighty church that the Vatican once knew.

    June 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • tallulah131

      They finally figured out that they could not survive in developed nations until they changed their third-world mentality..

      June 26, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
  14. Reality

    Again, too little, too late, the pedophilia horror of priests and coverups has exposed the week underbelly of all of Christianity i.e. a religion founded on the resurrection of some mythical, non-atoning son of some mythical god.

    June 26, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  15. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Other topics to be addressed at the Synod include contraception, and in vitro fertilization, cohabitation, separated, divorced and remarried persons, and teen mothers.

    I can't wait to hear how all that works out. And we know that a bunch of never married septuagenarians are such experts in all of these matters.

    June 26, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
  16. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    "Most of the baptized have an image of the church that, on the one hand, is family friendly in its att.itude, whilst at the same time considering her se.xual morality to be unrealistic,"

    No kidding?

    June 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
  17. neverbeenhappieratheist

    As the Pope softens towards gays, many priests harden...

    June 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
    • Løki

      I'm surprised the Catholic trolls on here didn't get a rise out of that comment...

      June 26, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
  18. Vic

    Till the end of time, the fact remains that every human ever to exist will be subject to "Who am I to judge?," the very high precedent the Lord Jesus Christ set to humanity. No one can pass John 8:7.

    Let God be God and human be human.

    June 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Who does the posthumous judging?
      You'll have to answer to Odin if you want to get to Valhalla.
      Or perhaps the 42 judges of the Egyptian afterlife.
      Maybe you'll meet Joseph Smith and need to offer him the secret handshakes and passwords in order to get to highest level of the Celestial Kingdom.
      Maybe St. Peter will review your sins in his book.
      Heaven, Hell, Limbo, Purgatory, Valhalla, The Celestial Kingdom, The Elysian Fields, Sheol, Tartarus, Tlaloc's Garden etc. ad nauseum.
      So many afterlives, each with their respective judges, and each one with different criteria for getting in.

      They can't all be right, but they can all be wrong.

      June 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  19. Alias

    "their surveys exposed a wide gap between church teaching and lay Catholics' personal views"
    And this is why the church is losing membership.
    I wish the pope a great deal of luck bringing his church into this century.

    June 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
  20. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    The Pope... trying to keep his religion relevant... Thank you your Popieliness, for trying to keep the hate in your flock down to a minimum

    June 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      All praise to the hat of righteous mightiness!

      June 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        They do get to wear cool beanies in that religion.

        June 26, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
      • G to the T

        "God must have a HUGE f***n' Sombrero" George Carlin

        June 27, 2014 at 10:06 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.