This coverage, which is widespread and typical, is not only misleading, but also flat out wrong.
But, quite apart from correcting the record, I think there were lots of faithful Catholics, all over the world, facepalming Pope Francis last week. But Francis has nothing on his predecessor, who was the king of facepalms. Remember when Pope Benedict said that gay marriage is a greater threat to mankind than global warming? Of course, neither pope said any of these things — it’s just the way the press reported it.
The Anchoress has a great post illustrating this point: Francis confounds the Associated Press. A pope went out to give an interview. And as he talked, some of his words fell to the media, and those birds gobbled them up before they could even be heard. When I come up from my facepalm, I am praying to St Joseph Pignatelli SJ that Pope Francis will gain the virtue of silence !
When did anyone here ever hear catechesis about contraception if not via the internet by a layperson? If only the pope could have said something to the effect that the arms of Christ and His Church are waiting to embrace and heal the millions on the planet whose lives, souls and relationships have been devastated by the effects of contraception and its ideology and it’s poisonous fruit, abortion. Have you seen this latest interview that is following on the heel of the America interview. I can only speak for myself but in my own conversion the encounter with Jesus happened first and then, as the Pope said, the rules followed as a natural consequence.
In his latest interview that just came out this week, Francis list youth unemployment, loneliness of old age, and poverty as the most serious evils of today.
How far do you think we’d get in a predominantly secular world if we are continuously jumping down people’s throats with arguments against abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage?
I think maybe the Church did need to talk about contraception, abortion, gay marriage etc in the later part of the 20th century – the 70s left everything up for grabs. All of this caused confusion, and so the Church needed to be clear about where she stood on these important topics. I think the Holy Father, being mindful of this, is calling us all to remind the world that the main teaching of the Church is the love and mercy of God. This is a world that no longer fears God or the consequences of sin; perhaps it is because a good deal of people are ignorant in these matters.

A very good and balanced article on the interview from the editor of First Things – and the comments are revealing, too. Personally I believe it is the Devils last ditch effort to try to cause further confusion and division within the Church, as well as a false message to the public that Christs Church has failed. It would make sense that a dynamic pontiff would be all things to all men and almost risk damnation in the attempt to pull someone to safety.
Sciambra: I have seen many unhappy and searching gay men and women turned off to Christianity because of an over-zealous Christian who showed them condemnation, but no love. If you want to know what Pope Francis really said, America Magazine has the complete and official translation.
He knows his words will be twisted, in the same way that Pope Benedict’s words were twisted. They received his message with joy, but the first time it occurred to them how difficult it would be to live by those words, their enthusiasm withered like seedlings in a drought. I had just got used to Pope Benedict and accepted his great challenges for my own personal life and public ministry as a priest and then in March I had to start responding to a new Pope with the same level of respect and commitment. The great majority of catholics and clergy backpedal from the anti-life issues because they’d get abused and pilloried.
I think that Pope Francis is a very, very good evangeliser and knows what he’s doing.
We have been blessed to have had two extremely theologically rich Popes before him who have given us generations worth of readings and teachings that can be used to rebuild the Church. Perhaps he is speaking to non-believers in the language which will draw them towards Christ.
Such Christians will respond that they are not speaking against persons who identify themselves as gay per se, but against their actions which are harmful to everyone involved. However when read in context with the whole interview I really loved what the Pope had to say. Now we have a more simplistic Pope who, in my opinion, relates to the general person more so than his predecessors. One journalist summed up the style thing as Pope Francis being the Parish Priest of the World.
We need to be including everyone and spreading the good news of the Gospel and the love of Christ.

The report you’ll find about his most recent general audience spoke deeply to my heart.
This may be a matter of just listening, not really offering a lot of catechesis or dogma, but simply letting them know that you care. Keep in mind, Francis wants less talk of real evil, such as redefining sodomy as the same as the sacrament of marriage and the mass killing of the unborn. You’ll notice he starts off with a paper prompt, but soon abandons it to speak from his heart. How should Christians deliver the message so that it’s effective and so that they avoid coming across as bigots? Once a relationship is established, you have to decide when and how the Truth of Jesus Christ’s plan for each one of us is to be delivered. But with the style came the substance and I’m finding myself shocked by the media in the way they are styling the substance of our Pope, sowing very many seeds in many cases, of division and disunity among Catholics. His theology seems a mix of humanism, orthodoxy, liberation theology and maybe some Telhard d’Chardin in regards to his eschatology views. Don’t get me wrong, these issues are big issues and must be talked about, just not constantly. He also says people have to follow their own conscious and decide for themselves what is good and evil. This is moral relativism from the very person who is suppose to be upholding the moral laws of God!
I also found it disconcerting that Francis gave communism as the reason he became a priest. Most priest say that it was God that led them to the priesthood or they heard Jesus call them. Francis credits communism which ironically always has been considered an ideology that is destructive to the Church. Certainly millions of Christians have been put to death and are imprisoned under Communist regimes even today.

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