Pope Francis frequently criticizes the United States Catholic Church as reactionary. We know what he means by that with his latest move to let priests bless same-sex couples. His new doctrine also allows blessings for divorced and remarried Catholics. According to the Catholic Church, the Lord condemned gay relationships.
The media is elated. The NY Times wrote:
The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis had allowed priests to bless same-sex couples, his most definitive step yet to make the Roman Catholic Church more welcoming to L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics and more reflective of his vision of a more pastoral and less rigid church.
Pope Francis said it’s a simple blessing that does not accept gay marriage.
Vatican News reports:
With the Declaration “Fiducia supplicans” issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved by Pope Francis, it will be possible to bless same-sex couples but without any type of ritualization or offering the impression of a marriage. The doctrine regarding marriage does not change, and the blessing does not signify approval of the union.
Recently, Cardinal Byrd was thrown out of his apartments and lost his pension for being conservative, and Fr. Pavone was defrocked for his pro-life stance. They were highly critical of the Pope, but the Pope said he likes to be criticized since it makes him rethink his positions.
CALLING ISRAEL TERRORISTS
The Pope has defined terrorism as any response by Israel to destroy Hamas. It is tragic that any civilian dies, but is this war or terrorism? The Pope says war is terrorism, even in self-defense.
Pope Francis appeals for an end to the war ravaging the Holy Land, praying especially for Christians holed up in the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza.https://t.co/wcn8ivGGeb pic.twitter.com/iZauakN2B3
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) December 17, 2023
Bill Donohue of The Catholic League wrote:
But in the meantime, it is never wise to conflate terrorism and war. Terrorism is the intentional killing of innocents and is always wrong. War, as the Catholic Church has long acknowledged, while never desirable, may be a just response in certain circumstances.
Dating back to the fourth century, St. Augustine outlined circumstances where war is morally justifiable. This was the beginning of the Church just war doctrine. On October 16, I examined conditions in the Israel-Hamas war and concluded that Israel had met the criteria for a just war.
Pope Francis evidently disagrees. He reportedly told Israeli President Isaac Herzog that it is “forbidden to respond to terror with terror.” Because of his conflation of terrorism with war, it appears that any military response by the IDF constitutes terrorism. If that is the case, the term has been emptied of its meaning. Terrorism, it must be said, is not a synonym for war.
This appears to put the pope at odds with the just war doctrine as stated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism says that although working for peace is a must, “as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.”