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What the Pope did NOT say in the interview

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Sep 19, 2013

Here’s what Pope Francis did not say in the provocative interview published today:

  • He did not say that the Church should stop speaking out about homosexuality, abortion, and other contentious issues (although he did say that the focus should not be obsessive).
  • He did not call for a more “balanced” approach on those topics. (He called, instead, for a balance between preaching the fundamental truths of the Gospel and applying them to social issues.)
  • He did not say that the Church is in danger of collapse. (He said that our evangelical efforts will collapse if we don’t find the right balance.)

There’s plenty of headline-worthy material in the papal interview. But the headlines in the secular media are, as usual, well off the mark.

Please, folks, don’t be trapped in unproductive debates about what some uninformed reporter claims the Pope said. Read the CWN account-- or better, the entire interview-- and draw your own conclusions.

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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Sep. 21, 2013 1:19 PM ET USA

    Could we have at least one interview where the subject of human sexuality was raised and it DID NOT delight the enemies of the Church and Catholics who reject what the Church teaches? Could we have at least one interview where the subject of human sexuality was raised and in it, the Pope names and affirms what are sins against God's gift of human sexuality. If the Pope fears the loss of popularity in doing so, it will become impossible for anyone to do so.

  • Posted by: oakes.spalding7384 - Sep. 19, 2013 9:01 PM ET USA

    I have no doubt (okay, I think I have no doubt) that the Pope strongly believes that abortion, homosexual practice and contraception are grave evils (as the Cat. teaches), but generally, people who use the sort of language that he did in the interview, do not have such beliefs. Such language usually implies doubt (at the least) on the doctrines and an attack on the faithful Christians who courageously stick their necks out proclaiming them in an increasingly hostile environment. A bad day.

  • Posted by: St Thomas More Pray for Us - Sep. 19, 2013 5:46 PM ET USA

    Most of us aren't focused only on "abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods", nor "obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines". We just aren't too happy about millions of abortions every year, Catholic Charities forced out of adoptions, and evil attacks against conscience rights. Most of us are trying to figure out what to do, stumbling along the way. I'm interested in specifics of a "balanced approach" and "proclamation in a missionary style".

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