Action Alert!

Another papal bombshell: the confusion is intentional

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 21, 2018

Another day, another papal bombshell. Another statement attributed to the Holy Father that is clearly at variance with established Church teaching. Another set of sensational headlines. Here we go again.

Did Pope Francis really tell Juan Carlos Cruz that he should embrace his homosexuality? That “you have to be happy with who you are”? That “God made you like that and He loves you like that and I do not care”? We don’t know. We probably never will know, at least not with any degree of certainty.

Cruz says that the Pope made those statements, and the Vatican has not contradicted him. So don’t blame the media. Journalists are doing their jobs: reporting on statements that are indisputably newsworthy. The Pope could defuse the story, by saying that the statements are inaccurate. But—in this case as in so many others before it—he chooses not to do so.

Which leaves us, as I see it, with only two possibilities:

  1. The Pope did make the statements that Cruz attributed to him—or at least statements close enough so that no correction is necessary, because he intends to change Church teaching on the question of homosexuality.
  2. The Pope did not make the statements attributed to him, but he does not choose to issue a public correction because he is content to allow confusion about Church teaching on the question of homosexuality.

Really, is there any other way to explain the Pope’s statement and his subsequent silence—in this case and many others? A few such statements might be explained away as slips of the tongue or misunderstandings or bad translations or inaccurate reports. But the pattern is now crystal clear.

In Lost Shepherd I remarked: “The confusion in Amoris Laetitia is not a bug; it is a feature.” The same could be said of this entire pontificate.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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