Popes write encyclicals or letters to church followers. The latest “The Joy of Love” does not extend to the joy that gays have in loving committed relationships. That is a pity! However, Pope Francis is trying to walk a plank between hard Catholic doctrine of centuries and the Spirit of the Gospels where as John writes, “God is Love.” (John 1).
Catholic Church numbers are falling off except in some Asia and African countries, where conservatism flourishes. Young people today understand that the LGBT community exists and they know of family members and friends that are gay. The World Psychiatric Association in March 2016 has urged the U.N and its members to note that homosexuality is NOT a perversion and since it cannot be changed, it is NOT a choice. This is a body of academic scientists/doctors from 188 countries. Yet, in the face of science, there are still Christians, Muslims and Jews that would prefer to cling to religious scriptures dating back 3,500 years ago. Jesus never mentions homosexuality. Paul writing to Greeks and Romans admonishes and urges them not to participate in pagan temple orgies. Since the majority of those involved in sex orgies would be heterosexual, Paul admonishes them for going “against their nature” when they have same-sex orgies. For homosexuals, same-sex activities are not against their nature.
The Apostle Paul is problematic. He never was part of Jesus’ ministry of three years and never met him when Christ was alive. Jesus clearly states “Do not Judge” but Paul urges the new Christians to admonish their brethren when they sin. The judgmental Christians use Paul’s words and not Christ’s so that they can “throw the first stone”
If you read my blogs, you have noticed that I argue about the ‘rigid’ interpretations of the Scriptures, particularly those that seem to me to be ‘man written’ and go against the words and actions of Jesus. They are a “thorn in my side.”
Whether people follow a religion or not, everyone is on an earth walk with different experiences, challenges and expectations to find love and be loved. Love is the foundation of living. It is the direct opposite of war and hatred, poverty, famine and death. We are called to love and as we all have weaknesses and imperfections, none of us can ‘cast the first stone.’