|A humble Pope - Who am I to judge|
Hitherto, the Catholic Church in Singapore has been consistent with the hard line approach against gays. It may be time for a change with the new Pope.
The Jesuit Pope Francis bought a more relaxed and flexible approach towards gays in contrast to the dogmatic and ultra conservative approach of Pope Benedict. Perhaps Pope Francis is straight.
Before we jump into the wrong conclusion, the official stance of the Catholic church hasn't change, that same sex acts are still sinful.
But it bring the church towards reconciliation. The Pope hinted that perhaps homosexuality is part of humanity and God's creation when he said "Here we enter into the mystery of the human being", ie gays are part of humanity, a mystery of creation why some people are born gay, and the majority straight.
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,.... I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. ....Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. ....In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy " Pope Francis
"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?".... "You can't marginalize these people." Pope Francis
The Pope speaking also about his role in the 1970s in Argentina where the church was implicated in supporting the regime and was seen abandoning the priests who were into the Liberation Theology amongsts the masses, the Pope admitted as much as any Pope could.
My style of government as a Jesuit at the beginning had many faults. That was a difficult time for the Society: an entire generation of Jesuits had disappeared.
Because of this I found myself provincial when I was still very young. I was only 36 years old. That was crazy. I had to deal with difficult situations, and I made my decisions abruptly and by myself.
Yes, but I must add one thing: when I entrust something to someone, I totally trust that person. He or she must make a really big mistake before I rebuke that person. But despite this, eventually people get tired of authoritarianism. …
To be sure, I have never been like Blessed Imelda, but I have never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems.
This a Pope of rare humility, a leader of a billion strong, yet if he had his way would still be taking public transport and eating meals in the common cafetaria with the priests.
When asked to define himself, the Pope gave an answer core to his approach of life:-
"Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?" asked the interviewer
"I am a sinner ... This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.” replied the Pope
Perhaps, it has dawned on the Pope that the world has changed and one need not live high in the Papal Palace, or the intellectual liberal elite in their hallowed colleges, but with the people in order to save the church. In a profound statement regarding nuns,
- "I am alive because of one of them. When I went through my lung disease at the hospital, the doctor gave me penicillin and steptomycin in certain doses. The sister who was on duty tripled my doses because she was daringly astute; she knew what to do because she was with ill people all day. The doctor, who really was a good one, lived in his laboratory; the sister lived on the frontier and was in dialogue with it everyday"
Perhaps it is a call for the church to be relevant, to bring Jesus as the Saviour both the Spirit, body and soul to a lost world yearning for the Messiah to give them salvation on earth, and Salvation to heaven. It is only through the Cross of Calvary, totally humbled and naked, that one can truly be the bridge between God and humanity through the Grace of God.