When it comes to Pope Francis, the left has created for themselves a tooth fairy and the right has created a bogeyman. A few rips on capitalism, one wildly misinterpreted quote regarding homosexual orientation, a botched mid-term report at the synod followed by a homily completely taken out of context, and suddenly everyone thinks Barack Obama now sits in the chair of Peter and the "gates of Hades" have prevailed against the church. But we have all been been duped by a left-wing media intent on pushing a false narrative in hopes of frightening Christians into silence this hot-button issues so militant activists can run roughshod over the trembling protests.
As a committed Catholic, I say the following with unwavering conviction: The Catholic Church under Pope Francis will not capitulate on the issue of same-sex marriage, nor will it change its teaching on homosexual acts. It won't happen. Better chance of winning the Lotto.
The Catholic Church spans all seven continents with an estimated congregation of 1.2 billion people in virtually every country. While the Catholic Church has lost prominence in the West due to cultural acceptance of same-sex marriage, it compensates with growing congregations in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, where such cultural revolutions are met with a resounding "no". That also includes majorities in Central and South America.
Even if Francis were the most pro-gay Pontiff in all of history, which he is not, for him to suddenly declare homosexual acts no longer sinful and endorse same-sex marriage would essentially mean that the Catechism of the Catholic Church, all 265 of his predecessors, nearly 2,000 years of church tradition, and the Holy Bible itself got it completely wrong. The results would be schisms that make the Protestant Reformation look like a family reunion. The Catholic Church would cease to exist.
While Pope Francis has certainly presented a much friendlier face regarding these issues, his past record as Archbishop of Buenos Aires – where he opposed all legislation allowing gay couples to adopt and marry, cautioning that it would "seriously damage the family" and deprive children of "their development given by a father and a mother" that constitutes a "total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts" – clearly indicates his stance on this issue. Even in the interview where he uttered his famous "who am I to judge?" catch-phrase, he also condemned "lobbying by this orientation" and affirmed the Catechism.
Pope Francis has only one vision for the Catholic Church: a church of shepherds, not sheep; of pastors, not clergy; of teachers, not scholars. He wants a Catholic Church that reaches out and changes people's hearts, not a hunkering fortress encircled by ravenous secular wolves. He has no desire to change doctrine, and the previous synod, wildly misreported by the media, reflected that.
Even in the disastrous Relatio Post Disceptationem, the infamous synod mid-term report that called for "welcoming homosexuals" and that "homosexuals have gifts to offer the church," marriage remained between a man and a woman. As stated by the consistently conservative Father Robert Sirico in The Wall Street Journal last week, the mid-term report most likely reflected the views of its author, known progressive Archbishop Bruno Forte, and not the synod fathers.
The final Relatio Synodi, released Saturday, dramatically addressed the mid-term report's ambiguities, calling for "pastoral care of people with a homosexual orientation" while exclaiming "there is no foundation whatsoever" that same-sex marriage should be considered on par with heterosexual unions. The document also explicitly reiterated in several paragraphs that God designed marriage to be an indissoluble union between a man and a woman, quoting from Genesis, Colossians, and the Catechism to support its teaching. Yes, it says "men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect and sensitivity," but it also says that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church just after it calls those actions "intrinsically disordered."
Supposed "revolutionaries" like Pope Francis don't say no to female priests, no to married priests, and no to artificial contraception. A supposed "revolutionary" like the current Pontiff, would most certainly never have hailed Pope Paul VI for writing Humane Vitae – the famous encyclical rejecting contraception – when a majority of Bishops urged him to capitulate. The liberal clergy hate Pope Paul VI for giving them Humane Vitae, and they made their dissent widely known with the Winnipeg Statement in 1968. A Pope that affirms Humane Vitae will not be a Pope who affirms same-sex marriage.
In a year's time, the synod will conclude when Pope Francis writes an authoritative document expressing in full detail what the church teaches and the left's honeymoon with him will be over. Until then, keep the faith.