March 23, 2015

Re: "Pope faces strong opposition inside, outside the Church" (WCR March 9).

I think it is important to clarify a potentially misleading sentence in this article. The article states, "The popular mandate is defined by his (Pope Francis') comment 'Who am I to judge?' in relation to homosexual activity."

What the pope actually said, in a press conference on a flight from Brazil to Rome on July 28, 2013, was: "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?"

He did not say that he would not judge the behaviour, but that he would not judge the person.

Failing (or refusing) to distinguish between judging persons and judging behaviours is the error of those who would oppose the Church's teaching on homosexuality.

In describing Pope Francis' words as having been said "in relation to homosexual activity," the article perpetuates the confusion and is misleading.

It has been, and continues to be, the teaching of the Church that people with same sex attraction should be treated with the same respect, dignity and love as anyone else (don't judge people), but that their attraction to individuals of the same sex is disordered, and acting on those attractions is sinful (do judge behaviours).

Despite what some might wish, Pope Francis has not changed this teaching. As he himself went on to say in the press conference quoted above, The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2357-59) explains this very well.

Tom Cavanagh
Lloydminster, Alta.