As a Protestant, I don’t know how Catholics do it. Having a man, in the form of the pope, who can single-handedly reshape your theology must be at times frustrating and confusing. Case in point, from the BBC:
Pope Francis has said that the Roman Catholic Church should apologise to gay people for the way it has treated them.
He told reporters that the Church had no right to judge the gay community, and should show them respect.
The Pope has been hailed by many in the gay community for his positive attitude towards homosexuals.
But some conservative Catholics have criticised him for making comments they say are ambiguous about sexual morality.
“I think that the Church not only should apologise… to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by [being forced to] work. It must apologise for having blessed so many weapons.”
In 2013, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.
That last distinction proves a head-scratcher. The Bible teaches that every human being has a sinful orientation, whether they happen to be gay or not. Indeed, Jesus’ radical application of the Old Testament law made no distinction between sinful acts and sinful thoughts or inclinations.
It may be truthfully said that Christians should not judge gays in the sense of thinking them somehow greater sinners than heterosexuals. But that does not mean we should pretend homosexuality is okay by God. Biblically, it’s clearly not.