What the Pope is Really Saying
HuffPo and other liberal publications can stop rejoicing. The Pope has not turned into a radical progressive.
On the contrary, he is merely affirming what every pope before him has said.
The Holy Father is merely making the proper distinction between the pastoral role of the church and the church as the Christian counterculture confronting the evils of society. He is advising the faithful not to forget the two aims of the Church, one of which is loving evangelization and discipleship; the other of which is firm confrontation of the distorted standards of the world.
The pastoral role of the Church is basically as follows: All sinners -- that's all of us -- are invited to accept the forgiveness of God freely offered through the gospel of grace. Each is invited to travel on the Christian journey of sanctification, seeking every day to become more like Jesus Christ.
The countercultural role of the Church means that at the same time the Church has a pastoral and evangelistic ministry that includes anyone who is a seeker of The Way, the Church takes a radically prophetic stand against the contemporary assaults on a transcendent God, his character and his commands. The Church retains its unyielding ideals and clear, unchanging directives concerning sexual behavior, marriage, and the sacredness of life. Such ideals remain bedrock foundations.
Progressives should not, then, expect the pope to endorse their agenda in any respect. Such matters as gay marriage, eradication of the distinctions between the sexes, and abortion on demand will not soon be endorsed by the leader of the Catholic Church.
The Left should expect to be deeply disappointed in this Pope.
Fay Voshell may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org