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Triangle residents react to Pope Francis' view on Catholic Church

Posted September 19, 2013

Pope Francis’ comments Thursday that the Catholic Church should be less dogmatic touched off a range of reactions around the world and in the Triangle.

Three Raleigh moms think the pope’s words are a good sign that their sons will grow up in a more inclusive society.

“I think it’s really good, and I think we should be more open minded since it’s 2013,” Maria Keeney said.

Triangle residents react to Pope Francis' vision Triangle residents react to Pope Francis' vision

Arielle White agreed. “I think it will draw some people to the Catholic Church that have previously felt unwelcomed and shunned.”

But Laresa Watkins, mother of toddler Maddie, is concerned the pope is moving away from the traditional teachings of Christianity.

“I think that he's wrong and the church should not make compromises and try to be politically correct,” Watkins said.

In a 12,000-word article, Pope Francis laid out his vision for the church and warned that its moral structure might "fall like a house of cards" if it doesn't balance divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make it a merciful, more welcoming place for all.

Tom Stanley, a lifelong Catholic who lives in the Triangle, believes many people are misinterpreting what Pope Francis is saying.

“To be a homosexual is not a sin,” said Stanley, 71. “The church feels to practice homosexuality is a sin. He believes the doctrines of the church, he espouses them and he will uphold them.”

Stanley believes Francis still supports the rules of the church as they apply to homosexuality, abortion and contraception, but the pope simply wants those who disagree to consider returning to Catholicism.

“The church, nevertheless, and God loves those people, love them no matter what they are doing, no matter what they've done, and he wants them to understand that,” Stanley said. “Please come back to the church. Let's talk. Let's have an open dialogue about things.”

The LGBT Center of Raleigh, which advocates for the rights of gay, lesbian and transgendered people, lauded the pope's vision as one of greater tolerance.

"The center's hope is that Catholic members of our community who have felt pushed aside due to their sexuality will be able to find many more accepting parishes where they are allowed to be who they are and feel embraced by their religious community,” the center said in a statement.

 

11 Comments

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  • Lightfoot3 Sep 20, 10:48 a.m.

    “HAHAHA!! So be Gay and like boys/girls just don't touch! SMH really!!!” – OGE


    I think he’s saying that being a homosexual isn’t a choice, but a condition of their genetics, something beyond their control. So the state of their natural being is not a sin. However, acting on it, like engaging in homosexual acts is a sin. Not sure where you got the “like boys/girls” out if his statement.

  • OGE Sep 20, 10:18 a.m.

    “To be a homosexual is not a sin,” said Stanley, 71. “The church feels to practice homosexuality is a sin. He believes the doctrines of the church, he espouses them and he will uphold them.”

    HAHAHA!! So be Gay and like boys/girls just don't touch! SMH really!!!

  • Mon Account Sep 20, 10:04 a.m.

    Reminds me of Miley's twerking. Anything controversial to get some attention.

    Now that he's got it, what's he doing to do with it?

  • edtomjr Sep 20, 9:55 a.m.

    Look at all the judgmental Christians accusing the pope of trying to be politically correct and condoning sins. When did he condone homosexuality and abortion? Not surprising that Christians would miss his point completely, embellish on what he said in order to excuse their behavior, and accuse him of doing something that he isn't.

  • DavidJonathan Sep 20, 9:55 a.m.

    I welcome the Pope's call to focus on God's love instead of over-emphasizing divisive issues; that does not mean he thinks the Church should be silent on moral issues...He's just saying let's focus on God first and reach out to everyone, gay or straight. (I don't really put abortion--a life & death issue--in the same category, but even there, the emphasis could be more on reconciliation and prevention.)

  • Lightfoot3 Sep 20, 9:30 a.m.

    I’m not a religious or superstitious person. I don’t believe in ghosts and goblins, and spirits in the clouds. I know what makes the sun rise and set, without the need for Apollo and his chariot. HOWEVER, so far I really like this Pope! :)

  • glarg Sep 20, 9:21 a.m.

    "Tom Stanley, a lifelong Catholic who lives in the Triangle, believes many people are misinterpreting what Pope Francis is saying."

    Exactly.

    These "three Raleigh moms" havent had the opportunity to read the article before they were ambushed interviewed by the reporter and were fed information on what the Pope supposedly said.

    Not only is the interview very long, it has been translated from Italian so the phraseology is not straight forward.

    Why are we seeing all these news stories wildly misinterpreting what the Pope said? There are AP stories with quotation marks around phrases that simply do not exist in the article.

    The news media ignores moral teachings of the Church and events like the March for Life which draws 500,000 people in the middle of winter. But suddenly they are in a hurry to misrepresent what the Pope said in an interview in a Catholic paper.

    What is the agenda here?

  • handbasket Sep 19, 7:43 p.m.

    No, it is NOT "common knowledge" amongst Catholic laity, as a poster insinuates below, of which I am a VERY involved one. Proof please.

  • timexliving Sep 19, 7:27 p.m.

    It's common knowledge amongst Catholic laity who are very involved with the ministry of the Church that gay priests comprise a large segment of the priesthood. The Church has made more "progress", depending upon which side of the issue you are on, than most people realize.

  • caroexc Sep 19, 7:26 p.m.

    Homosexuality IS a sin. Nonetheless ALL Churches need to embrace what they read in the Bible and stand for their beliefs and not kowtow to "special" interests. I considered serioulsly hurting the man i caught with my wife, went to a church to talk with the pastor, and i was told i couldnt speak with him, because i was NOT a member. Luckily for the paramour a friend calmed me down but i learned a lesson that day from some who purport to be Christians. I certainly believe in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, its the hypocrites i avoid.

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