Francis says "Who am I to judge?", and a Catholic diocese in North Carolina makes schoolchildren sit through a presentation claiming that masturbation can turn you gay. The pontiff tells the church to not be so "obsessed" with marriage equality, but then a Catholic school in Washington forces out its vice principal for marrying his same-sex spouse. The Vatican calls a gathering to reexamine church teaching on issues like contraception and same-sex marriage, yet Catholic dioceses across the United States are policing pro-LGBT schoolteachers' thoughts and private lives.
And now, in the latest contradictory twist, a top Italian bishop is calling on the Catholic Church to hold an open dialogue on homosexuality "without any taboo."
The Tablet reports:
The Catholic Church should listen to all the arguments in favor of gay relationships, Communion for remarried divorcees, and ending mandatory celibacy for priests, a senior Italian bishops has insisted.
The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference (CEI), Nunzio Galantino, bishop of the southern diocese of Cassano all'Jonio, told the Florence-based La Nazione newspaper... that he wanted church leaders to open their mind to different views on these issues.
He said: "My wish for the Italian Church is that it is able to listen without any taboo to the arguments in favor of married priests, the Eucharist for the divorced, and homosexuality."...
[Galantino] said he believed the arrival of Pope Francis represented a unique chance to usher in liberal reforms. "With Pope Francis the Italian Church has an extraordinary opportunity to reposition itself on spiritual moral and cultural beliefs," he said.
Whether these nice-sounding words translate into actual changes in church teaching, only time will tell.