More good sense from Pope Francis

September 20th, 2013 at 7:26 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

said the Catholic Church should not allow its bans on gay marriage, abortion and contraception to dominate its teachings, but must be a more welcoming Church where priests are understanding pastors and not cold, dogmatic bureaucrats.

In a dramatically blunt interview with Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit monthly, Francis said the Church had locked itself up in “small things, in small-minded rules”. It must find a new balance between upholding rules and demonstrating mercy, “otherwise even the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards…”
 
Francis, the first non-European pope in 1300 years and the first from Latin America, did not hold out the prospect of any changes soon to such moral teachings.

In the long interview with the magazine’s director, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, he also said he envisioned a greater role for women in the 1.2 billion member Church but suggested it would not include a change in the current ban on a female priesthood.

In an remarkable change from his predecessor Benedict, who said homosexuality was an intrinsic disorder, Francis said that when homosexuals told him they were always condemned by the Church and felt “socially wounded”, he told them “the Church does not want to do this”.

The Pope is not about to change the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic Church, but tone can be almost as important as substance, and his tone is doing wonders I believe for the image of the Catholic Church.

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54 Responses to “More good sense from Pope Francis”

  1. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    He’s not saying anything new – you know that David?

    All this business about Homosexuality and the role of women in the Church yadda yadda reflects the Western World’s elites current obsessions not the Church’s.

    So this is what has been talked about to the point of tedium for the past decade and that is with respect to everything.

    Even the World Athletics Championships last month became dominated with discussions of Homosexuality for goodness sakes.

    It is all so ridiculous and banal

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  2. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    More than anything, this demonstrates the power of the media to shape a popular narrative. When you get down to facts, you will find that B16 said much of the same. Literally. The difference is in the spin.

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  3. Paulus (2,493 comments) says:

    Is it not possible that by allowing Priests to marry the Church would be more stable ?
    It will be a multi generational change but possibly for the good.

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  4. big bruv (13,210 comments) says:

    “The Pope is not about to change the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic Church”

    I will fix it for you DPF.

    “The Pope is not about to embrace science, drop the Catholic’s evil stance on contraception (which is the biggest hurdle to overcoming poverty) or banish bigots from their Church”

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  5. kowtow (7,583 comments) says:

    This is all headline and no substance.

    He said ,on those issues, the Church’s teachings were clear and he agreed with them.

    I think the obsession with these issues is not so much the Church’s as the activists and the media who are constantly pushing for change.

    These are issues in non Catholic countries too…..we’ve just been through it with the marriage parody act,Britain has issues with gender abortion and in France,famously secular a large body of opinion is against homo marriage,pushed through by an unpopular socialist govt.

    As a minor aside relating to the article Francis is not “non European”,he’s an Italian born in Argentina.Hardly makes him a American Indian.

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  6. kowtow (7,583 comments) says:

    yeah bigot bruv those Chinese really overcame poverty with the one child policy,worked a treat.

    They are overcoming poverty by embracing western capitalism……..

    Fuckwit.

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  7. Scott Chris (5,870 comments) says:

    Andrei, an issue only gains traction if there are both sympathetic and opposing agencies disputing it.

    Seems to me that Pope Francis is merely expressing his desire for Christians to focus more on core Christian values which is a refreshing change imo.

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  8. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    You know Scott Chris a few years ago on Palm Sunday the current Pope’s predecessor celebrated Mass in St Peter’s square as is traditional.

    Ten’s of thousands of Catholic pilgrims were present of course and the Pope gave a homily as is customary.

    And you know what was reported of the Pope’s Palm Sunday homily in the English speaking media?

    Nothing – all they reported was that he omitted mention the “abuse crisis” in his homily and then launched into riffs about the Church being in turmoil over it and Palm Sunday and its meaning was obliterated in the media

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  9. RRM (9,427 comments) says:

    Haters gonna hate.

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  10. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    Francis said the Church had locked itself up in “small things, in small-minded rules”

    ——————-

    I agree with the Pope.

    Unfortunately the people who really need to hear his message are already trying to distort its meaning. They don’t realise that their bigotry is wrapped in cloaks of sanctimony.

    Christ castigated the Pharasees. Pope Francis is following his example.

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  11. kowtow (7,583 comments) says:

    “Haters gonna hate.”

    Yep

    These posts are guaranteed to bring out bigots like bruv every time.

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  12. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    “Pope Francis said the Catholic Church should not allow its bans on gay marriage, abortion and contraception to dominate its teachings, but must be a more welcoming Church where priests are understanding pastors and not cold, dogmatic bureaucrats.

    Get that kowtow ?

    He is pretty soft on Islam too :)

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  13. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “Is it not possible that by allowing Priests to marry the Church would be more stable ?
    It will be a multi generational change but possibly for the good.”

    It is possible and there is, of course, no theological barrier to this occuring. In fact, there are Catholic priests who are married in both the Latin Rite (through dispensations) and the Eastern Rites (through regular practice). It is a law and not a doctrine. The same cannot be said for SSM or abortion.

    Earlier this year, the National Catholic Register had a list of quotations proving that Pope Francis is a liberal. Among them:

    “If in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be ‘devout’ and to perform my ‘religious duties’, then my relationship with God will also grow arid. It becomes merely ‘proper’, but loveless.”

    “It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the church’s pastors wherever it occurs.”

    “The authority of the pope is not unlimited.”

    “It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity. Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stands at the heart of the Christian religion.”

    The catch, of course, for those who read to the end was that these were all sayings of Pope Benedict XVI.

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  14. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Christ castigated the Pharasees

    Yes. Jesus criticizes the Jews for not killing their disobedient children according to Old Testament law. Mark 7:9

    7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (7:9-10) “And he [Jesus] said unto them … Ye reject the commandment of God … For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death.”

    7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

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  15. kowtow (7,583 comments) says:

    Paulus

    The Catholic Church already has a number of married clergy.Married Protestant vicars who see the light (joke) and become RC continue in their ministry as priests and in their marriage.

    I read somewhere that there are something like 16 or 18 different branches in Catholicism,the majority allow married clergy.It is only the Roman branch that doesn’t allow it ,and that is only by tradition rather than some theological impediment(not sure of correct term).

    As an aside one of those branches of Catholicism is the Syrian Church who at this moment are facing extinction in their ancient homeland.As I understand it they are in full communion with Rome.

    It would be a change to read a little less about homos and a bit more about another genocide of Christians at the hands of the religion of peace.

    But of course our MSM don’t care so much about Catholic minorities as they do about homo minorities.

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  16. Harriet (4,497 comments) says:

    “…..Is it not possible that by allowing Priests to marry the Church would be more stable ?…”

    Yeah that’s right…..men make better men by fucking women………tell that to the gays and feminists! :cool:

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  17. Chi Hsu (82 comments) says:

    How ironic that in a blog post with a relatively ‘positive’ message most of the replies from the religious members here are angry and aggressive.

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  18. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    Kowtow mandatory celibacy for priests is a discipline of the Latin Church. The Eastern Church allows married men to be ordained but does not allow an ordained man to marry, so priests cannot get married but may be married if they were married before ordination.

    There are non Latin branches of the Catholic Church, often called Greek Catholics and they indeed have married clergy. There are even some Greek Catholics native to Italy.

    Priests who have a living wife may not become bishops and celibacy is mandatory for Bishops

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  19. kowtow (7,583 comments) says:

    “Angry aggressive’

    Jeez you anti catholic secularists are very thin skinned. In fact you are looking for and finding fault where it doesn’t exist.

    Pointing to the shallow,inconsequential and hypocritical MSM is anger and aggression………

    If anything the negative words and emotions “hate”, “evil” ,”bigot”, “extremist”,anger aggression,castigated,distort,sanctimony,etc come from your side.

    And yes I called bigot bruv a fuckwit ,because he reduces every evil in the world to church doctrine. Fuckwit.

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  20. kowtow (7,583 comments) says:

    Thanks Andrei. I knew someone would expand on my married comment ,which was for Paulus’ benefit. Very useful.

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  21. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Kowtow, why no uptick for quoting scripture at my 9:08am in support of gump’s reference to Jesus ? It is what Jesus said. He was pissed off they were not killing their kids. It is right there for all to see.

    7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (7:9-10) “And he [Jesus] said unto them … Ye reject the commandment of God … For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death.”

    7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

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  22. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Have to agree with my learned friend Kowtow. ‘Positive’ or not, all people are pointing out is how “dog bites man” this story is if you’re reasonably well-informed. In fairness, that excludes a lot of journalists these days.

    Can you imagine if the PM saying something as banal as : “We must pursue economic growth and improved productivity but we must never lose our compassion for those who cannot help themselves – and we must maintain some level of welfare as a safety net.” and then Stuff or the Herald made a big fuss about how the “new attitudes and policies” of the National Party and how they showed that right wingers don’t hate the poor anymore. Would such a non-change be newsworthy?

    How would DPF be expected to react? “Thank you so much for doing a positive story on the National Party! I am so grateful. Thanks ever so much!”

    I think he would, rightly, be disdainful of the idea that such attitudes represented anything new.

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  23. Doctor Who (44 comments) says:

    What? Is the Pope softening up the faithful? Will they no longer pretend modern Catholics don’t practise contraception? Tolerate atheists and homosexuals in heaven? Not send unfortunate women — who chose abortion as the lesser of two evils — to Hell?

    Maybe eventually they’ll realise the whole belief system is man-made; not a skerrick of evidence for a personal god. And no logic they would be the chosen ones anyway.

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  24. Fentex (857 comments) says:

    So he’s a nicer front man for an evil institution. It’s of no import. When he passes on and is replaced the institutions momentum will remain.

    Deliver the criminals his house conceals to authority and perhaps I will believe he means more than deflection.

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  25. kowtow (7,583 comments) says:

    Hey chi hsu

    Two more angry aggressive haters have just turned up.

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  26. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Reading the interview it’s almost like he believes the teachings of the Rabbi Jesus actually apply to Christianity.

    http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview

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  27. Scott (1,698 comments) says:

    Yes – he is taking a different tone to his predecessor but the fundamental beliefs remain the same. The sinfulness of homosexuality, that it is not part of God’s design, is still what the Bible teaches.

    However we as the church must try and love those people. Because Jesus died for sinners. Therefore we must love the sinner, even though we may not agree with what they do.

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  28. David Garrett (6,318 comments) says:

    This is almost as bad as a David Bain thread…NO….Please dont….

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  29. tvb (4,196 comments) says:

    The pope wants change but he wants it evolve over time

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  30. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    The sinfulness of homosexuality, that it is not part of God’s design, is still what the Bible teaches.

    Frankie seems to disagree.

    “If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”

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  31. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    If you want to know what the Catholic Church teaches about any particular subject, you don’t need to engage in too much Kremlinology. There is a Catechism of the Catholic Church that sets out:

    “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

    Nothing the Pope said abrogates that aspect of Catholic belief. The Pope does not have authority to change that. It is permanent, natural law.

    The Pope is trying to articulate how Catholics – lay and clerical – should approach people in a spirit of Christian charity.

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  32. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Cato —>>>>Sedevacantism

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  33. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Cool – so referring to Pope Francis as “Pope ” is somehow denying that he is the Pope, despite the fact that I called him “the Pope”?

    The reason why Catholics might appear to be snippy is that they have a complicated religion refined by several millenia of tradition and carefully constructed theology. That’s not amenable to armchair Vaticanology by New Zealand based internet bloggers.

    Catholics do not believe that the Pope has a sweeping teaching authority to make up dogma out of whatever he feels like. In many respects, it is negative belief in which the Holy Spirit will prevent the Pope from teaching error. By corollary, no Pope can purport to teach doctrine that is in contradiction with the moral teaching of the previous Popes (at least not when speaking “ex cathedra”)

    If the Pope was to abrogate clear Catholic teaching that homosexuality is disordered, then he would bring the whole ediface of Catholicism crashing down. However, he can’t abrogate it. He hasn’t purported to abrogate it. He won’t try to abrogate it.

    That being said, it is hard to believe that Pope Francis is oblivious to the predictable media reaction. That suits his ends, undoubtedly. He is a Jesuit, after all.

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  34. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    If you’d rather ->>>.Society of St. Pius X

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  35. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Moreover, if you actually know something about Western civilisation and the development of ethical reasoning since the time of Aristotle, you might find some significance in the fact that Pope Francis is a Jesuit. “Jesuitical” being a synonym of “causitry” which is to say case based reasoning whereby personal judgments need to be made by referene to individualised circumstances and not to abstract theories.

    However, to go on would assume you have a higher interest in ethics and jurisprudence then the: “above all else, gay people must be made to feel validated” school of thought.

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  36. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Did I fucking stutter.

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  37. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Cool story bro.

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  38. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Well the Rabbi Jesus wasn’t a Christian and never preached the religion we know as Christianity.

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  39. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    As an aside one of those branches of Catholicism is the Syrian Church who at this moment are facing extinction in their ancient homeland.As I understand it they are in full communion with Rome.

    Depends which Syrian Church you mean. There are several. There is the Syriac Catholic Church, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and the Maronite Church, all of which are in communion with Rome. But they are in the minority. The bulk of Syrian Christians are parishoners of the two Churches not in communion with Rome: The Syriac Church, which is an Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Antiochan Orthodox Church, which is in communion with Constantinople, and is the Church which I attend myself.

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  40. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “Well the Rabbi Jesus wasn’t a Christian and never preached the religion we know as Christianity.”

    Cool. What was that? Oh sorry. Did you think that was some sort of notable revelation that was going to blow our collective minds?

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  41. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Learn to use some basic tags.

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  42. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Make me.

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  43. chiz (1,119 comments) says:

    Cato:Nothing the Pope said abrogates that aspect of Catholic belief. The Pope does not have authority to change that. It is permanent, natural law

    Oh dear. Ignoring the fact the church’s teachings on homosexuality and other subjects don’t really have the scriptural support that many christians believe, now we have appeals to “natural law”. The lack of reason continues.

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  44. Don the Kiwi (1,582 comments) says:

    Chiz.

    Ignoring the fact the church’s teachings on homosexuality and other subjects don’t really have the scriptural support that many christians believe,…. .

    Bwahahahahahahahahahaha :lol:

    Another resident expert on biblical exegesis.

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  45. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    I’d rather help you.

    http://www.ironspider.ca/format_text/index.htm

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  46. thedavincimode (6,526 comments) says:

    I feel the scriptures coming on:

    If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

    James 1:26

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  47. thedavincimode (6,526 comments) says:

    Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

    Matthew 5:11

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  48. Redbaiter (7,522 comments) says:

    Wow, another smug obsessive atheist.

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  49. David Garrett (6,318 comments) says:

    So BlairM (and may Himself forgive me for getting into this…) what is it that makes the “Antiochan Orthodox church” more right that the other variants you have listed? (I once asked a Tongan girlfriend a variant of that question and her answer was “because they are true”…I am hoping you can do a bit better than that…

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  50. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Fucking prog Pope, us catholics are meant to live in fear and ignorance

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  51. nasska (10,611 comments) says:

    ….”Fucking prog Pope, us catholics are meant to live in fear and ignorance”…..

    The habits of a lifetime down the shitter…..welcome to progressivism at its finest. :)

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  52. SPC (5,334 comments) says:

    To put it more simply, he is claiming to be a Pope for all Catholics … not just the conservatives like John Paul 11 and Benedict 16 who tried to remake the church in their own image and cut liberals off from any place in church leadership.

    He is not however claiming to seek to change church positions, perhaps recognising that conventions invented by men that then become sanctioned as the work of God in institutional practice and doctrine are rarely changed by the same organisation/religious group.

    It’s a more all inclusive church for those who are Catholic laity and presumably more collegial for those within the institution.

    And more Christian than what is was amongst other churches.

    I await the most radical thing of all, he admits he is not anyone’s holy father and that Jesus clearly reserved both terms for God alone.

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  53. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    So BlairM (and may Himself forgive me for getting into this…) what is it that makes the “Antiochan Orthodox church” more right that the other variants you have listed?

    Because it is Orthodox! It claims, and I believe, that the Orthodox Church has preserved the True Faith through its succession of Bishops from the time of its founding by Jesus Christ.

    In terms of the Syriac Orthodox Church i would say the same thing. It is only due to historical misunderstandings that the Oriental Orthodox remain out of communion with Eastern Orthodox. This will probably be rectified in our lifetime, God willing.

    As for the other churches – those in communion with Rome, I recently did a blog post on the subject of differences between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Essentially, the Roman church has developed innovations to the True Orthodox Faith. That doesn’t make them bad Christians, but it means they have some deficiencies that the Orthodox Church does not.

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  54. Zebulon (67 comments) says:

    What would be a miracle would be if there was a church (Catholic or Protestant) that actually welcomed gay people instead of treating them like filth that should not dare want to join.

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