In a documentary series of BBC TWO titled ‘Pilgrimage: The road to Rome,’ Pope Francis met Stephen K. Amos, a gay British comedian and one of the eight celebrities who participated in BBC series.
The comedian told Pope Francis about his grief because of the recent loss of his mother and twin sister, saying “Looking for answers and faith, but as a gay man, I don’t feel accepted.”
Pope Francis responded by saying, “Giving more importance to the adjective than the noun—this is not good… We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are or how you live your life, you do not lose your dignity.”
The Pope also said that people who tend to be selective don’t have a human heart.
“There are people that prefer to select or discard people, because of the adjective. These people don’t have a human heart.”
In an interview, Amos told Gay Star News that “there was no dry eye in the room at the moment.”
“I felt like I was asking on behalf of a lot of people. To hear him say those words in his position, and those words being heard by a lot of his followers and devotees—that stuff’s huge.”
In a New Ways Ministry report, the pope was showing human dignity is more important than gender preferences.
“The pope is showing that the social justice tradition about human dignity is more important than the sexual ethics tradition, which does not approve of same-gender sexual relationships,”
Pope Francis also encouraged parents to accept LGBTQ children as he told a Spanish journalist that homosexual tendencies “are not a sin.”
However, his support of LGBTQ issues may appear to be mixed.
In 2013, he said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” But last year, he instructed bishops to keep gay men out of the priesthood.
It was also last year when the pope marked the first pro-LGBTQ family speech during the World Meeting of Families. However, he has called same-sex parenting “ungodly.”
He also accepts meetings with trans people but criticized trans-inclusive education and argued that children should be taught to “accept their own body as it was created.”
Though Pope Francis has shown some support for same-sex couples, he objects to marriage equality.
Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to stop gossiping and to focus on repenting over their own sins, instead of musing on other people’s inadequacies.
“The Lord wants to teach us not to go criticizing others, not to look at the defects of others: look first at yours, your faults,” the pope said in an unprepared homily, upon visiting a Roman parish on Sunday.
Reciting the Angelus prayer at noon March 3, with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, and visiting the Parish of St. Crispin in Labaro, a suburb on the northern edge of Rome, later that afternoon, Pope Francis focused on the line from the day’s Gospel: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?”
The pope also referenced the arrival of Lent in his homily which begins on Wednesday, Mar 6, and advised people to use this time to reflect on how they treat others. “How do I behave with people? How is my heart in front of people? Am I a hypocrite, that faces with a smile and then from the back criticizes and destroys with my tongue?,” he asked.
“We are specialists at finding the bad things of others, without seeing our own [faults],” Pope Francis explained, which often leads people to gossip and speak badly about others.
But if Catholics reach Easter improving themselves by criticizing others less and gossiping less, “the Resurrection of Jesus will be seen more beautiful, greater among us,” he said.
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EN: Today, on the Feast of St George, let's wish Pope Francis a happy name day! ES: Hoy, fiesta de San Jorge, unámonos al resto del mundo para desear al Papa ¡feliz onomástico! PT: Hoje, festa de São Jorge, vamos nos unir a todo o mundo para as felicitações de bom onomástico ao Papa! IT: Oggi, festa di San Giorgio, uniamoci al resto del mondo per gli auguri di buon onomastico al Papa! #popefrancis #papafrancesco
Pope Francis gave two pieces of advice, as he knew that breaking such a habit can be difficult. The first is to pray if one is tempted to criticize, and the second recommendation is “bite your tongue. Strong! Because this will swell the tongue and you will not be able to speak,” the pope said with a laugh.
This does not mean, however, that people should stay silent when others do something they should not. Pope Francis urged the Catholics to be brave and speak to that person face-to-face instead of speaking behind their backs.
“Indeed, gossip does not resolve anything,” he said.
Pope Francis made a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the country’s “Year of Tolerance” celebration held at the Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium.
The facility could only accommodate up to 135,000 people and tickets were released at their respective churches where thousands of Catholics lined up for hours in hopes of receiving free tickets to get inside the venue. Pope Francis is the first Roman Catholic pope to set foot in the UAE, and welcomed by the country’s leader.
Almost a million Roman Catholics were lining up for the papal mass tickets, who were living in the UAE. The tickets will not only allow them to attend the mass in Zayed Sports City Stadium, but will also grant them a day off as announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
A Filipina, named Bernice Soroosh is a devout Catholic, wanted to attend the papal mass. As told her Emirati husband, Yousef Sroosh about this, he immediately offered to take her to St. Mary’s Church to give her a chance to have a ticket.
Yousef patiently waited for her wife who had spent several hours lining up outside the church.
“I told my husband that I would like to attend the papal mass and he offered to drive me to St. Mary’s Church to get a ticket. I was really touched by his offer. This Papal visit has proven that people, even a married couple like us, who come from different religious background and culture, can arrive at a common ground,” Bernice shared.
“My husband is a Muslim and I’m Catholic, but there is deep respect for culture and faith in our family.”
Yousef is an evident proof that not all Muslims are having thoughts of not allowing their wives to attend big religious events, despite the impression of being strict in the Muslim religion.
In spite of their efforts, Bernice was not able to get a ticket. Still she feels blessed that the pope has visited the UAE and could still hear the mass through the live video broadcast.
Yousef earned admiration from social media, as the Muslim guy who give his best to support his wife and help her to secure tickets to the papal mass in his United Arab Emirates (UAE) visit.
Father RJ, a Roman Catholic priest, is one of the members of the LGBT community, consists of individuals who chose to dedicate their lives in serving an institution that doesn’t entirely welcome them.
He said that he had known that he’s gay since puberty as he was attracted to guys and even his “wet dreams” were about men. But things changed when he graduated from college.
“I felt the call to priesthood.”
The topic of LGBT members inside the church is not new as the likes of Pope John XII, Paul II, and Sixtus IV were caught with gay-related controversies. Sociologist and author James Wolf estimated that around 48.5% of priests may actually be gay.
But in December 2016, Pope Francis has signed The Gift of the Priestly Vocation which states that people with homosexual tendencies are prevented from participating at Roman Catholic seminaries and the priesthood.
In an article by OutrageMag.com, Fr. RJ expressed that he found it “hurtful and disappointing.”
“I reject the idea that gays are not fit to be priests.
“Those statements versus gay priests, which were copied from ideas first put forth under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, are evil, cruel and outright discriminatory. Those are not coming from the Holy Spirit. don’t see any contradiction between being gay and being a priest.
“There is no contradiction. There are surely a lot of LGBT saints in the history of the church.”
He shared that his companions and superiors are actually really supportive of him.
“Being LGBT is not a sin. Logically, therefore, LGBT love and LGBT relationships are not sinful.”
In his catechists series on the Commandments on October 24, Pope Francis stated that no relationship is authentic without fidelity and loyalty.
“One cannot love only as long as ‘it’s convenient’; love manifests itself beyond the threshold of one’s own advantage, when everything is given without reserve.”
He then added that love is not an arrangement until further notice as fidelity is needed in mature human relationships. This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, but friendships as well. He said that a friend “proves himself authentic because he remains a friend in all circumstances.
“The faithful Friend who welcomes us even when we make mistakes and always wants what is good for us, even when we do not deserve it.”
Pope Francis then added that unconditional love is actually a human need.
“And those who do not receive this acceptance carry within themselves a certain incompleteness, often without knowing it.
“The risk is calling unripe and immature relationships “love,” with the illusion of finding the light of life in something that is at best only a reflection of it.”
He warned people that this may lead people to giving too much weight on physical attraction.
“Fidelity is indeed a way of being, a style of life. One works with loyalty, one speaks with sincerity, one remains faithful to the truth in one’s own thoughts, in one’s own actions.
“A life woven in fidelity is expressed in all dimensions and leads us to be men and women who are faithful and trustworthy in every circumstance.”
In a message on September 29, Pope Francis has made it clear that he believes in the devil and it is alive and well and working extra hard to undermine the Roman Catholic Church.
He is also convinced that Satan is to blame for the world’s sexual abuse crisis and deep divisions rocking the Church. With this, he asked Catholics all over the world to recite a special prayer every single day in October to try to beat the bad spirit.
“(The Church must be) saved from the attacks of the maligned one, the great accuser and at the same time be made ever more aware of its guilt, its mistakes, and abuses committed in the present and the past.”
Since 2013, the Pope has made it clear that he believes the devil to be real and in fact, in a document in April on holiness in the modern world, he mentioned the devil for more than a dozen times.
“We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”
There has recently been three sexual abuse cases linked to the church, one in Germany, one in the United States, and one in Chile.
A few days ago, Pope Francis has once again expressed his strong opposition on death penalty.
The Church doctrine has previously accepted the death penalty as “the only predictable way” to defend lives, however, the Pope said executions are unacceptable in all cases as they’re “an attack” on human dignity.
Vatican announced on Thursday, August 2, that the Church is determined to abolish capital punishment[s] worldwide.
On the other hand, Senator Manny Pacquiao has stated his argument that the scripture allows the government to impose death penalty. He added the Constitution as a form of justification for the re-imposition of the death penalty in the Philippines.
In an interview with dwIZ, Pacuiao said: “This is not about me or what I want but this is in the Bible and also in our Constitution, so there is no problem,”
In another interview, he answered “Ano ba basis mo to oppose? Because of your religious beliefs or because of the Constitution? Siguro naman the Constitution allows death penalty for heinous crimes.
“And then sa Panginoon, biblically, binibigyan ng Panginoon ng karapatan ang government to use capital punishment. Even Jesus Christ nga nasentensyahan nang kamatayan dahil ang government nag-impose talaga ng kamatayan.
“You are not a good leader if you are making decisions with your own conscience. ‘Di ito sa pakiramdam mo eh. Ang titignan mo ‘di pansarili mo kundi sa sambayanan.”
Pacquiao said that someone is not a good leader if they base their decisions over conscience alone.
“You are not a good leader if you are making decisions with your own conscience. ‘Di ito sa pakiramdam mo eh. Ang titignan mo ‘di pansarili mo kundi sa sambayanan”
This is not the first time that the boxer-turned-senator expressed his approval of death penalty as he previously filed three bills to revive death penalty.
Pope Francis was just having the last leg of his apostolic journey in Columbia when he injured himself inside the Popemobile.
It was in the beautiful city of Cartagena when the Pope convoy decided to make a jolting stop, causing the Pope to lose his balance and hit his head on the bulletproof glass hard. Moments before the incident, he was just waving to the crowd and making the Lord’s presence felt.
In the end, the pope got a black eye and a cut above his left eyebrow. Blood streamed down, but we don’t have to worry much.
As seen in this video, the Pope was hurriedly aided by his companions with ice and bandages. The Holy Father did not bother and continued his journey.
In an interview after, the Pope even joked that he had been ‘punched’. Pope Francis resumed his activities for the day including the veneration of the relics of Saint Peter Claver, a saint to devoted his life to helping African slaves in Columbia.
It was a grueling 6-day apostolic journey to Columbia, but the Pope did not even complain. He is firm with his belief to heal and reconcile the country that has been torn by war and violence.
This is just another reason for us to love and respect the current Pope. Mabuhay, Pope Francis!
As the Pope Francis takes a trip to Italy‘s business capital to visit homes of working-class families, no one expected that it includes a Muslim household.
The pope showed the common touch as he skipped the city’s grand center to visit three small apartments, one of which is Milhoual Abdel Karim‘s house. He is a Muslim immigrant from Morocco who lives there with his three children and wife. Karim teaches Arabic in their place.
“It was very emotional. It was like having a friend in the house,” said Karim, a pharmaceutical factory worker.
The pope was offered delicacies and gifts by the Muslim family, and the children even gave him a heartwarming drawing.
After visiting them, he dropped by on an elderly Italian couple’s house, both of whom have major health problems.
Pope Francis criticized some members of the Church, saying it is better to be an atheist than one of “many” Catholics who he quoted “lead a hypocritical double life”.
“It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life,” he explained.
A Vatican Radio transcript covered one mass of the head of the 1.2-billion member Roman Catholic Church. During this mass, the pope said:
“There are those who say ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association’.”
Ironically, the same people should also say, “my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, (I lead) a double life’,” the Pope suggested.
Since he became the Pope in 2013, Francis is very vocal about his beliefs and religious leads. He suggested that everyone in the religion should practice what they preach.
“There are many Catholics who are like this and they cause scandal. How many times have we all heard people say ‘if that person is a Catholic, it is better to be an atheist’,” Pope Francis said.
One of his sermons, he addressed the priest assaulters of young children as being tantamount to a “Satanic Mass”. Adding to this, he also told his own cardinals to not act as if they were “princes”.
Pope Francis doesn’t fail to see the goodness in everything. He even said that Christians should see atheists as good people if they do good.