News Flash: Pope Still Catholic!

July 31st, 2013

“The ‘who am I to judge’ comment was specifically referring to situations of a person with same sex attraction who is living a celibate life and seeking God in good faith.”

- Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse -

SAN DIEGO, CA – Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, today released a statement regarding the recent remarks by Pope Francis.

Dr. Morse’s statement:

“The Holy Father did not say anything new in his off-the-cuff remarks to reporters on the Papal flight home from World Youth Day. Everything he said is perfectly consistent with the timeless teaching of the Catholic Church, which holds that there is an important moral distinction between sexual desire and sexual acts.  Since the Fall, we are all born with desires to do things that are not good and not consistent with God’s laws. This includes those whose pattern of sexual desire is primarily for those of the same sex. There is a moral distinction between the desire for homosexual acts, and performing the acts themselves.

Pope Francis was responding to a question about a particular priest. It was in that context, that he made the remark that has flown around the world. The American Gay Lobby and their supporters in the media are excited about the new “tone” of acceptance that they perceive in the Holy Father’s remarks.  I am glad to see them paying such close attention to the Holy Father’s teaching. I would suggest they take a closer look at the context of his remarks. The ‘who am I to judge’ comment was specifically referring to situations of a person with same sex attraction who is living a celibate life and seeking God in good faith.

I agree with the Holy Father: people who are living celibate lives and seeking God in good faith deserve our support.  I am delighted that so many gay publications and organizations seem to be interested in what Catholicism has to offer.  The Catholic Church has always taught that for some people, and not just same sex attracted people, lifelong celibacy is their unique and personal path to holiness. I am privileged to know some men of homosexual tendencies who are living chaste lives.  They are among the holiest people I know. We at the Ruth Institute have a policy of encouraging our students to reach out in friendship to their friends and classmates who are dealing with same sex attraction.

I also agree with the Holy Father that it is a “problem to form a lobby of those who have this tendency, a lobby of the greedy people, a lobby of politicians.” For those taking a sudden interest in the Holy Father’s new “openness,” I would suggest taking his condemnation of lobbying activity to heart.

Yes, the Pope is still Catholic!

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