Pope authorizes blessings of same-sex unions

Originally published at: Pope authorizes blessings of same-sex unions - Boing Boing


In addition to riling up the most overt bigots of America’s Catholic community, this should provoke a masterpiece of chin-stroking intellectual dishonesty from Cardinal Douthat of the NYT.


There was also apparently (on the radio news I heard today) a load of stuff about not being seen to approve the relationship, merely blessing the individuals involved, and so on.

such blessings should not offer “the impression of a marriage”. The Catholic doctrine regarding marriage – that it is an indissoluble union of a man and a woman – “does not change, and the blessing does not signify approval of the union”.


small steps lead to big changes once practicing catholics who may be against it see that the world won’t end as a result of this. i think that pope fella knows what he’s doing.


what she said yes GIF by TipsyElves.com

Gotta keep moving forward, even with small steps. It’s how we get where we need to be.


Yup. Each step forward is a step forward, even if it’s a small one. And yeah, this kind of normalization of same-sex relationships undermines the support for bigotry, when people realize the scary warnings about bad things that would happen were all bullshit. It’s why the bigot crowd gets so mad about every little positive thing.


Ever so slowly, religions are dragged forward towards the modern world.


What about those knuckle-dragging, racist, misogynist new Atheist assholes? when do they plan to join us here?


An interesting juxtaposition from the aging pontiff suggesting that we are people to be blessed compared to the suggestion from an aging despot who says in the old days we used to kill them. Both statements made to encourage people to think about ways to relate to fellow humans. Curious ways to lead those who listen to you. Valued human or blood tainting vermin?


I’m trying to think of an apt analogy for how long it normally takes to change institutions this old and well-established but I’m actually having trouble thinking of any other continuously operating governing bodies that have been around since the first century.

I mean, the United States is only a couple of centuries old and we’re already so stuck in our ways that we can’t even get people to drop the penny from our currency or switch to the Metric System.


We can’t even get our citizens to educate themselves about the changing world we live in let alone adapting to the changes.


We tried at the same time as the UK; theirs stuck. Lucky limies.


Well, mostly. Both countries still use a mix of Imperial and Metric units depending on what they are measuring. So if you buy a large bottle of cola in the U.S. it will be probably be measured it liters and if you read a road sign in the UK it will probably list the distance in miles.

The US was an early adopter of the metric system for science and military uses, but has long struggled to get the public to use it in their daily lives for other stuff.


I’m not @Mindysan33 but the religions you are complaining about are part of the modern world.
It’s a fallacy to think something you disapprove of is “mired in the past”, in any way except figuratively. This becomes obvious if you compare modern-day Catholic Church with the same church in the past: the church may certainly be more conservative than you’d like, but it very much has changed with the passing of time.


It has changed with the passing of time because the world got more progressive and forced the church to adapt. I can’t think of any examples where the Catholic church was at the vanguard of progressive change. The root problem is dogma. Dogma resists change.

And now the Pope says that it is ok to bless same sex unions (with limitations). Was this leading the progressive movement? No, it was reacting to the fact that same-sex unions are now accepted in many parts of the world. If the Pope did this in the 1960s or 70s, that would be pretty progressive.

Note that Pope Francis is the most progressive Pope ever, by miles. And yet gays still can’t get married in the Catholic church. There’s still a boatload of dogma weighing it down.

Sometimes they have pushed back against forms of oppression fact. You are talking about an organization that encompasses millions of people that has been around for well over a thousand years… a few examples:

The church is also made up of millions and millions of human beings who are not cogs, but instead of individuals who experiences make up the realities of the church (like any institution). It’s not a top-down hierarchy, as much as some like to believe - often to justify oppressing Catholics. It’s a web of interaction, from the leadership to the laity, and how the church functions is based on the struggles both within and without the church.

On top of that, there is no “progressive” trajectory to history. That’s teleology and is usually invoked to justify how things are today as inherently and naturally superior to the past (and people who are trying to justify today’s forms of oppression to that of the past). It almost always ignores the complexity of any particular time in history, that is almost always a mix of good and bad shit, and that what we consider “good” or “bad” is historically and contextually situated.

Just like now… sure we’re traveling to space, and we have cell phones, and we have a concept of human rights, etc, but also, there is a sustained attack on the gains we’ve made to having a greater amount of freedom, both here and around the world. Fascism is on the march, in fact, and people are working to destroy the actual progress we’ve made… that progress happened, not because “time marches on and at some point, we’re all modern and progressive and accepting”… that shit happened, because people MADE IT HAPPEN. That’s what causes progress. Someone embracing an idea and working with others to make it happen. History wasn’t heading in a direction, people made choices to move our society in a particular direction…

And as I said above, everything that exists today is not some throw back to the past - it’s how it changes over a longer historical period to be what it is today. Francis did a lot of work to shift focus to economic inequality and protecting the environment, and while his comments about trans people and same sex unions are not nearly enough (and again, despite what people would have you believe) he can’t just change shit by fiat, because he’s situated within an institution that is a web of power and he’s restrained by what he can do… He might want to do more and overthrow all the more conservative aspects of the church, but that would destroy the institution that he clearly loves.


Checked with my priest friend. (who is very liberal and pushing for change.) I was baptized catholic and did the whole first communion thing, as well as confirmation and a few other things. Family’s catholic, and according to what I’ve been told, regardless of the Buddhist beliefs I follow, I’m in “the book” and thus a catholic for life.

No, this does not mean I can take communion. I am still in a state of sin.

Yes, I must continue to confess my sin of homosexuality and fraud at each confession, as my marriage is still considered a fraud and my living in sin is still happening.

Yes, I am now eligible for last rites, but not final communion, unless I renounce my mortal sin during the last rites as a part of confession.

In short, this doesn’t ACTUALLY change shit. The blessings can’t happen during ANY official church function, sacrament, or liturgy. It cannot happen during a sermon, and it’s of mixed opinions on whether it can happen on holy ground at all. In my friend’s words, this means he can give me a hearty hi-five with a disclaimer.


Homosexuality is not a sin. It is not a choice. Engaging is homosexual activity is a sin because a person can choose to do so or not.


Citation needed! :grinning:

I remember being in St Peter’s square and a few things really popped out to me:
1 the vast display of statuary was post reformation. They doubled down on baroque excess as a fuck you to the prods
2 the hubris of marking out the other significant cathedrals and how far they would get inside the vast St Peter’s - wow did they go for dick measuring
3 the list of popes carved up so they could get authority back to Jesus was a work of fiction.

As above let’s celebrate the little wins on the way to the big ones. This is only a nuance rather than a wholesale change and it can always go the other way. The alternative of wishing them to get further and further out of step until they die is accelerationist nonsense and those guys are always dicks. Make people’s lives better, not worse hoping for an eschaton. This is a little bit better and will allow individual priests to be much more welcoming to gay parishoners who can serve as lay ministers and be public facing as representatives of churches while being recognised as gay. Next step is obvious and is supported by most catholics (as well as priests marrying which is just property law bullshit in the first place. And women being priests. If you have any respect for the early Jesus movements and churches women need to be priests. It was part of the whole fucking point. Fight me on that one.)

Excuse the long parenthetical section. I’m prone to them.