What do you think about this? Yes, I agree that the Pope or any church leader shouldn't only talk about moral issues but to atleast imply these issues aren't that important, is somewhat troubling for me. It is nice to talk about loving one another and helping the poor, but who is really going to disagree with that? Abortion and gay marriage have absolutely destroyed western culture and for the Pope to seemingly downgrade their importance is not only troubling but a bit of a head scratcher.
I taught a catechism class a few years ago where we learned about the 10 Commandments. I asked the class "What does it mean when God says: THOU SHALT NOT KILL?". One little guy raised his had and said "Don't shoot people in the face!" (points for creativity?.... ) The response that followed was this:
"Well, erm, yes, shooting people in the face or anywhere else is generally a bad thing.....but what do you think the OPPOSITE of that law would be? Maybe, "Thou shalt breathe heaven-given life into the world around you"?
The 10 Commandments were not a solely literal laundry list of what we had to do to please God. It was about the spirit behind the laws. That's why Christ became so angry about the Pharisees' reactions to His works and decisions in the Gospel of St. Matthew (Matthew 23:1-12). In our own way, we have become the Pharasaical contingent of Holy Mother Church. Think about it - we judge and condemn people for their decisions when it comes to homosexuality, but how many of us have actually befriended a person who is gay? How many of us have sat down and talked with a gay person about why they believe what they believe? We're happy to hold up signs of children murdered by abortion to scare young women from the clinics, but how many times have we tried to reach out to these women? How many times have we offered to adopt or help care for those women's unborn children by paying for medical bills? How many times have we offered to babysit for a young, unwed mother or a victim of sexual assault? Conversion is built upon relationship. Conversion is built on that Eros-Agape love for the Christ within all of us. Christ is not simply a "one-and-done" exercise. Christ is RELATIONAL. We cannot be apostles without being sent out into the world, just as Jesus sent His 12. We cannot sit on our self-made-mountains of importance and expect to be able to love someone from afar. Even the Christ operates on a basal level WITHIN us through the Holy Spirit. Heck, if Jesus is willing to travel to proverbial ground zero of sin to take care of and love His people, what makes us think we won't have to do that?!?
I think that's to what the Pope was calling us - not to IGNORE or "DOWNGRADE" these issues, but rather to change our hearts, and make sure that the SPIRIT, rather than the LETTER of the law is what drives us ---> to make sure that Christ Jesus is what drives us, not being right.