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African Archbishop Lays Down “Daring” Challenge for Synod on the Family


Diane Montagna - published on 02/25/15

I’d like to say this not only in the case of the woman caught in adultery, but also how he relates with lepers. When the leper comes and says: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean,” Jesus says: “Yes, I do will it.” He touches the leper and says: “Be made clean.” Why did Jesus touch the leper? Because it was against the Jewish law to touch a leper. He brought the leper to understand: “The fact that you have this ailment does not mean you are any less a child of God. It’s also because of you that I came.”

I would like to use another example, not only the negative ones. Take the woman who came and was weeping at the feet of Jesus. Now what is very funny is that it says everyone knew she was a sinner. As to what sin we are not told, but they knew her as a sinner. 

The people who invited Jesus were already condemning the woman in their minds, and he says: “Simon, do you see this woman? I came to your house and you did not even wash my head, and she has not ceased washing my feet with her tears, and therefore her many sins, I don’t know how many they are, I don’t know what they are, but they are forgiven her, because she has loved greatly.” 

So you see, Jesus has a beautiful way of confirming in each and every person: “you are a child of God, you are unique, and I love you for who you are, irrespective of what anybody thinks of you or what you have become. However, keep God in sight, keep moving.” 

So I don’t blame [the media]. Most probably we have for so long a time made people suffer just because they are not “like us.”  We’ve made them suffer, discriminated against them, we have ostracized them. So if today the gay lobby is very loud it’s because we have almost de-humanized them. 

Would you like to expand on that?

What the Pope is bringing out is that we have no right to dehumanize anybody, either for color, for creed, or for sexual orientation. We should embrace them, and then point out, walk with them towards what the Pope believes is a certain inner voice that nobody can suffocate, that not even the media can suffocate. 

Those who are in the gay lobby, for one reason or another, have been compelled by us, the so-called “good ones,” to even shove down a certain voice in themselves which definitely I think has been pointing out to them that something is not 100% right. We have contributed to that. We have also shut down in ourselves the voice which says: Everyone is a child of God, and we should welcome them all. We have no right to stone anybody, and we have no right to ostracize anybody. We should welcome them.

Some readers are asking: What is meant by “welcome”, whether it’s a case of a divorced and civilly remarried couple, or some other case? Cardinal Kasper has proposed that, in some cases, those who are divorced and civilly remarried — but who have not been granted an annulment — should be allowed to receive Holy Communion after following a path of penance. That’s one way of welcoming people. Another way of welcoming is by saying: “Yes, come to Church, be part of the community, but there are limits in terms of the reception of Holy Communion.” What does “welcoming” mean in your view?

Let me use a very different parameter. Let me take Europe. Let me take America. 

What is happening now, for instance, in America, is that Obama is saying that there are so many people who have gotten into America illegally. We cannot drive them away back home. So let us see to legalizing their state so that they can contribute helpfully and worthily to the country’s good. There are many Americans who are against it. Am I right?

Yes, many Americans think that’s not really why Obama wants people legalized in the United States. They see him as trying to change the character of the electorate.

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Pope FrancisSynod on the Family
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