In this polemical situation Pope Francis gave a speech for the inauguration of judicial year 2016 of the Rota Romana on the 22nd January, where he said this :
“Throughout the Synod on the family, begun by the grace of God two years ago, we were able to accomplish deep and sapiential discernment in a spirit and manner of true collegiality. It is out of this that the Church has indicated to the world that, among other things, there can be no confusion between the family desired by God and any other kind of union.”
Gay activists expressed their dissappointment over Pope’s statement, considering that “any other kind of union” not desired by God must include same-sex civil union and marriage. For example Francis De Bernardo of the New Ways Ministry said : “Pope Francis made strong statement opposing marriage equality”.
But if we read the whole text of Pope’s speech in question, we can remark that he didn’t talk in the first person, but only in words of the last episcopal synods and Blessed Paul VI.
And the Pope addressed his speech to judges of the Rota Romana who mostly rule on annulments of marriage in traditional sense, i.e. of heterosexual couples. The problem of same-sex union was not taken into consideration.
We know that Pope Francis has inclusive opinions about LGBT people and that he did give his blessing to a gay couple if not in a public situation.
Nevertheless he must be obliged to be very discreet about those matters in order not to bring about irreparable divisions within the Church.
On the last celebration of the Immaculate Conception the Pope declared the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. The new book of his interview with Andrea Tornielli is titled : “The Name of God is Mercy”. God’s love and mercy are constituting the very essence of Christianism.
For Pope Francis and for us the Church is founded not on written laws, but on God’s love. For the letter of laws condemn us to lapidation, but the Spirit of God’s love will give us eternal life.
Family desired by God is family of those who love God and each other. There is no other condition required. Indeed the Church is family of God and family is domestic church.
It is said that later this year, perhaps as early as March, Pope Francis will issue a new apostolic exhortation on the theme of family to respond to the discussions of the last two synods. We are looking forward to his words of inclusiveness for LGBT people and family of same-sex couple.
Always with hope in our Lord. Amen !