The Catholic Church is full of contradictions. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. Women and gays are both God's creations, worthy of love, but neither are fit to be priests, and the latter are practitioners of "a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil."
That take on gays was the recently resigned Pope Benedict XVI's view in 2005. Popes are infallible -- which means their views are verdicts from on high -- but it appears popes can disagree, as current pontiff Pope Francis did this week when he said gays are welcome in the priesthood.
That's a needed breath of fresh air for the very old boys' club that is the Roman Catholic Church -- and a view divergent from that of the Church's local leader in San Francisco. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is one of the country's most-vocal opponents of gay marriage, who went as far as to dub last month's overturning of Prop. 8 a "dark day."
But today, Cordileone followed up his boss' message with one of his own: the Catholic Church "must be a safe place where [gays] can feel secure and loved," and it's a "weakening civilization" that treats a "segment of the population" unfairly.
That said, gays can't marry and the act of being gay is sinful. Contradictions continue.
Of course, it's perfectly acceptable to be a fuck up as well as a walking contradiction while being Catholic ... to a point. All you need to do is ask for forgiveness, as Cordileone did when he was arrested for drunken driving before his elevation to Archbishop of San Francisco in 2012, and as the Catholic Church has not yet really done for the rampant child sex abuse crimes that have plagued the institution for the past several decades.
Pope Francis -- the first pope from South America as well as the first pope to come from the Jesuits, who value rationality and learning as much as divine mandate -- is earning high marks for walking back the stiff conservatism of his predecessor Benedict XVI, with whom Cordileone would seem to share more in terms of values. But Cordileone needs to step in line with the pope, so he does. Sort of.
"The Church must be a safe place where they can feel secure and loved in
revealing their orientation to others," Cordileone said in his
statement today. "No one has ever denied this, but we need to do a
better job at making this known and following up through on it."
You needn't be Augustin or Aquinas to see there's some inconsistency here. This is the guy who's made it clear that gay marriage is a moral crime, one that is threatening the country. And with his statement today, he makes it "clear" that it's a "weakening civilization" that makes a segment of the population feel unequal to others.
Love-hate, welcome-unwelcome, sin and *really* sinning. Welcome to Catholicism.