Catholics reflect on Pope Francis’s remarks

Charles Curran, SMU's Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values, talks about the pope's recent comments on homosexuals.

By Melissa Montoya
The Brownsville Herald

After Pope Francis made headlines last week for his comments on gay clergy, experts say there have been no changes in church doctrine.

And that’s the same message the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville wants to relay.

“What Pope Francis said is not new,” a spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville said in a statement. “Pope Francis’s remarks reiterate church teaching that homosexuals are welcome in the church but homosexual activity is forbidden.” . . .

Charles E. Curran, an expert on Catholic moral theology and a professor at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, said the pope did not change church teaching at all.

“The church teaching has always been that there should be respect for homosexual persons but they cannot engage in homosexual acts,” said Curran, who is also a Catholic priest.

He likens it to a parent’s relationship with their children.

“If you’re upset with things your child does, you still respect them when you disagree with what they are doing,” Curran said.

Some people believe that gay men should not be priests, Curran said. What the pope said, Curran added, was that just because a man is gay, that shouldn’t keep him from pursuing the priesthood.

“There is a policy in some places that they will not ordain someone who is gay, but in other places they do,” Curran said.

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