Pope Defends Same-Sex Blessings, Claims He’s Misunderstood

Pope Francis on Sunday defended a landmark decision approving blessings for same-sex couples, suggesting that those in the Catholic Church who have resisted it have jumped to “ugly conclusions” because they do not understand it.

In a television interview, Francis made his first public comments since the Dec. 18 declaration sparked widespread debate in the Church, with bishops in some countries, particularly in Africa, refusing to let their priests implement it.

“Sometimes decisions are not accepted, but in most cases when decisions are not accepted, it is because they are not understood,” Francis said in response to a specific question about the December declaration.

“The danger is that if I don’t like something and I put it (the opposition) in my heart, I become a resistance and jump to ugly conclusions,” he said during a link from his Vatican residence with the “Che Tempo Che Fa” program on Italy’s Channel 9.

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Additional details regarding the interview

  • PUNISHMENT: Fazio asked a question about the prayer of the act of pain on the passage that reads “by sinning I deserved your punishments” and the Pope said that it was an expression “too harsh” saying he preferred them ” because by sinning I saddened your heart” .
  • SAME-SEX BLESSINGS: Fazio asked him a question about dissent to the decisions he makes and explicitly cited Fiducia supplicans which admits the blessings of de facto couples and couples formed by people of the same sex. Francis did not shy away and spoke of “the price of loneliness that I have to pay” recognizing that “sometimes decisions are not accepted, but when you don’t accept a decision it’s because you don’t know yourself”. In these cases, the attitude to take in his opinion is to ” state your doubts”. But referring precisely to the protests for Fiducia supplicans , the Pope spoke of ” danger” for the “resistance” followed by “conclusions”. Bergoglio confirmed that he shares the line of the Declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith authorized by him, stating that “the Lord blesses everyone, all those who are capable of being baptized, therefore every person “.
  • ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: A question about migrants from the host could not be missing: for the Pope there is ” cruelty in treating these migrants who leave their homes to arrive here in Europe” and he pointed the finger at “the mafia” . Bergoglio continued by complaining about the fact that “migrants are often treated like things” citing the Cutro tragedy where, according to him, they would have “drowned to push back”. Then he recognized that “it is true that everyone has the right to stay at home and to emigrate” and recognized that the greatest burden is on Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Spain and Greece, but adding that “in these countries they do not have children, there there is a need for manpower” and that ” a good migration policy” would help these countries where no one is born.
  • HELL: From Fazio also a question about hell which, according to the host, would be difficult to imagine. The Pope responded by saying that he “likes to think of hell as empty . I hope it is reality” specifying that it is not a dogma but a personal thought of his.