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Word from the Institute - November 2014 By Prof. Nene Pimentel

Looks like there’s much ado about nothing in the reaction of some people to the Pope’s recent pronouncements on civil unions and homosexuality.

As usual, some media outlets like the Huffington Post, and the ThinkProgressLBGT fanned the controversy after the Pope’s statement came out in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on March 4, 2014.

What the Pope said about civil unions was to the effect that states should seek “to regularize different situations of living together” in order to “ensure health care and other economic benefits.”

He added that, “We have to look at the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.”

But, the Huffington Post headlined it to read, “Pope Francis Suggests Gay Civil Unions May Be Tolerable By Church.”

And the LGBT paper “touted a story that ‘Pope Francis Suggests Support For Civil Unions.’”

Even The Catholic News Service reportedly tweeted that the “Pope, in interview, suggests church could tolerate some civil unions.”

Of course, the above quoted newspaper takes on the Pope’s statements on marriage and civil unions did not truly reflect what he actually said.

To begin with, the Pope did not advocate any change in the official doctrine of the Church on the sanctity of marriage. Neither did he say that civil unions of persons of the same sex was anywhere near being accepted by the Church in lieu of its long standing tenet that marriage is the union of man-and-woman, not of man-and-man, or woman-and-woman.

In the view of The Center, what the Pontiff said is that it is wrong for us, Christians to ostracize those living in sin especially if they manifest a sincere desire to rectify their sinful ways.

Indeed, “who are we,” as the Pope says, “to condemn sinners?”