I posted this comment to The Chicago Tribune today:
For some reason, I couldn't get my comment to post in a way that the link would show up as a hotlink in the comment, like it does when I copy it here. So, a person would need to copy and paste the link into their browser to be able to read it from the comment.
The USA Today article and my comments are here.
In the National Catholic Reporter article, he is quoted as saying:
"There's a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I've never seen it on the Vatican ID card." "When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers."Do you think he is clear enough here? What does Pope Francis mean when he uses the term, gay person? I think he also needs to distinguish between the general term of, a gay person, and a person who experiences some level of same-sex sexual attractions. He could have said the person who has a gay identity. Or, even the Catholic who has same-sex attractions (and not defined those as necessarily being sexual in nature - but which could be relational, emotional or even romantic and still not being sexual). The term, a gay person, is too vague of a term. It can be misleading. I can even omit some people who experience some level of same-sex sexual attractions.
However, just to say, a gay person, distorts the points he is trying to make about the tendency toward [homosexuality] (that he might be referring to either same-sex sexual behavior, or affirming a gay identity, or maybe only openly admitting that they have some level of same-sex sexual attractions). The writer of this Catholic publication article, couldn't define whether his use of the word, homosexuality, referred to attractions or behavior, identity or orientation.
What Pope Francis meant by saying, "the tendency," was that he meant a person experiencing same-sex sexual attractions to some degree. He was not referring even to someone who thought that they needed to say their identity was gay. Definitely not referring to someone who says that they are openly gay, (when they are meaning by that they are affirming of same-sex sexual behavior, or the approval of that behavior as their goal for their sexual behavior).
So, it gets really sticky when someone says that they are an openly gay Catholic priest. Or, even more complex yet, when someone says that they are an openly gay Catholic priest who is celibate chaste. Still, this person is saying that their identity is in their sexual attractions. Why couldn't that person say, much like Henri Nouwen said, (mostly however, in private), that he was a Christian man who experienced same-sex sexual and relational and emotional attractions, but that he did not intend to pursue same-sex sexual behavior, but that he deeply desired non-sexual, and non-romantic, same-sex relational and emotional relationships?
*I posted this as a comment at the National Catholic Recorder and listed it as a separate post here.