What casual observers don’t understand is that Catholic moral teaching is intimately bound up with Catholic theology. Catholics do not simply have a rule book like a school handbook which the Pope can edit and change whenever he wants like the school principal does. Catholic moral teaching on human sexuality is integrated with what Catholics believe about the human person, and what we believe about the human person is integrated with what we believe about God the Father; his Son, Jesus Christ; and Mary, the Mother of God. In Catholicism, what we believe and how we behave is an integrated unity, like two hands folded in prayer.Pope Francis, or any future Pope, is not going to change the Church's teaching regarding marriage, sexuality, abortion, euthanasia, or the non-ordination of women because he cannot change it. The Church has not created her own teaching but has received it from Jesus Christ; she cannot change what she did not make. It really is that simple.
30 January 2014
The Pope cannot change what he did not make
Commenting on the Rolling Stones article that the Holy See says was written with "surprising crudeness," Father Dwight Longenecker has succinctly described what the media and others continually - and likely willfully - refuse to accept about the Church: