While he was demonstrating once again his compassion for a woman who was willing to go to prison for her religious convictions, his visit with her might have sent a mixed message. Homosexual persons might well be wondering where was the Pope’s compassion for those who because of their sexual orientation have long been denied their civil right to marry the person they love and to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage.
Pope Francis has to walk a fine line between his compassionate concern for people and his need to uphold the teachings of his church on the sanctity of marriage. He is not ready to abandon his belief that the sacrament of marriage is between a man and a woman.
More and more people, however, have come to recognize that marriage is a civil right, granted by the State, a right that clergypersons and certain officials are granted the authority to perform. As a County Clerk sworn to uphold the laws of the State, Ms. Davis’ refusal to perform her duty to marry same sex couples was in the minds of many an act not of civil but of uncivil disobedience.
Despite the controversy resulting from this recently revealed meeting, my high regard for Pope Francis has not been diminished in the slightest, and I still feel his visit to the United States was a resounding success.
Viva il Papa!