In an article in Sunday's paper, Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino discussed many issues, including the first year of Pope Francis' reign.

The interview was lengthy and wide-ranging, the full transcript of which is available online. For those without the time or inclination to read the entire interview, here are a few additional comments from Morlino:

  • On people using the pope's words to fit their own agendas: "A number of people will cite Pope Francis as their reason for wanting this or that, and I can't help but say to them, as nicely as I can, 'Gee, you never cited Pope John Paul to me. You never cited Pope Benedict to me. Where does this sudden devotion to the pope come from?'"
  • On speaking out against homosexual behavior: "In our country, it's almost impossible to say homosexual behavior is wrong and not be asked, 'Why do you hate gays?' And that's really unfortunate, especially with our Catholic people who are gay, and especially those who have a good friend or relative who is gay. They feel so hurt because of their love for this relative, and they're made to believe that somehow the church wishes that loved one or relative or family member ill, and nothing could be farther from the truth."
  • On his own counseling of gay men: "I lived in the dorms with college men for 11 years and many came to me with a problem about homosexual behavior, and I would dare say not one of them felt condemned or unloved. It was, 'How do we help you do something about this behavior? How can I walk with you, carrying the cross?'"
  • On the pope's economic comments: "He spoke of unfettered capitalism, which usually refers to corrupt governments. It would be hard to find a country where capitalism is more regulated right now than the United States. One could never say the United States is engaged in unfettered capitalism. The regulations are too numerous -- thousands and thousands of pages and so on."
  • On conservative Catholics who worry the pope's comments are watering down Catholic teaching: "I've been saying to a lot of Catholics, 'Look, if you're not in sync with the pope, if you're not in sync with him, you change.' If I'm not in sync with him, I change. I've said it publicly many many times, and I mean that."

You can reach reporter Doug Erickson at derickson@madison.com or 608-252-6149.

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