Don’t worry, gays are still horrible sinners

October 16, 2014 Originally published on SFGate

Just to be clear, just to make sure you don’t get the wrong idea and think that somehow the Catholic church might, just might be shifting ever so slightly in the direction of love and tolerance toward gays, toward supporting alternative family structures, toward progress and light and allowing sexually active heathen liberal sluts (like you!) to walk around the place free of shame and guilt, here is a throng of old, curdled bishops to set you straight.

Hear this now: The church ain’t budging, all right? Time’s Elizabeth Dias and the Religion News Service both report (and the AP backs it up) that many of the more conservative bishops currently attending the “Synod on the Family,” a two-year drudge-fest in which a 200-thick gaggle of very grumpy old men who never have sex traipse around in heavy cloaks, debating aspects of modern love and life they know almost nothing about – many of these bishops were none too happy with recent reports that the church, given Pope Francis’ hey-now, heal-the-world vibe, might be shifting tone toward a more accepting stance on gays.

In the words of the church’s angry resident God: “As if.”

The Synod of Bishops! It's just like DreamForce, except minus the dreams.

The Synod of Bishops! It’s just like DreamForce, except minus the dreams.

The document that caused all the furor, called a Relatio post disceptationem, which I believe translates as “sit down and shut up, you pervert heathens” (my Latin might be a little rusty) was merely meant as a conversation starter. A tentative idea. What’s more, the “Welcoming homosexual persons” section of the relatio was just a tiny hunk, one of 58 sections. It doesn’t mean much.

Got that? Not doctrine. Not proscriptive. Just a meager thought. And, according to many of the more conservative bishops, a lousy one, at that.

See, the whole “gay tolerance” question is simply something the church elders might want to consider revising over the next, oh, 500 years. What might actually be shifting is the church’s visible involvement in the culture war, in its own public displays of raging homophobia and general antagonism. That could use some rethinking. Bad PR, you know.

So then. In no way does the relatio indicate the church will stop condemning gays (or women, or sluts, or abortion advocates, or you, or condom wearers et al and ad nauseam) as long as you live, and probably much longer. Clear?

OK, back to sinning.

Read more here:: Don’t worry, gays are still horrible sinners

Mark Morford

About Mark Morford