Let he who is without sin….

| March 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

There was no way the new Pope was going to be anything like the reincarnation of Pope John XXIII, the hero of every liberal Catholic, like me.  Any Pope coming out of this College of Cardinals would hold views consistent with the conservative Popes who appointed them, John Paul and Benedict.  There would be no daylight on the sexual issues like abortion, birth control and gay marriage.  My hope was that the new Pope would balance those views with a great commitment to the poor and disadvantaged.  I wanted a Pope who exercised the “preferential option for the poor,” to coin a phrase.  I have some hope that I got that.  Pope Francis does seem to live by my favorite line in the Bible, “Whatever you did for the least of my brethren, you did for me.”

I have to say, however, that today’s Gospel at Mass reminded me how misguided the Church’s obsession with sex is.  I”m not a Bible scholar, but I think it’s pretty clear that Jesus talked vastly more about caring for the poor and disadvantaged than he did about sexual mores.  Today’s Gospel did address sex.  But, instead of setting strict rules of behavior, Jesus was forgiving.

It was the story about the woman who the Pharisees brought before Jesus after she was caught in the act of adultery.  The Pharisees condemned her and demanded that Jesus do the same.  They said she should be stoned to death.  Jesus uttered one of my other favorite lines in the Bible, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”  He then looked down and began writing with his finger in the dirt, while the Pharisees had the decency, one by one, to walk away.  He looked up and asked the woman “Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one.”  And Jesus said, “Neither do I, so go forth and sin no more.”

Now, imagine that, instead of the Pharisees, it was today’s College of Cardinals that brought the woman before Jesus.  What are the chances that they would be shamed by Jesus into walking away?  More likely they’d let the stones fly.


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Category: Catholic Church

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