Associated Press writer Nichole Winfield does not let her lack of knowledge about the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Francis deter her from writing a lengthy front-page article (March 20 Tribune) in which she makes a number of exaggerations and misstatements.
She quotes Pope Francis' comment regarding homosexuals as condoning practicing homosexual behavior when he said “Who am I to judge?” What Pope Francis was saying was that he could not judge their souls, which is in perfect harmony with traditional Catholic Church teachings. We are expected to judge actions and behaviors as part of a properly formed conscience, but only God judges souls.
Winfield makes the assertion that Pope Francis prizes mercy over morals. Without morals there can be no mercy and the lack of morals results in mortal sin which can mean separation from God. This is most certainly not something the pope, or any other practicing Catholic, would ever condone.
Winfield states that Pope Francis has made an opening to allow Catholics who remarry outside the church to receive communion. There is some confusion over “ The Joy of Love” Document and a request for clarification has been make by several cardinals including our beloved former La Crosse Diocesan Bishop Raymond Burke.
Because almost all requests for annulments are granted, it is most likely that this will remain the only approved method for divorced Catholics who remarry to receive holy communion.
Vernal Hegenbart, Sparta