Catholic Church | Frank Bruni | Pope Francis | Religion

Frank Bruni To Pope Francis: Stop Talking About Sex

Pope-Francis-on-the-busLike many people, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni sees the ascension of Jorge Mario Bergoglio from simply Argentine cardinal to Pope Francis as a time for the church to transition as well. The church has become too mired in sexual policing, something of which Francis too is guilty, and that mission derailed the church by shining the light on its own misconduct.

To get back on track, Bruni says, the church must first ignore Salt 'N' Pepa and stop talking about sex.

It's time for the church to stop talking so much about sex. It's the perfect time, in fact.

It's on matters of sexual morality that the church has lost much of its authority. And it's on matters of sexual morality that it largely wastes its breath. By insisting on mandatory celibacy for a priesthood winnowed and sometimes warped by that, by opposing the use of contraceptives for birth control, by casting judgment on homosexuals and by decrying divorce while running something of an annulment mill, the church's leaders have enraged and alienated Catholics whose common sense and whose experience of the real world tell them that none of that is wise, kind or necessary.

The church's leaders have also set themselves up to be dismissed as hypocrites, unable to uphold the very virtues they promulgate.

If Francis lives up to his reputation and truly embodies the spirit of the saint after which he's named, a humble servant of the poor, he must start rebuilding the church's outreach to the world's least fortunate, the 1.3 billion people living in poverty. That number, Bruni points out, is more than the 1.2 billion of people who identify as Catholic.

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  1. As if! This is one of the catholic church's biggest 'bread and butter' issues, and the tired old farts who run the Curia have no intention of ever giving up attempts to control people's personal lives. Pope Francis has already placed himself on record in idiotic & doctrinaire verbal attacks in his fight with the Argentine gov't against SSM.

    On an allied matter, Rob Portman's change of heart was a major topic on the news/interview programs this Sunday. Many were supportive, but Carly "horseface" Fiorina (a staunch catholic & former CA U.S. Senate candidate) feels that it should be placed to a vote in the states. Is this an example of a more "liberated" view we can come to expect?

    Posted by: Jerry | Mar 17, 2013 12:25:35 PM

  2. Stop talking about sex so that people really imagine gay sex. It's bad for us.

    Posted by: Jim | Mar 17, 2013 2:01:13 PM

  3. The Catholic Church's hypocrisy extends well beyond mere sex policing. The organization has been exploiting the ignorant poor for most of its existence.

    Posted by: niles | Mar 17, 2013 2:23:47 PM

  4. I've never understood the logic of taking advice on sex and marriage from a bunch of celibate bachelors.

    It's like asking Stevie Wonder to be a guest judge on Project Runway.

    Posted by: Azgaard | Mar 17, 2013 2:56:45 PM

  5. The Catholic sanctified marriage of Newt and Callista exemplifies the hypocrisy of the Church.

    Posted by: plaintom | Mar 17, 2013 4:40:25 PM

  6. I completely agree with Bruni. Although I was not raised Catholic, I was raised in a similarly conservative environment. It is very suffocating when you feel like you have to live up to unattainable standards. The Church needs to realize that "people are people," and that people can be open-minded and honest while also being Christian.

    Posted by: | Mar 17, 2013 7:25:52 PM

  7. All churches, not just the catholics need to get out of the bedroom and do social work as they were expected to do. The vatican could start by selling some of the $$billions in art it has been hoarding for over one thousand years, and keep the churches they say they have no money for open!

    Posted by: billmiller | Mar 18, 2013 10:39:55 AM

  8. They shouldn't stop talking about sex! The church should either keep talking their unrealistic and deluded line about sex and drive most everyone away, or they should evolve and respond to their flock's needs and the reality of living on this planet. Do they want to end suffering? Then encourage condom use in Africa and help reduce HIV infections and starving children dying by the thousands every day.
    Annulment mill - UGH. Such hypocrisy. A well-off, divorced lawyer I know with two grown children wanted to marry the mother of his out-of-wedlock child, so he got an annulment of his first marriage. Very neat, no? Amazing how he managed to get a divorce AND and annulment from the same woman from the church. Disgusting. I'm atheist and it manages to piss me off.

    Posted by: Book | Mar 18, 2013 10:50:04 AM

  9. So many leaders, kings and presidents are cominy to Rome that for security reasons the italian police is going to close all the area around the Vatican!

    Posted by: Franc | Mar 18, 2013 4:32:41 PM

  10. Wake up guys,let's call the Vatican what they really are.
    A mafia homosexual pedophile.
    I am hetero and find nothing wrong with being gay.
    And I do not have a problem with gay sex.
    I just find Bruni a pedophile sympathizer.
    They are against abortion because they need to replace the stock of boys.Ratzinger is gay and his "private secretary" is his lover.
    They been together for decades.

    Posted by: guillermo | Mar 18, 2013 5:00:26 PM

  11. When Argentinean parliament was about to approve gay marriage, he proposed to back gay civil unions as a compromise. He is not that homophobic. The parliament didn't need to compromise with the church, so the law was approved in 2010.

    Posted by: Miguel | Mar 18, 2013 6:05:53 PM

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