Pope Francis Makes First Comments on Marriage, Avoids ‘Man and Woman’ Definition

Pope Francis met with same-sex marriage opponent Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Friday and discussed  promoting family values "based on marriage" but avoided the divisive language that his predecessors have used, the AP notes:

FrancisIn his remarks to Welby, Francis said he hoped they could collaborate in promoting the sacredness of life "and the stability of families founded on marriage." He noted that Welby had recently spoken out on the issue, a reference to his House of Lords testimony.

Significantly, though, Francis didn't say that marriage should be based on a union between a man and woman, which is how Benedict XVI and John Paul II routinely defined marriage.

Vatican officials said it was a diplomatic attempt to make his point without making a provocative pronouncement. Francis has steered clear of the gay marriage debate as it has recently roiled France and Britain, and in general has refrained from making headline-grabbing comments on hot-button current events.

Did the gay lobby direct him to go easy?


  1. Zeta says

    Then what is it a union based on? if not man and woman. Not saying anything at all opens it up to a lot more than just man and man and woman and woman.

  2. says

    how is this going easy?

    “”and the stability of families founded on marriage.””

    Expressly excludes families not founded on marriage. Marriage by both Welby and Francis’s definition ONLY means straight people. They don’t need to stress one man, one woman because both their churches have already made it abundantly clear it’s a given to them.

    And by stressing marriage – which will be from their context – they’re excluding anything outside their definition as family

  3. BobN says

    He didn’t talk about threats to the family, etc., like his predecessor (who isn’t technically a predecessor, just retired), but it’s not much of step back.

  4. danielle says

    From what I’ve seen of families in this day and age, no one is listening to these men who wear gowns and don’t have families.

    Two anachronisms from the medieval age met and had a discussion. And, then, nothing happened, again.

  5. says

    This might be a good sign. But we got to remember that Welby is head of Protestantism in the West and the Pope is head of traditional Christianity which is trying to compete with the reactionary protestants (ie Evangelicals, Baptists, black churches etc) and the previous “popes” were trying to “re-evangelize the Church by becoming more right wing. They have though succeeded in some countries like Poland, France, and Former Bosnia… but for the most part Catholics don’t want to be bashing gays and the Pope is most likely reading the writing in the wall.

    My take is to stick with traditional Jesuit teachings of progressive theology and reject reactionary fascist Protestantism because most conservative Catholics are leaving the church anyway and by pissing off the remaining liberals is not going to benefit the Church one bit. This explains maybe why Pope Francis is taking this different approach (without offending the reactionary conservatives that remain like Santorum and Opus Dei).




  7. anon says

    The Catholic church has been trying for decades to reconcile church doctrines with animist and other tribal religious views from third world countries in order to expand their influence. They often run into resistance because of local polygamy, and Francis would be very aware of that. Islam often gets in because of its support for polygamy.

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