Amy at Texas Faith: Pope Francis on abortion, gay rights and conception

Amy at Texas Faith: Pope Francis on abortion, gay rights and conception

TEXAS FAITH: Pope Francis criticizes narrow focus on abortion, gay rights and conception


Pope Francis offered some provocative thoughts last week. Speaking about the hot-button issues of abortion, gay rights and conception, he told a Jesuit interviewer: “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”


He went on in the interview to say that his church had grown obsessed with those topics.

I have to admit, the church universal seems way too caught up in debates over abortion, gay marriage and conception. So, I happen to agree with his view.

But what do you think? Are people of faith becoming too occupied with gay rights, abortion and conception?

And what do you make of this statement that also came from the Pope:

“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent.”

Applying that line to your own religious tradition, how are believers supposed to know which teachings are more important than others?

In my tradition, the Presbyterian Church USA, we have creeds, but we don’t necessarily have a Presbyterian’s guide to the top 10 beliefs, or some such list of priorities.

This could get arbitrary, couldn’t it?


AMY MARTIN, Director Emeritus of Earth Rhythms and Writer/editor Moonlady News Newsletter

Perhaps the issue is the nature of belief itself. The most singular overriding characteristic of the rising “spiritual not religious” movement is what pollsters term a “comfort with ambiguity.” They are the “Church of the I Don’t Know.” They perceive in many religions a profound arrogance, especially those that insist on exclusivity.

I hear in the words of Pope Francis a deep humility and understanding of human fallibility, especially when it comes to the mind of God. I am reminded of the words of the Dalai Lama. His Tibetan Buddhist religion has many specific beliefs and conceptions. That is how, he says, they make sense of existence. But his way of approaching the divine, is different from his beliefs: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”



Amy Martin

Amy Martin is the North Texas Wild at GreenSourceDFW and author of Itchy Business: How to Treat the Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Rash. More info at Most frequently she was the senior comedy critic for TheaterJones, The Aging Hippie columnist for Senior Voice, and the Taoist panel member of the Texas Faith blog of The Dallas Morning News. A journalist for over 40 years, she wrote for Dallas Observer, Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Morning News, and D magazine, and was contributing editor and columnist for Garbage magazine. She was known by many in North Texas as the Moonlady for her alternative newservice of 15 years, Moonlady News, and served as creator/producer/promoter of the acclaimed Winter and Summer SolstiCelebrations for 20 years. 

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