On August 7, CNN did a report on the opening of “Gay Street” in Rome, a section frequented by homosexuals. The network’s Rome bureau chief, Alessio Vinci, concluded his report this way:
“In a country where practically everyone is Catholic, the words of the pope still carry some weight. And although the Vatican did not comment on the opening of Gay Street, the pope’s position is well-known: on numerous occasions, he reaffirmed that gays in the Catholic Church are not welcome.”
It was nice to know the pope still carries “some weight” in a nation where nearly everyone was baptized in his church. What came as a surprise, however, was the news that the pope has a “position” on homosexuality: all along we thought that he merely accepted what the Catholic Church has always taught about the subject. And, of course, what the Church teaches is that homosexuals are, in fact, welcome. What is not welcome is homosexuality. Neither, for that matter, is adultery, though that hasn’t stopped the Church from welcoming heterosexuals.
All of this may be confusing to the average reporter, but we have higher expectations for CNN’s Rome bureau chief. Surely there must be some Catholics there he can repair to for advice.