Here is the Washington Post’s interpretation of what Pope Francis allegedly said aboard the papal plane last week:
“In this case, the pontiff has acknowledged that, at times, the church has been and can still be the oppressor—whether by discriminating against gay people, treating women in its ranks as second-class citizens or preaching clerical celibacy while protecting child abusers in the priesthood.”
This is a lie—that is not what the pope said.
After initially saying that the Church “must not only ask forgiveness to the gay person who is offended…she must ask forgiveness to the poor too, to women who are exploited, to children who are exploited for labor,” he quickly explained what he meant by “the Church.”
“When I say the Church,” the pope said, “I mean Christians! The Church is holy, we are sinners!” In other words, it is not the institutional Church and its teachings that are the problem, it is Christians who sin. That is not a small difference—it’s a huge difference.
By the way, the pope had nothing to say about priestly sexual abuse—which was caused by homosexuals, not pedophiles—that was simply thrown in by the Washington Post for good measure.
The reporting on what the pope said in this interview has been widely distorted. But none can match the irresponsibility of this editorial. Indeed, it calls into question the integrity of the Washington Post.