Laments 'Old School' Pope Francis's Views on Marriage

January 16th, 2015 4:38 PM

"OLD SCHOOL POPE" blares the teaser headline at "Francis finds fault with gay marriage," notes the subheader promoting Michele Richinick's January 16 story on the pontiff's remarks made during a visit to the Philippines.

After relaying Francis's remarks, Richinick noted that the Bishop of Rome endorsed the "controversial" encyclical of one of his predecessors, Paul VI, Humanae Vitae. But don't lose all heart, liberals, you see: 

Earlier in the day, Francis made an appeal to the government to tackle corruption and to help people suffering from social inequalities. He gathered around more than 1,000 families in downtown Manila.

Phew! So he's still at least center-left on economic matters. That's a relief to the Lean Forward crowd.

Still, Richinick seemed a bit at a loss for Francis's conservative view on marriage, point out previous instances where the pope had given liberal critics of the Church hope that Francis could push the Vatican in a socially-liberal direction on issues of marriage, family, and sexuality:

In the past, Francis said marriage must be between a man and a woman. But progressive Catholics have applauded his prior remarks on homosexuality, reproductive rights, and the role of women, viewing him as perhaps the leader of a new era at the Vatican. In September 2013, for example, he broke with his predecessors and a number of bishops when he said that the church “cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptives.” Those comments followed another bold move two months before, when the pope declared, “Who am I to judge?” in response to reports of gay clergy members.