CNN’s Carol Costello is no longer a lapsed Catholic

2015_02 15 Pope Francis and new Cardinal LaCroix

Excerpt from

There is something about Francis that’s reawakened my faith. And it’s not because he opened the floodgates to allow sin in the eyes of the church. He still argues against things I passionately support, but I find myself — like many other lapsed Catholics — enthralled.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting one of the Pope’s newly appointed cardinals. His name is Cardinal Gerald LaCroix. The 57-year-old presides at the Basilica Cathedral of Notre Dame in Quebec City.

One of my first questions: What is it about Pope Francis?

“Every person is a mystery you know. … But what’s evident is this man is living with such freedom, such inner freedom. He’s himself. He’s in tune with the Lord,” LaCroix told me.

“Those close to him say he’s up close to 4 in the morning to prepare his daily Mass, which is at 7 in the morning on the weekdays. So that’s almost three hours of prayer, preparation and silence before the Lord and the word of God. Wow, that really fine-tunes you to start off a day.”

Perhaps that’s how the Pope stays humble. Why he defies tradition and washes the feet of the disabled, women and those of other faiths. Why he ordered showers to be built for the poor in St. Peter’s Square.

All of this is appealing, but it’s more than that. In my mind, it’s his tone. When Pope Francis said, “If a person is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”  The comment took me aback.

Homosexuality has long been a taboo subject for the Vatican, yet Pope Francis uttered those welcoming words.
LaCroix likened the Pope’s approach to Jesus. “Jesus didn’t judge. Jesus did not come as a judge. He came as someone who preached and talked about the love of God.”

But isn’t homosexuality a sin in the eyes of the church?

“There is room for everyone. The door is open,” Cardinal Lacroix insisted. “Of course you know that the Catholic Church will never promote same sex marriage, but do we respect homosexual persons? Do we welcome them? Do we accompany them? Of course. But to respect the Church and its teaching, which is based on a long tradition and also the word of God, we will not go so far as to bless. But that doesn’t mean we reject.”

The Cardinal’s last words to me: “I’m trying to do my best on (the) local level — to have an open ear to what the church and world are experiencing. To see how we can today respond to those needs. I want people to see me, and the church, as an open heart to grow together. Not a church that’s imposing — we have nothing to impose — we have someone to propose: the Lord Jesus and his Gospel.”

I can’t wait to go church next Sunday.


Filed under Catholic Church, Christianity, Pope Francis

11 responses to “CNN’s Carol Costello is no longer a lapsed Catholic

  1. And this is why the Church spread and covered the whole world without force. It’s too bad that the sin and idiocy of her clergy yielded so much of it back in the mean time. Awesome excerpt, Chrissy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also appreciate how, if you actually pay attention, these sorts of comments belie the typical approach seen by many on both sides of the issue. I know of so many conservatives who flipped out over: “If a person is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”. It’s like they hadn’t read their catechism or something, because the church very clearly draws distinction between “Being gay” and “engaging in homosexual activities”. And even then, it’s like. . .being an alcoholic, or a glutton, or a egotist . . . we’re all sinners, we’re all trying (and failing and trying and failing) . . . of course the Church will never bless homosexual activity, just like they will never bless getting drunk, binging on triple chocolate ripple ice cream, or spending too much money to look good at Cochella. But the Church will never condemn the person. If you’re gay, you’re every bit as welcome as the alcoholic, the glutton, the manic-depressive, the glutton, the egotist, etc. . . The only thing is that we consider the behavior to be like that of drunkeness or gluttony or vanity. But simply having a condition, genetic or psychological or whatever, is not a sin. Only the acting on it.

    And, uh, newsflash: we all got conditions, and we all fall under their sway at some point. [Or, another way of putting it; Being the Hulk is no sin. . . flattening Harlem, however, is certainly problematic. . .]


  3. Good ol’ Pope Francis, the one who rejects capitalism, the one Rush Limbaugh accused of preaching “pure Marxism,” the one who now says “eh, homos?” A couple more decrees and maybe he can bring the rest of the CNN & MSNBC lineup into the flock. After all, religion without standards is like a buffet without a cover charge — all the sausage with none of the responsibility.


    • words taken out of context always bring condemnation. I have seen no proof that Pope Francis is a Marxist. If anything he is the opposite.

      There are aspects of Capitalism that are bad – for example the behaviour of people who buy and sell stocks etc is not always exemplary. On top of that there are some good bosses and some bad bosses.

      Those who are busy condemning this Pope seem to accept what is taken out of context and that gives them yet another reason to bash this man. The mere fact that he is a Jesuit seems to upset many people. However, what they seem to forget is that Pope Francis removed the priests who were teaching Liberation Theology from his order in Argentina and sent them back to Germany. This shows me that Pope Francis is not the man that some people describe at all.

      Pope Francis walks the way of St. Francis of Assissi in many ways. He took the name of Francis because he follows St. Francis of Assissi. When he was Archbishop of Argentina he refused to live in the home of the Bishop and instead rented a small apartment. In the Vatican he is not using the Vatican apartments that are set aside for the Pope, but is using something that is more frugal. He has not enriched himself. In Argentina he used to go out and meet with the poor people… and give them assistance where possible. When he was elected as the Pope, he sent the money he owed for his newspaper deliveries, ensuring that the man who owned the newsstand was paid. In Rome, Francis also tries to give attention, where possible to the poor.

      The message of Pope Francis is simple, but the language barrier often means that the words of the man are often misunderstood. The comment about gays and “who am I to judge?” is a good example of how this man is misunderstood.

      As others have pointed out, all are welcome in the Catholic Church. None of us are without sin. When it comes to someone being homosexual, if that person acknowledges that he/she is homosexual, but does not act upon the fact of homosexuality, and seeks God, through prayer and celibacy then that person is welcome to be a part of the community. Ditto for prostitutes and drug addicts etc etc. This is a message that St. Paul conveyed in his letter to the Corinthians, when he warned that congregation about sexual sin. The word used in the Scripture is Fornication. That word covers sex before marriage, sex between homosexuals, plus sex between a married person and another person (also known as adultery). Sexual sin remains a sin within the Church, and people who indulge in such sin are not allowed to receive Holy Communion, however they can attend Mass.

      I am someone who has not made up my mind about the Pope. I do think that he has made some ignorant statements and that includes his comments about climate change (which is a load of nonsense). This Pope is not a scientist. He can only go by what he has been reading, and the media has been biased in its presentation of the issue. Fortunately the issue of Climate Change does not involve our morals and therefore whatever Francis says on the subject is not a part of Church doctrine.