You ever notice how people can hear the same exact thing, read the same exact thing, see the same exact thing, and interpret that thing two entirely different ways?
Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King. A great man, no doubt. Without him, we might still be hopelessly stuck in the quicksand of racial segregation. And yet, from different perspectives, we can totally disagree on his message. I do not believe that his purpose was to end racism, for he knew humanity. Humans are discriminatory animals (as are all animals, by the way). Martin Luther King worked to gain racial equality in America, meaning that the playing field was supposed to be leveled. All the argument, some 50 years later, centers on how to level the playing field. I don’t think anyone thinks that we need to have a slanted playing field…
Catholic Church documents are the same way. We have the body of Church writing, but focussing on the documents of Vatican II, look at how differently people interpretted those documents. Even today, when a writer writes a document, book, article, or whatever, there are so many different interpretations that we wind up in the weeds
Even our computerized GPS tells us things we cannot figure out how to interpret, until suddenly, it begins recalculating the route.
I spend a little time arguing the faith in a Christian community, and it never fails to amaze me that there can be so many different interpretations of John 6. Jesus spoke directly, there. And yet people think he didn’t really mean it, that he was speaking metaphorically, or in a parable.
I think we have to wait in order to interpret things. Let Pope Francis’s actions speak for his words. Don’t assume that, because he’s not judging gay people, that he supports their actions. Love the sinner. Hate the sin. Love the person, and let how they live speak for what their words mean.