WHAT DID POPE FRANCIS SAY CONCERNING ADULTERY?
Fr. A. N. Abiagom, CM.
1. Recently the internet went on fire over the Pope’s comment on an issue bothering on the sin of “Adultery” when a question was posited to him regarding a shepherd who is said to be founding wanting in that sin.
2. In the context of responding to the question he was asked, Pope Francis hinted that adultery is not the most grevious sin. Rather, he mentioned Pride and hatred as being more grevious.
3. Did the Pope say adultery is not a sin? No. Did he say people should be comfortable with adultery? No. Unfortunately, the different captions several bloggers have used to draw the attention of the public to what the Pope said, does not reflect the context in which the comment was made. The wrong use of media is indeed a terrible disease destroying our dispensation.
4. What implicitly did Pope Francis say and what lesson can be deduced from it?
The one who is guilty of adultery is not condemned yet. The one who would be condemned is the one whose pride would hinder his or her repentance.
5. In John 8, 3-11 the story of the woman caught in adultery is narrated. The scribes and Pharisees had brought her to Jesus to hear what he would say concerning her. They even came with stones to condemn her.
Jesus asked if any of them is without sin, let him be the first to cast the stone. They could not cast the stone on her but left one after another. However, they could have also asked for mercy, since they were also sinners.
What did Jesus say to the woman? “… Neither do I condemn you but go and sin no more” (John 8,11).
6. They came with stone to condemn her, and but for the intervention of Jesus, that woman would have been stoned to death. You can see the hatred of condemnation with which they brought her to Jesus.
7. While all unrighteousness is sin, yet there is a sin not unto death (I John 5:17). Genuine repentance keeps us reconciled with God and one another. How can there be true repentance without humility and love? Now you may understand what the Pope meant in the context of his comment on the 6th commandment, that pride and hatred are more grevious than adultery.
Before we comment and react to a post, it is good to understand the context relating to what we are commenting or reacting about. Many comment and react from minds filled with pride and hearts heavy with hatred.
If the Lord shall mark our guilt, who will survive? (Psalm 130:3-4) Love covers a multitude of sin (I Peter 4:8). We are called to the holiness without which we shall not see God (Heb 12:14).
N.b: Stop jumping into the Bible to quoting it as you wish over what you may know little or nothing about. You cannot interpret the Bible better than the Church.