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Sarasota News Leader October 25, 2013 OPINION Page 95 of mercy, bringing hope to the oppressed and the Pope really meant. The Pope, they have needy of the world. said, was simply creating a broader context for Church teachings. He still remained very In July, he stated that gays and lesbians should much opposed to abortion and homosexualnot be marginalized, but rather integrated into ity, they insisted. the Church community. Bishop Dewane reiterated his belief that Pope Then, in a series of interviews he held in Francis stood steadfast in his opposition to September with an Italian Jesuit journal, abortion, as a principal focus of the Church, he pointed out that the Church had become as Dewane recently led anti-abortion dem"obsessed" with issues such as abortion and onstrators outside the Planned Parenthood homosexuality. clinic in Sarasota. "It is not necessary The bishop's feeling Those who must practice family to talk about these was that the pontiff issues all the time. planning or have an abortion or who have was simply trying to … The dogmatic and a same-sex partner, or even those who have put priorities back in moral teachings of divorced and remarried, can expect to place for the Church. the church are not all remain second-class citizens in the Roman And for Dewane, the equivalent," the Pope Catholic Church of Bishop Dewane. priority clearly was said in that interview, ending abortion. as published by an American Jesuit magazine. "The church's If Bishop Dewane had made his clarifying pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with remarks about the Pope's recent statements the transmission of a disjointed multitude of in front of a soup kitchen or homeless sheldoctrines to be imposed insistently.'' ter, or at a juvenile detention facility, or an The Pope did not void teachings of the Church orphanage that his diocese was establishing that forbade abortion or contraception, nor to shelter abandoned and unwanted children, did he dismiss proscriptions against homo- or even at the recent Sarasota Pride Festival sexuality. But he did diminish the importance to recognize his agreement with the Pope that of those teachings against the principal minis- the LGBT community must be included in try of bringing comfort to the afflicted. That, the church — rather than in front of a clinic for many Church conservatives, was the final where women were exercising their constistraw. tutional right to receive proper health care Conservative bishops, including Bishop — well, that would have been the proverbial Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, spoonful of sugar that made his "parsing" of have gone to great lengths to "explain" what Pope Francis' statements more palatable.

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