The Pope has come out to set the record straight when it comes to the Catholic doctrine on marriage by restating that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and woman. But, I wonder, what impact would this have on the views of Catholics around the world.
The Catholic Church seem to be split on this. When asked “Do you think Pope Francis supports or opposes allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally?” 49 per cent of Catholics who FAVOR same-sex marriage think he supports it, while 63 per cent of Catholics who OPPOSE same-se marriage believe that the Pope is likewise opposed to it. The reason for this discrepancy, according to Christine Rousselle, who wrote about this matter, was the Church’s failure to “properly educate her adherents”.
Personally, I don’t think any amount of teaching is going to help. What is missing is an Apostolic voice. The Early Church was blessed with the likes of Paul and Peter who laid down doctrines categorically. Their teachings have made it easy for followers to spot variants and deal with them immediately. Today, even within the Protestant movement, there are many prominent voices, each one espousing a view slightly different from the other. There are more so-called apostles today than there were during the Early Church, but has it helped the church return to equilibrium in terms of doctrinal purity? Followers are confused by them and so, in trying to find stability (and perhaps sanity), have formed their own conclusions and convictions. Thus you will find within a particular denomination secret dissenters. They will tolerate the preaching, siving out what they disagree with and consuming what is palatable to them.
The Church, since its conception on Pentecost Day, has had an apostle. He is the Holy Spirit. He is the Chief Apostle in the manner of Jesus Christ. Even the 12 apostles aligned themselves with him. The Holy Spirit does not need to rely on printed matter or social media to make his views known. He is capable of speaking to each one of us, if we are open to hear him.