tv Inside Story Al Jazeera August 12, 2015 2:00am-2:31am EDT
>> ray suarez hosts "inside story". only on al jazeera america. next. over the past two years pope francis and his words captured the attention of catholics worldwide, from inclusion of homosexual and global warming. it seems it's too controversial. now the u.s., pope francis saw 11 million african-americans have been on the outside of the church looking in. ifs
"inside story". welcome to "inside story". i'm del walters in for ray suarez. pope francis is at it again. that's what a lot of catholics may have been thinking when he said he would not close the doors to divorced couples. he added that they are not extracommunicated and should not be treated that way. for some, it's about timing. the comments coming ahead. a country where 28% of catholics have been divorced. al jazeera's paul beban takes is closer look. >> reporter: in his latest weakly address, pope francis called on the church to be more understanding, and to welcome them to church with open arms. >> lately we have seen the
growth, the awareness of the fact. love and truth. they have establish bd a new relationship after the failure of the marriage. to all effects these people are not excommunicated. they must not be treated as such. they belong to the church. traditional catholic doctrine prevented them receiving communion unless the marriage is annulled. it's the latest in a string of remarks. raising questions among the faithful. speaking at a conference of mayors and governors, he urged leaders to take bold action against climate change, suggesting that global warming was the cause of poverty and forced migration. his remarks sparked a backlash. it got a strong reaction from
catholic. >> religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about getting into the political realm ex. >> bush was not the only one tonne speak out. >> bush has it wrong. we are probably better off leading science to the scientists and focus on what we are good at, which is the morality. >> this pope is not one to back away from controversy. in another speech, he suggested people who manufactured weapons or invested in the parms industry were hypocrites if they called themselves christians, the comments angering christian gun owners. according to polls, his soaring popularity among americans declined. a poll released shows favourability fell. >> from 59%.
the drop pass steepest among conservative americans. 72% to 45%. the pope's stance on homosexuality and divorce have taken some by surprise. they are not expected to change course soon. >> he's a man that will do things. but in the due time. >> a visit generates reception reserved for rock stars. in his highly anticipated visit, likely it will be no different. they are no longer two, but one flash, what god joined together let no one separate. that's matthew. the biblical passage at the heart of what most catholics think about divorce. reformers argue that numbers are
dropping, they suggest relaxing the rules for divorced catholics, encouraging many to return to the flock. our first guest is father thomas reece, the author of inside the vatican, the pom ficks and organization -- politics and organization of the catholic church. >> i was struck during my research that the bible is clear, stating god hates it. is changing the rule towards divorce the pope's tweaking. so to speak. >> it's interesting. the church and bible's teaching against divorce was kind of the first legislation in the world. it was really pleking women because obviously a man, because of his passion.
could throw the women out on the streak. this is a protection for women, making the women support: we still need to preserve those things. pope francis going to the slums. he met a lot of people where people say they were in marriages. they were good people, faith: he sees the church as a field hospital. when people come into the field hospital, they need to be careful and fed. why - why can't we allow them to come back. >> when we talk about the catholic church, it's no secret
we talk about the organization and a business. the pope has seen approval numbers bounce around. it's down 17 from february, when 76% of those polled had a good opinion. that number will be higher than the approval rating. bounce may be the understand statement. is this about poll numbers? it you look deeply into the numbers, half of the drop is due to an agrees in the number of people that say we don't know or don't respond. >> what i think will be interesting is to see his poll numbers after he visits the rates.
i'd think there would be a big wump. he may see things we don't like. jesus was popular at the beginning of his ministry. pope francis may have things to say to us, that some people will not like. trop. >> that buying said, are you concerned that the pope may be on a slippery slope. when it comes for changes, society looks for the church to be a moral pillar. it may be society leading the church, is that a safe statement. >> i think his emphasis has been
on a lot of things, many thing the catholic church is talking about what's in the bedroom. he says no, how we treat the poor is a moral issue, how we treat the environment is a more am issue, he's calling to us address the big moral issues, as he calls them loving and another. >> dare i suggest this is about putting the faithful in the seats. there's nothing like good controversy to bring out the faithful. it is coming it the united states in a couple of months. this is the controversy that a lot would talk about. i think the poison wants us to get out of the seats and change the world. that's what he's calling us to do, calling for
spirituality. is expresses sustainability, and a simpler lifestyle rather than ripping up the countryside to support a consumer culture. he has challenging things to say to us, especially south americans. deputy premier one of the richest and powerful nations in the world. we need to be leaders. that's what he will tell us, that we need to lead in a different direction than the one we are going at. >> before i let you go, are you sexist. >> it's a doctrine handed down. we are talking about predominantly white men. there's a lot of poor women, we
talk about women abandoned by men, trying to raise chin on their own, environmental issues hit women. the question of divorce is a big issue for women. the woman that put her husband through law school, and after a few years he dumps her for a pretty associate. these are women that we want to help. the pope has a lot of compassion for. >> why is pope francis talking on the circumstance of divorce, some believe it's more to do with politics.
. welcome back to "inside story". i'm del walters in for ray suarez. on the programme, divorce and the pontiff. when the pope chastised world leaders, not doing enough, democrats praised him. when he called for the protection. embryo, pro-life republicans heard a friendly voice. the comments about divorce may be part of a broader message he has in mind. we are joined by steven shneck. the director of policy researchers, and studies at the catholic university of america. in eugene, oregon, he is the web editor for ignashes insight.com.
is this all about religious dogma or politics ahead of the pope's trip to the u.s. >> here in the united states politics trumps everything, from the papal perspective no, these are the teachings from the epos concludes. and the pope is the teacher. >> you believe that prarn sis tends to -- pope francis tends to oversimplify complex issues, was that the call of jesus, he could say blessed are the meek, blessed are the poor - so on, and so forth. >> the thing that is striking about comments of divorce, the echos what was said. john paul 2 and benedict xvi said the same things, those
receiving a civil divorce receive holy communion, the issue is when they get civilly remarried. they cannot receive holy commune yoon longer, everything he said is in line with what john paul ii said, and benedict the 16th said. i think he's reiterating what the church said. based on the papacy, it's reaches out to those on the fringe saying you are woi.. even though you can't receive holy communion, still come. >> reaching out to catholics and saying you are welcome is one thing. to the faithful nost taking communion sends a different signal, is that the right change? >> it's not going to change.
in october there'll be a summit of all the bishops around the world, their representatives that will address the issues, including this particular issue of divorce and remarriage. happen. my guess is we'll not see a major change. >> if you say it's time for the faithful to be welcomed into the flock, why not make the change communion. >> it's a difficult question to answer. this is the church teaching going back for millennia, and the church's teachings were signed to protect women, and i that. >> on the issue of homosexuality, the pope saying judge let not thee be judged -
by not allowing catholics to take communion, is that not judging them. >> every one of us is under judgment. every one of us will be judged by god for the free choices that we make. the key here is that sacramento marriage will not be done away with. the pope is saying people are welcome, and has to rit write if there are guidelines and criteria. they are not there to punish people. but it's to draw lines of distribution that exist for our own good in terms of relationships, how we relate to one another and each other. >> do you believe he should change things, that the vatican endorses the issue of divorce, or is that going too far?
>> to clarify, it can lie. the church teaches, and it cannot change teaching that it cannot be done away with. it exists until death. so that simply will not change. as part of the faith and trusted by christ to the church. the pope's approach is pastoral. he dant change the dock drivens of the church. could changing the vatican stance and the discussion on the issue, lead to a weakening of the church. some argue that this would be a moral compromise, by discussing something that catholics, 30 or 40 years ago would never have talked about. i don't think they were looking at a change. what the pope is
talking about is welcoming divorce and remarried catholics, and welcoming divorced catholics, giving them a sense that they will not be kicked out. the doors are wide open. and that kind of pastoral outreach is something we have seen in previous papers, i would say that there's a powerful charisma to the pastoral qualities of the pope that comes through, and that makes the message seem different, but it's the same. >> do you believe it's about putting the faithful in the controversy. >> this is trying to live up to his understanding of the teachings of jesus christ. trying to reach out to those that are marginalized and ostracised. christian. >> do you agree.
>> i do agree, it's correct. pope francis has shoip himself to be charismatic, and having the heart of a pastor, we saw it with benedict. there's a unique cashingic pteris to this. this is based in argentina in his experience, and it challenges those across the political spectrum. it's a great thing to see and hear. >> a gentlemen, thank you both for your time. when we come back, why some african-americans believe they are not a priority for the church, and why the pope hopes
reach out to black athletes. the pope's position on divorce and marriage could change that. andrew is the former director of black kath clicks in the arch diocese of chicago, high and his wife founding a nonprofit bolstering marriage and family. thank you for being with us, the first question is obvious. why is this a black and white matter. is it? >> well you know, from everything that i have read and heard the club say, it's about reaching out into the margins, it's looking at those who are not yeses i automatically included. we talk about the church and priorities and so forth. when we look at the issue with divorce, catholics that re marry, without going through the annulment process, when it comes
to gay men and women who feel somewhat alienated from the church, that is true in some ways with black kath likes who are not just marginal to the church, but the black church. why is that, why do black catholics feel like there are on the outside looking in? >> because we are is that are that small of a community, in terms of when people talk about wealth, strength and power. they talk about the political might and history of the black church in the united states. they are still not talking about us. we are still part of the family that includes all of that. we are acumenical, if you will. it gives us somewhat of a
prophetic voice that we still have to stand firm on our own narrative, history in the country, shameful acts in the past. at the same time extend the hand of friendship, and be open to reconciliation. part of being prophetic is stop the injustice and at the same time be there in the reconciliation. >> it's been argued that the most segregated hour is 11 o'clock sound when people go to church. do black catholics go the same way, do they feel they are not church? >> for sure. it's as true in the catholic church as it is in the broader community, yes.
that is what we are going to be working to change. it's - and look at the tone, you know, we are not talking about a shift in doctrine and so forth. what we see in pope francis is a shift in tone. that he's talking about leading with compassion, mercy and humility as opposed to judgment. for those of us in the margin, it's a welcoming hand. does it make a difference that the pope is from south america. do you feel he may be more in tune to the sufferings of trent merrins than that that domes from the european continent? >> definitely so. he understands what it means to live in the margins. privilege is blind to those that have it. i find it interesting the work that we do in the church warding anti-racism. they say
the race is a difficult topic to talk about. not for people of colour, we talk about it all the time. it's difficult for white people. it's just as true in the church, whether you are kath rick or a cardinal. we are human being. >> that said, do you expect in a broader message from the pontiff when he comes to the united states, and what should the messing be. >> i hope that it reminds all brothers and sisters - we are part of the mystery of god. none of us - we are all human being, in need of mercy, all in need of compassion, and give it, and we can be open to receiving
that. >> let me ask a question. it goes to the heart of what we are talking about. why is this pope so different. what makes them unique? >> he speaks from his heart. he uses plain language, and he seems to be intentional about letting go of some of the tropings that some see are mon as monarchy than as a leader of the faith community. i think that makes him more enduring to people in a lot of ways. he has a different style that is intriguing and refreshing. we are talking about a pope delivered a pizza in the pope mobile. that mission him difficult. >> thank you for being with us, the director of the office for black athletes. i want to thank each and every
one of you for joining us. that's "inside story". for ray suarez, i'm nick deleon. deleon. "america tonight" is next. [ ♪ music ] good evening, i'm michael oku, this is a special edition of "america tonight". this evening we focus our lens on a 1300 acre scratch of south los angeles, it was referred to as a cattle ranch, then a major railroad junction. at one point nicknamed mud town for the many dirt roads that respect unpaved. after 1965, very few would call it anything but want.
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