It is sad that the pope would sign a pronouncement praising the traditional family — and, by implication, condemning same-sex relationships — in Cuba, a country that violates the human rights of its citizens merely on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Pope Francis would likely prefer families based on biblical models, but many biblical families are distinctively dysfunctional: Cain killed his brother; Abraham and his maid Hagar conceived Ishmael; Noah’s daughters got him drunk and had sex with him. Joseph’s 11 brothers sold him into slavery and lied to their father about his fate. Jacob and Esau’s sibling rivalry came to deceit on Jacob’s birthright over a plate of lentil stew. Second Samuel describes how David sent Uriah the Hittite off to get killed while David committed adultery with his wife; in the same book, Absalom hates his half-brother Ammon for raping his half-sister Tamar.
The New Testament hardly provides models with which to justify today’s claims of “traditional families.” Joseph disappears from view when Jesus is 13.
When Jesus was told that his mother and brothers were looking for him, he replied: “‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said: ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother’” (Matthew 12:48-50). Thus if you are a Christian, your blood family really means nothing unless it is a family bonded by faith.
The pope is charismatic, but he is not Jesus.
Joseph F. Delgado