This is exactly what we think Pope Francis was talking about when he said, in an off-the-cuff interview, that we all should lighten up a bit.
The question came up during an RCIA class. The short answer is to respond something like, “Congratulations. I wish you every happiness.”
Do you have to go to the ceremony? Do you have to send a gift? No in both cases, but you can.
Why not just tell the gay person exactly what you think about gay marriage?
1. Remember what Jesus said: “Judge not lest you be judged.” Leave the moral judgments up to God. But do live a committed, publicly Catholic marriage. (First step: Wear a cross or crucifix, every day and every where.)
2. Don’t burn bridges. Instead to telling the person what you “really think,” which will only solidify his/her commtment to homosexual activity, leave the door open.
Lisa Popczk demonstrated how one can help recover someone who appears “lost” to the gay lifestyle. A friend of hers recounted how he had a classmate come through town and call him. “I’d like to get together, if you have time, tonight,” the classmate said.
“Sure, love to,” the friend replied. “But it’s a Holy Day of Obligation and I have to go to Mass first. Why don’t you come along, then we can go out immediately after Mass.” Not a word was said to connate any comment whatsoever about the classmate’s lifestyle.
The next morning, the classmate called, suggesting the two of them go do something. “Sure,” the friend replied. “But I was just on my way to daily Mass. Why don’t I stop by, pick you up? We can go right after Mass.” The classmate said that would be just fine.
A few months later, the classmate was in town again, and they got together. It was then that the classmate said he had left the gay lifestyle, burning his bridges with those he knew, and was now a committed and fervent Catholic, attending daily Mass and doing many works of mercy.
Why? What happened? the friend wanted to know.
“After that second Mass, I just really didn’t like what I’d become or the scuzzy way I felt,” the classmate replied.
Your Mom probably told you — you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And St. Francis is reported to have said we should “preach often, using words when necessary.”
I think this is what Pope Francis meant.