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Friends don’t let friends . . . go to hell.

The least charitable thing you can do (or be) to someone is to be indifferent to them.  A popular slogan was that “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”  Implicit in this phrase is the presupposition that if you really care about someone you will intervene to stop them from reckless behavior that endangers them and others.

I realize that mainstream news does not sit in a chair of infallibility – especially when various news outlets have an agenda of their own.  Nonetheless, it has been reported that while in the United States, Pope Francis met with a long time friend of his from Argentina.  No problem there, except:

Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man from Francis’ native Argentina and longtime friend of the pontiff, told CNN on Friday that he was that former student. Grassi, who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years, said he brought his partner and several friends to the Vatican Embassy in Washington for a brief visit.

Grassi told the broadcaster that Francis has long known he is gay but never condemned his sexuality or relationship. Grassi said he and his partner had previously met with the pope in Rome. “He has never been judgmental,” Grassi told CNN. “He has never said anything negative.”

I also understand that these statements are open to lots of speculation and filling-in-the-blanks.  But taking Mr. Grassi’s at his word, are these Papal actions (or inactions) those of a friend who presumably believes the Truth that he has been chosen to promote and protect?

Souls dropping into hellYears ago, I was visiting a country in Central America.  Someone traveling with me was literally walking on the crumbling rim of an active volcano.  No kidding.  When I saw him in peril – one he seemed oblivious to – I simply shrugged my shoulders and said, “Ehh.  What can you do?”

Actually, that’s not what I did at all.  And you would rightly think ill of me if I had.  Rather, I spoke at maximum volume and used a tone and language, well, let’s just say it was consistent with the proximity of danger.

Which course – the one I didn’t take; or the one I did – was loving my neighbor?