Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pope Francis on gays: If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them?


About those comments Pope Francis made to reporters on a flight from Brazil to Rome:

"If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency (to homosexuality) is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

I am not exactly sure why those words have ignited such an international firestorm.  Pope Francis is simply restating in kinder, gentler terms what has always been the Catholic Church's stand on homosexuality: Hey, we don't hate you as long as you don't act on any of those God-given attractions and remain celibate. Otherwise we will consider you the scourge of the earth, condemn you as an abomination, but don't worry, we'll do it in a nicer way than old Ratzi did.

I hate to be a kill-joy here, but I see nothing in what Pope Francis said that changes my mind about the Catholic Church's stance on homosexuality. All I see is a new Pope who is taking a play out of the Republican's current playbook: Don't change any of our extremely unpopular and cruel stances, just sugarcoat the hell out of them, say it in a softer tone, and hope to hell people don't notice the message is exacty the same, it is just the delivery that is different.

Look, everyone who has read my blog for any period of time knows my feelings about the Catholic Church. And for those of you who don't, I am a cradle Catholic who finally walked away over the Church's cruelty to gays, antiquated views on women's issues, and their horrific enabling and cover-up of the pedophile scandal. So I would not blame you if you ignore me, but I have absolutely NO intention of throwing a celebration over those words.

Call me a cynic or a pessimist, but the fact is the Church is not going to change its stance on gays in our lifetime. In fact the Church will probably never change its stance. And that is its right. But with this new pope the only thing that is going to change is the way the Church's doctrine is going to be delivered from now on. They got smart and booted that mean, old, nasty, deeply closeted, and very homophobic man in the red Gucci slippers with a penchant for fabulous hats and replaced him with a more humble, less flashy, and probably more sincerely kind man who will continue to deliver the same ugly message, but with a lot less ugliness and sting. And they are hoping we won't notice.

Sorry, that is nowhere near enough for this mama. Children will continue to be shunned and thrown out like trash by their families, bullied and beaten in their schools, and end their lives because of the Catholic Church's stance on homosexuality. And that is something that can NEVER be sugarcoated or celebrated.


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