August 2, 2013

Another view of the pope

Spiegel Online has an interview with a gay theologian named David Barger. The interviewer asked Barger how he viewed the pope's recent pronouncements about gays. I was surprised by a few things he said. Here are the relevant excerpts from Barger's response:
[Pope Francis] didn't say anything revolutionary. The notion that gays shouldn't be discriminated against is already in the catechism. But when Francis says in the same breath that gays should please not advertise their sexual orientation, he puts himself in a category with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who supports laws against "homosexual propaganda."
Francis said gays shouldn't "advertise their sexual orientation"? I never read anything about that. You'd think the American media would have jumped on this statement, if those were the pope's words. And here's something else:
Francis's statements often contradict each other. So he first said that atheists are devils, only to say shortly later that they are just as good as Christians. Then it was up to his spokesman to correct the statements and put them into perspective accordingly.
Here we go again. When did the pope say "atheists are devils"? I never heard that, and googling it got me nowhere. Can anyone direct me to those statements?

Barger is not at all pleased with this pope. He said Francis' remarks provide no real change. Let me leave you with his final statement:
Francis's remarks may well bring about improvement in the predominantly Catholic countries. But in Germany we are having this discussion on a different level. As a gay man in Italy, you are satisfied just to get the crumbs that fall from the table of the lord. There, gentle discrimination is already a step forward. It's completely different in Berlin or in Cologne: We have no need to eat the crumbs. Either we sit at the table or we will not take part in the dinner.
I love that ending. And as for Francis, who knows? But no matter what, he's lightyears better than Ratzi. At least, I think so. Time will tell.

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