July 28, 2015

The confusion of Pope Francis

Will Pope Francis say something positive about gay and transgender people when he visits the United States this Fall? In a country newly accepting of gay marriage, a place where transgender people are finally getting just a bit of respect, will the Pope applaud these changes? Will he call for an end to the firing of gay teachers at Catholic schools, and the denial of communion to married gays? The world wants to know.

At the NYT today, as the writers try to read the tea leaves, they note that despite the general media impression that this pope is less hateful toward gays than his predecessors, Pope Francis' remarks on sex and gender have been all over the lot.
But he has shown no indication that he intends to lead the church toward changing its teaching that gay people are “called to chastity” and marriage is only for a man and a woman.

On a visit to the Philippines in January, Pope Francis said in a speech that “the family is threatened by growing efforts” to “redefine the very institution of marriage.” He also criticized wealthy Western countries for imposing their ideas about gender on developing countries, calling it “ideological colonization.”

A month later, he was quoted in a book saying that “gender theory,” which holds that gender is a social construct, is one of the great modern dangers to humanity, like nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons? Isn't that sweet? As readers of this blog know, I don't think there's reason to hope. This pope will do what all the other popes have done: he will cast aside gay and transgender people. The church is the church. It never changes.

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