New Pope, Same Old Homophobia

White smoke finally billowed over Vatican City today to announce that Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had been selected as the new Pope.

There’s already a bit of controversy surrounding his election. As the first Latin-American Pope, Bergoglio honored his Italian and Argentinian heritage by choosing for himself the name Pope Francis I, rather than taking the name Benedict from his predecessor. Some say the name change may signal a “new chapter” for the Catholic Church.

But gay rights advocates say there’s nothing new about this Pope’s attitudes toward LGBT people.

The National Catholic Reporter‘s John L. Allen Jr. writes that Pope Francis has taken a strongly conservative stance in the past on the social issues Catholics hold dear, especially same-sex adoption and parenting:

Bergoglio is seen an unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children, earning a public rebuke from Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Raw Story adds that the new Pope’s staunch opposition to same-sex parenting makes him an equally firm opponent of marriage equality:

In a 2010 letter published in L’Osservatore Romano, Bergoglio asked monasteries to pray “fervently” that lawmakers in Argentina did not go through with plans to legalize same sex marriage because it would “seriously damage the family.”

“At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children,” he wrote. “At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

“Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

You heard it: Gay marriage is of the devil! The kicker: Argentina passed marriage equality in 2010 anyway, becoming the first Latin American nation to do so. So much for that.

American gay rights groups have already released statements hoping that they find a stronger ally in this Pope than in Benedict, as unlikely as that appears to be:

Along with GLAAD, Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill responded to the new pope’s election, saying: “We hope Pope Francis shows more Christian love and charity to the world’s 420 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people than his predecessor.”

This Pope talks a big game, but those of us who actually stand for equality are not going to lose any sleep over his election. The gay rights movement has faced resistance from some religious groups and individuals since the very beginning, and yet we’ve made incredible progress anyway.

In short: we’re all gonna be okay.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • Daniel

    I am all about religious people praying for more conservative laws to pass.

    It sure beats them voting for them.

  • WallofSleep

    Not surprised. I’m just happy they made a quick decision so I don’t have to hear about it anymore. I can’t believe how much “real estate” this non-story has dominated on the network news here in the states.

    • AxeGrrl

      Well, you’re lucky, here in Canada, because one of the pope-contenders was Canadian (Marc Ouellet), the coverage has saturated all forms of media to the point of nausea.

  • Marco Conti

    One wold think that this Pope got his name from Francis of Assisi, and he has declared it himself. But in another scandalous turn of events, it has transpire that his choice of Papal name comes not from the Italian saint, but from the TV personality “Francis the talking mule”.

    • Randomfactor

      Wait till he starts issuing the bulls…

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    So Bergoglio wants to control what goes into and what comes out of uteruses, what penises go into, what goes onto penises, what fingers go into and out of wedding rings, and what families orphans go into.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that this guy is Catholic.

    • Holicrit

      No Way!!! I thought he was RELIGIOUS!!!!

    • Numinist

      Soooo clever…actually, last time I checked, Planned Parenthood had a much more direct involvement into actually “controlling” what goes into (or generally in this case out of) uteruses, and the media and secular culture have a much more open bias about what we should or shouldn’t be using penis’ for (which, it seems, is just about anything at all: http://www.campusreform.org/blog/?ID=4646). The Church, on the other hand, actually (get ready to be blown away by this) DOESN’T control people’s sexual lives. The vatican police don’t torture you for using contraception. Or for engaging in premarital intercourse. Or homosexual intercourse. Heck, they don’t even arrest you. That’s right, you are actually free to do what you want as a Catholic. What the Church DOES do is offer a particular set of sexual ethics and leaves us free to accept or reject the teaching. So get over it. Unless, of course, they prick your conscience, and that seems to be your problem and not the Church’s.

      Look, the point is that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, draws a line somewhere regarding sexual ethics. In other words, everyone offers there own sexual ethic. I mean, nobody here is in favor of rape, incest, or consentual relations with minors (but hey, there are people out there: http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=11517). So the more interesting question isn’t what SHOULD be allowed, but what SHOULDN’T be allowed regarding sexual practices. Further, do we, as humans, have any responsibilities regarding sexuality, particularly heterosexuals, who have the possibility of making new humans? Once you start answering this question, the question of what is not ok, it can get a little dicey to draw clear lines unless you take a pretty holistic approach to human sexuality. If we are simply free to express our sexuality as we want, then there really isn’t a bad to express it, and then you sort of find yourself in bed, er—you know what I mean, with beastiality and all kinds of sexual “expressions”. The Church has a complete sexual ethic that is rooted in natural law and human nature. It addresses the sexuality with the respect and gravity that it deserves, and does not reduce it to mere “self-expression”…if you take issue with the Church’s teachings, then take issue with its teachings, and show me where as complete ethic, it is is failing to recognize the dignity of the human person.

      • http://www.facebook.com/scott.fulton.16 Michael Fulton

        The church’s sexual ethics involve raping children and hiding that they’ve done it, so excuse me if I don’t accept their moral authority on it.
        And we can easily draw the line at what happens between consenting adults stays between consenting adults. No one else needs to get involved.
        As far as “natural law” goes, we have long ago abandoned it. People who used to die from natural illnesses live on. Sight is improved or restored, we drive vehicles, live in cities, eat food processed in areas far removed from where we live.

        And frankly, we now have 7 billion people on the planet. Do we really need to force homosexuals to have children as well?

        • Numinist

          You are confusing what is meant by natural law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law. Natural law helps describe what, given our inherited biology and biochemistry, is a healthy course of life for the human being. It does not refer to being in a “state of nature”, or acting as some primal being. Nor is it directly concerned with how we are born, or what is “natural” for a given individual (i.e. it may be natural for a particular blind person to be blind given they may have been born with it, but it is not natural for the human being to be blind—we are naturally “seeing” creatures). Thus, it is impossible, at some level, to abandon natural law, because we are bound to it. It is who we are as humans. Natural Law sates that healthy eyes are good and natural to the human person, so medical improvements that help or even enhance our eyesight are perfectly in keeping with natural law. The Church’s teaching regarding sexuality is based on what is natural to the human person regarding the use of our sexual organs. Also, the Church never has never taught that the abuses of its clergy was the right thing to do. Rather, it was a case of first class hypocrisy. The Church was condemned by its own teachings as much as the standards of society.

          • http://www.facebook.com/scott.fulton.16 Michael Fulton

            Well, seeing as how homosexuality provides a useful purpose in nature, in the care of offspring and population control, then it still stands with your “Natural Law” nonsense.
            The church’s views of sexuality do not match what we know of human sexuality. They match what a sexually repressed society feels is natural sexuality by taking certain passages from a book written thousands of years ago viewed sexuality.
            Surprisingly, it’s off the mark.

            • Numinist

              “Useful” is not very reliable grounds for good or healthy behavior…nor is population control. Under that logic, encouraging people who were pathologically suicidal might be considered “healthy” since it helped with population control. Also, “Natural Law” is not my nonsense, haha, but is an established concept going as far back (probably farther) as Aristotle. It helps us understand proper behavior. If nothing else, it serves to guide modern medicine, since we have to have some understanding of what is healthy for the human person to be able to treat them.

              Secondly, the Church’s teaching on sexuality is not at all repressive. That would be like saying someone who opted not to eat junk food, and chose instead to eat healthy, natural foods, was a “repressive” eater. The Church does offer a specific way of living out one’s sexuality, but it doesn’t require one to “repress” sexuality. It may be challenging, but it beautifully cooperates with what we know to be natural to human sexuality. The term “repressive” is a term flipped around by the media and others to rabble-rouse anti-Catholocism, while simultaneously pushing their own sexual agenda on the masses.

              Last of all, the Church’s teaching on sexuality is not primarily based on scripture, but again, in natural law. If you’re actually interested in understanding the Church’s teaching, read Love and Responsibility by John Paul II. It’s a pretty awesome read.

              • http://www.facebook.com/scott.fulton.16 Michael Fulton

                “”Useful” is not very reliable grounds for good or healthy

                On what ground is homosexuality is not good or healthy without returning to an argument from scripture ?

                “”Also, “Natural Law” is not my nonsense, haha, but is an established concept going as far back (probably farther) as Aristotle. behavior…nor is population control. ”

                I’m not referring to Natural Law as nonsense rather you use of it to support your homophobia.

                The Greeks and Romans had a much different interpretation of Natural Law in regards to sexuality, so saying it dates back to Aristotle does not support your point.

                “Secondly, the Church’s teaching on sexuality is not at all repressive.”
                Horse hockey. It teaches people to fear their own sexuality, and should they be homosexual damns them to hell for it. And don’t forget God is watching you masturbate.
                And heaven help you should you use a condom or other contraceptives.

                The strict teachings of the church would have you put of sexual activities until you’re married. Possibly feasible as this idea comes from a time people married in their early to mid teens and died around the ages of 30-40.

                Instead of encouraging healthy sexual practices, they’ve had a direct hand in helping to spread AIDs in Africa with their teachings.

              • Alex

                Numinist, since you are familiar with natural law ethics, then perhaps you could help me with something that I have been wondering about. One of the aspects of the theory that I find confusing is that that things should only be used when directed toward their natural end. For example, sex can only be done in the context of a marital relationship with the intent of procreation. Frustrating that natural end (via contraception for example) for some other goal is supposedly immoral.

                Yet it seems to me that we use things for purposes other than their natural ends all the time. Take for example the treadmill. The natural purpose of walking is locomotion. Using a treadmill frustrates than natural end for a secondary end (exercise). Why is this not immoral? If it because walking has two functions (locomotion and keeping oneself fit) then why is it permissible to divorce these two functions from each other, yet it is not permissible to separate the multiple functions of sex (bonding, procreation and pleasure).

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.grimm.14 Paul Grimm

    This just in… The friendly atheist is a misnomer hint he’s definitely an atheist

    • TheBlackCat13

      Apparently reading comprehension is not your strong suit. Hint: Camille isn’t a guy’s name.

      • AdzyBoy

        Actually, it is a unisex name, though it is today predominantly considered feminine.

        • TheBlackCat13

          I stand corrected. The picture might have been a clue, though.

        • http://twitter.com/docslacker MD

          Camile is a masculine name, CamiLLe is a feminine name. But that’s just nitpicking.

    • Dezzydez

      Friendly toward bigotry? What world do you live in?

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      This just out… “Friendly” does not mean “agreeing with you.” The etiquette is that preposterous claims will be attacked, people making those claims will
      not.

      • Pepe

        I think we should all agree that ‘Paul Grimm’ is a troll, not worthy of being fed.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

          Yes, please, let’s not encourage him. He only recently showed up. If everyone ignores him, he’ll probably go away.

          • Pepe

            Exactly! He’s not even trying to have a discussion (as evident from his previous posts). Trolls be crazy.

    • RobMcCune

      Umm, what’s with the petty sniping on this post about the pope? Don’t you consider homophobia a cardinal virtue?

      btw the post is written by a she, might want to read the by line.

    • blasphemous_kansan

      Drive-by troll has been trying to derail with generic quips on threads for a couple days now, and failing hilariously.

      Just tell him “OMG Gawd is great!!” and he’ll go away.

    • RobertoTheChi

      This just in…. You’re a troll. Move on.

  • Troglodyke

    Why would he have had to choose the name Benedict? I thought the new pope was free to choose any name, as long as it wasn’t one of the “forbidden” ones.

    Of course, the name he chose only makes me think of “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/dvbaunach David Baunach

    Homophobia is perhaps the wrong term to use. Believing something is disordered (based on what the person in question believes is good evidence for this claim) is quite different from having an extreme and irrational fear of homosexuality.

    • Dezzydez

      It’s bigotry to discriminate against a group of people and want to treat them as second class citizens even if your book says so. The bible is not a cop out. It’s an invalid excuse. At least take responsiblity for your hate for gays.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dvbaunach David Baunach

        It may be bigotry, but as of yet there is no evidence of homophobia.

        Also, Dezzydez, the tone of your comment seemed needlessly accusatory and polemical. I would ask that in future comments greater social decorum is striven for.

        • rg57

          ” no evidence of homophobia”

          Clearly there is, presented just in this post alone.

          Making disparaging statements about people, in the face of significant contrary scientific evidence is irrational. Where does the irrationality come from? Almost certainly it stems from homophobia. The fact that a religion is involved is irrelevant.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

            Yup, there’s no rational reason to stigmatize homosexuality. It’s not like children come into the world with negative thoughts about gay people. Bergoglio wasn’t “born that way,” to steal a phrase. He got his anti-gay attitude from somewhere. That he got it from a religious institution is beside the point. There’s nothing reasonable about it. He’s simply clinging to what someone in authority told him to believe.

        • Dezzydez

          Bigotry and homophobia usually go hand and hand. My tone is none of your business. Don’t like it, go somewhere else. I will continue to speak out against bigots that try to excuse away discrimination toward gays. You have a problem with that then stop doing it.

        • marilove

          Just becuase you say there is no evidence does not make it so. There is plenty of evidence. You are in denial.

        • marilove

          “I would ask that in future comments greater social decorum is striven for.”
          And, yes, of course. Defending bigotry and homophobia is totally striving for “greater social decorum”.

          Stop the fucking tone trolling.

    • blasphemous_kansan

      His detestable comments are informed by a fear of a world where gays have equal rights.
      Personally, I think that makes him a homophobe.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dvbaunach David Baunach

        If proof can be presented that his comments are informed by extreme and irrational fear then the term may be used correctly. However, the above blog post does not present such proof, it only presents Bergoglio expressing his belief, it does not present him expressing extreme fear of persons with homosexual attraction.

        • blasphemous_kansan

          Uh huh, ok. Your justification of bigotry is noted.
          Your pedantic distinction between those who have a ‘rational’ and ‘irrational’ fear of gays is invalid for one reason: if you’re afraid of gays because they’re gay, then your view is already extreme and irrational. And, regardless of the scope of extremity or irrationality that feeds his opinions, the results are the same: explicit oppression. He is a homophobe.

          If you want proof that his opinions are based on fear of the gays, please read hiscomments below, which were also posted above. These are the words of a scared man. A homophobe.

          ” Bergoglio asked monasteries to pray “fervently” that lawmakers in Argentina did not go through with plans to legalize same sex marriage because it would “seriously damage the family.”

          “At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children,” he wrote. “At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

          “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

        • Spamamander

          Homophobia has moved well beyond a literal breaking down of the word and has meant having an irrational bigotry towards people who are homosexual for a very long time now. Do you assume ‘hydrophobia’ is a literal fear of water? Perhaps, since you seem a bit rabid yourself.

    • RobMcCune

      saying that two people who love each other getting married is part of the devil’s plan goes a bit farther than some misguided gibberish about ‘disorders’ and ‘teleology’.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dvbaunach David Baunach

        For a Catholic to say that something is disordered is to say that the devil is behind it in some way. Again, this is part of Bergoglio’s belief structure, and there has been no evidence presented to show that his beliefs are in any way based on extreme and irrational fear.

        • Kenneth

          Why do people think that bigotry couched in sanitized academic language and willful ignorance is somehow better than bigotry rooted in old-fashioned overt hatred? The result is exactly the same, and people in the first group don’t even have the stones to own their bigotry. I’d rather deal with an old-school redneck fag basher than some snidely bastard who says he’s acting out of love….

        • RobMcCune

          And I know xenophobic people who aren’t irrationally terrified of foreigners, how exactly is that relevant?

          You’ve undermined your own defense of the guy by by saying ‘disordered’ means ‘satan’.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

            Not to mention, it’s the height of irrationality to believe that anything is caused by devils or demons. It’s sometimes easy to forget that it’s not just the fundamentalist Protestants who encourage that sort of nonsense. Catholics don’t talk about it as much, but they still believe in all manner of evil supernatural entities.

        • rg57

          The devil itself is irrational fear.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      Ridiculous semantic quibbling by homophobes who don’t want to admit that they’re homophobes. All right, we’ll use the term anti-gay then. That ought to be clear enough.

    • indorri

      Think “homophobic” in the same meaning way you think of some molecule as “hydrophobic”. It’s not a model of their pyschological state.

      • rg57

        Indeed there are about four meanings for the suffix -phobic, and only one of them has to do with fear.

  • Bob Geier

    “The Pope talks a big game?” He hasn’t said much more than “Hello, my name is Francis” yet. :)

    This is an interesting choice. The Latin American Jesuits were on the forefront of the Liberation Theology movement, which was an intellectual basis for justifying a relatively radical “preferential option for the poor.” The Jesuits also form the core of the Catholic church’s genuine scientists. This guy is likely to be about as far from the American Republican / Mitt Romney right as can be on most social issues.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      I’m not seeing how that’s possible. The most prominent social (as opposed to, say, economic) issues in the United States tend to involve LGBT rights and reproductive rights for women, both of which are firmly opposed by the Vatican and this new Pope. The evangelical and fundamentalist Protestants who make up the Religious Right are completely in agreement with Bergoglio on that score.

      • Bob Geier

        How what is possible, Anna? I find it interesting that the new pope has a Master’s degree in Chemistry. How refreshing!

        If you’re expecting that the Catholic Church is suddenly going to embrace the notion of abortion on demand or gay marriage, then that’s not particularly rational. We have to recognize that on those issues liberal westerners are a small minority in the wide world. The Catholics, after all, are quietly sheltering women in China where aborting girls is practiced as a regular form of state-sanctioned misogyny. It’s hard to be intellectually consistent in condemning that while embracing the option in the U.S.

        On other social issues, though, like wealth distribution and the responsibility of the state to care for the needy, the new pope is likely to be quite a radical. There will be no “corporations are people too” from this man.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

          Your statement here: “This guy is likely to be about as far from the American Republican / Mitt Romney right as can be on most social issues. I’m not seeing how that’s possible. It’s not most social issues. Most social issues have the Catholic church and fundamentalist Protestants in agreement.

          I specifically mentioned social issues, not economic policies. They are probably going to be better on issues relating to poverty and wealth. I’ll give them that. But I’m not seeing any other area where they are going to diverge from right-wing Republicans.

          If you’re expecting that the Catholic Church is suddenly going to embrace the notion of abortion on demand or gay marriage, then that’s not particularly rational.

          Uh, I didn’t expect that before, and I don’t now. I fully agree that the Catholic church will continue on with their anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-birth control, anti-female priest, etc. policies. I hold absolutely no hope for social reform within the church, and I would encourage moderate, liberal, and nominal Catholics to stop supporting an institution that will not listen to them.

          • Bob Geier

            Ah, I see. Yes, I can see where my comment was confusing, if your focus is on U.S. politics. For me, social issues include things like the role of unions and the rights of labor, the role of government and society’s obligation to the poor and less fortunate. The obligation of employers to provide a living wage, and allow women to continue careers through their childbearing years. They include issues like housing, and economic justice, and education. They also include the treatment of prisoners and when incarceration is called for, the acceptance of immigrants and refugees, the role of corporations, and when (if ever) war and drones and bombing are acceptable.

            On all of these issues, the Church is on the side of social justice. My hope is that this pope may do a better job of reminding us of that.

            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

              We can certainly agree on all of that. I live in the U.S. so unfortunately whenever the Catholic church is in the news here it almost always has something to do with homosexuality, reproductive rights, or the abuse scandal.

            • amycas

              I agree with pretty much everything else you’ve said but I will not grant the church’s position on the “right to health care.” They only support that so long as that right doesn’t include women’s health care options.

        • amycas

          ” It’s hard to be intellectually consistent in condemning that while embracing the option in the U.S.”

          Why are you equating allowing women a choice to have an abortion with forcing or coercing a woman to have an abortion. They are not the same thing. I can be fully intellectually consistent by supporting the choice of abortion, while still condemning the practice in China that forces women to do it.

  • Rain

    It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.

    Since they passed the bill, then that means “the father of lies” defeated the Pope. Some Pope. Lol.

  • blasphemous_kansan

    A little OT, but I’ve found some interesting allegations that the new pontiff conspired with the navy of the brutal Argentinian regime in the 70′s to hide political prisoners from a visiting international human rights delegation, and that the place chosen for hiding was Bergoglio’s own holiday home!

    Further reading is obviously needed, but obviously damming if true. You’d think that after the last guy they would try to steer the office away from association with brutal dictatorships?

    I’m having trouble posting links on this site currently it seems (the comments never seem to finish posting), but you should go to the website for The Guardian and search for an article called “The Sins of the Argentinian Church” written on Jan 4, 2011 for the source.

    I never cross-post on threads, but this is really interesting and I’m interested in what others think about it. I’m going to check out this book ‘El Silencio” by Argentinian journalist Horacio Verbitsky, but I’m interested in any more info.

    • Bob Geier

      Again, Verbitsky is a terrible source. You need to look at the work of Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who won a Nobel Prize for documenting the Argentinian atrocities, and read the book by Rubin. Esquivel has been clear that Bergoglio was not in any way involved.

      • blasphemous_kansan

        “Again, Verbitsky is a terrible source. ”

        Why?

        • Bob Geier

          Again, because he’s the equivalent of citing Ken Cuccinelli on climate science. Your are picking up on his work in the same way that climate change deniers pick up on Cuccinelli; through a network of like-minded individuals.

          Begin instead with the accepted sources compiled by real experts which are well vetted. Then, if you want to read a conspiracy theorist for fun (and you’re OK with supporting that sort of thing with your dollars), go pick up Verbitsky.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700851737 Sam Kay

    I’m sorry, what exactly did you expect from the Catholic Church? Why are you looking for the Pope to support marriage equality or equal adoption rights? The focus should be on getting religion out of legislative decisions, not getting religion to change their ways.

  • John XXIV

    An outsider’s view: Perhaps I am still a Christian but I hate Christianity. To get me to join the Catholic Church would take a pope that spends his whole pontificate crawling over broken glass while begging the world for forgiveness–and by some miracle, every evening he would be healed so he could do it all over again the next day. One recurring theme I would like to hear from pope-bloody-glass is a heartfelt apology to GLBT persons everywhere and throughout all Church history. Yet, this pope has already said as a cardinal that gay adoption is akin to child abuse. So here is my advice: kiss the Church goodbye. You do not need it.

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    *reads new Pope’s past statements*

    Lighten up, Francis!

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    My Pick-A-Pope party was a disaster. I served wine and crackers, but when the guest of honor showed up, the spread instantly turned unbelievably disgusting.

  • rg57

    Well that’s a missed opportunity. He’s being described as “moderate” both by the Guardian’s Pontifficator web toy, and the media generally (most others being described as “conservative” or “ultra-conservative”). So what makes him so moderate, compared to the other cardinals?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

    Bergoglio asked monasteries to pray “fervently” that lawmakers in Argentina did not go through with plans to legalize same sex marriage because it would “seriously damage the family.” “At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children,” he wrote. “At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God.

    Not just offensive nonsense, but nonsensical nonsense. How, pray tell, is denying same-sex couples marriage rights going to have any effect on their children’s existence? Children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers exist. We exist independently of whether or not the Catholic church thinks we should. How is denying our families equal rights and respect going to solve the “problem” of our supposed discrimination and deprivation?
    It just makes utterly no sense. And I hate how they claim to respect the dignity of all people and then go ahead and say that certain kinds of families should not exist. For our own good, of course. The Catholic church claims that children shouldn’t be born into same-sex families. How is that respecting us, by telling us that our existence is unnatural and wrong, that in their ideal Catholic world, we wouldn’t exist? I’ll never get that.

    • Miss_Beara

      It also is a big FU to single parent households. Survival of the family=father+mother+children. Wrong.
      Also, I don’t think he knows what discrimination means.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

        It’s actually sort of true, but not the way he thinks. Children of same-sex parents are being discriminated against, but the discrimination isn’t coming from our mothers and fathers. It’s coming from all those priests and politicians who seek to stigmatize and delegitimize our families.

      • Edward Hahn

        I agree. My christian wife had a kid through an affair and took off. Now I am raising three alone (including the two we had together.) In his book I am the amoral one?! Exactly why I left religion.

    • AxeGrrl

      “At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance….”

      Great logic there, Papa Frank: argue against ssm because the kids will be discriminated against when his church is the primary discriminator!

      How sadly typical of Christianity ~ claiming to be the solution for a problem IT created in the first place (human beings’ ‘fallen state/need for salvation‘, anyone?)

  • Avi

    The fact that you blatantly gave a completley false reason for the New Pope picking the name Francis made it hard to take you seriously for the rest of the blog. Also, the fact that you only quoted him with what would support YOUR hatred and not his quotes about how we should LOVE and RESPECT gay people. Please present the full truth and not just the parts that support your “cause.”

    • marilove

      He in no way loves or respects gay people. He wishes for gay people to be continued to be opressed. That is not loving nor respectful. That is hateful, through and through.

      And what was the false reason for the new pope’s name? I am not seeing it.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      There is nothing loving or respectful in his comments about same-sex couples and families.

  • Edward Hahn

    “If we can pray the gay away, can we pray the gay into?”

  • ecolt

    I love that Catholic priests and leadership go on and on about THE FAMILY and marriage and children while simultaneously vowing to have none of those things themselves. If marriage and family are so damned important why don’t you have one yourself?


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