On a day when pride parades are taking place across the country, Pope Francis, who famously said of anti-LGBT prejudice, “Who am I to judge?,” now states that the Catholic Church owes an apology to gay people.
But while the media may be making a big deal about it, this is hardly a generous move.
Francis was asked Sunday en route home from Armenia if he agreed with one of his top advisers, German Cardinal [Reinhard] Marx, who told a conference in Dublin in the days after the deadly Orlando gay club attack that the church owes an apology to gays for having marginalized them.
[Pope Francis] said some politicized behaviors of the homosexual community can be condemned for being “a bit offensive for others.” But he said: “Someone who has this condition, who has good will and is searching for God, who are we to judge?”
“We must accompany them,” Francis said.
“I think the church must not only apologize … to a gay person it offended, but we must apologize to the poor, to women who have been exploited, to children forced into labor, apologize for having blessed so many weapons” and for having failed to accompany families who faced divorces or experienced other problems.
If that’s supposed to be an apology, I can’t imagine LGBT people are accepting it.
Saying that LGBT human beings should be treated with respect is the papal equivalent of U.S. politicians sending “thoughts and prayers” after a mass shooting: It’s the least he can do. He doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for not encouraging active discrimination.
In fact, if you look at his actions and past statements, you’d be hard-pressed to find much respect for LGBT people at all.
Pope-Who-Am-I-To-Judge had no problem throwing gay people under the bus when his name was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio:
In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children…
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.”
So Pope Francis is a lot like Paul Ryan talking about Donald Trump: He’s sticking to the party line no matter what and simply downplaying his endorsement of an institution that’s full of bigotry. A more decent human being would simply say, “My side is wrong about this.”
I mean, this is the same Pope who met with anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis (though the Vatican later said he didn’t know what he was doing).
Even if you ignore all that, his push for an apology today was pathetic. Just look at what he said. He claimed that certain “politicized behaviors of the homosexual community” were “a bit offensive for others.” What politicized behaviors? Fighting for equal rights? Celebrating at a pride parade? Does flamboyancy negate the need for equal rights?
You know what’s really offensive? Protecting pedophile priests instead of helping their victims.
The Pope also said the Church should apologize to the poor and to “children forced into labor” — and that’s fine, but the Church has actively worked to suppress LGBT rights. They don’t do that on matters of poverty and child labor. Neglecting to do enough in some areas isn’t on the same level as actively doing damage in other ones. You can’t lump it all into one.
And we still haven’t mentioned how the Pope calls homosexuality a “condition,” as if it’s some sort of disease that needs a cure. (The Vatican has already issued a statement on that wording, saying that, in Italian, the word “condition” means “situation.”)
This wasn’t really an apology. That wasn’t even a call for an apology. This was just the Pope’s attempt at putting some positive PR spin on the Church’s awful beliefs about homosexuality — beliefs he continues to hold to this day.
Don’t get suckered in by media outlets that claim otherwise.