Is Pope Francis a Poster Boy for Gays?

This article by homosexual activist Michelangelo Signorili  criticizes the editors of Advocate magazine–a homosexual activist journal–for putting Pope Francis on their cover as person of the year.  Signorili writes,

But mostly, this was idiotic. Pope Francis is a lot of things to many people in the world. But he is not our hero of the LGBT community in 2013. Can we please get a grip, folks? Are we that starved for validation?

Pope Francis’ statements of the past, which he’s never repudiated, and the doctrine of his church, are horrendously homophobic. As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina three years ago, he called gay marriage the work of the devil and said it was “a destructive attack on God’s plan.” And his recent statements, saying church leaders are too “obsessed” with the issue of gay marriage, and that he can’t pass judgement a gay priest, while very encouraging, do not in any way take back those statements.

He goes on to claim that Pope Francis is really more pro-gay than he lets on, but that he has toed the line in order to make it to the top of the Catholic Church.

I believe he made those horribly anti-gay statements just to keep his job, as Argentina was embarking upon gay marriage and he was expected to rail against it, and it was the only way to advance in Benedict’s Vatican. And it worked. But what does that actually say about Francis? That he’s a pretty shrewd politician who says what he has to, even if it means horribly attacking a minority, in order to win — not much different from some in the current Republican Party. And does being secretly pro-gay really count? Aren’t we past that?

We should stop and take a deep breath. Why is Pope Francis not speaking out more against what Catholics see as moral evils? Because he realizes that a real commitment to a Catholic understanding of marriage and sexuality is built on a real understanding and acceptance of the Catholic understanding of the human person, and that the Catholic understanding of the human person springs from a deep understanding and acceptance of the Catholic understanding of the human person’s relationship with God and this understanding can only be had through repentance and conversion.

Why are Christians today battling against same sex marriage? We should be clear, this is not simply a battle against same sex marriage. It is a battle FOR Christian marriage, but you see most of us threw in the towel on that first battle long ago. For some time now we’ve turned a blind eye to fornication and adultery and re-marriage after divorce and contraception. We’ve been relaxed about homosexuality and promiscuity and pornography and prostitution for a long time. We may not have liked these things and we told ourselves we didn’t do such nasty things, but we didn’t want to judge, so it’s been a marriage free for all in our society –and among the majority of Catholics ever since most Catholics decided to thumb their nose at Humane Vitae. 

Why should Catholics be up in arms over same sex marriage when they have quietly done their own thing marriage wise for the last fifty years? Furthermore, why should those outside the church listen to what we have to say? Why would there necessarily be any connection? Oh yes, I realize it’s the natural law and it applies to everyone and so forth, but we can’t expect others to hear that message.

That’s why I don’t write or campaign against homosexuality or same sex marriage. The moral compass has been lost. People will do whatever they will. All I can do is welcome and accept all people as Christ and try to live by the teachings of my church. I will try to help explain the Catholic viewpoint with clarity and compassion as I am able. When I deal with homosexual persons I will treat them as human persons and not define them by their sexuality. They’re bigger than that. If I can help them or minister to them in any way I will do so as I am able. I trust this same attitude of open and mature acceptance is what is behind Pope Francis’ now famous, “Who am I to judge?” comment.

Within the whole context I will try to help people build strong Catholic marriages and help young people understand what marriage is and what it is for, realizing that for the foreseeable future, when it comes to marriage, conservative Christians will seem like quaint reactionaries who may even be dangerous.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker

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