Pope ‘blindsides’ gay UK comedian with acceptance message

Pope ‘blindsides’ gay UK comedian with acceptance message April 21, 2019

Stephen K Amos doesn’t go a bundle on the Catholic Church, so when he learned that a BBC programme in which he featured would include a meeting with Pope Francis he said said no.

I’ve been quite vocal in my criticism in certain aspects of the Catholic Church. I thought a private audience meant you go and see him, he blesses you and you leave. I couldn’t in all conscience go and do that, it’s not me.

Then I said I’d only go if we can ask questions. The producers asked, well, what sort of questions, as we don’t want to spark a diplomatic incident. So we gave in some questions and the answer came back from the Vatican that the Pope will answer any questions that you have.

The comedian was one of eight celebrities who participated in the BBC2 show Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome.

Image via YouTube

They begin their pilgrimage in Switzerland and had 15 days to travel the more than 600 miles to Rome. The programme lasted three episodes, with the finale airing on Good Friday.

Amos told the Pope:

So me coming on this pilgrimage, being non-religious, I was looking for answers and faith. But as a gay man, I don’t feel accepted.

Responding through an interpreter the Pope said:

Giving more importance to the adjective rather than the noun, this is not good. We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are or how you live your life, you do not lose your dignity. There are people that prefer to select or discard people because of the adjective – these people don’t have a human heart.

Later Amos said he was “blindsided” by the response, which he called:

Quite magnificent. He didn’t shut anybody down, he was very clear in what we said about all being God’s children, all the things you don’t normally hear. So I was in full respect of the man. I had already planned what I would do if he had said something I didn’t agree with or that would add more shame on people’s lives. I would have respectfully excused myself. I couldn’t live with myself otherwise.

Image via YouTube

It’s doubtful whether this response pleased another of the participants – “Dana” Rosemary Scallon, above, a former Member of the European Parliament. Scallon is well-known in Ireland for her strong opposition to abortion and gay marriage. In a 2014 video she suggested that “pro-homosexual” laws would lead to the banning of Christianity.

She told the Pope:

At this difficult time for our Church we long for truth, and we know that it is very difficult.

She assured Francis of her prayers.

Speaking in English, the Pope responded:

You pray for me. I need it. This job is not easy.

The Pope told the group that life is a journey:

Whether you have faith or do not have faith. For those of you who are believers, pray for me. For those of you who do not believe, could you wish me a good journey, so I do not let anyone down.

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  • WallofSleep

    “… we don’t want to spark a diplomatic incident.”

    Interesting that they choose such phrasing. I wonder if catholics like being reminded that Vatican City was made a sovereign nation by the father of fascism, or of the Reichskonkordat for that matter?

    Rhetorical. Of course they don’t. They’ve done their level best to paint both heinous, xtian regimes as atheist in nature while trying to sweep their deep involvement with them under the rug.

  • Jim Jones

    My breath not being held.

  • digital bookworm

    Nope, sorry.

  • barriejohn

    It does not matter who you are or how you live your life, you do not lose your dignity. There are people that prefer to select or discard people because of the adjective – these people don’t have a human heart.

    What a pity that the Roman Catholic Church does not exhibit this level of acceptance. If only there was someone who could advise them along these lines. Can anyone think of someone who might be in that position?

  • Broga

    My instinctive response to anything a Pope says is cynicism and rejection. I am wrong. If the Pope makes comments which move in the direction of compassion and understanding then I welcome them. This is like responding to a child positively when that is appropriate. How otherwise can the child mature and enter the mature adult world. However, otherwise can the Pope do the same.

    He has to deal with that “Dana” woman and many like her. In looking for the “truth” she is looking in the wrong direction.

  • ManxStuart

    Much respect to Stephen Amos for having a go instead of just taking the work and keeping quiet, but people keep forgetting that this is a pope who collaborated with the Galtieri regime in Argentina to hide witnesses from an international human rights delegation. For me that makes him the first pope since WWII to openly and blatantly work with a fascist regime.

    Until he gives ANY kind of explanation for his behaviour, how can any reasonable person regard him as anything but an enemy of human rights – and humanity in general?

  • DingoJack

    “We are all human beings and have dignity.”
    He went on to say: “Except those minx choirboys, those are lying slutty, slut sluts – who we’ll never give a penny to. Cardinal Fang, top up the ‘grave-yard fund’ in the Caimans!”

  • Milo C

    Francis’ flip-flopping on support for LGBTQ has shown his progressive attitude toward western society was something his underlings, the Cardinals in particular, would resist at every step. They showed that they are willing to reduce the Pope to a figurehead before they could consider homosexuality is no more sinful than eating shellfish, and because this backlash threatened the Pope’s power, he backed off. He is caught between two options: support LGBTQ and lose his power, triggering another Church divide, or Keep paying lip service to LGBTQ with no real change and driving away people who recognize the hypocrisy. So far they are banking on #2, and I can see why. It worked quite well in the 20th century.

  • Brian Curtis

    But at least they’ve found a figurehead who pays lip service to compassion and respect, while still not practicing any. That’s gotta count as progress, right?

  • persephone

    He’s just playing to the room.

  • persephone

    He’s just worried about the emptying pews and the slowing down of the money flow.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    “You pray for me. I need it. This job is not easy.” Dafuq? This guy is supposed to be the NUMBER ONE direct line to GOD. And yet even HE says he needs peeps to pray for him. Damn, his boss really is an a-hole.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    I don’t wanna drag it kicking and screaming. I wanna see it die and molder on the side of the road as I breeze by.

  • Raging Bee

    Basically the Pope said “Don’t emphasize the adjective” which in this case is “gay.” He was finding a warmer and fuzzier way of saying “We welcome and respect you, as long as you don’t talk too much about who/what you are.” Just the latest iteration of “Who am I to judge [since the judgment has already been rendered and I’m not changing it]?”/”We won’t talk so much about this [since the Church has already said its piece and it won’t be changing anytime soon].”

    He was all kind and cuddly to one person, without changing the official doctrine toward the majority of people like him.

  • Broga

    I know. If he could put the boot in with impunity he would do it. Now that he is under attack and pressure he seeks to ingratiate himself. After all, it is the same old Vatican.

  • Jack the Sandwichmaker

    For those of you who do not believe, could you wish me a good journey, so I do not let anyone down.

    Too late. You have already failed members of your flock, and continue to defend their rapists.