A new Pope has been elected, who will stand as the 266th Pope, and will take the name Pope Francis. He’s a Jesuit, the first Latin American Pope, and he’s from Buenos Aires.
During various interviews this week I’ve watched people in the US express what they’d like to see in a new Pope. One of the most popular wishes was that he bring people together. The other was that he reform some of the pasts rules and regulations. Most people when asked were not hesitant to mention things like birth control, the church’s stand on gay marriage, and divorce. For those who don’t know, the Catholic Church only believes in sex as procreation, they oppose gay marriage in any way, shape, or form, and if you are Catholic (straight) and you get a legal divorce you are excommunicated from the church unless you get a Papal annulment. Getting one of those is about as simple and as realistic as the outfit the Pope wears.
I don’t know how the new Pope feels about all of these things, and more, and I do know that he has to remain true to the doctrine of the church first and foremost. I may respect it, but I don’t have to believe it. Here’s his past stand on contraception, gay marriage and gay adoption:
Amid changing mores on sexuality, including same-sex marriage, Francis’ traditional views have clashed with cultural changes in Argentina. Before the nation legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, Francis called it a “destructive attack on God’s plan.”
At the same time, the new pope is expected to uphold church orthodoxy on sexuality, abortion, marriage and contraception. The same year he said same-sex marriage attacks God’s plan, he also said gay people adopting children is an act of discrimination against children.
The last line is interesting, considering the child abuse scandal within the church, not to mention the cover up and all the Catholic Priests who have been prosecuted and handed sentences that often include prison time. Or, or the millions of dollars they’ve paid in civil law suits. It not only shows how out of touch the man is with respect to the topic, but how disconnected the entire church is with the realities of discrimination and life in general. The acts that children have suffered through the discriminatory practices of the church will go down in the history of the world as an abomination.
Whether or not Pope Francis will change his opinions on these issues remains to be seen. I don’t have high hopes. Nowadays as more gay people let go of the shame they’ve been taught thanks to institutions like the Catholic Church, their straight friends, relatives, and co-workers are also letting go of the shame. So it’s not just about gay people anymore. It’s about the gay nephew, grandson, son, daughter, neighbor, doctor, and so on and so on…