When the Pope was visiting the United States, many mainstream and progressive Americans hailed him as the champion of progressivism. Then reports came in that he met with Kim Davis and told her to stay strong. All of a sudden the people revolted and the Vatican faced a PR nightmare. But wait, he also met with a gay couple. So there, he is the prince of peace, the moral leader of the world, the Mahatma Gandhi, the Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, etc., etc.… except of course that he isn’t.
Kim Davis claims that the Pope met with her and told her to stay strong. The Vatican confirmed that a meeting did take place. However, after the PR tide had turned against the Pope because of this “meeting,” the Vatican claimed that the meeting was not a private meeting and that the Pope was basically meeting with a bunch of people at once and didn’t know who any of them even were. He certainly didn’t intend to support her view that her religious freedom had been taken away from her even though he spoke constantly about religious freedom and conscientious religious objections his entire trip.
I call shenanigans! When the Pope gave Mass in Philadelphia, the service opened with a passage from the Catholic version Matthew 5. That’s the passage where Jesus talks about cutting off hands and plucking out eyes in order to avoid eternal torture in Hell. The Catholic version even talks about chopping off feet and was way more explicit about the eternal torture part. The implication of this passage is that it is better not to sin and to go through great pains to not sin in order to avoid eternal torture. The Church’s official position is still that homosexuality is a sin. So in the eyes of the Church according to this passage from Matthew, it is actually better to cut off your penis and glue your ass shut in order to avoid eternal torture. Hey, that’s the Vatican talking. In the City of Brotherly Love, that is what they led Mass with.
As I pointed out before, the Vatican isn’t a democracy. They don’t have a congress who is voted in by the people. They don’t have a President elected by the people every four years. No, the Vatican is a dictatorship. The Pope is elected in a conclave and he answers to no other Earthly human being… which for the record is still no one. He doesn’t have to worry about pushing a policy past a legislature or making sure his policies are Constitutional. He doesn’t have to concern himself with the possibility that he might not get re-elected or that he might be impeached. No, the Pope rules for life… except for that last Pope who was one of the few who actually resigned (which was almost unheard of).
My point here is that there is no reason why the Pope can’t just say that homosexually is no longer a sin. He can change the rules of purgatory, why can’t he change the rules about whether or not homosexuality is a sin? As it is on Earth, it shall be in Heaven and all that.
The Pope has quite a problem here. He wants to be seen as the moral authority. He wants history to view him in the same way that we view people like Gandhi and King. He wants to be on the correct side of history and for people to value his moral opinion the way so many value the moral opinions of the Dalia Lama. The problem is that this Pope, as progressive as he is, is still the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. For whatever reason, he continues to tow the Church line instead of pushing that line forward. No matter how progressive the Pope may be on important issues like climate change, poverty, wealth inequality, etc., he still holds the views that homosexuality is a sin, condoms and other method of birth control are evil, comprehensive sex education is immoral, women shouldn’t have a right to control their own bodies, women shouldn’t be allowed positions of authority within the Church, and people who fuck little kids shouldn’t be prosecuted by the law.
A Francis can’t seriously expect to be considered a moral leader or authority when so many of his views are so ridiculously immoral. I’m glad he supports climate change and speaks out about poverty and wealth inequality. It is very refreshing to hear that stuff coming from the Pope. But he still has a long way to go before I could even consider him to be equally as moral as Joe down the street let alone be considered the great moral leader of our time.
So what about this gay couple that he met with? Well, it turns out that one of the guys was actually a longtime friend and former student of Pope Francis back when the Pope was a Cardinal in Argentina. The thing is that they had a bit of a falling out when then Cardinal Bergoglio said publicly that homosexuality was of the Devil.
But maybe the Pope has “evolved” on this issue. So, where does the Vatican stand today? Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the Catholic Church Assembly on Family Issues in the Vatican. Vatican priest Krzysztof Charamsa (no I did not just type random letters. That is actually the priest’s name) announced to the press that he is a happy gay man and then introduced his partner. The Francis lead Vatican is so gay friendly that they immediately fired him from his position at the Vatican’s Doctrine office.
If you are gay and Catholic, neither the Pope nor the Vatican are on your side. For the record, Republicans aren’t your friend either, but I thought that was obvious. Maybe someday the Pope will change his tune, but don’t tell me that he secretly supports gay rights, but can’t change the Church. It isn’t like he is the Pope or anything… oh wait.