Dateline Rome: “A Chilean survivor of clerical sex abuse has said that Pope Francis told him in a private meeting this month that God had made him gay and that both God and the pontiff loved him that way, a remarkable expression of inclusion for the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. ‘He said to me, “Juan Carlos that’s not a problem,”’ said Juan Carlos Cruz, the Chilean abuse survivor, describing having told the pope he was gay in a long meeting in the Vatican. ‘You have to be happy with who you are. God made you this way and loves you this way, and the pope loves you this way.’”
Obviously, Pope Francis is the Antichrist. Beyond his hurling centuries of Church teaching off a cliff with a single sentence, you can tell by the way he refers to himself in the third person. The Antichrist is known for that.
Seriously, if this is true, it would mark an enormous, even tectonic shift in Roman Catholic doctrine. I know nothing of how doctrinal changes occur in the Church. And one has to notice that the Vatican found a way out of acknowledging this earthquake of a story by saying, as Jason Horowitz reports on nytimes.com, simply that it “declined to comment on the pope’s private remarks.” (I love the fact that the Times assigned this story to a guy named Horowitz.)
But to hear that a pope has allegedly said that God makes us “this way” and loves us “this way” — why, it’s utterly revolutionary.
The article continues: “Over the weekend [Cruz] told the Spanish newspaper El País about the pope’s remarks about his homosexuality. In a separate interview Sunday night, Mr. Cruz, through tears, explained that he had told the pope in their nearly three-hour private meeting that he had maintained his Catholic faith even though Chilean bishops had apparently told the pope that he had left the Church ‘for a life of perversion.’”
Given that Cruz was the victim of a priest’s greedy, grasping hands (to choose the most innocuous body part possible in cases of sexual abuse), these blabbermouth bishops scarcely have room to talk.
In the opposite direction, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed the notorious Tony Perkins of the inane Family Research Council to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). As reported by Julie Moreau of nbcnews.com, GLAAD is not pleased.
“‘Tony Perkins is the most recognizable anti-LGBTQ activist in America. He has espoused the most extreme views of LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities,’ Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD, said in a statement. ‘The idea that Perkins would be making policy recommendations to an administration that is already anti-LGBTQ is dangerous and puts LGBTQ people directly in harm’s way.’”
GLAAD has put together a helpful list of Perkins’ golden hits. As Moreau notes, “Among the more than 30 examples listed are a comparison of same-sex marriage to a marriage between ‘a man and his horse’; the labeling of the ‘It Gets Better’ project, a popular initiative designed to help LGBTQ young people cope with bullying and marginalization, ‘disgusting’ and a ‘concerted effort’ to recruit kids into the gay ‘lifestyle’; and claiming the ‘blood’ of ‘young marines’ would be on the hands of lawmakers who vote to repeal the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.’”
In other depressing news, Nara Schoenberg writes on chicagotribune.com that bullying and bias are rampant in senior living facilities.
“Even before she began searching for senior housing, Marti Smith had heard the horror stories. Her gay friends told Smith, a lesbian, that when their partners entered assisted living the partners had to hide their homosexuality to avoid bias and bullying. Even Smith’s friends had to play along when they visited. ‘Visitors were told not to act gay or dress gay because of fear of harassment when they left,’ said Smith, 73. ‘That’s very common.’”
Schoenberg continues, “In senior living communities, LGBT people live side by side with heterosexuals who came of age when homosexuality was considered a mental illness or even a criminal offense. Bullying and discrimination are common.”
Still, there are signs of hope: “An outspoken older gay Chicagoan told [Britta] Larson [senior services director at Chicago’s Center on Halsted, a comprehensive LGBTQ community center], that he had ridden the elevator in his senior housing with another resident who objected to the facility’s gay support group, using a gay slur. ‘Well, I’m one of them, so you can shut the hell up,’ the gay senior shot back.”
From the title alone, I just knew I had to read “Gay Rights Activists Must Learn to Respect Their Critics, Stop Demonizing Christians.” Then I saw the byline — Bill Donohue, the rabidly reactionary Catholic crank who has been churning out hateful opinions for decades. Although history and the courts have all passed him by, Donohue is still spewing rage about same-sex marriage. After listing denominations still hostile to marriage equality, Donohue bleats, “All of these religious groups, and others, hold to the traditional understanding of marriage: it is the union of a man and a woman. Moreover, they believe that children need a father and a mother to serve as role models. They don’t need, nor deserve, two members of the same sex as parents. LGBT activists disagree. That is their right. But they have no right to portray these religious persons — they include tens of millions of Americans — as bigots for simply practicing their faith.”
One of the fundamental flaws in Donohue’s argument, on cnsnews.com (“the right news right now”), is that straight people only get married in order to have children. By that logic, jurisdictions should require fertility tests to be performed on prospective brides and grooms. And if you’re a post-menopausal woman, you can forget about it. Beyond that, notice how Donohue can’t help but slip in what he thinks is a cutting comment even when he’s demanding mutual respect: “Children need a father and a mother to serve as role models. They don’t need, nor deserve, two members of the same sex as parents.” Deserve? What children need much more than “traditional” straight parents is love, Bill. If they don’t get it, they turn out like you.