Dear Neighbors to the North, Ever since Francis took office, the holy man keeps appearing in the media. With no shortage of superlatives. Supposedly he is a mediator, someone who is taking up the gloves to take on the internal battle with the conservatives in the Catholic Church, the pope that will give the Church a new and modern élan.
Without a doubt, the interview in September with some (Catholic) journalists in Rome was the cherry on the cake. He would explain his vision on the future of the Church. That the tricky business of homosexuality would come up at one point was inevitable. And he did discuss homosexuals, and the fact that the Church was paying too much attention to them.
A few minutes later, the international press agencies were showering the world with one-liners. Including the sentence that it is “not necessary” for the church to speak about gay marriage and abortion all the time. That was literally what he had told journalists. But for some dark (or divine) reason, the media all over the world went into overdrive. Supposedly, the Pope was reaching out to homosexuals, and the Church was no longer condemning homosexuality.
On Facebook and Twitter, the Flood of praise concerning Francis was unstoppable. Even friends of mine who hated the pope were openly and unashamedly praising the Church leader. Some opened a bottle of Champaign that evening.
In the meantime, I had seen the exact transcription of the extensive interview on several websites. And also an article by William Donohue, a prominent American Catholic at the head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, an important action group in the Catholic Church in the USA. Contrary to what you expect of a man in his position, Donahue has very moderate views. Too moderate, according to some. He often hits the nail on the head, also in his opinion piece on the now notorious interview.
He pushed off with his amazement about the euphoria in gay organizations, both in the USA and abroad, about the statements by Francis. Even though according to him, there was no real reason for this.
Correct. I agree with Donohue. Francis only said that the Church is putting too much emphasis on homosexuality. That is what he literally said. Followed by the sentence that the Church should focus on other things that are much more important in his eyes. That sentence unfortunately did not make any newspaper article or video report.
There isn’t a remotest attempt at conciliation or a different vision on homosexuality. Those who believe for one second that the attitude of the Church towards gay men, lesbians and gay marriage will change, is mistaken. There is no reason for optimism. On the contrary. Now that the Church wants to focus on other things, this will certainly mean that it will not adopt a different attitude. For sure it will continue banishing homosexuals to hell. And Donohue also says that in his article.
It remains a mystery to me why the gay community finds it so important to gain recognition by the Vatican. I can understand that religious gays and lesbians crave it. But the critics who are making themselves heard the loudest are “infidels.” That the Pope’s words “as such” have a far-reaching impact on society is understandable. But there is no point paying more attention to the Pope and the Church than they deserve. And so we return to the essence of this article. The gay community should ignore the Pope and the Church, just as Francis and the Church will continue to ignore gays and lesbians.