In defending the same-sex civil union, Pope Francis advanced several progressive houses in a long chain of disgust from the Catholic Church to LGBTI rights. His background, however, suggests caution to those willing to extend the rainbow flag, symbol of the movement, for him to pass.
In “Francesco”, a documentary released on Wednesday (21), the pontiff says that homosexuals “are children of God and have the right to a family”. The statement is interwoven with the story of a man who writes to Francisco to explain that he and her husband have three adopted children, and the five do not attend masses for fear of hostile reactions.
Giving legal coverage to homosexuals without granting them the right to marry was already a pope’s position when he was archbishop in Buenos Aires. Hence the proposal for a civil union that pleased Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Behind the scenes, he argued that this solution would calm the spirits of those who demanded legislation in their home country, allowing people of the same sex to marry. If they gave them a finger, they might not demand the whole arm.
In 2010, three years before moving to the Vatican, Bergoglio strongly opposed the idea. He said that the Argentine people would face “a situation whose outcome could seriously harm the family” and that “the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children” was at stake.
At the time Bergoglio recommended: “Let us not be naive. This is not simply a political battle, but an attempt to destroy God’s plans”.
In the same year, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to approve same-sex marriage.
Once in the Holy See, Francisco sent mixed signals about his position in relation to the LGBTI community. Although it is not the symbol of the progressiveness that many project on it, it is true that, close to its predecessors, it emerges as a friendly voice to the cause. Benedict 16, the emeritus pope, even compared homosexual marriage to “antichrist”.
Francisco has already told a gay man, abused by clergy when he was young, that God did it that way, loves him that way and that his sexuality “doesn’t matter”. He also stated that when a person [que é gay] comes to Jesus, Jesus will certainly not say, “Go away because you are a homosexual”.
Pope Francis wants a Church that welcomes transgender people, but without recognizing them as natural.
In 2016, in a conversation with journalists, he rescued a meeting he had with a trans man married to a woman. “He wrote me a letter saying that it would be a consolation to meet with me, him and his wife. He who was she, but he is.”
It is the same Francisco who also claims that the gender transition is not “natural”.
Last year, the Pontiff said he was an enthusiast for sex education in schools, since sex, according to him, “is a gift from God, not a monster.” These classes, however, should be free from “ideological colonization”, according to him. “If you start giving sex education full of ideological colonization, you destroy the person.”
Four years ago, the pope had already defined gender theory as “a great enemy” of traditional marriage and the family, a “global war” that would aim to spread “ideological colonization”.
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