Ever since he replaced the despicable Benedict XVI as the head of the Vatican back in March, Pope Francis has been the toast of the media. Reporters, pundits, even comedians have sung his praises. Why, exactly? Well, mainly it’s because of some of the positive things he’s been saying lately.
Things like “I’m a sinner” and “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” and “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”. But as the old saying goes, talk is cheap. The new Pope can claim to be a more open-minded pontiff all he wants. The truth of the matter is this 76-year-old man with more than 40 years experience working within the stubbornly conservative Catholic Church is no liberal reformer. Here are 8 reasons why:
1. He’s against gay marriage.
Back when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in his native Argentina, the former Jorge Bergoglio often butted heads with the government. In 2010, as legislators were debating the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage, Mr. Enlightened had this to say about it:
“In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.
“Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies [aka the devil] who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
“I invoke the Lord to send his Spirit on senators who will be voting, that they do not act in error or out of expediency, but according to what the natural law and the law of God shows them…We remember what God said to his people in a moment of great anguish: ‘This war is not yours, but God’s’: defend us, then, in this war of God.”
Bergoglio’s ignorant, paranoid comments (not to mention his desperate prayer) fell on deaf ears. Argentina became the first Latin American country to officially recognize same-sex marriages that same year. And for the record, no heterosexual families have been negatively affected by it.
2. He’s against abortion.
As the new Pope, he thinks the Vatican “obsesses” too much about this legal medical procedure. But that hasn’t stopped him recently from condemning it outright:
“Each child who is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who, even before he was born, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world.”
Actually, each child has the face of their parents but I digress.
Francis has also referred to abortion as an evil product of “throw-away culture” and believes that “not…allow[ing] the further development of a being which already has all the genetic code of a human being is not ethical. The right to life is the first among human rights. To abort a child is to kill someone who cannot defend himself.”
Tell that to the 40000 rape victims who get pregnant every year. I mean is it so terrible to not want to bring into the world a living reminder of your trauma? According to Mr. Open-Minded, it is.
3. He’s against gay sex.
Many have cheered his “who am I to judge?” remark regarding the LGBT community but he does not support their sexuality. He didn’t invent the old love-the-sinner/hate-the-sin routine, but he firmly believes in it nonetheless. To put it bluntly, he supports gay people but not when they fuck other gay people. Yeah, that’s not having it both ways at all.
4. He favours the current rules on celibacy.
“For the moment, I am in favor of maintaining celibacy, with all its pros and cons, because we have ten centuries of good experiences rather than failures. What happens is that the scandals have an immediate impact. Tradition has weight and validity.”
In that same publication, he maintains that those who are sexual have to choose between having a love life and being a devout priest. In his eyes, and that of the Catholic Church, they cannot have both:
“It’s a matter of one choosing again or saying, ‘No, what I’m feeling is very beautiful. I am afraid I won’t be faithful to my commitment later on, so I’m leaving the seminary.’ When something like this happens to a seminarian, I help him go in peace to be a good Christian and not a bad priest.”
Unlike Muslim imams, Jewish rabbis and Christian ministers, Catholic priests can’t be dads and husbands simultaneously:
“If one of them comes and tells me that he got a woman pregnant, I listen. I try to help him have peace and little by little I try to help him realize that the natural law takes priority over his priesthood. So, he has to leave the ministry and should take care of that child, even if he chooses not to marry that woman. For just as that child has the right to have a mother, he has a right to the face of a father. I commit myself to arranging all the paperwork for him in Rome, but he has to leave everything.”
Make no mistake about it. Priests will remain forbidden to marry under his papacy. As Francis put it in 2012, “For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm.”
5. He’s against allowing women to become priests.
In his long recent interview with America Magazine, a Catholic publication, the pontiff was asked about the role of women in the church. This is how he started:
“I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of ‘female machismo,’ because a woman has a different make-up than a man. But what I hear about the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo.”
How very liberating, Francis. This past July, he revealed just how inclusive he truly is:
“As far as the ordination of women, the Church has already spoken out and the answer is no. John Paul II made the Church’s stance definitive. The door is closed.”
Way to make the ladies swoon.
6. He’s against contraception.
7. He’s against gay couples adopting children.
He considers it “discrimination”. GLAAD is so proud.
8. He’s against dissent.
Despite claiming recently that’s he’s not a stickler for Catholic doctrine, he’s a stickler for Catholic doctrine. Consider the story of Greg Reynolds. The Australian priest supports ordaining women and is pro-gay. You know what that means. You guessed it. He’s been kicked out of the church.
So, the next time someone tries to convince you that Pope Francis is a man of change, feel free to refer to this list.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, September 25, 2013