Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Pope, The Gay & The Church


Pope Francis has said "gay people should not be marginalized but integrated into society. “ July 29, 2013

On gay priests, His Holiness remarked “Who am I to judge?” If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”  July 29, 2013

Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi told CBS News that the Pope was “for sure” not just referring to gay priests, but to all gays.

For sure, I’m skeptical about what I thought was a young papacy and his emphasis on a church that is more inclusive and merciful rather than critical and disciplinary.

Just this week, one day after thousands marched in Rome’s LGBT Pride Parade, the Pope made claims that heterosexual marriage is the best option for child-rearing.” Saying that heterosexual marriage is essential for “healthy parenting,” Pope Francis contends that marriage between a man and a woman makes for happier couples.

“Children mature seeing their father and mother happy. Their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have confronted with this difference.”     - June 14, 2015, during his General audience

If you are heterosexual in a heavily Catholic country such as Italy, these words don’t sting.  But for LGBT Catholics, the pope’s comments hurt and are hardly symptomatic of a world-wide religion that is supposed to be embracing. Same-sex marriage as well as adoption by gay parents are verboten in Italy’s Catholic Church but civil partnerships for same-sex couples are being considered by Italian lawmakers.

Goes Against the Grain of Scientific Studies

Two days ago, perhaps too late, to influence the Supreme Court’s decision on nation-wide same-sex marriage, University of Oregon Sociology Professor Ryan Light commented that “the consensus is overwhelming in terms of there being no difference in children who are raised by same-sex or heterosexual parents. “

He goes on to say that this consensus had formed by 2000 and took into effect the psychological behavior or educational outcomes of children in both same-sex and heterosexual marriages.

Light and his co-author Jimi Adams of University of Colorado, Denver, came to these conclusions after scrutinizing new research that looked at 19,000 studies and articles related to same-sex parenting from 1977 to 2013.

The American Public Speaks

In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll,  1,000 adults, between June 14 and June 18, were surveyed about the prospect of the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.  The poll found that 57% were in favor of the Court finding a right of same-sex couples to marry, while 37% were opposed in America.

The Pope will come to Philadelphia soon during his U.S. tour and is expected to meet with LGBT activists.  Perhaps, he can evolve on gay marriage as Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton did.

One can hope.  Right now, with all due respect, on matters of equality for the LGBT population, he is not infallible.