“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. … At stake are the lives of many children who’ll be discriminated against in being deprived of the human growth that God wanted to be given through a father and a mother.”
Yesterday, as many of the worlds Catholics waited with baited breath for the announcement of the next leader of a faith 1.2billion people strong, the LGBT community waited with a mix of hope and dread in equal measure.
Hope that this could be the dawning of a new age. A new, more tolerant church. One that practises the tolerance it preaches. One that turns the other cheek in kindness not defiance. But most importantly, one that finally reaches out with one of the most overarching goals of humanity.
We should all be equal. We all deserve to be loved.
Perhaps those voting finally had a grip on reality? Perhaps they finally realised they had a terrible image problem? That the thousands fleeing from their faith due to their outdated Draconian opines may well return to the flock with a solid forthright demonstration of acceptance and understanding.
Sure, they next pope wasn’t going to be Cher. She’s far too young and has entirely the wrong complexion for the vestments, but perhaps, just perhaps, it would be someone progressive. Perhaps they’d elect someone ready to steer a fifth of the world’s population to be better versions of themselves. We could only hope.
But for me, as cheers roared throughout the Vatican at the sight of the white smoke that signified that a new pope had been elected, the dread kicked in. This was going to be more of the same. More intolerance. More blindness to equality. More arrogance. And once his name was announced, the sucker-punch came.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a 76-year-old Argentinean, has been chosen as the first Latin American pope. True, it’s a great show of diversity and always nice when you can’t link them to the Hitler Youth, but let’s be honest here, he has a shocking track record on human rights and equality.
Choosing to be known as Pope Francis, he described same-sex marriage as the work of the devil and a “destructive attack on God’s plan.”
He has also said that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children and went on to describe gay marriage as a “move of the Father of Lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God” and asked for Argentine lawmakers to “not act in error” when considering the equal marriage bill.
The only saving grace here seems to be that he at least seems a little conflicted in his role and has an understanding that the winds are changing. In 2010, he noted that the issues related to a cultural and conceptual revolution, but punctuated that statement by saying that the church was not in agreement. Maybe they’ll change their minds. It does happen.
This morning I went to Starbucks for a caramel latte and left with a soya mochachino.