by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

A new day at the Vatican? Could be. At least a little bit of sunshine has been allowed to fall into dusty old windows and halls that have rarely seen much light in the past twenty centuries. 

Returning from Armenia in his papal plane, Pope Francis told reporters on the day after millions celebrated LGBT pride in the U.S.: “I believe that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has offended, but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons.”

"The Church must ask forgiveness for not behaving many times,” he also told CNN. “When I say the Church, I mean Christians! The Church is holy, we are sinners!”

Many were quick to praise the pontiff, especially on the gay issue. After all, they’re not used to the head of the Catholic church saying things like that. Church leaders have, for a very long time, condemned homosexuality in no uncertain terms, even referring to it as intrinsically evil. 

Apologies are fine.

As a queer atheist man who, as a child, sat in Catholic school being told by nuns that there was something wrong with me because I was effeminate, not to mention having the brides of Christ watch silently as kids in class called me “sissy” and “faggot,” I want more. I want action.

I want the church to change its teaching on homosexuality. I want every reference to us as sinful or sick or evil stricken from its Catechism. I want the Leviticus line about a man lying with a man and any other anti-gay reference in the Bible disregarded. I want nuns and priests to teach children in Catholic schools that being queer is no different than being heterosexual, and that transgender people should be accepted for who they are.

I want the church not only to stand up for the poor, but to push for ways for them to become self sufficient, especially in terms of being able to take or buy back lands stolen from them with the blessing of Holy Mother Church in centuries past. 

I want the church to support fair trade co-ops, increased minimum wage, unions, and anti-child labor laws. I want it to support worker strikes. 

I want the church to work actively against all wars and against the proliferation of weapons. The Vatican should be encouraging more priests and nuns to become future Daniel and Philip Berrigans, two anti-Vietnam War priests who at one point were arrested for breaking into an induction center and burning draft records.  

Apologies mean a hell of a lot more if they are backed up with actions.

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Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on June 27, 2016 at 8:21am

Heh.  Great minds think alike and all that crap.

This is a comment I posted yesterday, but damn if it don't fit your post perfectly!


Yeah, the Pope and the Catholic church are TOTALLY okay with lesbians and gays, unless (as only a few examples):

  • They wish to marry
  • They wish to have sex
  • They wish to be ordained

So, if you are single, practice chastity and keep your mouth shut about your orientation, you can now sit quietly in the back of the church during Mass.  ::roll eyes::

Here's what the Human Rights Campaign has to say:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text which contains dogmas and teachings of the Church, names “homosexual acts” as “intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law,” and names “homosexual tendencies” as “objectively disordered.” While the Catholic Church does not consider “homosexual orientation” sinful in and of itself, it does have a very negative attitude toward it. The 1986 Letter states, “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”

So sorry, but if a bunch of pointy hat wearing assholes think being lesbian or gay is freakin evil, they can do one fucking hell of a lot more then "apologize"...  they can kiss my tan ass!

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on June 27, 2016 at 8:23am

Nowhere near enough.  I'd like to put this on the air, Tommi.

Comment by Tommi Avicolli Mecca on June 27, 2016 at 8:32am

sure, feel free to use on the air...and great comment Amy...I agree. Church doctrine says one thing and Francis tries to peddle another...

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on June 27, 2016 at 8:41am

Thanks, Tommi. I'll let you know when. Most likely on the next program, starting this coming Friday evening.

Comment by Rosigami on June 28, 2016 at 5:53am

Considering the rate at which the Catholic church changes its doctrine it doesn't serm likely that it will ever ordain women or recognize same sex marriage, regardless of how empathetic the pope seems to be. If it is his goal to start to change attitudes, that is all well and good, but it is not enough. He cannot undo all the damage the church and its hierarchy have done the past 20 centuries with mere apuologies. 

Those who want the Catholic church to change are really on the wrong track. It won't because it can't. 

Comment by koshersalaami on June 28, 2016 at 7:30am
What the Catholic Church can't produce, at least quickly, is internal equality. What it can produce is a different attitude in the civil sphere. Here in my city in NC, the predominance of Black churches initially favored a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, Amendment One. Then an eminent pastor, head of the state's NAACP, came to town and reframed the issue as a civil rights issue. Most of those churches switched stands. That didn't mean that they would perform gay marriages in their churches but it meant they opposed government interference with the civil rights of gays. The amendment passed the state but failed here, The Catholic Church has a billion members and a Pope who is telling them to knock off targeting gays. As a Jew I can tell you that half a century ago we bore the brunt of institutional Catholic antisemitism and now we don't. If you think that having the biggest religious institution in the world stop demonizing you doesn't make a difference, you're not paying attention. It may not make much of a difference here but I wouldn't bet on it not making a difference in a lot of the rest of the world.

No, it is not enough. But don't kid yourself into thinking it's insignificant. Put another way, it may not be a huge deal if you're Catholic but it could be a much bigger deal if you're not.


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