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Pope Francis Has Some Strong Opinions On Homophobic Politicians That Shocked Many Listeners

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, best known as Pope Francis, has sometimes surprised both the Catholic world and non-religious people worldwide with his views. Even though he remains a conservative at heart in issues such as the pro-life/pro-choice debate, he has been certainly more open than other successors of Peter when it comes to same-sex relationships.

Even though the Catholic Church has turned a blind eye to the struggle of the LGBTQ community, or even publicly denounced it as contrary to their beliefs, Pope Francis has been very open in his condemnation of hate speech and discrimination. His words are often controversial and have stirred discussion among conservatives who see him as perhaps too progressive for the Church, particularly following the iron fist rule of Joseph Ratzinger, the German Pope who was the right arm of another very conservative Pope in John Paul II. 

Pope Francis compared homophobic politicians to Adolf Hitler, perhaps the worldwide symbol of hate.

Credit: Franciscus / Instagram

The Pope said about anti-gay comments made by people in a position of power who are influential not only when it comes to public opinion, but potentially also in the drawing up and execution of exclusionary and discriminatory policies: “These are actions that are typical of Nazism, that with its persecution of Jews, gypsies, people with homosexual orientation, represent an excellent model of the throwaway culture and culture of hatred.”

This is actually a pretty direct comment coming from a Catholic leader, particularly considering the policy of no-intervention (a.k.a turn a blind eye) that the Vatican held during World War II, and for which Rome has been deeply criticized. 

He didn’t hold back: “When I hear a speech (by) someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936…”

Credit: Franciscus/ Instagram

So comparing anti-LGBTQ politicians is a BFD in a day and age when far-right policies are making a comeback and some elected officials have an anti-gay agenda is actually quite something. We can think, for example, of current Vice President and former Indiana governor Mike Pence, who has made a career of getting the ultraconservative Evangelical right vote. And yes, Pence might very well become the US President if impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump reach a damning conclusion.

In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro has said that a court ruling criminalizing homophobia is wrong, even if his country is one of the most dangerous for the LGBTQ community, particularly for intersex individuals.

It is important to note, however, that Francis is not being totally progressive: he is not approving diverse sexualities, but condemning discrimination. There is a big difference.

The Pope also said that any form of discrimination went against Christian values.

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This might seem like a logical thing to say about a religion that predicates loving each other like one loves oneself. However, orthodox interpretations of the scriptures are contradictory to this spirit, as they make same-sex relationships a sin. So Pope Francis is facing a theological dilemma by choosing human dignity over dated and sometimes discriminatory Vatican policies.

He also expressed his condemnation of the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks, particularly in Western Europe. He said: “The Jews are our brothers and sisters and should not be persecuted, understand?”

As CBS News reports: “A report by Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry showed that anti-semitic attacks rose 13% from 2017 to 2018. The highest number of incidents were reported in major Western democracies such as the United States, France, Britain and Germany.” These are very troublesome figures that echo a generalized sense of political and social crisis in which diversity is sometimes being crushed by hate speech.

And remember the Church has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

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Sexual politics in the Vatican have always been controversial, and even more so when cases of sexual abuse in the clergy hace resurfaced and lay authorities have made unprecedented moves, such as convicting George Pell, the third most powerful man in the Vatican, to jail in Australia. Pope Francis’ stance against sexual discrimination is a move in the right direction in terms of realigning the Vatican’s moral and ethical compass when it comes to sexual politics. 

He went further and denounced what is basically the ultraconservative agenda…yes, he mentioned climate change.

Credit: educationforconservation / Instagram

Francis can be a bit conservative on some issues, he is at times ruthless in his political commentary. As Business Insider reports: “In the speech, Francis also denounced police brutality, the world’s failure to punish environmental crimes, and the arbitrary use of preventative detention.” Wow.

He basically blasted the anti-immigration policies of Western countries and the lack of accountability that governments and corporations have when it comes to irreparable damage to the planet, such as the Amazonian fires that devastated an ancient ecosystem. Yes, he basically told politicians, “thoughts and prayers” are not enough if there is no action behind all the talk. 

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

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The Pope Tells Parents of LGBT Children That ‘God Loves Your Children As They Are.’

Pope Francis is, once again, making headlines for his progressive views on contemporary issues. Since his election to papal office in 2013, Pope Francis has largely been considered open-minded due to his comparatively laid-back stances on controversial topics like divorce, climate change, and LGBT issues.

On Thursday, the Jesuit publication American Magazine reported that Pope Francis recently told the parents of LGBT children that “God loves your children as they are.”

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According to the publication, the Pope was having a dialogue with the parent of a lapsed-Catholic gay child who had left the church because “he did not feel accepted in his diversity”. The woman, whose name is Mara Grassi, is the Vice President of an association called “Jonathan’s Tent,” which “welcomes and provides information and formation to L.G.B.T. Christians, their families and pastoral workers.”

Before describing her interaction with the Pope, Grassi explained her journey as a Catholic parent of a gay child to American Magazine. “For many years I was like a blind person,” she said.

“After I came to know that my son was homosexual, I suffered a lot because the rules of the church made me think that he was excluded from the love of God. Nobody helped me,” Grassi added.

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It was only when Grassi attended a Catholic vigil against homophobia and connected with other parents of gay children that she realized that “faith and homosexuality are not in opposition” and that “God loves my son as he is.” And according to this most recent report, the Pope’s opinion seems to be in accordance with Grassi’s beliefs.

Grassi told American Magazine that she told the Pope she wanted to “create a bridge to the church so that the church too can change its way of looking at our children, no longer excluding them but fully welcoming them.” It was in response to this statement that the Pope told her: “The church loves your children as they are because they are children of God.”

According to the same report, before he left, Jonathan’s Tent gifted the Pope a rainbow-colored T-shirt with the words “In love there is no fear” written across the front.

Considering the Catholic Church’s traditionally conservative stances on gay issues, the Pope’s statement was surprising to many. In the past, the Catholic Church’s stance has been that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”

The Pope himself also has a complicated track record on gay rights, implying that gay marriage “threatens” the “very institution of marriage”. However, he has also previously expressed sympathy and modest support for people in the queer community as well as their loved ones, saying “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”.

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Pope Francis Condemns People Who Are “Taking Advantage” of the Coronavirus to “Create Economic or Political Advantages”

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Pope Francis Condemns People Who Are “Taking Advantage” of the Coronavirus to “Create Economic or Political Advantages”

Pope Francis, usually one to remain largely apoliticfal, has recently made headlines for his second public appearance since the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm starting in March.

Last Wednesday, 83-year-old Pope Francis made headlines for publicly wearing a mask–a garment that has become quite controversial in recent months.

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After months of virtual appearances, Pope Francis addressed an audience of around 500 people in the San Damasco courtyard in the Vatican. According to the Associated Press, the audience members were sitting on spaced-out chairs to accommodate social-distancing guidelines.

The Pope was seen entering and exiting his vehicle wearing a white mask. He was also seen using hand sanitizer in between greeting visitors. It is worth noting that Pope Francis had one of his lungs removed when he was younger, likely making him a high-risk person. Although he is usually known for his love of engaging with crowds, kept his distance this time.

In his speech, the Pope urged everyone to use the unusual circumstances of the pandemic to work towards the common good. He then warned against people using COVID-19 to exploit their own agendas.

“Unfortunately, we are witnessing the emergence of partisan interests,” he said, skirting around calling out anyone specifically.

“For example, there are those who want to appropriate possible solutions for themselves, such as (developing) vaccines and then selling them to others.”

He chastised these anonymous bad-faith actors further, adding: “Some are taking advantage of the situation to foment divisions, to create economic or political advantages, to start or intensify conflict.”

This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has condemned politicians and profiteers.

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He previously publicly criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from the parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In 2018, Reverend Joe S.Vásquez of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement saying “forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values”.

In an interview with Reuteurs, the Pope expressed his support of the statement, saying he was “on the side” of the Bishop’s conference. “It’s not easy, but populism is not the solution,” he concluded.

A few days later, he wrote on Twitter: “We encounter Jesus in those who are poor, rejected, or refugees. Do not let fear get in the way of welcoming our neighbour in need.” Some saw it as a clear sub-tweet directed at the Trump administration.

This time, it’s worth wondering if Pope Francis’s decision to wear a mask means he’s subtly making his politics known, even if he isn’t making grand political statements.

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