Things That Matter

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.

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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Lauren Jauregui Says That the Imaginary Relationship That Fans Invented Between Her and Camila Cabello Was ‘Traumatizing’

Entertainment

Lauren Jauregui Says That the Imaginary Relationship That Fans Invented Between Her and Camila Cabello Was ‘Traumatizing’

Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for iHeart

Former Fifth Harmony member Lauren Jauregui is opening up about a traumatic time in her life that affects the way she approaches romantic relationships to this day.

On Becky G‘s En La Sala podcast, Jauregui revealed that the imaginary relationships that fans “shipped” between her and Camila Cabello made her “disgustingly uncomfortable”.

As a background, “shipping” is an internet phenomenon in which fans want two people (either real or imagined) to get together in a romantic relationship. On the internet, “shipping” usually consists of fans producing art or other creative works to support their imagined storyline.

Jauregui and Cabello were the centerpiece of such a fandom. Fans even had an imagined portmanteau for the duo: “Camren”. Fans would interpret everything–a stray glance, a lingering hug, them dancing on stage together–as evidence that they were secretly dating. But the two women were never in a romantic relationship.

Jauregui–who now identifies as bisexual–explained that the rumors upset her so much for a myriad of reasons. First, she didn’t have romantic feelings towards Cabello. “Camila and I were just very good friends at that time,” she explained to Becky G. “And we respected each other. When each other would talk, we would look at each other. We had love for each other. Like, genuine friendship.”

Number two, Jauregui was aware that Cabello was not queer, and that fact further complicated things.

“It made me feel like a predator,” she said. “Because of the type of clips people would put together and the type of stories people would write and the type of stuff–I was always the aggressor and I was always the one turning her. I was always the one who was the ‘masculine’ energy in the scenario and it made me very uncomfortable because that is not how I identify.”

Jauregui also explains that the rumors were hard for her because, at the time, she wasn’t ready to come out publicly. “I wasn’t even comfortable with telling my parents about it,” she said. “I wasn’t even comfortable telling myself that I was queer.”

All of the speculation around her relationship with Cabello had lasting effects on her confidence with women.

“To this day I have an issue flirting with girls because I don’t want to make them think that I’m trying to invade or anything like that,” she revealed.

Jauregui went on to say that she doesn’t usually talk about that time of her life in public because it was “so traumatizing” for her. “I just chose to ignore it at a certain point, because getting angry to [those fans] would mean that it was real and validated it more for them. So I was like, okay, then I can’t get angry or defend myself, apparently, because that just makes it more real [for them]. It just really f—– with my head.”

Lauren Jauregui’s revelation is just another example of how fans can sometimes forget that celebrities are people too. Unfortunately, Jauregui experienced trauma at the hands of people who probably thought the entire thing was just fun and games.

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Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

Culture

Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

Franco Origlia / Getty Images

In a historic move, Pope Francis comes out in favor of same-sex civil unions. The announcement is being heard by Catholics around the world. The Catholic church has been notorious for its anti-LGBTQ+ views and Pope Francis continues to push the Catholic church into the 21st century more and more.

Pope Francis called on the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a documentary.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film.

The pope’s declaration is a clear departure from the Vatican’s long held anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs. The Catholic church has long demonized and ostracized LGBTQ+ people because of who they are and Pope Francis has done a lot of work to change that rhetoric from within.

Pope Francis has advocated for rights for several marginalized groups during his time as pope.

Pope Francis became the first pope from Latin America when he was chosen in March 2013. In the past seven years, Pope Francis has called for compassion for migrants fleeing violence in their countries, advanced LGBTQ+ acceptance in the Catholic faith, among other things.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said in the documentary “Francesco,” which debuted at the Rome Film Festival. “I stood up for that.”

The importance of the statement is not what he said but who he is to say it.

Popes before Pope Francis have long upheld the archaic views against the LGBTQ+ community. Pope Francis is the first pope to speak directly to the Catholic people in favor of humanizing and protecting LGBTQ+ people and their dignity. The pope has called on the church and Catholics to welcome LGBTQ+ people and took the stance that homosexuality is not an illness. Pope Francis’ papacy is a welcomed change for LGBTQ+ rights activists.

Catholic politicians are praising the pope for modernizing the church bit by bit.

The declaration is not only historical, it is moving Catholics closer to accepting and embracing LGBTQ+ people in society. The pope holds a lot of power in moving the Catholic church and its followers. With declarations like this, the pope is pushing the church to reckon with its own teachings and take steps into the 21st century.

Some are wondering what this will mean for devout Catholics in government, like potential Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Coney Barrett has been tied to vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups. While she claims that she doesn’t know that the organizations hold these views, as a devout Catholics the word of the pope holds weight. Many are curious to see if the pope’s words break through and resonate with the judge.

You can watch the trailer for the documentary below.

READ: Pope Francis Condemns Capitalism and Populism in New Official Church Document

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