Apropos our conversation Yesterday…

I ran across this piece on the Book of Face by Fr. James Martin (one of countless Catholics the Greatest Catholics of All Time demand to be driven from the Church in their pursuit of the Small Pure Sect of their dreams). He writes of the Holy Father (aka Public Enemy #1 to the GCOAT):

Pope Francis has done more for LGBTQ people than any other pope in history. But he does so step by step.

Two years ago today I met with him at the Vatican to speak about LGBT Catholics, and he asked me to continue my ministry in peace. Often, however, people don’t see these small steps, which add up to a sea change in the church.

Here are 11 important steps, since his election as Pope in 2013. Let’s look at them chronologically.

1. When asked about gay priests in 2013, Pope Francis uttered perhaps the five most famous words of his papacy: “Who am I to judge?” With those words he also became the first pope to use the word “gay” so publicly. It was a “revolution of tenderness,” to quote the Pope, in one question. https://www.ncronline.org/…/pope-homosexuals-who-am-i…

2. During his pastoral visit to the United States in 2015, he with his former student, Yayo Grassi, and Mr. Grassi’s same-sex partner. https://www.nbcnews.com/…/pope-francis-met-gay-couple…

3. In his 2016 apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), he wrote that when ministering to LGBTQ people, we should “before all else” affirm their human dignity and the church’s desire to oppose violence against them. https://www.vatican.va/…/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap…

4. In 2016, on an in-flight press conference returning from Azerbaijan, Pope Francis encouraged a ministry of “accompaniment,” saying that Jesus would never tell a gay person, “Go away from me because you are homosexual.” https://www.vatican.va/…/papa-francesco_20161002…

5. On an in-flight press conference in 2018, returning from the World Meeting of Families Ireland, the Holy Father said that LGBT children should never be kicked out of their families. His comments may have saved many young lives, and prevented many young people from becoming homeless. https://apnews.com/…/pope-francis-ireland-ap-top-news…

6. His 30-minute meeting with me in the Apostolic Palace in 2019, was listed on his official public schedule and accompanied by photographs from the Holy See’s Press Office, a sign of his support for LGBTQ ministry. https://www.americamagazine.org/…/pope-francis-meets…

7. In 2020, while defending traditional church teaching on marriage as between a man and woman, Pope Francis nonetheless signaled his support for legal protections for civil unions in a documentary film. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/what-pope-franciss…/

8. Also last year, he offered his support for Sister Mónica Astorga, an Argentine sister who had worked with transgender people for 14 years, saying, “God, who did not go to seminary or study theology, will repay you abundantly.” https://www.thetablet.co.uk/…/pope-sends-message-of…

9. In March, he appointed Juan Carlos Cruz, an openly gay man and a clergy abuse survivor and advocate, to a high-level Vatican commission. In 2018, Mr. Cruz had earlier reported that Francis had told him “God made you this way.” https://apnews.com/…/pope-francis-chile-sexual-abuse-by…

10. In June, he wrote a warm letter on the occasion of the Outreach LGBTQ Catholic Ministry webinar, and also affirmed his prayers for this “flock” of LGBTQ people. https://www.americamagazine.org/…/james-martin-lgbt…

11. In a conversation last month in Slovakia, he encouraged Jesuits to reach out pastorally to “homosexual couples,” not just individuals. That marks a significant change in the Vatican’s approach. https://www.laciviltacattolica.com/freedom-scares-us…/

Taken together, we can see how Francis’s approach to LGBTQ people is one of pastoral accompaniment, moving slowly, with limits, avoiding the dramatic statements that some people may crave and setting limits. His focus is always on the pastoral care of individuals, defending them against violence and supporting those who ministry with them, in ways that would have not been countenanced by his predecessors.

Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has shown himself to be a pastor to LGBTQ Catholics and their families.

It’s almost as though these two guys believe the mission of the Church is to express the love of God by the love of neighbor and not define itself by constantly seeking enemies to purge, exclude, harry, mock, and oppress.

As I have said a million times, there is nothing at all mysterious or confusing about Francis. He is an open book. His whole pontificate can be summed up in the words, “He has preached good news to the poor.” His whole deal is evangelization of the marginalized; not only the economically marginalized, but those who have been marginalized by the Greatest Catholics in All of Time and Space.

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19 Responses

  1. I’m sorry Mark; I love you man, but this is a rather pathetic list, and if you consider it to be “progress”, then it also serves as a rather severe indictment of the Catholic Church. The things on this list fall under the category of “basic human decency”, so its not something anybody should be getting kudos for.

    You want to impress me? Then lets talk about Church policy; I’m not talking about doctrine, just policy. Make an official ruling that people cannot be fired from Catholic institutions simply because of their sexual orientation. Make a rule that forbids staff at Catholic schools from targeting, harassing and bullying their LGBTQ students. Don’t just give me a statement from the Pope exhorting parents to do the bare minimum for their LGBTQ children, give me actionable items regarding things that the Church has actual control over.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am glad with any advances from the Catholic Church in regards to the LGBTQ community, but at the same time, I feel like the Pope treating LGBTQ people with respect and dignity shouldn’t be a newsworthy headline, you know?

    1. @3vil5…

      Thank you for writing this. I haven’t been up all that long, and was only beginning to think it through. You nailed it exactly.

      Right wing Qhristians, filled with the Love o’ Qhrist, love to point out that whatever they say about gay people, whatever legal remedies to their issues with us that they pursue, just look at them Muzzies throwing gay men off buildings. “At least we’re not as bad as the Muslims.” not that they wouldn’t be if they could, so we should be grateful. It is not, however, quite the ringing defense of Qhristian morality and Qhristian love that they think it is.

      The “progress” that Mark is touting for the church? well, yes, it’s progress, of a sort. But all it really is, is an admission that for 2000 years, they have treated us as diseased and dangerous pariahs, sinners that “cry out to Heaven for vengeance”, threats to everything good and holy— and not to mention, blaming men like me and my friends for their 1000 year old (at least) problems with their hands being down the cookie jar’s pants. As I have pointed out to Mark many times on these very pages, some of them may have been homosexual, many of them may have been pedophiles, many of them may have been sexually confused, some of them may have been heterosexual, and most were certainly predatory. But without a doubt, every single one of those 5% of the priesthood (that we know of) WAS A CATHOLIC PRIEST, and every single one of them was faithless to his vows to his god, and corrupt to the core, handling the Sacred Host while they were in a state of mortal, unrepentant sin.

      And now it’s all very special, because they are not treating us as badly as they used to.

      If that bar were any lower, they could have a beer with the tumble bugs.

      And now, Mark, we can have our usual discussion about how I hate the church and only want to punch it. That’s all right. I’m used to it.

    2. @3vil5triker,
      Yah, I was thinking the same thing. Tomorrow I suppose we’ll have an article praising the Church for no longer endorsing the enslavement of pagans.
      Again, any progress is good. But the Church has a long, long way to go, and is clearly in no hurry to get there.

      – joel

  2. @ a yahoo

    That’s what I love about MAGA cultists. So concerned about others, social justice, and uplifting everyone.

    To answer your question, though, my life is great. But somewhere, right now, there is a gay or a trans kid considering killing himself. There is a Polish parliamentarian considering passing a law to make being publicly out and fighting for your rights in Poland a crime.

    and I won’t mention the extreme likelihood of a new story about a man of god molesting a kid. That would be impolite, so I won’t.

    And how is your life today?

    1. Good detective job finding out who I am, considering you either had to go back to my old comments or you’re hoarding personal data. I had no idea you care so much.

      Let’s stop and consider what you said two days ago:
      “And let us not forget what I have become increasingly convinced of over the last 48 years of activism: so much of this comes from some of the worst people on earth, the homo-hating homos that infest Qonservative Qhristianity, all of them trying to deflect attention from themselves, exorcising their real demons will pretending to exorcise my completely imaginary ones.”

      Projection has been proven to be wrong time and again. When it does occasionally happen, it reinforces confirmation bias despite being generally untrue. I would expect with your 48 years of activism to be acutely aware of how this hurts people on “your side” and how projection is absolutely not common in any way

      But let’s play this to your tune. With the alarming frequency that you repeat mentions of pedophilia in the Church, and how you are rabidly fervent about bringing this topic up so often, with your near constant accusation of Cdl. Pell before he was acquitted (and even afterwards), it really sounds like you’re trying to deflect attention from yourself.

      1. @ a yahoo

        Oh, honey! What are you nattering on about now? I had absolutely no idea whom you might be, or that I have ever encountered you before. Your idea that any garden variety, anonymous bigot on a minor internet blog is worthy of investigation, let alone hoarding of personal data, is positively ADORABLE.

        Or its a bad case of QPC: Qhristian Persecution Complex.

        But now that you mention it, I NOW do have an idea of whom you are, though I certainly don’t remember your screen name. Your “logic” about projection— more projection, whataboutism on steroids, and deflection, which Mark refers to as MAGA cultism— clued me in. Unfortunately, You’re not so important outside of your persecution narrative as you imagine yourself to be.

        As for the “alarming frequency” with which I bring up the subject of pedophilia in the church— well, I do bring it up, probably far more often than anyone in the Church does. But sure, let’s look at that.

        Talking about alarming frequency, let’s see: IN FRANCE ALONE, THERE HAVE BEEN 330,000 victims since 1950–that we know of. 330,000 victims in ONE COUNTRY- and those are just the ones the church admitted to. 330,000 victims, divided by 71 years, divided by 365 days per year…

        And you have slightly less than 13victims of a priest, every single day of every single month of every single year since 1950.

        Did I mention it was one EVERY TWO HOURS just since 1950?

        Oh! BTW, just this very minute, who you probably are did come to me. Banned from at least two Catholic blogs for rabid bigotry. TS or RWC. Glad to know my mind still works, although slowing down.

        You have a nice day dearie. And contemplate why you are not as angry about it as I am.

      2. Oh, so you have no idea who I am. I didn’t get banned from any online community. Unless you’re trying to deflect here again.

        The fact that you’re bringing up pedophilia all the time says clearly that you’re a closeted pedophile.
        By your own logic, accusation is confession.

  3. Honestly?

    As a woman I’m surprised about all of the indignation. Holy cr*p. Testosterone. (sigh)

    That’s why I tried to start a conversation about whether or not humanity is getting better a few weeks ago. Crickets.

    My husband is almost s quarter indigenous (updated ancestry report yo) and his Colombian grandmother was a quarter black.

    As I have pointed out before the Church (the people) might be a bunch of idiots, but it’s because we (the church) are constantly transgressing the law to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    To quote our honorable host: Grow …

    Okay I won’t quote it.

    And I still love you. I love love and support my absolutely fabulous co-worker at the Catholic school where I work who is totally unmistakably gay.

    1. @Taco

      Humanity is not getting better, but sometimes we make the right choices, as individuals, and as groups. Sometimes the effects of those choices linger for a while, and light prevails over darkness. Sould are saved in the processs too.

      And even you don’t agree, you can still have a hug, you endearing Teilhardian Universal Salvationist :p

      1. I think we are getting better.

        I don’t know much about Teilhard other than the fact that my Dad hated him. (My father has thousands and thousands of books in our Catholic library–including our illustrious host.)

        –He also hated the fact that Mexican babies could be born of border hoppers.

        He went along with the plan that I should be forced to get married at 19 so they could save face. Thanks be to God that the hot Latin romance is still hot.)

        Sometimes I savor the idea of having been given the opportunity to go to a Catholic university. –Or any good university.

        I don’t have a degree.

        But I read. (It’s like oxygen for me.)

        And I pray (it’s like oxygen for me)

        There are other ways to educate yourself. I would like to think that the Holy Spirit has something to say in my Catholic education.

        Pope Francis makes what arrived at by Braille concrete.

  4. It’s the atheists who want their voodoo god who will wave his wand and make all the bad people go away. (stomp)

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