Homophobia has its roots in religion. The Catholic Church, under Pope John Paul II, deemed that “homosexual tendencies” are “objectively disordered” and go against God’s law.
The Church sees gay people as having some type of disorder.
Pope John Paul II wrote in 1992 that gay individuals “do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial.” But the current Pope, Pope Francis has different views.
When asked about gay priests in 2013, he said, “Who am I to judge?” He also called on Catholics to treat LGBT people with dignity and respect, according to Religion News Service.
Pope Francis again widened his stance on homosexuality by telling a gay victim of clerical sexual abuse that God’s loves us just way we are, even if we’re gay, and that we should love ourselves too.
Pope Francis told Juan Carols Cruz, a key whistleblower in Chile’s clerical sex abuse scandal, that his sexuality “does not matter.”
“You know Juan Carlos, that does not matter. God made you like this. God loves you like this. The Pope loves you like this and you should love yourself and not worry about what people say,” is what Cruz said the Pope told him, in an interview with CNN.
The Vatican, however, has declined to comment on the conversation.
Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke told CNN that “We do not normally comment on the Pope’s private conversations.” The Pope’s comments on homosexuality are by no means a sign of full equality for homosexuals in the Catholic Church.
However, it is a step in the right direction. Pope Francis is by far the most progressive Pope to date. But if God made homosexuals “like this” why would he make them “intrinsically disordered”?
I guess we’ll have to wait for the Pope’s answer to that.
In the meantime, Rev. Robert Gahl, a moral theologian at Rome’s Pontifical Holy Cross University, gave the Associated Press his own interpretation of Pope Francis’ comments.
“What the pope was saying is, ’God loves you and made you just as you are, and therefore you should accept yourself as you are while struggling to live according to the Gospel,’” Gahl said.
Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry which advocates for the equality of LGBT Catholics applauded the Pope’s remarks, but wished they were made publicly.
“It would do a lot better if he would make these statements publicly, because LGBT people need to hear that message from religious leaders, from Catholic leaders,” he said.
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Advocates say that the Catholic Church’s current stance on homosexuality leaves gay Catholics with a sense of guilt and inadequacy.
Cruz, however, told the New York Times that many of his gay friends told him they felt “relieved” after the Pope’s comments to him.
“Did he really tell you that? I feel so relieved,” he said one of his friends wrote him. Another said, “I’m in the gym and I feel like crying.”
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