One of the significant postings on my daily media feeds was from, of all sources: The Sun. It concerns “‘GOD LOVES YOU’ Pope Francis tells gay man ‘God made you like this and loves you like this’”.
The article begins: “The remarks were apparently made to a victim of clerical sexual abuse and are the most striking acceptance of homosexuality by the Catholic Church to date. POPE Francis has told a gay man that God loves him during a private meeting, it has been claimed. In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual. The comments are the most striking public acceptance about homosexuality ever made by a head of the Roman Catholic Church. The remarks were made during a private meeting at the Vatican between the pair, in which the Pope offered a heartfelt apology. Cruz was a victim of Chile’s most notorious paedophile priest Fernando Karadima”.
I recall five years ago being struck by Pope Francis stance on gay rights and include a stand out quote of his in my introduction to my book: “The Gay Conundrum”: “In 2013, Francis famously said, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with goodwill, who am I to judge?” when asked for his views on homosexuality, signaling a sea change in Catholic views on sexual orientation”. Obviously, I need to be circumspect when it comes to pontificating concerning what the Pope believes or doesn’t believe about homosexuality, but I am pretty sure his views would have been unthinkable only a few years ago when practicing homosexuality was considered to be sinful by the Catholic Church (and I understand still is).
What is significant is the remarks were made to someone who was a victim of child sex abuse inflicted by a Catholic priest and was to someone who the church sought to dismiss and vilify because of his accusations but now are owning up to – whether by necessity or genuine remorse, that is not the purpose of this article, and superficially at least the Pope should be commended for reaching out to this victim. Sadly, acts of pedophilia are by no means isolated in the Catholic church. Right now a trial is taking place in Australia of the Pope’s deputy, Cardinal George Pell, on historical sex offences. While a lot has come out in recent years regarding child sex crimes, one wonders how much there is still to come out. I should add, however, that this has little to do with the Pope’s recently announcing his views on homosexuality but the fact that he did so while apologizing to one of the victims is noted.
Whether the Pope was right or wrong to say what he said is for another discussion, although I have given my views on “is gay ok etc.” in my “The Gay Conundrum” and “Sexuality and sexual orientation” e-books. What I do feel is that from believing the Pope is a breath of fresh air in trying to reach out to the poor and marginalized, when he arrived on the papal scene, I am now less sure. It is not just his views on sexuality that I find bothersome but also his globalist, Marxist, syncretist tendencies. I can’t help feeling there is much happening in the dark at the top of the church, aside from pedophilia. I am not a Catholic and I disagree with certain aspects of Catholicism, but seeing the church being led further down the path of error is a concern and needs adding to the mix of momentous events happening in the world, and one wonders what next in the church, because whether we want to recognize it or not none of what is happening should be seen in isolation.