Pope Francis I
The Catholic Church has refused to move forward, instead electing another Pope who, like his predecessor, is against gay marriage and gay adoption.
On Wednesday, white smoke was released from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel and the bells of St Peter’s Basilica were rung to announce the election of a Pope by the 115 cardinals gathered at the Vatican.
Their choice was 76-year-old Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina.
He’s the first Pope to come from the Americas and chose to be named Pope Francis I.
Instead of taking the Church into a more enlightened era, the Catholic princes chose yet another elderly and conservative Pontiff.
The election of Francis also suggests that the Catholic Church will continue its sustained campaign against the rights of gay men and women around the world.
While Pope Francis has been praised for his humility and has said that “men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect and compassion,” he is firmly opposed to same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by gay parents.
When a bill was introduced in Argentina in 2010 to legalise same-sex marriage and gay adoption, Francis said that these efforts were satanic, describing them as a “‘move’ of the Father of Lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God”.
He also stated that same-sex marriage “is a destructive pretension against the plan of God”.
“[T]he Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family,” he wrote to monasteries in Argentina about the bill.
“At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God.
“At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts,” Francis railed.
The Church’s efforts to halt the legislation from being passed were ultimately unsuccessful.
The Equally Blessed Coalition, a US lobby group for LGBT Catholics, congratulated Cardinal Bergoglio on his election as Pope Francis but acknowledged that “some of our new Pope’s past writings will be profoundly discouraging to LGBT Catholics” and described these writings as not “worthy of a pope, or, for that matter, anyone in pastoral ministry”.
The group said in a statement: “If he truly desires to share the Gospel with all people, Pope Francis will come to realise that many of those created in God’s image are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
“We pray that as Pope Francis begins his new ministry, God will grant him the courage to listen to the voices of all of God’s children, especially those who have been oppressed, marginalised and denigrated by the church in the past, so that the Pope might better embody the love and mercy about which he speaks so eloquently,” said the Equally Blessed Coalition.