Pope Francis Greeting Visitors
Pope Francis has captured many progressives' hearts and minds with his seeming embracement of the LGBT community.

In 2013, newly-elected Pope Francis was asked about his opinions on gay priests. In response, Pope Francis famously said, "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?"

That response stands in pretty stark contrast with his predecessors' views. What's more, it was the first time a pope had used the word "gay" in public. Later that year, LGBT magazine "The Advocate" named Pope Francis their Person of the Year for positive remarks about the gay community and a seeming change of attitude from the papacy.

Since that time, Pope Francis has spoken positively about the LGBT community often. And just recently, he met with a pro-LGBT priest who is a frequent target of conservative Catholic criticism. But is he the ally many believe him to be?

Pope Francis Meets Father James Martin

Father James Martin is an American Jesuit priest who has devoted much of his ministry to advocating for LGBT Catholics. He is the author of "Building a Bridge", which lays out ways in which the Catholic Church can be more welcoming to the LGBT community. Last week, he held a highly-publicized meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

!#https://twitter.com/JamesMartinSJ/status/1178663907084455936 #!

Anti-LGBT Catholics Bristle

These progressive views put him at odds with official Church teachings and Father Martin has been the focus of strong criticism from the Church's more conservative wings (his book got him banned from lecturing or appearing at numerous Catholic seminaries and universities). Cardinal Raymond Burke went as far as to call Father Martin a "celebrity priest" whose teaching is "not coherent with the Church's teaching on homosexuality." 

Within these traditional circles, as you might imagine, there was outrage when it was announced that Pope Francis would be holding a personal meeting with Fr. Martin.

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia used a noticeably sharp tone in a statement released prior to the meeting: "Due to the confusion caused by his statements and activities regarding same-sex related (LGBT) issues, I find it necessary to emphasize that Father Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims."

Meanwhile, Catholic journalist Damian Thompson put the blame on Pope Francis for agreeing to the meeting in the first place, accusing the pontiff of being "recklessly partisan":

Support From the Top

However, for many Catholic LGBT allies and advocacy groups, the meeting was cause for celebration - an explicit refutation of the criticism Fr. Martin has been subjected to by other Catholic leaders. It was a signal that Pope Francis is willing to side with the progressive wing of the Church over the conservative factions which have long dominated the conversation.

New Ways Ministry, which advocates for LGBT members of the Catholic faith, called the occasion "a day of celebration for LGBTQ Catholics who have longed for an outstretched hand of welcome from the church that they love." For his part, Fr. Martin agreed that this meeting was a sign of the Pope's interest in extending an olive branch to the LGBT community and a positive step toward inclusivity.

The Most LGBT-Friendly Pope Ever ?

So does Pope Francis actually support LGBT rights? The popular pontiff has certainly done more to support the LGBT community than any of his predecessors. But what does this support amount to?

Francis has undoubtedly made more pro-LGBT comments than any other pope. He has spoken out in favor of pastoral care for transgender Catholics. He also met with a transgender man who was rejected by his own church in Spain. He's repudiated the Church for a seeming "obsession" with gays and lesbians. And he's said the Church needs to treat gays and lesbians with love and affection.

If all you did was read these statements, you could be forgiven for assuming that the Catholic Church has turned over a progressive new leaf. But despite the pope's words, in reality, not much has shifted on the ground. Catholic adoption agencies are still fighting to protect their "religious liberty" when it comes to gay adoptions. Catholic schools continue to fire teachers for being gay. And let's not forget that gay and transgender individuals are still barred from holding any leadership positions in the Church.

But perhaps most importantly, same-sex relationships continue to be viewed as a threat by Catholics - even Pope Francis. In a 2015 interview, the pontiff voiced clear opposition to gay marriage, saying that "the family is threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage."

So despite the positive signs, there are many who remain skeptical that Pope Francis really plans to accept the LGBT community into the fold. Nice word and meetings are a step in the right direction, but until the Catholic Church changes its official catechism it's all just lip service, say critics.

What do you think? Does Pope Francis really want the Church to change its views on homosexuality, or is there more to the story?

40 comments

  1. William Thompson's Avatar William Thompson

    This Pope took the name of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis devoted his life to rebuilding the church. My office wall has a crucifix of St. Francis of Assisi that was blessed by the previous Pope and gifted to me by a priest friend.

    I have 3 things representing my balance. A statue of David representing the physical, a painting of Einstein representing the mind and the crucifix representing the spiritual.

    I feel that the current Pope is not living up to his charge and has been sucked into the movement started by Obama and his fundamental transformation and the “browning of America”. These type of movements are best left up to Hod!

    Politics has its place but this Pope is not a politician and should not conduct himself as such. He needs to get back to the basics of religion, clean out the church closet and appeal to the people who are tithing in his church.

    He is losing head count by dabbling in politics and pushing for a one world order!

    1. Beth K's Avatar Beth K

      Popes throughout the centuries have given their opinion about the morality or immorality of various governments throughout the world. Several decades ago, it was for "the conversion of Russia". Other regimes have been criticized in the past.

      Pope Francis has nothing to do with US politics, and is certainly not ruled by "Obama". Catholicism is worldwide - it is not a US phenomena, nor are the majority of US citizens Catholic. The US is not a Catholic country - officially nor in practice.

      Many Catholic countries have more secular laws than the US, or even more secular than Pope Francis suggests.

    2. Adam Kr's Avatar Adam Kr

      The pope is doing a Great thing and we should all be following his lead and work as a LGBTQ servant to god I think we should praise him and support him !!

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        'adam cur': Praise and support the unnatural, disgusting, and sinful lifestyle of many of the LGBTQxyz-ers? The lifestyle that the Scriptures expressly condemn? The lifestyle that the holy, loving, forgiving Father God hates? Come on . . . . pull the other one! Get a life, man!

        1. TedTalksStuff (@TedTalksStuff)'s Avatar TedTalksStuff (@TedTalksStuff)

          judge not others?

          1. flugo's Avatar flugo

            'tedtalkscrap': You'd save embarrassment to yourself by doing your home work. Your scholarship and intelligence is blatantly lacking.
            Jesus Himself encouraged 'judging' in John 7:24. And He approved of 'rebuking' (which entails 'judging') in Luke 17:3. Intelligent people discern, discriminate and judge. Sorry about you.

    3. Ken Klaas's Avatar Ken Klaas

      Amen. Agree totally.

    4. Mark Zanghetti's Avatar Mark Zanghetti

      The only way to "clean out" the Church closet is to allow people to come out of it! I can almost guarantee that there are LGBTQ+ people in lay leadership in many parishes lead by more progressive Priests and they manage just fine and with all the scandals you can't tell me their is no gay clergy that would be far better off if they could just come out of the closet. I posit the church would be better off as well.

  1. flugo's Avatar flugo

    How deplorable the pope's position on the LGBTQxyz-er issue! Instead of confronting, in love, the sinful, unnatural, immoral lifestyle of practicing sexual misfits, he is fraternizing with them. Hardly can he be called a representative of the Christ!

    1. Adam Kr's Avatar Adam Kr

      You must not be reading from the same bible , I have NEVER seen anything stating God stating anything but to love All, as I tell everyone should something bother you it is plain and simple Do not partake in it PERIOD but let everyone be with the ones they want as long as everyone is OVER 21 and a willing participant. How others live is NOT for us to comment or control

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        'adam cur': Shame on you for posting blather on this site, yet claiming to know the Bible!
        Jesus advocated 'judging', John 7:24; and 'rebuking', Luke 17:3. By His own actions how much 'love all' did He demonstrate cleaning out the temple a time or two? How much 'love all' did He show by calling the religious leaders 'vipers', 'blind', 'false teachers'? Do your homework,man!

    2. ZobVA's Avatar ZobVA

      The content of your post demonstrates your abject hypocrisy. With your "LGBTQxyz-er" slur, you show your human prejudice rather than Christ's love. This is typical of modern day right-wing politics, using Christianity as an excuse to hate.

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        'gob of ?': 'hate'? You, again, are way off the page with your blather of generalizations! I 'hate' dangerous, hurtful, sinful, and disgusting LIFESTYLES, not 'hate' the perpetrator. Is this too difficult for your to discern? This is how objective, understanding, and intelligent people respond to the countless ills in our society.

  1. Dragon Priest's Avatar Dragon Priest

    OH Please grow up. Most Catholic Priests are already gay and still do serve. The church knows this and even allows them "gay hollidays".

  1. Rev. Howard Slayton's Avatar Rev. Howard Slayton

    People need to lighten up. For the first time in a long time, we have a progressive Pope. Sex is a natural part of life. Maybe if Archbishop Burke and some of these others got laid once in a while they might not be so up tight about these issues. Seriously Burke needs stop judging others and smoke some weed, and he’d feel a lot better about himself.

    1. Agnus's Avatar Agnus

      Rev Howard.

      Did you read the Bible at all prior to being a Priest? Are you sure you're serving the correct one? Your god is totally outside the RC Church?

      For a start - about this homosexuality thing - it's all very clear - read Romans 1:26

      [26] For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. [27] And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. [28] And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;"

      http://www.drbo.org/chapter/52001.htm

      and THIS explains a bit more about Christ.... whom St John refers to as "The Word made Flesh"

      http://oneinmessiah.net/TargumMemraTheWordOfGod.htm

      https://juchre.org/articles/word.htm

      As to Canonised Saints - those Mystics that bore the Holy Stigmata and existed for years only eating one Consecrated Eucharist a day and absolutely nothing else...Hear what THEY say about the mess the RC Church is in.

      http://www.communityofhopeinc.org/Prayer%20Pages/Saints/marie%20julie.html

      http://propheciesii.blogspot.fr/2005/08/precision-prophecies-of-st-hildegaard_05.html

      https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/1846sallette.asp

      About Priestly Celibacy being removed - Our Lord remarked THIS to St Bridget of Sweden referring via Our Lady of the perils awaiting a future Pope who tried to abolish Priestly Celibacy....

      "And therefore, through God’s preordinance and his judgment, it has been justly ordained that priests who do not live in chastity and continence of the flesh are cursed and excommunicated before God and deserve to be deprived of their priestly office. But still, if they truthfully amend their lives with the true purpose of not sinning further, they will obtain mercy from God.

      Know this too: that if some pope concedes to priests a license to contract carnal marriage, God will condemn him to a sentence as great, in a spiritual way, as that which the law justly inflicts in a corporeal way on a man who has transgressed so gravely that he must have his eyes gouged out, his tongue and lips, nose and ears cut off, his hands and feet amputated, all his body’s blood spilled out to grow completely cold, and finally, his whole bloodless corpse cast out to be devoured by dogs and other wild beasts. Similar things would truly happen in a spiritual way to that pope who were to go against the aforementioned preordinance and will of God and concede to priests such a license to contract marriage.

      For that same pope would be totally deprived by God of his spiritual sight and hearing, and of his spiritual words and deeds. All his spiritual wisdom would grow completely cold; and finally, after his death, his soul would be cast out to be tortured eternally in hell so that there it might become the food of demons everlastingly and without end. Yes, even if Saint Gregory the Pope had made this statute, in the aforesaid sentence he would never have obtained mercy from God if he had not humbly revoked his statute before his death.” The Revelations of St Bridget of Sweden Book VII Chapter 10

      http://www.saintsbooks.net/books/St.%20Bridget%20(Birgitta)%20of%20Sweden%20-%20Prophecies%20and%20Revelations.html

      The Kiss of Judas Iscariot and the betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGxiOhFHoOg

      Vatican II & Novus Ordo Prefigured in the Old Testament https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7T4zMgXKhk

      The World is about to End. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_8sIq50gsI&t=1333s

      Science has proved Christ to be God The blood of all of the Eucharistic Miracles corresponds exactly with the blood that is analysed upon the Turin Shroud.

      Dr Castanon PHD-Faith&Science https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laYq30h9R4c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PJ8BORx1p8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ojyZX5_iyU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6iQGomNqTw

  1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

    Only fools follow the Christian churches. People are waking up and the pope is trying to bring the church to this awakening...Will it save the church??? Personally I don't care. This is one church that has a trial of blood behind it...

  1. Chris's Avatar Chris

    Considering how many Catholic priests have molested young boys in their charge, it's really interesting to see how vehemently Catholics denounce homosexuality. Almost like they're over-protesting to distract from the truth.

    1. ZobVA's Avatar ZobVA

      Chris, you make the fundamental mistake of conflating homosexuality with pedophilia. It's been demonstrated repeatedly that statistically far more pedophiles are heterosexual than homosexual. Being gay does not mean that one has a propensity for child molestation.

  1. Rev. Joseph's Avatar Rev. Joseph

    Rev. Joseph ULC,

    I pray he set them straight the entire Bible is devoted to proper moral behavior and no where in it is homosexuality accepted or approved of.

    King James Bible 1611 Version

    Lev. 18.22 Thou shalt not lie with mankinde as with womankinde: it is abomination. Lev. 20.13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lyeth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shalbe upon them.

    Levi. 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman it is an abomination.

    Verses from the Septuagint

    Lev. 18:22 And thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman, for it is an abomination.

    Lev. 20:13 And whosoever shall lie with a man as with a woman, they have both wrought abomination; let them die the death, they are guilty.

    1 Cor. 6.9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

    Definitions

    Effeminate: Greek 3120 μαλακός, malakos, a. GK:3434 [3119]. Fine soft; (n.) male prostitute, a male homosexual who is the passive sex partner :- soft [3], effeminate [1]

    I know he should be well read but just to jog his memory, I pray he stands for the Lord God and in a polite manner lets them know they are not ordained in the faith of Jesus or God if they promote the alterative life styles of the LBGT.

    Sincerely,

    Rev. Joseph WEsquivel in Bonds to the word of God. 'Amen"

    1. flugo's Avatar flugo

      Excellent! The truth, clearly outlined from the Word of a loving, righteous, forgiving God. We need more of this persuasion.

      1. Albert A Hernandez's Avatar Albert A Hernandez

        I concur.

      2. ZobVA's Avatar ZobVA

        Yes, God is loving, righteous and forgiving. So why are you not exhibiting any of those things?

    2. Albert A Hernandez's Avatar Albert A Hernandez

      Thank you, Rev. Esquivel. Not everyone is a Bible believing Christian; not everyone is a Christian. While GOD is a GOD of love, HE is also a GOD of judgment. This is something the World does not grasp. As Christians, we can only preach and teach the Word of GOD. After that, the choice is theirs. This includes the "Pope" [the Pope is not the "Holy Father"].

      Albert A. Hernandez, D. Div.

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        Excellent!

    3. TedTalksStuff (@TedTalksStuff)'s Avatar TedTalksStuff (@TedTalksStuff)

      cherry picked nicely.. how very sad you all must be..

    4. ZobVA's Avatar ZobVA

      Rev.. Joseph Esquivel - for every cherry-picked verse of Scripture that you can quote in an attempt to support your cognitive bias against gays, I can quote ten verses of Scripture -- especially words of Christ -- that tell you to love everyone, that as you judge so shall you be judged. And here is your problem: For Christians, we are ALL sinners saved solely by Grace. You have done absolutely nothing to deserve your salvation. You are as sinful as anyone else. And yet you go out of your way to point your finger at others in an attempt to point out how sinful they are. This is the very definition of hypocrisy. You -- just like every other Christian -- are not perfect, just forgiven. You have ZERO ground to stand on to judge others. Jesus lambasted the religious hypocrites of his time, calling them a "nest of vipers." BTW, loving is actually easier than hating; it requires less energy.

  1. Rev.Liz's Avatar Rev.Liz

    And on the first day, Man created GOD.............

  1. Albert A Hernandez's Avatar Albert A Hernandez

    "Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods? But My people have changed their glory for what does not profit. O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be very desolate, says the Lord. For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns---broken cisterns that can hold no water." JEREMIAH 2:11-13.

     That's a very strong statement from the Bible. But America has done exactly that; changed its God. It has replaced GOD with homosexuality, politics, drugs, lust, immigration, war, greed, and all those things that are contradictory to GOD's principles and laws. Witchcraft and spiritualism has invaded the homes of millions and taken center-stage in Hollywood movies. People believe more in the devil than in GOD. It has allowed the god Allah to infiltrate our American culture. The devil is on the loose. Don't believe this? Those mass shootings were caused by pure evil and not some mental health reject that you've been lied about. These are not just someone's opinions; these are hard cold facts. And that severe weather that is destroying homes and lives is not "mother nature." It's GOD reminding us who is in charge, who controls the World and the Universe. By the way, the term "mother nature" is a pagan term, for those of you who don't know any better. GOD controls the wind, the rain, the heat the cold. One little puff from GOD and we have tornadoes and hurricanes. So prepare yourselves, it's not over yet. Those morons vying for the presidency are only making things worse, they have sold their souls to the devil. Have you heard their lies? Our country has gone insane!
    
      That's my sermon for the day.
    
       ALBERT A. HERNANDEZ, D. DIV.
    
    1. flugo's Avatar flugo

      Excellent!

    2. TedTalksStuff (@TedTalksStuff)'s Avatar TedTalksStuff (@TedTalksStuff)

      thanks for the laugh.. more humorous posts please..

    3. ZobVA's Avatar ZobVA

      Wow. That wasn't a sermon; that was a hateful whacked-out right-wing political post. Go worship your true God, our p*ssy-grabbing President.

  1. Michael Cope Cope's Avatar Michael Cope Cope

    Well, like abortion and gun control... People are looking at the wrong end of the horse. The LMONPQ people have no one to blame but themselves. Just like the .... Poor Unhealthy eaters. Smokers Drinkers Drug users Thrill seekers Speeders Text while driving And progressives. Jesus ate with the poor. Talked with sinners and mabey even laid with prostitutes.

    I think we ALL should focus on our own families and not dwell on others and their issues. The list of people above will always be with us. If they ask for help the help them but do NOT despise them. We all are one bad choice from any of them

  1. Onyeocha Nnadiozi's Avatar Onyeocha Nnadiozi

    Ave Maria

  1. Shudo Yakushin's Avatar Shudo Yakushin

    i still state love thy fellow man, be kind and compassionate, we are all God’s children. All spiritual leaders have repeated this. For you angry people here , ask: what would Buddha do? what would Jesus do ? what would Mohammed do ?

    1. flugo's Avatar flugo

      'should yakkin': What would Jesus do?
      He would denounce sin, condemn hypocrisy, preach repentance, iterate God's original plan for marriage: man and woman. And, He would lovingly forgive the repenting sinner.

  1. Ken Klaas's Avatar Ken Klaas

    Amen and sell said! AMDG

  1. Randy's Avatar Randy

    The Bible the Bible the Bible!!! What if it’s wrong!! What if it was changed to control people. Doesn’t God live within and doesn’t he communicate with us? Go within for answers... but only if you can let go of that book. Had to laugh at the statement of God hating certain lifestyles!! God IS Love. He can’t hate!!!

    1. flugo's Avatar flugo

      'windy randy': 'Go within for answers . . .' you say. You gotta be kidding me!
      Jeremiah 17:9 says man's heart is deceitful, desperately wicked. In Proverbs 14:12 we find man's reasoning, inclinations may appear ok, but death is the result. Countless others follow your line of reasoning, but Matthew 7;13 says the majority are doomed. You're an embarrassment to yourself. If you'd done your homework, you'd found many references to God's hatred: His wrath John 3:36; Psalms 10:31 hates the wicked; Proverbs 6:11-19; Leviticus hates sin; and many others. God's Son, Jesus, is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. NO one comes to the Father but by Jesus.

      1. Albert A Hernandez's Avatar Albert A Hernandez

        Amen Brother. We can only preach the Word to the world, but the choice is theirs. Hang in there. Good work!

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