Do the Vatican’s views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage align with the Pope’s? The actions of Pope francis speak louder than his words.
The Pope’s visit to the United States this September was one of the most talked about, reported, and oddly enough, controversial events of 2015. Spending time in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia over the course of several days, delivering messages of hope, love, and compassion to hundreds of thousands of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The first Pope from the Americas certainly felt the love of his fellow North and even South Americans; one family made a lengthy journey from Argentina to Philadelphia to see the Pope, and after hearing about their saga, the Pope met with them privately. People lined the streets of the three East Coast cities, waiting for hours just to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father.
However, controversy has arisen as a result of Pope Francis’s visit as well. While in the United States, the Pope met with people privately at each stop along the way, with each private meeting rendering meaning and context and sending signals and implications to the public straight from the Vatican and the Pope himself.
Among the many private meetings that the Pope held during his trip, two in particular have garnered major discussion and controversy, and both surround the hot button political and religious issue of gay marriage. Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed because of her refusal to give gay couples marriage certificates in protest over the Supreme Court’s ruling that preventing gay people from marrying was unconstitutional, met with Pope Francis privately, according to her lawyer, and has now been confirmed by the Vatican, although the intimacy and intensity of the meeting has been disputed. This meeting bristled against many who believe that what Kim Davis did was discriminatory, and many felt the Pope’s meeting condoned and endorsed her behavior and her religious stance against gay people.
But it was announced Friday that the only private meeting held on his trip was with a former student, who is gay, and his partner. What does this say about the Pope’s views on homosexuality?
Well! If the Vatican keeps back-pedalling at this rate, they'll be endorsing same-sex marriage for all by Monday! Thanks, Kim Davis!
— Mark J Tompkins (@MarkJTompkins) October 2, 2015
At the same time, the handpicked Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, made a call to action for many Catholics to remain welcoming and compassionate to the LGBT community, cruxnow.com reported. And meanwhile, a Polish priest who held doctrinal duties at the Vatican who has come out as gay is being stripped of his authority and losing the position that he has spent a career working for, CNN reported. Monsignor Krysztof Charasma made the decision to come out publicly was “intended to put the topic before the Synod of Bishops,” a gathering of Catholic bishops from around the world that is meant to address topics that Catholic families across the globe deal with.
“The timing is not intended to pressurize anyone, but maybe a good pressure, in fact a Christian participation, a Christian voice that wants to bring the synod the response of the homosexual believers to the questioning of Pope Francis,” Charasma said.
So, where does the Pope fall into this larger discussion of Catholicism and same-sex marriage? Well, so far, he has remained relatively passive on his endorsement of either belief, but the actions of the Vatican and the Pope himself tend to speak louder than the words he and his representatives have or have not said.