While I’m not surprised that Pope Francis is against marriage equality, I didn’t expect him to need a distemper shot on the subject:
Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement, the gay
rights activist who was the first to legally marry his partner in Latin
America sent out a jubilant tweet. Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio
“cannot be pope,”wrote Alex Freyre, because “he lost his papabile status the instant I married @josedibellow. Same for any other Argentine priest.”
Wednesday, Freyre was proven wrong. When the cardinals elected
Bergoglio pope, they made history in two ways: They chose the first
Latin American pope, but they also chose the first pope from a country
where same-sex marriage became legal on his watch.
focus has often been on social justice issues, Bergoglio is a strong
defender of the church’s position on the marriage issue. His militancy
in the campaign against Argentina’s “Equal Marriage Law” in 2010 was so
tone-deaf that manyobservers
credit him with helping the law pass. But the mistakes his church made
in combatting the law—and the tack it has taken since—may suggest the
new Pope Francis will be savvier about guiding the church in opposing
marriage in countries headed in that direction.
Argentina’s top bishop during the fight over the marriage law. One of
the major turning points in the debate came when a letter he’d written
to a group of nuns explaining opposition to the law was made public. The
rhetoric seemed so out of touch with Argentina’s largely secular
population that it marginalized the church even further in the debate.
The law was “sent by the Devil,” Bergoglio wrote in July of 2010:
not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive
proposal to God’s plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that’s
just it’s form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse
and deceive the children of God… Let’s look to St. Joseph, Mary, and
the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this
moment… May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.”
Yikes. I wonder if Bergoglio confused Argentine President Cristina Kirchner with Flip Wilson’s Geraldine character:
I should close with our ritual gay marriage shout-out: Fuck yeah, Argentina.