Pope Francis, sitting head of the Catholic Church and forceful rhetorician, called on Sunday for the Catholic Church to “apologize” to those in the LGBT community. These persons have long been outcasts in the Christian world, being viewed as some kind of heinous sinners, etc.
Francis said, as CNN reports:
‘I repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that they must not be discriminated against, that they must be respected and accompanied pastorally.’
The “pastoral accompaniment” stands on the belief of many religious Christians that LGBT people’s identity is born out of some sort of spiritual malady on the person’s part. The Pope never denied in his latest remarks this basic premise of his faith.
Note that he references that he is “repeating” what the doctrine of the Catholic Church says. He did not do away with the familiar Christian antagonism towards LGBT people.
As Vox reports:
‘Francis was saying that he won’t “reject and condemn this person,” but that still leaves room for condemning the alleged sin of homosexuality itself. And the Catholic Church has continued doing just that: The Church states that while gay people “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” they are still “called to chastity” because “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”’
He did, however, attempt to temper the antagonism, which some, including a reporter who was questioning the Pope, have explored as having some link to the deadly violence in Orlando.
Indeed, while the right continues to force the term “radical Islam” on American understandings of hate and terror, including in the context of the shooting of over 100 LGBT people in Orlando, as Democratic leaders like President Obama have noted, the issue is much wider.
The issue that gives rise to mass murder like the Orlando massacre is hate, a hate which is peddled for votes by politicians on the right day in and day out. Donald Trump is only the latest and loudest figure to give grounding for the largely Christian right’s hate to spring off of.
Indeed, the focus of the Pope’s remarks, looking at them further, was the Christian concept of sin. He said, for example, “The Church must ask forgiveness for not behaving many times — when I say the Church, I mean Christians! The Church is holy, we are sinners!”
And obviously that isn’t out of place- he’s the Pope, but he is still using his position to improve the peace of Christians’ relationship with the LGBT community to the best of his ability.
Below you can watch a CNN segment about the Pope’s remarks.
Featured Image is via Screenshot from the Video.