I just read that the Vatican issued a correction on the Pope’s title – it’s not Pope Francis I, rather – simply Pope Francis.
Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected as the new pope, the new Vicar of Christ. He will take the name Francis I, in honour of my favorite saint, Saint Francis of Assisi. Very little is known about the Argentinian Cardinal so we had to do a little Wikipedia research to find out what he stands for and how we should expect him to run the 1.4 billion Catholics around the world.
I had a bit of an issue with Pope Benedict XVI because of his stance on homosexuality and gay marriage. It looks like I’m going to have the same issue with Pope Francis.
Here’s what Pope Francis’ stance on gay marriage and its passage in Argentina:
“Let’s not be naive: this isn’t a simple political fight, it’s an attempt to destroy God’s plan.”
“This is no mere legislative bill. It is a move by the father of lies to confuse and deceive the children of God,” said then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
The archbishop of Buenos Aires is a Jesuit intellectual who travels by bus and has a practical approach to poverty: when he was appointed a cardinal, Bergoglio persuaded hundreds of Argentinians not to fly to Rome to celebrate with him but instead to give the money they would have spent on plane tickets to the poor. He was a fierce opponent of Argentina’s decision to legalise gay marriage in 2010, arguing children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother. He was created a cardinal by John Paul II on 21 February 2001.
On Unwed Mothers:
“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptise the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage. These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalise the church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptised!”
Bergoglio has affirmed church teaching on homosexuality specifically that homosexual actions are immoral.
He opposes same-sex marriage, and unsuccessfully opposed legislation introduced in 2010 to legalize same-sex marriage in Argentina, calling it a “real and dire anthropological throwback”. In a letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, he wrote:
“Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
On Gay Adoption:
In this context, Bergoglio is also opposed to adoption by same-sex couples, arguing that it threatened the “identity [...] and the survival of the family: father, mother and children”. He stated that “children [...] are discriminated against in advance depriving them of human growth that God would be given to a father and a mother”.
Although I agree that you will never have the chance to become pope if you are pro-gay marriage or pro-abortion, what would happen if someone who is elected pope then turns around and say, “I will support gay marriage.”? Will the college of cardinals have the power to strip the pope off his title?
It’s just interesting to note that he is very traditional when it comes to Catholic teachings and doesn’t seem to be a reformer at all. Pope John Paul II was a reformer. Let’s see how this all turns out….