Pope Francis speaks well of LGBTQ but…

By Herbert Vego

POPE Francis, according to a news report, has tapped an American Jesuit who runs an outreach ministry for LGBTQ to be among the participants at a major Vatican gathering of bishops in October this year.

He’s Rev. James Martin, who has long been a prominent advocate of greater inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the Catholic Church.

In case you don’t know yet, LGBTQ is an acronym for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer”.

There are other bishops, priests, nuns and laypersons who are also in the Vatican’s list of participants. Some of them want to see concrete steps to promote women to decision-making posts as well as a “radical inclusion” of the LGBTQ community in the church.

He agrees with Rev. Martin in decrying “unjust” laws that criminalize homosexuality.

The Pope has made clear, however, that he would not break away from the official Catholic teaching banning any sexual act outside of marriage between a man and a woman, calling it “sinful”.

Ironically, the Pope would not tear down Vatican’s “wall of misogyny” that has been the bone of contention between him and nuns who think they have been “deprived of any significant role in the Church’s leadership, doctrinal development and authority structure”.

A devout Catholic and a former president of Ireland (from 1997 to 2011), Mary McAleese has been at the forefront of Irish women urging Pope Francis to lift the Church’s ban on female priesthood because “it deprives women of any significant role in the Church’s leadership, doctrinal development and authority structure”.

During her term as Ireland’s president, McAleese has steadfastly questioned the credibility of a Church “where women are invisible and voiceless in leadership”.

In reaction, the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), a global group that advocates female priesthood, said in a statement, “Patriarchy will not have the last word”.

While promising to put more women in senior positions in the Vatican, Pope Francis has only succeeded in dodging the issue. To this day, the Pope justifies its adamance because “Jesus chose only men as his apostles.”

That may lead into the conclusion that women are less desirable than homosexual priests.

In a past column, this writer recalled how modernistic Catholic women worldwide badgered Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, to integrate women into priesthood, and to fire homosexual priests.

Prior to his resignation in 2013, Pope Benedict had lamented the dwindling number of “manly men” entering the seminaries.

For in his inaugural address in 2005, he had said: “My real program of governance is not to do my own will, not to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, together with the whole Church.”

Was it because the “whole Church” would not listen that he resigned eight years later?

The official Church explanation was that he was ill due to “persistent sleeping problem”.

Doubtful, since it would take him nine more years from his 2013 resignation before Pope Benedict died on December 31, 2022 at age 95.

In the forthcoming Synodal Assembly in Rome on October 4 to 29, 2023, guest participants from the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) are expected to question once again the Church’s “prejudice” against women.

The group believes that the Catholic Church is guilty of misogyny by its refusal to integrate women into priesthood. It reminds us of the “sexist treatment of women” by the early church fathers.

St. Augustine (354-450 AD) blamed Eve for the “original sin” because Adam could not have eaten the forbidden fruit without her encouragement.

St. John Chrysostom (347-407 AD), Bishop of Constantinople, called woman “an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil for  man.”

Imagine today’s priests saying the same words today. Today’s women would curse back.