Picking the pope
I am responding to the Christmas issue of the Windy City Times viewpoint by Kim Flowers ( "The Pope?" ).
My take on The Advocate naming its person of the year Pope Francis is that it was done because of prudence. The Advocate, I think, recognizes there is a lot of hope being promoted not only among LGBTs, but also the wider community. I believe that is what motivated The Advocate's intention in this matter.
Like Kim, I recognize that the pope has not changed any anti-gay and -woman dogmas. Will that happen in the future or not, nobody really knows.
Within the worldwide Catholic base this tonal change has given permission for the discussion to begin within the Church, and because of this, yes, I believe dogmatic change is only enhanced by the pope's current position.
I support The Advocate's "Person of the Year" award to the pope because he has changed the tone and dynamic for this discussion to take place within the church. Like a pebble in the pond, you have no idea what the ripple effect will be.
Contrary to Kim's view, I believe this is significant. By the same token I understand how LGBT's of good will can have various opinions and can differ on this topic. Because we are in the holiday season I focus on hope, which, in my opinion, is where The Advocate is coming from. My question to Kim is: Does she recognize the difference between Pope Francis and his two predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II?
Rainbow Sash Movement
Pope and glory
The Advocate named Pope Francis ( formerly Buenos Aires archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio ) its "Person of the Year." Maybe the cover was meant for an April Fool's edition, as writer Kim Flowers suggested ( WCT 12/25/13 ).
In his native Argentina, Bergoglio vigorously opposed marriage equality, saying among other things that same-sex marriage was spawned by the "father of lies," a reference to a supposed devil. ( The pope lost big time when the parliament passed legislation, making Argentina another victory for national, not state-by-state, marriage equality. )
The pope was reportedly "shocked" that the government of Malta might approve adoption by same-sex couples, and urged a bishop on the island nation to condemn such adoptions.
In Melburne, Australia, Catholic priest Greg Reynolds was defrocked and excommunicated by Pope Francis for advocating for the ordination of women and gay marriage.
Indeed, the pope did call for changing the subject away from gays, abortions and women's' ordination; but nothing of substance has changed in negative church doctrine for either women or gays. In fact, the pope has ruled women's ordination not a fit subject for discussion.
We should reject the notion that someone who can rescind the church's stance on gay sex and the ordination of women, and chooses not to do so, is a figure worthy of admiration.
Although adulation of religion and its leaders is an American media past time, the fawning over Pope Francis also demonstrates something profoundly disturbing: in the struggle for a better world, women's and LGBT rights are still not taken seriously. The Advocate should not have contributed to Francis-fawning.