Ben Meyler | Writer
March 19, 2021
On March 15, Pope Francis reaffirmed that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex marriage, and it was a difficult day for many Catholic members of the LGBT+ community. In earlier years the Pope has said that everyone should “have a right to a family,” but his idea of a “family” is between a man, woman, and children. The Pope has given lots of false hope to many people because of the fact that he has yet to say anything directly negative about same-sex couples until recently. Even though same-sex relationships are viewed as sinful and are frowned upon by the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has supported the community and previously said that God loves all of his children and added, “If [gay people] accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?”
This news was a surprise for a majority of people who have kept up to date with the Pope but for some, it was no surprise at all. “I was under the impression that the Pope supported same-sex marriage but unfortunately it’s not that big of a surprise to me that he doesn’t,” junior Ava Stuhr said.
The Pope’s words were a huge letdown and many people feel as if they were betrayed by someone they loved and respected. The Pope said that same-sex unions are “not ordered to the Creator’s plan.” He said that acknowledging those unions is “illicit” and that God “cannot bless sin.” As someone who is so high up and celebrated, his words have a massive influence and he is teaching intolerance and discrimination. It’s a shame that he broke his previous statement regarding homosexuality because the Church leaves many to be abandoned by their family and communities. The Church serves as an outlet for many LGBTQ+ Church members, and all they want is to feel like equals and loved by the Church. However, it is important to remember that the Vatican, or the Pope, is not God.
The Pope’s comments regarding same-sex marriage were very controversial considering the fact that we are living in such a progressive society. “I feel like this is the weirdest timing to redact a statement like that because we have been progressing and raising so much awareness about oppression recently,” junior Kirra Schnell said.
The number of active Catholics becomes dramatically lower every day. The percentage of Catholics in the US has stayed remarkably steady for decades until more recent years. In only 8 years from 2007-2015, the number of Catholics decreased by 3 million people, and today that number is much higher. The Pope should build up the Church and strengthen the faith, not wreck the Church and destroy the faith of millions. The majority of Catholics leaving the church are liberal-leaning on social issues and now identify as atheist, agnostic, or have no religious affiliation at all.
Pope Francis has let down many Catholics and made millions of people upset. A family is people who love each other and it doesn’t matter if they are a man, woman, nonbinary, or other, because we are all human and deserve the same respect and opportunities. It’s disappointing to hear about the Pope’s beliefs and one can hope that this doesn’t influence other Catholics that were on the edge about same-sex couples. There are millions of Catholics that have varying beliefs and views on the world and what one man believes shouldn’t change the rest.