Another Perspective

Homophobe of the Year?

A remarkable award for a "new tone."

By 12.22.13

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Time magazine and The Advocate, the leading gay magazine, have each named as their Person of the Year a man who described gay marriage as a product of Satan and gay adoption as a form of child abuse.

When he was a cardinal in Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio declared that same-sex marriage is a literal diabolical effort of “the Father of Lies” (i.e., the Devil) to “destroy God’s plan…and deceive the children of God.” He said that gay marriage discriminates against children “in advance,” depriving them of “their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God.”

What prompted the cardinal was a July 2010 bill in Argentina that proposed giving same-sex couples the opportunity to marry and adopt children. If approved, said Bergoglio, the bill would “seriously damage the family.” Such thinking was an “error” that stood in direct violation of “the natural law and the law of God.” The cardinal prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead his people out of “the darkness of error” and to “defend us from being enchanted by many fallacies that are tried at all costs to justify this bill and to confuse and deceive the people of good will.”

At stake, said the cardinal, was “the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts” and the very survival of the human family. That family, he said, included “father, mother, and children.”

Imagine the outrage: Who was this raging religious fanatic? Who was this intolerant homophobe? Talk about a right-wing whack-job!

Could you imagine such a gay-basher being even considered Person of the Year by Time or by America’s leading gay-rights magazine? Could you possibly conceive of liberals being head over heels for such a bigot?

Well, such a man is Pope Francis. He is Time’s Person of the Year, The Advocate’s Person of the Year, and liberals extol him as one of them. They do so even as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, as pope, hasn’t changed any of the Church’s teachings on these issues. He has changed only the tone.

In one instance that ecstatic liberals have blown out of proportion and publicized to high heaven, Pope Francis made a comment about not judging. “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” asked the pope, uttering words few Catholics would dispute. Indeed, every Catholic who judges homosexuality a sin wants gay persons of goodwill to seek the Lord.

In the liberal mind, however, where emotions drive conclusions, and where leaps of logic are the operating norm, such statements equate to tacit approval of redefining marriage as it has stood for millennia and in blatant defiance of Biblical and Natural Law. In the Illinois legislature, Francis’ “Who-am-I-to-judge” statement actually prompted liberal Catholic lawmakers to pass a bill legalizing gay marriage. I’d say I’m stunned, but I’m not—not with liberals. Never.

More recently, the pope’s apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, which sparked uproar over his statements on economics, included little-noticed passages affirming traditional marriage. In keeping with the new tone, the passages weren’t exactly explosive, but they were there. “The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds,” states the pontiff in one passage. “In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society….Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensable contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple.”

The message from Francis was clear: Marriage and family are not merely products of feelings and emotional satisfaction to be reconstructed and modified at society’s will or whim.

Since assuming the chair of Saint Peter in March, Pope Francis has reaffirmed the core Church teachings that liberals badly want him to change (including on abortion). And yet, he has still garnered the esteem and admiration of gay activists and secular progressives who hope to remake him and his Church in their own image.

At this blessed time of year, hope apparently springs eternal for liberalism. It is the time, providentially, of the Christ child and Holy Family. How ironic. It was to the Christ child and Holy Family that Cardinal Bergoglio looked to spare his people of what he deemed a Satan-inspired push for gay marriage and gay adoption. “We look to Saint Joseph, Mary and the Child Jesus,” he implored his flock in July 2010, “and ask that they fervently defend the family in Argentina at this particular time.”

It’s remarkable that liberals and gay activists would crown that man their Person of the Year. Gee, maybe this new tone thing is working after all.

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About the Author

Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative.