LGBTQ news outlet Advocate.com published an essay entitled “During Easter, Some Religious Leaders Display Ungodliness,” in which writer John Casey criticizes Christian leaders who used this year’s Paschal season to promote conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and to encourage defiance of social distancing guidelines. One leader he singled out in particular is Rev. Tony Spell, head of the Life Tabernacle Church, near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Spell has a record of anti-gay messages.
But Casey, who is a is a public relations professional and an adjunct professor at Wagner College, New York City, and a frequent columnist for The Advocate, used a sunnier kind of spotlight for another religious leader: Pope Francis. Casey concludes his essay with the following:
“I’m a lapsed Catholic, but for some reason, seeing the image of Pope Francis delivering a special message about the coronavirus pandemic, by himself, one evening last week in the middle of a rainy, dark, and lonely St. Peter’s Square filled me with hope. It was beautiful, simple and safe – a powerful example that faith leaders, like Spell, should be following.”
To which I say, “Amen!”
—Francis DeBernardo, April 24, 2020