Quote to Note: One Reason Pope Francis Is LGBTQ-Positive

Pope Francis

Why is Pope Francis more positive on LGBTQ issues than his predecessors have been? That’s a million dollar question, with no definite answer. But, on June 17th, Pope Francis revealed a hint toward an answer when he addressed the editors of The Catholic School, a theological magazine. In the course of his talk, he remarked:

“Each person is an immense mystery and brings with him his own family, personal, human, spiritual history. Sexuality, affectivity and relatedness are dimensions of the person to be considered and understood by both the Church and science, also in relation to socio-cultural challenges and changes. An open attitude and good testimony allow the educator to “meet” the whole personality of the “called”, involving their intelligence, feelings, hearts, dreams and aspirations.” [From GoogleTranslate]

Although this quotation does not mention LGBTQ issues specifically, it does show Pope Francis’ expansive views about sexuality. Unlike his papal predecessors who had a more strictly biological basis for sexuality and gender (see Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body), Francis shows that he understands sexuality in more interpersonal and psychological ways. Francis explicitly connects sexuality to affectivity and relatedness, acknowledging that sex and gender are way beyond who someone might sleep with, and are more connected to who and how a person loves another.

By acknowledging science and socio-cultural challenges and changes, he recognizes that sexuality is more complex than the simple biologically-based church approaches can acknowledge.

So one answer to the million dollar question is that Pope Francis is more positive on LGBTQ issues because he has a broader, healthier understanding of sexuality than previous popes have had–and also of many other current church leaders who still promote anti-LGBTQ attitudes and policies.

Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, July 5, 2022

5 replies
  1. Jim Gerardi
    Jim Gerardi says:

    In this single brief statement, Francis has made the case for a sweeping review and revision of the church’s theology of sexuality and related subjects, including the theology of womanhood. Human beings are more than the organs they were born with! Finally, in the person of this great man, the church awakens to that truth.

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  2. Adlyn
    Adlyn says:

    It’s good that Pope Francis recognizes the psychology and interpersonal nature of LGBTQ identities. However, being lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or intersex are all based on a strict biological basis as well. For example, a more accurate name for transgender is “brain gender” or “neurological gender” because how your brain is neurologically wired at birth is what decides a person’s gender, not psychology or interrelatedness. Therefore, even if the church were to stick with its strict biologically-based theology, it would still be required to change it’s teachings to reflect science. Given this, I think what really makes Pope Francis different is his willingness to make those necessary updates. This is in contrast to his predecessors, who chose to remain entrenched in old dogma because change was inconvenient or just for the sake of doing so.

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  3. Duane Sherry
    Duane Sherry says:

    The James Webb Space Telescope will begin releasing images of the universe next week, with the goals of finding out more about how the universe was formed and whether we’re alone (if there’s life on exoplanets).

    There is much mystery to creation, yet a desire to expand our understanding on the part of the scientists involved with the Webb Telescope.

    We should have the same approach to exploring gender and sexuality. We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to understanding what takes place in utero; what forms our gender identity and sexual orientation in the womb (the dawn of our creation).

    The earth is not a mere 6,000 years old as described in the Bible. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not lifestyle choices. We have much to learn. As NASA said to John Glenn before he went into lunar orbit, “Godspeed.” Let our journey begin!

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