Pope Francis I looks out onto the gathered masses in Rome for the first time as pope. PHOTO: Reuters
Pope Francis I has been on twitter for almost a year now, and a number of his tweets have been about gays. And how they shouldn't be gay. Or how they shouldn't be able to adopt children. That an old Roman Catholic Cardinal is anti-gay is not surprising, but it is worth noting that an institution that has been lavished with attention and importance remains behind the times on a major social issue of our times, and shows no signs of relenting. Here is some of what Pope Francis I (then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio) has tweeted about gay people:
#CardenalMedina: los homosexuales son como niños sin brazos que hay que acoger / Y a nosotros siempre nos sobran manos para esos niños— Jorge M Bergoglio (@JMBergoglio) May 3, 2012
Translation: Homosexuals are like children without arms to receive / And we always have more than enough hands for these children.
So, Pope Francis I is ready to forgive and welcome anyone who can "grow some arms" and stop being gay. He could certainly be worse, but it's still a homophobic comment. On a similar theme:
Translation: Homosexuals are like children without an arm, and I have tried to be friendly with them. (Pope Francis' language is likely more poetic than the clunky translations I am offering, which are a combination of Google Translate and Babylon).
Again, the now pope (these tweets were prior to his being named pope) wants to reach gay people, but they lack a metaphorical arm.
This one goes from the biased to the ironic:
Translation: My support for Spain, we gather signatures against discrimination and against homosexuality. (The link goes to an article about gay marriage in Spain.)
Well, I guess it's all in how you look at things. I would say that being against homosexuality is being for discrimination. Not so, apparently, for Pope Francis I.
Cardinal Bergoglio was outspoken against the prospect of gay couples being allowed to adopt children, deploying the hashtag: #NoALaAdopcionEntreHomosexuales ("No on the adoption by homosexuals")
Sólo la iglesia debe protejer a esos niños, abrazarlos, mimarlos, darles calor, darles amor, darles... eh eh #NoALaAdopciónEntreHomosexuales— Jorge M Bergoglio (@JMBergoglio) February 17, 2013
Translation: Only the church should protect these children, hug them, pamper them, give them warmth, give them love, give them...eh eh
(What I translated as "give them warmth," Google Translate turned into "heat them.")
I know, I know. Of course the pope is anti-gay. Pope Francis I may be an excellent pope, I'm absolutely open to that. I also believe that discrimination should be pointed out, wherever it comes from, even the pope, and we should call it what it is.