Pope Francis, shown here at his Wednesday general audience, may have recently called a gay French Catholic to reassure him on his sexuality. (Image Source: Reuters)
Pope Francis has represented a stark change in general policy from the Vatican, and among Catholics everywhere. One of his first acts as pontiff was to wash the feet of a female Muslim prisoner. The Pope has begun long-awaited reforms of the Church's internal structure. His off-the-cuff marks about atheists and homosexuality have taken a stance more in line with the belief in social justice and the passionate message of the Gospel than maintaining the authority of the Church, a stark contrast with the two previous Popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Now, Pope Francis has shown his love of his flock in a personal way, by calling a French gay Catholic and reassuring him on his sexuality.
The Catholic man, one Christopher Trutino based in Toulouse, wrote a letter to Pope Francis, explaining his own turmoil of reconciling his faith with his sexuality. What brought him to write about the situation was the same-sex marriage debate that erupted in France, which ended with a same-sex marriage law being passed in the country earlier in 2013. Trutino was worried that he would be damned to hell for his homosexuality, after several right-wing and conservative elements that were against same-sex marriage were backed by French clergy.
To Trutino's surprise, he received a phone call on August 29 from Pope Francis himself. The conversation was very brief, but Pope Francis made it clear that Trutino should keep the faith. More importantly, though, the Pope said to Trutino, "Your homosexuality, it does not matter. We must remain brave, we must continue to believe." The Pope ended the call asking Trutino to pray for him, and that he would do likewise. Trutino was shaken, not just by the Pope's personal reassurance, but the nature of the call, saying it was very human.
The Vatican, for its part, denies there was a conversation between Trutino and Pope Francis. Still, there is something amazing about this Pope in seeing this, even if not true, and even when considered he also recently called a rape victim to comfort her. It is a sad sight that church leaders rarely trying to aid, comfort, and reassure people without having to peddle the religion in the process. It takes humility and dignity to selflessly aid those who are hurt and troubled, and as Pope Francis continues to demonstrate that, we may have a turning point in how Christians believe.