GLN Letter to the Editor About Pope’s Charm Offensive

First published on October 23, 2015

Pope Francis

Now that Pope Francis is back home in Rome, it is revealed that he met privately with the poster child of anti-gay bigotry and discrimination, Kim Davis.
Facing a backlash to his well-honed liberal image, the Vatican pin-doctors are now saying the “meeting should not be seen as support.” But precisely by feeding Davis’s self-promotion media machine, he did just that, granting her belligerent anti-LGBT bigotry a dignity it doesn’t deserve.
Will LGBTs who, during his visit, fawned over Francis finally accept that this guy is a bait and switch artist?
One may safely conclude that when the cardinals chose Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina to lead the church, they wanted somebody who could reach out to the millions of lay members appalled by the criminal sex abuse scandals involving priests and bishops; they also wanted someone who could appeal to women and LGBTs tired of the stentorian anti-woman, anti-gay rhetoric of his predecessors.   
Francis has a great smile and makes the right welcoming gestures. He’s a public relations manager’s dream, everybody’s sweet granddaddy. Adept at reading his audience, he never mentioned marriage equality in his speech to Congress. But in Philadelphia, Francis affirmed the “traditional family” (as we all know, an anti-gay code phrase) while his attack dog, Archbishop Charles Chaput, ejected a transgender workshop from a supposedly gay friendly parish church and approved the termination of a teacher in a same-sex marriage.  The approved panel on homosexuality, featuring a man said to be celibate and his mother, became the official face of LGBT “family” in the U. S. Catholic Church.
So, despite the hype, let’s not forget that Francis fought marriage equality to the bitter end in Argentina.  He lost that battle but is continuing the war against LGBT equality by raising the banner of “religious freedom” (to discriminate), and and legitimizing the odious, publicity-seeking Kim Davis. He also is opposed to contraceptive birth control even in AIDs-ravaged Africa and stands implacably against a woman’s right to abortion on demand.
Pope Francis is old wine in a new bottle. Don’t be deceived.
Roger Fraser
Bob Schwartz
Andy Thayer

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