January 17, 2015 at 12:12 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Pope Francis: Families threatened by ‘ideological colonization’

Catholic, gay news, Washington Blade

Pope Francis on Friday appeared to suggest during his trip to the Philippines that same-sex marriage threatens the traditional family. (Photo by Jeon Han; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

LGBT rights advocates have criticized Pope Francis over comments he made during his trip to the Philippines that appear to suggest same-sex marriage threatens the family.

The pontiff on Friday said during a rally for families at a Manila mall that “ideological colonization” seeks to “destroy the family.”

“Let’s not lose the freedom of the mission that God gives us, the mission of the family,” said Francis. “And so our people have reached a moment of maturity in their history to say ‘no’ to any political colonization. As family we have to be very, very sagacious, very firm, very strong to say ‘no’ to any intent of ideological colonization towards the family.”

Francis earlier in the day appeared to reiterate this message during a Mass at Manila’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

“Proclaim the beauty and truth of the Christian message to a society, which is tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family,” said the pontiff during his homily. “As you know, these realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture.”

Francis’ comments seem to counter his previous statements that indicated the Vatican’s more moderate approach towards gays and lesbians since he became pontiff nearly two years ago.

The Argentine-born pontiff in July 2013 told reporters who asked him about the reported homosexuality of a man he appointed to oversee the Vatican bank that gay men and lesbians should not be judged or marginalized. An Italian Jesuit magazine less than two months later published an interview with Francis during which he said the church has grown “obsessed” with same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception.

Francis last November demoted American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who is an outspoken critic of marriage rights for gays and lesbians and abortion.

Catholic bishops who attended a meeting on the family a few weeks earlier released a draft document that states those with “homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect and sensitivity” and should not face “unjust discrimination.”

The document said same-sex unions are not “remotely analogous” to “God’s plan for marriage and the family.” It also criticized “international pressure” to support nuptials for gays and lesbians.

The bishops released their document slightly more than four years after Francis, who is the former archbishop of Buenos Aires, described Argentina’s same-sex marriage bill as “the work of the devil” before President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner signed it into law.

“Once again Francisco, who is (Jorge) Bergoglio, insulted lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people,” said Esteban Paulón, president of the LGBT Federation of Argentina, in a statement. “He allocated the recent advances throughout the world — that resulted from the struggle and the work of LGBT organizations — to an alleged ‘colonial’ trend that does nothing more than promote hatred and xenophobia and discrimination against sexual diversity.”

Jonas Bagas, a Philippine LGBT rights advocates, criticized Francis on his Twitter page.

Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA, a group for LGBT Catholics, in a statement said her organization is “disturbed and disappointed” by the pontiff’s comments.

“Especially in light of the more welcoming and sensitive tone on LGBT issues that the Pope has taken over the past two years, it is disconcerting to hear a phrase that is a hallmark of extreme right-wing religious leaders and politicians coming from the leader of the Catholic Church,” she said. “We hope that these recent remarks do not represent a resurgence of anti-marriage equality activity from the Vatican and the world’s Catholic bishops, just a short time after the Pope seemed to discourage such activity in the United States and elsewhere.”

Roughly 80 percent of the Philippine population is Catholic.

The Philippines is among the countries that supported a resolution against anti-LGBT discrimination and violence the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted last September.

Anti-LGBT discrimination and violence remain serious concerns in the country, especially after the death of a transgender woman in October 2014 who was allegedly murdered by a U.S. Marine. Church officials remain opposed to any effort to add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to a proposed national anti-discrimination measure that has languished in the Philippine Congress for more than a decade.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

5 Comments
  • This isn't a "resurgence" of anti-marriage equality views from the Pope. The pope has always been anti-gay. Even his famous "who am I to judge?" quote was qualified with "as long as gays seek the Lord" but once we stop seeking the Lord, all bets our off. It's just the mainstream media and the pope's gay fanboys Andrew Sullivan and Elton John have been so desperate for change in the Catholic church that they constantly put words into the pope's mouth he didn't say and make him out to be more radical than he actually is just because he occasionally says common sense things about the poor and the environment.

  • “Proclaim the beauty and truth of the Christian message to a society, which is tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family,” said the pontiff during his homily. “As you know, these realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture.”
    (Pope Francis' latest example of anti-LGBT demonization gibberish masquerading as heavenly homily.)
    —–
    "It's just the mainstream media and the pope's gay fanboys Andrew Sullivan and Elton John have been so desperate for change in the Catholic church that they constantly put words into the pope's mouth he didn't say and make him out to be more radical than he actually is…"
    –Brooks
    ***************
    Spot on, Brooks.
    ˙
    Francis is the worst kind of hate-mongering demagogue. He intentionally peddles sweetness and love sound bites to his fawning news reporters– while he subtly, but persistently advocates anti-LGBT hate to Catholics and prelates far and wide.
    ˙
    As to the fawning of Sullivan, John, Duddy-Burke and others… well, 'desperate for change' is no excuse for ignoring Francis' now-obvious anti-LGBT PR strategy. Nor is it an excuse for elevating Francis' phony 'love-for-LGBTs' with faint criticism.
    ˙
    Indeed, advancing, de facto, anti-LGBT PR duplicity by any world leader is nothing anyone ought be proud of.
    ˙

  • Henk Heithuis died in 1958 in his early twenties, tormented for years by the sexual abuse of Catholic priests. After he tried to expose his abusers, he was castrated in a Catholic hospital by a Catholic doctor under the advice of a Catholic psychiatrist to”cure him of his perverse sexuality.” Der Spiegel,May 4th, 2012

    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/gesellschaft/missbrauch-katholische-kirche-in-niederlanden-liess-jungen-kastrieren-a-829437.html

    In the Netherlands alone it is estimated that since 1945 between 10,000 and 20,000 children have been sexually abused by Catholic priests enabled by their prelates. Der Spiegel, Dec 17, 2011

    http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/untersuchungsbericht-zehntausende-missbrauchsfaelle-in-hollands-katholischer-kirche-a-804379.html

  • He's a lot better then RATZI nger who UNexcommunicated a holocaust denier, Bishop williamson.

    The pope is playing to the issue that the Phillipine govt has a plan in place to distribute free condoms. STDs of all kinds are rampant there, and of course the more children the more minds to pollute

    Still the pope has moved to near center on the issue of gay people. RATZI unexcomming a holocaust denier, that german pope acted like he was glad that gays, Jews etc were mass murdered in the death camps while his sex starved priests raped children all over the world BTW RATZI was born in 1927( OR POSSIBLY 1928

    The other issue is Pope Francis didng get the vote he needed at the conclave. There will be another one fall 2015 and hopefully he wll have trashed many of the hard liners @#$%^ appointed by RATZI

    HIs "I'm considering civil unions for gay people has resulted in a bill being presented (tabled in the parliament) for that purpose. I have no info on the chance of it passing. Italy and tiny monaco are the only west european states without relationship recognition for gay couples, there is a majoritty of the nations in W Europe with marriage equaltiy Big standout as missing = Germany probably related to pandering to E Germans now united into one Germany by conservative "christian" democrats

  • Stanley James Yet all the same policies are still in place, LGBT employees are still being discriminated against in Catholic schools, and Pope Francis invited the radical extremist bigot Tony Perkins to his meeting to unite Christians to bash gay marriage recently.

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