Pope Francis’ Backing of Same-Sex Union is Too Little Too Late – Liberal Article

Pope Francis’ Backing of Same-Sex Union is Too Little Too Late – Liberal Article

It is not shocking that Pope Francis has come out in support of same-sex unions.

He has always hinted at his support for same-sex marriage but this is the first time he has supported the union as the Pope. He stated that ‘Homosexual people have a right to be in a family’ in the documentary film Francesco premiering this year. 

This is a step forward for the modernisation of the Catholic Church, but I think his words have come much too late.

Famously, God doesn’t change His mind. Homosexuality has consistently been upheld as ‘objectively disordered’ in the Catholic Church; homosexual unions have never been permissible. Since all Popes represent an all-powerful, all-knowing Being, they should not contradict each other. 

In light of this, it is hugely significant that the Pope is disagreeing with his predecessors. He has taken an important step forward by countering the condemnation of gay people in the Church. 

But this approval should have come years ago.

Although I am an agnostic, I am neither anti-Christianity nor anti-religion. I believe it is a fundamental part of human nature to form groups and the Christian faith has clearly pioneered many great charitable initiatives and provided solace and purpose for millions of people.

However, the Catholic Church has consistently denied the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ people. In view of this, it is not an institution that can have a place in the modern world. 

The Pope’s acknowledgement does not go far enough. Simply recognising the legal protection of civil unions under the law does not right the wrongs committed by the institution. Just this week the US Supreme Court seem likely to rule in favour of an adoption agency that would not work with same-sex couples. The Church’s stance implicates the rights of people in a secular country. Their unmoving view has negative and unfair consequences far outside of their own jurisdiction.

Pope Francis’ support may reflect a shift in the ideology of the Catholic Church but it falls short of taking any decisive action. In a world that should be moving closer to equality, the Catholic Church is falling further and further behind. Continuing down this course, it will render itself irrelevant.

Indeed, outside of LGBTQ+ rights, it is no secret that inequalities and crimes run through the Catholic Church. Child abuse, gender inequality and financial scandal are just a handful of wrongdoings committed by the Church in this century. The long list of misdoings committed by the Church makes the Pope’s inaction even more striking. The Church can no longer sit by and let inequality and injustice run rife. 

As the UK government frequently reminds us: we are living in unprecedented times. The world is changing quicker than any of us could have anticipated and structural inequalities have consistently been brought to light during this pandemic. In this context, Pope Francis must do more than rightly acknowledge the equal treatment of LGBTQ+ people. 

The Pope must take decisive action to ensure the fair treatment of all people. Failing this, the Church will not, and should not survive in a changing world.

Written by Guest Liberal Writer, Hannah Rashbass

Point of Information

Society is Progressing Beyond the Catholic Church – A Labour Response

I’m in complete agreement with Hannah on this topic. Whilst it is good to see the Pope finally provide public support for same-sex couples, this move has come far too late. As Hannah says, if the Church continues on this trajectory, progressing at an alarmingly slow rate, it will cease to exist.

The only positive thing about this move is that it will provide comfort to many who are conflicted between their connection with the Catholic Church and their human nature. Other than that, it is a reminder of how far behind the rest of society the Catholic Church really is.

Even as late as 2019, the Pope was quoted as saying that “homosexual tendencies are not a sin, but acting upon it is”. This mode of thinking is entirely incompatible with the tolerance that we have come to expect in the 21st century.

I will accept that this is a step in the right direction for the Church. However, there is still a very clear message being made: ‘we may concede from time to time, but bigoted rhetoric will continue to demonise people who we deem as undesirable’. These damaging ideologies still infiltrate society as a direct result of the Church’s influence. It’s time for that to stop completely.

The Catholic Church has been over-exerting their influence on personal matters for centuries. This behaviour is both irresponsible and immoral for an institution that has over 1.2 billion members worldwide because it reinforces outdated concepts of sexuality in society.

This is why I’m struggling to be overjoyed by what Pope Francis has said. I am relieved for the people that have previously suffered at the hands of the Church’s condemnations. But at the same time, I won’t forget how much damage has already been caused. I also won’t forget the fact that they continue to categorise homosexuals as sinful. For many, this is a soul-crushing condemnation of their character.

To make matters worse, as Hannah says, this scornful behaviour exists within an institution where child abuse is rife. It’s unbelievable that those inside the Vatican peddling bigotry and homophobia aren’t lost in a maze of their own hypocrisy.

Written by Senior Labour Writer, Jack Rolfe

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A Bizarre Move – A Conservative Response

In responding to the question, “Is this a good move?”, I am torn between two arguments:(1) I am an earnest proponent of gay rights: I simply have no idea why it is anyone’s business to outlaw what consenting adults do with their affections. On the other hand (2) the dilution of Christianity does not do anyone any favours.

To expand on the latter point, I think the ‘liberalisation’ of Christianity is a strange move. It seems as though there is an attempt to make things current so as to attract more of a following. The impetus for this, I suppose, is that the number of adherents in the West has fallen off a cliff.

It is a bizarre course of action, as it will not come close to recapturing a modern audience, but also shows God’s edict (or its interpretation by God’s representative on Earth) to be fallible. Hardly a positive message to send to one’s flock.

Again, to reiterate, I am glad on a personal level that this watershed moment has arrived. However, I remain somewhat baffled that this decision has been taken. Perhaps, the Catholic Church agrees with Mr Rolfe: that they can see society leaving them behind, and are trying to catch up the best they can.

Perhaps, theologically, we are seeing the move of Christianity to pure allegory; that the messages behind the passages of the Bible are sacrosanct, not the literal interpretation.

Either way, to borrow an image from Nietzsche: God is dying, and the Western ‘Age of Reason’ is standing over Him, clenching the murder weapon. The ramifications of this — positive or negative — we shall have to wait for.

Written by Senior Conservative Writer, Alexander Dennis

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Jack Rolfe
Labour writer | Website

I am a third-year student at the University of Exeter, studying BSc Politics and International Relations. After graduating in the summer of 2020, I will be completing an MSc in Applied Social Data Science. I will also be the Treasurer of the Politics Society, as well as of the Uni Boob Team for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Alexander Dennis
Political writer | Website

Hello, I’m Alexander Dennis, and I am going into my third undergraduate year at the University of Exeter. I study Politics & International Relations, with a possible year abroad hanging in the balance. My particular interest in politics really started in early 2016: yes, it was ‘Brexit’. I was at once intrigued, and confused, by something so critical. From that baptism, I have become somewhat addicted to political discussion, intrigued by issues ranging from drugs policy to taxation. So I followed my nose: I applied for a degree in the subject.

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