We’re getting dizzy from the ups and downs of Pope Francis’ indecisiveness on his stance of LGBTQ+ folks in the Catholic Church.
In unscripted comments made before the Forum delle Famiglie (the Italian Catholic family group), he said that “not all families are holy.”
“It is painful to say this today,” Pope Francis said. “People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family … [but] the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the only one.”
This comes as much of a surprise and disappointment to many, as the pontiff has made international headlines as being an LGBTQ-friendly addition to the Roman Catholic Church. The 266th pope has made statements in the past suggesting a softness towards the queer and trans community, which has been traditionally homophobic.
Just last month he met with Juan Carlos Cruz, an Argentinian gay survivor of sex abuse at the hands of a priest in his church. Reports say that the Pope told Cruz told him God made him the way he is.
“God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care,” Cruz said Pope Francis told him. “The pope loves you like this.”
There have been a couple of other memorable moments when Pope Francis has let his guard down. When he was asked about gay priests in 2013, he said, “Who am I to judge?” and in 2016 he claimed that LGBTQ+ people shouldn’t be discriminated against.
Unfortunately, not everything he has said about the community has been positive. The Pope has alleged that teaching transgender young people that their identities are valid is “causing a world war against marriage.”
“This is against nature,” he said. “It is one thing if a person has this tendency and also changes sex. It is another thing to teach this in school to change mentalities. This is what I call ‘ideological colonization.'”
It saddens us that we’re going through this back and forth for mere acceptance and humanization of queer and trans folks and their families, especially in a time like this when our rights are under attack. While the stance that the Pope holds isn’t surprising, we do wish there was more consistency in his statements.