Is Pope Francis a weak sister on gay marriage? A week after commenting about the “gay lobby” at the Vatican, Francis made high-profile remarks about marriage that were noteworthy for what they didn’t stress: that the Vatican view that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Francis’ remarks came during discussion with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who heads the Anglican communion. Welby has been an opponent of legislation in Britain that would legalize marriage equality. In his comments to Welby, Francis said he hoped to work with Welby on promoting values “based on marriage” and on “the stability of families founded on marriage.”
Now, in the real world, having two opponents of same-sex marriage get together for a confab and talk about working together would meet with a yawn (at least from us). But apparently Francis explicitly decided to ditch the fire-and-brimstone rhetoric about the threat of same-sex unions, even if he still believes it. Vatican officials said that the pope was trying to steer clear of any provocative statements, in clear contrast to his predecessor who had no problem trashing us.
Francis has not made any comments about the marriage debates in France or Britain. During the marriage debate in his native Argentina, he looked upon civil unions as “the lesser of two evils.” He’s hardly a proponent of equality, though. “Every person needs a masculine father and a feminine mother to help them settle their identity,” he wrote years ago.
So here’s a question: does silence make the homophobia any better?