New Wine, Old Skins

Only The Name Changes. Everything Else Remains As Awful As Ever In The Catholic Church

The white smoke has billowed from the Vatican chimney, and not from the burning of documents incriminating the cardinals in the multinational sex abuse scandal.

That would require an industrial incinerator.

The new man on St. Peter’s throne is an old white man with a well documented history of anti-gay comments and a possibly too-cozy relationship with ultraconservative elements in his homeland. While this description could apply to the vast majority of the cardinals, in this care it applies to Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, henceforth known as Francis I.

Bergoglio was the runner-up the last time around in 2005, when Joseph Ratzinger was named pope. The only thing that changes is that Bergoglio is eight years older (76) and thus likely to be yet another transitional pope. His election suggests that the cardinals aren’t quite sure where the long-term direction of the Church seems to lie. With an Italian father, Bergoglio satisfies the Vatican insiders, most of whom are Italian, while his South American background appeals to those cardinals who want to make the Church more international. He satisfies multiple factions without requiring a long-term commitment.

Bergoglio is the first Jesuit to be named pope, but he’s clearly not the type of Jesuit that many Catholics would recognize. The order is famously liberal; in Latin America, it played a key role in promoting social justice and liberation theology. Bergoglio was part of the Vatican apparatus that beat the order back into line. His reward was being named a bishop in the Buenos Aires diocese, from which he began his rise. His tenure in Argentina has been marred by lingering resentment of the Church’s close relationship to the repressive and murderous government of the 1970s and 1980s.

Several victims have claimed Bergoglio was complicit in some of the regime’s outrages, including the arrest of two priests (a charge that Bergoglio’s defenders dispute).

And, of course, what would the papacy be without a history of homophobia? Bergoglio carries on the proud tradition of his predecessors, attacking marriage equality (legal in Argentina) and adoption by gays. He was so vehement about the latter that Argentinian president  Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said the church’s tone was reminiscent of “medieval times and the Inquisition.” Ah, yes, the good old days.

While the mainstream media will trumpet the change that Bergoglio represents, the fact is he’s just new wine in old skins. The hierarchy has taken a stand against the modern world and all it represents, including gay equality. Changing that will take decades, or a miracle.

Unfortunately, miracles are in short supply, even in the Vatican.

Photo by Aibdescalzo

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  • Chad Hunt

    How many threads do you need to make in one day saying the exact same thing Queerty.

  • WayDifferent

    Give it up on the Catholic church already. I’m gay, was raised Catholic and could care less about who the new Pope is. Gays need to sweep their own front porches first.

  • WayDifferent

    @Chad Hunt: Ya know! If the gay MSM and “activists” would pay attention to the suicide rates and drug problems within their own “church”, we might be on to something…….

  • Dionte

    I have never had such a disdain in my heart as I have for these people.

  • ronsfo

    Regarding the choosing of the new pope, one that is probably even more conservative about, birth control, abortion, same-sex relationships. Consequently, the Catholics will continue to be mired down in the thick mud of scandal and hypocrisy surrounding child abuse, the evasion and cover up. A new conservative pope means a missed opportunity to bring this 2000 year obsolete political/religious behemoth into the 21st century, embracing the cultural and religious changes that are long over due, which will ultimately happen with Catholics or without them. The first victims of change, those that fail to embrace it.


    Although I must say that I am disappointed–I must preface this by saying that I am not Catholic–but I find it amazing that there is so much debate, time, energy, and money being spent on ONE PERSON. I think that the Catholic Church is still more powerful than some more liberal people may want to admit.

  • Cee

    @ronsfo: I was watching the news and the reporter mentioned all 3 of those items: birth control, abortion and same sex marriage and said this new pope has the same ideas as the last and will uphold them, so nothings changed there.

  • Cee They said he has 1.2 billion people to lead on the news, and tens of thousands of people were outside waiting for this man to say like two words. People were actually crying as if God had risen. They’re all nuts.

  • MK Ultra

    So they traded one old man who looked like the literal incarnation of evil, for another old man who looks like a guy that gets habitually caught masterbating in a public library?

  • BJ McFrisky

    @Chad Hunt: Amen to that. What on earth does Catholicism have to do with homosexuality?
    Makes me wonder about all the hate being displayed by members of our community who supposedly condemn hate.

  • WayDifferent Exactly. It’s a childish power struggle by two ignorant parties pointing fingers at each other for the root of all evil…….$$$$.

    Even popular gay bars have turned into political hack houses for a $.

    Bottom line is that either party will accept pink pygmy ponies as long as they have a $20 bill in their mouth.

  • Wilberforce

    It often takes my breath away how self-involved mainstream gay culture is. It’s always all about you.
    This Pope is a Franciscan, who cares about economic inequality. That’s a big deal.
    And we actually have the ability to force the church into retreat on our issues, if you would start choosing leaders with brains and character, instead of hot looks and bodies.
    The evidence and arguments are all on our side, but our incompetent leaders are too dumb to make them.
    Thanks to the ignorant queens that choose our leaders, and spend their time blaming everyone else for our failures.

  • 2eo

    @Wilberforce: Cares about economic inequality?

    HE’S THE FUCKING POPE, they’ve stole TRILLIONS away from those who desperately have needed it for centuries.

    They’re still laundering tens of millions for the mafia in the Vatican bank right this minute.

  • Ogre Magi

    We do people always like to pretend the Jesuits are somehow better than the rest of Catholicism? The Jesuits are a bunch of proselytizing bastards, that has historically been one of the main points of their order.

  • Joel J

    @Wilberforce: The Pope is a Jesuit who has assumed the title Pope Francis I. The Church is not going to change its stance on sexual morality, but let’s withold judgment as to whether this pope addresses the needs of the poor in the third world. If he fails, the Church will have lost all justification for its continued existence.

  • Wilberforce

    @Joel J: You wouldn’t know this, of course, but the Catholic church is is doing a ton for the poor even today. Much more than Protestantism, of which I’m a member.
    Bottom line: the laity follow the rule. And the Magesterium are hopelessly corrupt. But this is a hopeful sign, a Franciscan in the Papacy.
    Of course you wouldn’t know what Francis is all about. Google it.
    Bottom line: when you have lifted a finger for the oppressed, then you can decide when the church has outlived its usefulness.

  • Joel J

    @Wilberforce: You assume too much. The Church has been the cause of much suffering in the Third World. It’s adamant opposition to birth control has led to overpopulation, poverty, starvation and disease. What little good work the Church does is the equivalent of offering assistance to the person you have just run over with your vehicle. In many countries, the Church’s support of dictators has assisted in the oppression of the poor and dispossesed. On balance, the Church has been a force for Evil.

  • Scott

    Completely stupid. The Catholic church’s relevance has been shattered though its’ scandals of pedophilia. Think about it- what better way to deflect these pedophile scandals than to blame gays and lesbians.

    Luckily we are witnessing a new breed if Catholics who are far from stupid and able to see through the smoke , ceremony , pomp, circumstance, and incense and realize the church for what it s- the largest pedophile ring in the world.

    All cardinals, former pope(s) and current pope(s) are HEADS OF STATE- NOT religious leaders. As such, they should be held accountable to to the heads of states and face the crimes under which they are accused. Until this happens, or until a pope repents by burning himself alive, or some similar act of contrition, in a public display- there will not be a church of the strength it once had just 25-50 years ago. There is no turning back. Only admission of guilt and severe penance to be dictated by the victims. Only then will the church see any sort of resurgence and restoration in faith. However, the conlclave of cardinals, being tired old, dying men, would never agree to such a thing, and they shall likely die, godless, and without spirit of the true lord.

    I pray for their souls, as they are certain to face eternal damnation for the grave sins committed on Heaven and Earth. May they have no peace unit they repent for their sins, and may their souls burn brighter than any others in fiery pits of hell, wherein it is well deserved

  • sarahs22

    I am Catholic. I believe in the sanctity of my religion. I am also a modern day citizen and believe that there are some beliefs the Catholic church will never waiver on. I still RESPECT my faith. My church (the people that I share mass with on Sunday) is an accepting and liberal community. Until you have lived the faith of the church do not judge. Not all individuals that are a part of the Catholic faith are terrible child molesting, gay hating, wife beating, bigots. Bad people find a sacred place and ruin the name. I don’t defend the church’s actions with these individuals, but I don’t accept societies hatred toward my faith.

  • sarahs22

    @Joel J: Actually, in third world countries, birth control is allowed to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
    The question we should be asking about many of these third world countries is when will they start condemning the rape and use of sex as a form of warfare and control?

  • sarahs22

    @BJ McFrisky: Thank you, and well said. I have often wondered this myself.

  • Joel J

    @sarahs22: Yes, Pope Benedict went to Africa and made an exception to the Church’s proscription against the use of contraceptives by saying that male prostitutes could use condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. Well, what about the rest? The populations of Africa are decimated by the disease and that is all that the Church could offer. Despite its enormous wealth, has the Church done anything to supply drugs to those suffering from the disease or, like Mother Teresa, does it only offer consolation and a ticket to heaven?

  • 2eo

    @Joel J: Why don’t they spend some of that enormous wealth they stop from those same Africans to help them?, in fact why don’t they spend some money on ANY charitable or noble cause at all, ever. They never have.

    They’ve spent more attacking families and good people in the past 10 years then they’ve spent on charity since records began.

    @sarahs22: I don’t respect your faith, because it’s never done anything to earn my respect, the leaders of your faith have done enough to inspire utter despisement, I also don’t believe in offering personal respect to any religious person unless you prove to me that you are against the machinations of their hateful hierarchies.

  • 2eo

    @sarahs22: Also don’t tell me and everyone else that we can’t judge unless you’re a catholic too. Don’t tell me I can’t judge the worlds largest paedophile ring as something absolutely awful and against humanity.

  • gppm1103

    There is no god…and this BS is just the worship of the Jewish god from 5000 years ago. It was used to control people then and it is the same now.

    Nothing. is. going. to. change. Not only do they control their masses but make lots of money doing it along with tons of sex and sexual abuse.

    Religion is the worst cancer on humanity that has ever existed.

  • Gus

    There is nothing much to say about who becomes the spoke person of a group and the
    virulent tirades they can say and the people who will listen. He was one of the power
    houses to boycott Argentina’s laws regard equality but yet his followers think he is
    nice because he has a different approach of Benedict, is hard to think for a few that
    behind every organization there is not a marketing and PR movement in order to adapt
    and bring more followers. What this man is doing is not very different from his

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