popefrancisiHe may be The Advocate’s Man of the Year for his supposedly gay friendly attitude, Pope Francis is reportedly “shocked” at the idea of legislation allowing gay adoption. At least that’s the report from one of his own bishops, Charles Scicluna of Malta.

Scicluna delivered a Christmas sermon that made the point that Jesus was raised by a heterosexual couple. When asked about it afterwords,  Scicluna said he discussed the matter at a meeting with the pope just two weeks prior. “When I raised the issue that’s worrying me as a bishop [the right for gay couples to adopt] he encouraged me to speak out,” Scicluna said, adding that the pope was “shocked” that adoption was included in a proposed civil unions bill.

Now, this is Scicluna’s account, so it’s hard to know what transpired in the conversation between him and Francis. Still, it’s very unlikely that Scicluna would have delivered such a condemnatory sermon if Francis had waved him off. Moreover, it’s impossible to imagine that Scicluna would publicly put words in the pope’s mouth, particularly since the bishop had a long career as a Vatican functionary.

The episode is an example of just how premature the beatification of Pope Francis is. Expect similar episodes in the coming months.


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