Pope Francis Meets With Trans Man; It Must Be Time To Blow Hot Air Up His Robe.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 10.22.54 AMStop the presses. Pope Francis is reported to have met with a transgender man at the Vatican. A Papal first!

For reasons we can’t seem to grasp, religious institutions like the Catholic church are given a giant free pass to crawl along about fifty years (or more) behind secular culture. We call it “tradition,” slap a badge of importance to its forehead and then applaud its courage when it does something remotely good-natured.

No, the current pope, Pope Francis, isn’t like other popes in that he actually seems to care about the teachings of Christ (you know, that guy who probably didn’t exist). But did Francis really deserve the title of “single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people” bestowed by The Advocate just for saying, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Tiny inch forward, overblown accolade.

Now Francis is receiving attention for reportedly meeting with a transgender man over the weekend. Except that the Vatican press office won’t even confirm the meeting took place. Something which Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry which advocates for LGBT Catholics, wonders at:

“The Vatican’s reluctance to verify the meeting is another indication of why I don’t think their attitude can yet be called ‘acceptance,'” DeBernardo told The Huffington Post by email.

Even so, DeBernardo doesn’t miss an opportunity to praise the tiny action:

“This pope, through his many gestures of meeting with those who society and the church treat as outcasts, has made it his mission to lead by example, and to send a strong message of welcome and hospitality to all people, regardless of their state in life.I think that his meeting with the transgender man was a gesture not only of pastoral care, but of genuine interest in learning about the transgender experience from a firsthand source.”

Tiny inch forward, overblown accolade. 

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It Looks Like Pope Francis Actually Wants To Move The Vatican On Gay Issues–In The Right Direction

Pope Francis Loves Your Kids But Your Relationship Is A Different Matter