PAPAL MIND READER

Rick Santorum Knows What The Pope Really Meant

It’s bad enough when you have Cardinal Dolan trying to spin Pope Francis’s comments on gay priests. Now we have Rick Santorum as the papal interpreter. The failed Senator and presidential candidate insists that the pope’s “who am I to judge?” remarks were taken out of context, which is politician-speak for “you heard it right the first time.”

“I’ve read the whole transcript, and what he said early on was that ‘I don’t know anybody who puts gay on their identification card.’ He said it in that context,” Santorum told Buzzfeed. “I think all believers need to understand that we need to respect and love everybody and treat everybody with dignity and respect. There’s no room for harshness in respect to this issue — but that doesn’t mean the church doesn’t have the right to believe what is right and wrong.”

Now getting a lecture on how not to be harsh to gay people from Santorum is like getting a lecture on fidelity from Anthony Weiner. And Santorum is probably right that the pope’s remarks shouldn’t be seen as a shift in policy. Still, the antigay standard bearers of Catholicism  really do seem worried about the shift in tone that the pope’s comments suggest. They’ve got so much invested in their homophobia that they will have a real problem on their hands if it’s not as central to the Church’s rhetoric. Whether or not there is a real tampering of the Church’s stance remains to be seen. But it sure is fun to watch the hardliners squirm when they consider the possibility.