Monday, July 29, 2013

Pope on Gay Men: If You Squint, It Almost Looks Like Progress

Seriously, if someone said straights wouldn't be judged so long as they never married, never had sex and never campaigned for rights, would anyone put up with it?
"These twelve hour flights can grow a little dull, so we switched on the speakers in the cockpit to listen in."

I'm fortunate to have secured an e-mail interview with Padre I. A. Roddy, the pilot who flew Pope Francis on the occasion of his unparalleled olive branch to the LGBTQ community.

"I briefly lost control of the aircraft," he continued "but fortunately the advanced training of the Vatican Air Force saved me and those on board. That, and my copilot was listening to DoubtCast at the time so wasn't as badly affected. I don't mean to criticise the Holy Father, but he really should consider the safety of the crew before launching such a wild change of course."

"Sticking to the strictest conceivable definition of progress, I suppose this qualifies." observed an air steward, speaking on condition of anonymity. "He was speaking specifically about priests, so what we can really take from this with certainty is that if you're celibate, stay in the closet and don't lobby for gay people he won't judge you."

"To be fair, at least his cabin baggage was a reasonable size." he added.

The Holy Father did not comment directly on bisexual people, transgender people, or people who identify as queer.

"I think many are underestimating the great message of hope the Bishop of Rome is offering to young, gay Catholics. As long as they're male." Padre Roddy defended. "Before today they would have felt trapped by restrictions that promised only a life without romantic love. A lonely road of self denial under the label of 'fundamentally disordered'. All that has changed. Well, not all, obviously. But the Vicar of Christ has offered a vision of gay men, gay men who live in community with purpose to their lives, gay men who he does not judge."

"Now, naturally, this is not a licence to do anything gay. The Supreme Pastor made it clear in his talk that existing teaching is affirmed. Sex is out. As is marriage. And lobbying for gay rights came in for specific condemnation. Basically think of it like the US military's don't ask, don't tell policy. Only without the 'don't ask' part, because the Vatican will still be investigating to find gay people in its ranks. And on the subject of investigations, these hopeful gay Catholic men should rule out applying for the priesthood, because as of 2005, gay men, celibate or not, are barred from applying."

"But if you ignore the fact that it's only relevant to a tiny number of already celibate men who still have to conceal their true selves from those to whom they're closest and weather the label 'fundamentally disordered', this is groundbreaking stuff. Couple this with a previous pope who said that male prostitutes using condoms are slightly less sinful than male prostitutes who don't, and we can see a Church in flux."

"The Vatican has embraced a new, modern era" suggested a reporter existing the plane. "Not the era you and I are currently enjoying, obviously, but we should remember his statements would have been unthinkable even in a nonreligious setting before the mid 1700's."

How has this news been received in Ireland? I've sourced some quotes.

"Nonsense! Our pope would never say such a thing!" said a spokesperson for the Iona Institute, and recent convert to the Orthodox Catholic faith.

"The Church is not the hierarchy" opined an ordinary lay Catholic. "The Church is all her members. Only 9% of Irish Catholics share this fascination with trying to oppose loving same sex relationships. That's 9% too high of course, but you'll probably find that percentage of homophobes in other groups too. Most of us want women priests. Most of us want priests to be free to marry. Most of us use condoms. I'll pray for my Pope to be guided in this, but I have my own God-given conscience and I do no one any favours by ignoring it."

This is a parody. Obviously.

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