So the world has a new pope: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit out of South America. He’ll be assuming the papal name of Francis I, which nicely calls humility and peace. Here’s hoping those actually are the hallmarks of his papacy.
Over at FB, Kaylee asked for the Latin version of “You can has cheezburger.” That’s one of the more fun phrases I’ve had to translate, but also one of the more challenging since they didn’t have cheeseburgers in ancient Rome. I finally settled on: Salutationes, novem praesulis! Potes habere bubula cum caseus. [Greetings, new pope! You may have beef with cheese.]
Also over at FB, Dan posted a quote from Francis I from before he was pope.
“Let’s not be naive, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
Here’s my reaction, slightly cleaned up to fix typos, which FB doesn’t allow.
This view is depressing but not altogether surprising. And he’s actually right on one thing: if you believe marriage and sex should be about procreation (as the RCC, or at least individual Catholics I know, seems to), then gay marriage is a redefinition of marriage. But it’s a redefinition most straight people my age have already made. And it’s a really good one, IMO, because it’s built on the idea that the most intimate relationship in my life isn’t built on my ability to bear children, but about something much more central to who I really am.
The Roman Catholic Church (and any other church) is free to recognize a sacrament that is unique to men and women. The separation of church and state means, among other things, that church theology is not up for majority vote or government interference. (This is bad theology IMO and bad shepherding of gay Christians, and I would really like to see churches change their approach, by recognizing and support gay monogamous couples sacramentally or some other way if they can’t manage that theologically. But that is a different issue.) But the separation of church and state also means the RCC and every other church needs to realize that people also have the right to organize other rituals and legal recognitions that afford gay couples the same rights as heterosexual ones. When the civil society chooses to let two men or two women receive a marriage license and give them all the civil benefits and honors we afford straight couples, that doesn’t change what the church says. Because, you know, church practice and theology are not defined by secular, popular vote.
On the rest of the quote, that gay marriage is a lie from the pit of hell, I can’t disagree strongly enough. But I hope that would already be obvious to anyone who knows me.
It will be interesting getting to know the pope’s views on this and other issues in more depth. I am not a Catholic but I recognize the influence the church has over our culture, and I hope the next several days will see some in-depth, even critical coverage of his thought.