The pope has been criticised this month because of his recent comments surrounding the church’s LGBTQI community.
The current Pope, Pope Francis, was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on the 17 December 1936. He became Pope on 13 March 2013 and is the first pope in over a millennium that is not European. He is the first pope to come from across the Atlantic in the Americas region.
Pope Francis has been seen by many as a more liberal pope, and even the subject of a popular hollywood movie that depicted him as such. The Two Popes was released to great fanfare in December 2019, after other popular TV shows such as The New Pope reached millions of viewers around the world.
In a recent statement from the Vatican it has reiterated and maintained its positions that being gay is a choice, and refusing to bless same-sex marriages. The news is disappointing to many in the catholic queer community who had hoped Pope Francis’ reign would mark the beginning of a new liberal and more accepting for the church.
The comments come in contrast with a 2020 documentary in which Pope Francis said that “homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family,” declaring that “They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”
Same sex marriage became legal in the UK in 2013, in the USA in 2015 and in Australia in 2017. The Netherlands was the first country to make same sex marriages legally all the way back in 2001. There are currently 29 countries around the world where same sex marriage is legal, whereas the practice of homosexuality remains illegal in many parts of Africa and across Asia.
Let’s hope the church can catch up with the times soon.