Pope Francis ‘Shocked’ By Gay Adoption


Time's Person of the Year has been lauded by many for what they interpret to be his more progressive approach to sexuality. However, according to The Telegraph, Pope Francis I openly encouraged Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta (pictured below) to condemn adoption of children by same-sex couples in his Christmas sermon once the Bishop shared his concern with His Holiness:

MaltaBishop Scicluna met Pope Francis on December 12. The bishop later told the Times of Malta: “We discussed many aspects… and when I raised the issue that’s worrying me as a bishop [the right for gay couples to adopt] he encouraged me to speak out."

Indeed, the Pope was "shocked" to learn that Malta's proposed Civil Union bill allows gay adoption. And Bishop's Scicluna's controversial sermon seems to have been delivered at his prompting.

None of this should be surprising: back in Argentina, Cardinal Bergoglio roundly condemned gay adoption and said that gay marriage was diabolically inspired. But confusingly – and I still can't quite figure this out in my head – he did clearly back civil partnerships as the lesser of two evils. (When Archbishop Vincent Nichols appeared to do that, his critics in the Vatican were furious.)

Journalist James Bloodworth, in a new op-ed originally published on NewStatesman.com, remains doubtful that Francis is as liberal and progressive as some would like to believe and argues little has changed in terms of doctrine since Francis took the keys to the Holy See from Pope Benedict:

Pope Benedict was a PR disaster for the church. Yet under Francis little of substance has actually changed. The Catholic Church continues to vehemently discriminate against gay people and women, it’s simply sugar-coated its message with fashionable sound bites about inequality. And depressingly this has worked. Many otherwise erstwhile progressives have fallen into line faster than Danny Alexander at a cabinet meeting.

 We should, however, reject the notion that someone who can rescind the Church’s stance on gay sex, and chooses not to do so, is a figure worthy of admiration. Nor, if he won’t countenance women priests, is there a reason to suppose the Pope has anything of note to say about poverty. Why waste precious time worrying about anything such a person thinks?

Aside from the fact that we still hold religious figures to a lower standard than secular ones, the fawning over Pope Francis demonstrates something profoundly depressing: in the struggle for a better world, women’s and LGBT rights are still not taken seriously.  

You'll recall that earlier this year, Francis excommunicated an Australian priest who was a vocal advocate of ordination for women and gay marriage. However, as Time points out, the Priest in question was "already tagged for removal before Francis took office in March."


  1. Joseph says

    Yes, the church doesn’t like the competition. Fewer babies to sell and fund the nunneries. See “Philomena” for details.

  2. danswon says

    The entire Catholic hierarchy is pure evil. Don’t be fooled by some PR stunts. I don’t even want these people’s acceptance.

  3. jamal49 says

    So much for the undeserved plaudits and ululation this current Pope has been garnering. The guy’s a sham, a fake and he is as reactionary as any of the previous two pontiffs except that this current papal wolf wears his sheep’s clothing very well.

  4. Jay says

    I’m not surprised to see these types of conflicting reactions. God works in mysterious ways and the transformation of the Church won’t come in day or with one Pope. They probably need the most time to come to terms with okaying homosexuality and working out their differences. The world has moved on and now the Church has to catch up.

  5. oncemorewithfeeling says

    Who on Earth could be “shocked” by this?

    The Catholic Crime Cartel is an institution of evil. That’s the premise under which it was founded and that’s what it’s been ever since. It was a means to ruling the world once and, ever since they lost near-complete control of the world, they have had every intention of getting that power back again.

    This co-pope (don’t forget the Nazi still isn’t dead yet) is a sugar-coating on the evil. Anyone who falls for it is a fool. Co-pope is as evil as his still-living Nazi co-pope and every other member of the cartel’s rulers from the very beginning of its awful origin.

  6. andrew says

    You can be certain that Francis agrees with Benedict and the Popes before them on all Catholic Doctrine/Dogma. The differences are in personality, style and tone. This should be obvious to anyone who understands the workings of the Catholic Church, it’s hierarchy and it’s teachings.

  7. anon says

    Yeah, tell me again why “The Advocate” named the Pope their person of the year when all he has done is say the church needs to quiet down about their disapproval and the sinfulness of the gays?

  8. Nick says

    Not at all surprising -Herr Ratzinger and this current ruler of the Holy See are always on point with their imaginary cult teachings.
    Not surprising that America and other countries were so easily fooled by Frank and his lies…… people want to believe what they want to believe- no other explanation for it….

  9. says

    This is a good thing. Bishop of Malta saying publicly that Francis agrees with blocking gay adoption, now that puts Francis on the hot seat. Whether it’s internal Church politics at play or not the Bishop has done us a favor.

    Now we’ve got ammunition to go to Francis with the Bishop’s claim and demand a reply. Does he or not? Get the answer and then we’ll know and move forward.

    My personal opinion is that the Advocate should never have ‘chosen’ Francis as LGBT Man of the Year. If anything I would like to know what process the Advocate used when they chose Francis. Not that they have to, but they didn’t ask my opinion. Did anyone gets asked?

  10. ny2.0 says

    This Pope may very well turn out to be even more ruthless than his immediate predecessor. At least with Benedict we knew what was coming and he was very vocal about his intentions.

    Francis however, has more guile and knows PR in the modern world. He’s already been named person of the year and it hasn’t even been a year since his ascension, not bad at all.

  11. says

    I don’t think Francis is ruthless at all. He’s called out Wall Street & Banks & the GOP. He advocates (no pun intended) for the poor. Those positions are completely counter to his predecessors.

    Not everyone in the Church likes Francis and God knows (again, no pun) that it’s rife with power struggles. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt until we hear this directly from his own mouth.

  12. Randy says

    “the fawning over Pope Francis demonstrates something profoundly depressing: in the struggle for a better world, women’s and LGBT rights are still not taken seriously.”

    That pretty much describes The Advocate, a faint image of what it once was.

  13. Tim says

    man of the year or not, the Catholic Church is and always will be hateful of our lifestyle. neither this Pope or the next pope will change that. it is pathetic that they think we are so evil and sinful. Catholics will not even take the time to know what gay men and women are about. and the word is Pathetic.

  14. Chuckles says

    So funny to see the words liberal and progressive without any context.

    In the RC context, Francis is a radical because even when it comes to anything at all related to sex he focuses on the church’s real failures: keeping those who divorce in the church, letting birth control dominate its pitch to married couples, and the failure of heterosexuals to marry. Lots of sex stuff in their, but we homos are an afterthought in comparison with the big issues.

  15. james st. james says

    Pope Francis is messing with the brand image.

    Remember what happened to Coke when they tried New Coke and had to go back to Coke Classic.

    Same thing here. Marketing 101.

  16. Kip says

    And If the Editors at The Advocate weren’t such a bunch of misogynistic, arrogant, out-of-touch fools, they would have picked Edie Windsor as Person of the Year–someone who made a positive and immediate difference in the lives of so many. Instead of honoring the head of a hate group.

    Between that and HRC’s idiotic response to reinstalling Duck Dynasty, I think some of our fearless leaders are disgusting.

  17. simon says

    It is a myth that the Church is full of “good men”. My bet is Francis is just another opportunist who skillfully manipulated himself to the top of the hierarchy. The incident just exposed him to be a two-faced liar.

  18. Tommyz says

    The catholic church is the single longest running evil on the planet. It has out surviced governments. lived through upheavals in political models (Empires, Kings, Fascism, Democracy) and still manages to scare people into submission. I challenge any catholic to name one ENTIRELY altruistic and GOOD act the CHURCH has ever done. They sponsor war based on difference of belief, they sponsor hatred of minorities, supported slavery, support the spread of disease by condemning the use of condoms, foster a culture that is rife with pedofphilia and alcoholism – and raped the poor of their labor to build their riches. No Catholic has ever been able to name one thing that was good. They try with things like Maria Theresia (a horrible human who profited on keeping children poor and uneducated, supported not speaking out against economic insustice, and advocated for no parental planning but rather indiscriminate birthing by woman and families that couldn’t afford it – while selling babies to suppport her adoption clinic. Horrible horrible horrible. Not one redeeming quality. If there is ‘satan’ on earth – it is SURELY the pope.

  19. Jim says

    Why can’t people liberate themselves from the tyranny of this malicious church and its evil agents? The pope is as much a fraud as is in-it-for-the-money Pat Robertson or any corn-pone, tongues-babbling fundamentalist preacher in rural Arkansas. Enough with holy men, shamans, and witch doctors of any and all faiths. Fakers one and all.

  20. Michael says

    So now people are shocked? What did people expect? Just because a few states have loosened up, things aren’t too different. There’s work to be done.

  21. QJ201 says

    Is the Advocate having buyers remorse?

    Is the Advocate hanging its head in shame for not doing any real research on its subject?

  22. EchtKultig says

    I’m glad this is all “coming out” (no pun intended!) so soon, because I seem to succinctly recall posting back when he was elected that we should NOT get complacent and make naive assumptions about the latest lurching shudders of a 2000 year old cult. Frankly, it’s quite embarrassing that the Advocate was spirited away, like a giggling schoolgirl, by the Vatican’s latest round of empty rhetoric.

  23. Gay Guy says

    Church doctrine/dogma is their business. Public policy is not their business, they should not be trying to make it confirm to their teachings. They are free not to baptize these children are recognize their parent’s marriage in a church setting. How dare they try to extend this to a public setting!

  24. dommyluc says

    Get this through you’re heads, people: NEVER trust a Pope. They are no different than any rabid, homophobic born-again preacher or the Mormons who fight against us. Any change in the Roman Catholic Church – or any other, for that matter – will come from the bottom up. Let them spread they’re moral fallacies through Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, they’ll probably end up doing major harm to the populations of those continents due to their 15th century sexual attitudes and their lies about AIDS prevention and contraception. But we have to fight them here first. As far as I am concerned, and from what I have heard this Pope say when he was an archbishop in South America, he is no different than Phil Robertson – and should be trusted even less by gay people.

  25. says

    Part of the reason everyone is so eager to embrace Francis is hope. His message resonates with everyone that is bone weary of hearing abortion, birth control, pedophile priests, & anti-gay rhetoric every time the Catholic Church is mentioned. Is this just re-branding? Will there be substantial change in a little while? Hope. But stay vigilant.

    Gay Catholics. Know how many there are … tons! Even lapsed they still remain hopeful that the Church will one day welcome them without condemnation. Hope springs eternal.

    How many gay Catholics work at the Advocate? Maybe the cover was their decision to extend their hand in trust. It’s a grand gesture. Only time will tell if it’s deserved.

    I want to believe Francis. And I understand the machinations of change in the Church. But I don’t stop calling them out when they do wrong (Eastside Catholic firing Zmuda) and I still tell people that tithing while staying silent is tacit approval of Church policies.

    But in my heart of hearts I still hope.

  26. Tim doro says

    i think it’s funny here that people seem to demonize the catholic church as a whole as some people in the catholic church want to demonize gay people as a whole. one person doesn’t speak for the whole. now i’m a catholic and i’m gay and i’m accepted whole heatedly by my parish, i haven’t been given an exorcism or any thing and with the recent questionnaires sent round to all catholic churches around the world about family relationships, most of the responses from my parish were pro lgbt now, i don’t think the current pope would have even considered such a thing if he was anything like his predecessor, i tell you this part of a massive upheaval for a far more liberal church. hell what happened when the last pope stepped down has never occurred in 600 years. when your pope your pope for life.you can say what you want about the catholic church, but if you want to change laws, you need to change peoples beliefs and saying “uh, not good enough” to an organisation that’s changed more positively to our population in the past year more then its 1500 years of existence. we succeed in this then over a billion people can’t say “it’s against god” as an excuse to denied us rights. i mean come on

  27. EchtKultig says

    Let me help fix that for your Doro:
    “i think it’s funny here that people seem to d̶e̶m̶o̶n̶i̶z̶e̶ criticize the catholic church as a whole as some people in the catholic church want to demonize gay people as a whole. ”

    criticize: to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly : evaluate

    demonize: to turn into a demon or make demonlike.

  28. JMC says

    He’s preferable to his predecessor in many ways, but he’s still the pope. Of course he’s going to be anti-gay. I’d say he’s at least a baby step in the right direction but he’s pissing off so many people within the church I’m sure the next pope selected is going to be even more horrible than Benedict was.

  29. Booker says

    Echtultig, using semantics to avoid answering a central point may be fun, but it doesn’t advance a conversation intelligently (and incidentally, your dictionary definition is nifty, but Tim Doro’s use of “demonize” was absolutely correct in context, as per commonly accepted usage)

    That aside, right before I read about this story, I had posted a comment on a different one that with all the praise the pope is getting for his change in tone, a crunch is coming: clearly, a lot of people are hoping his ‘style’ forecasts changes in actual doctrine, and it probably doesn’t. In the end I think we’re going to be asked to settle for nice words saying the same thing the church has always said, and I don’t think that’s going to cut it. Not for anyone I know, and clearly not for most people posting here.

  30. Bill says

    Aww, and Popi was doing so well up to this point. Yes, better to let the little bastards grow up in orphanages than to have some “sick” gay give them a loving home. Right.

  31. Bill says

    Aww, and Popi was doing so well up to this point. Yes, better to let the little bastards grow up in orphanages than to have some “sick” gay give them a loving home. Right.

  32. simon says

    Tim Doro:
    There surely are good Catholics. All the time you see the Pope and the Cardinals in the media, they have only one message about gay marriage and adoption. There is no doubt that they represent the one and only one Church. You seldom see a “good Catholic” who spoke out against the Church. You see all these organization like NOM or Catholic league in the media. Organization like GAC or gay catholic is just invisible. Time to organize and to present a more positive image of the Church. You know that’s not going to happen.

  33. simon says

    Some old News here:
    The Catholic Church is funneling unprecedented dollar amounts into the four states where marriage equality is on the ballot this fall – Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington.

  34. EchtKultig says

    “(and incidentally, your dictionary definition is nifty, but Tim Doro’s use of “demonize” was absolutely correct in context, as per commonly accepted usage)”

    The fact you even had to attempt to say this proves the feebleness of his argument and your defense.
    The Catholic Church characterizes and demonizes gay persons and gay relationships as threatening and evil based on groundless, utterly unprovable, scaremongering rhetoric. OTOH, CRITICS of the Catholic Church can quite easily look at their almost 2000 year history, or ANY PART THEREOF, to discern a sometimes deadly bias against anything a) critical of it b) based on reason (took them 150 years to accept the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe!) c) pro-humanistic d) pro-gay e) pro-women’s rights f) anything Jewish at all…
    Need I go on?

  35. Daniel says

    I think whatever good the new Pope might do for the image of the church, American Bishops are going to undo all of it.

  36. simon says

    “deadly” is probably the right word. They seem nicer now. In their most glorious days, they were really deadly. Hitchins in his book mentioned something like this:
    “a massacre in the narrow streets of Jerusalem where, according to the hysterical and gleeful chroniclers, the spilled blood reached up to the bridles of the horses.”

  37. says

    As an atheist, I’m thrilled at many of the changes that have taken place in the church. It’s not going to fix it self overnight or with one pope. Let’s give things a chance to settle and see what happens. This is a great new direction.

  38. simon says

    Whether they are going to change or not is not our concern. They will probably miss the boat
    and have no choice but resign to fate after the whole Western World has marriage equality.

  39. Gaetano says

    The Word Bigot is being used a lot within the comments.
    But if you have 2 Bigots on opposing opinions they remain Bigots either way as neither would entertain the others opinion to begin with.

    Therefore i ask you from the hate written herein.

    Are you not also a Bigot?

  40. MerlynneHerne says

    I’m not shocked to hear this at all. Nor am I surprised to see he’s apparently going after American nuns, either. He’s essentially “Benedict Lite”.