Thursday, March 14, 2013

That new old guy

Nothing but a name has changed in Rome. Up to a point, I couldn’t possibly care less who the catholics choose as their leader. What they think or do within their churches has nothing to do with me.

However, popes never stay in their churches, do they?

Pope Jorge Bergoglio is, despite the saccharin gushing in the media, just like all the other old men who run the church: Conservative and stuck in the past. Within the walls of his church, that would be irrelevant for most of us, but popes seek to force those antique views on others, particularly through their church’s overtly political action.

Bergoglio is anti-gay, of course. As bishop, he said that homosexual acts are inherently “immoral”. He—unsuccessfully—opposed marriage equality in Argentina, calling it a "real and dire anthropological throwback" (whatever that means). In a letter he wrote about the bill he said: “Let's not be naïve, 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 (the devil) that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.” Nice guy.

He also opposes adoption by gay parents, calling it a "form of discrimination against children.” Interestingly, catholics and rightwing protestants alike frequently push that load of nonsense, which isn’t surprising given their political alliance in opposition to LGBT equality.

So, I don’t care that the men ruling the catholic church have picked yet another old conservative man to lead them. Nor does it impress me that he’s not European or that he’s from the Americas. If he was to lead his church away from its anti-gay political interference and crusades, there are plenty of people who might pay at least a little attention to what he says. As it is, he’s almost certain to remain a personal irrelevancy and a political adversary for many of us.

So, nothing has really changed.