A Cup for a Pimp, Robin Hood, and Judging Gays – An Open Letter to the Pope

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Dear Pope:

Let me be frank: you seem like a totally cool guy, but you’ve got to get your minions in check.

A disclaimer: I am not religious whatsoever.  As a matter of fact, I am an atheist and about the only churches I frequent are Bedside Baptist and Our Lady of Mattress.  However, I come from a household with a Jewish-by-birth mother and a protestant father, and I have something of a solid education in the political, historical, and social contexts of Christianity and Catholicism.

There’s no doubt that, like many of my friends and peers have pointed out through a barrage of social media, you’re definitely “hip,” if not, to use the words of a certain former U.S politician, a bit “rogue,” you former nightclub bouncer, you!  From going all Robin Hood by donning disguises to help the poor to criticizing “trickle down capitalism” to drinking mate from what some have called a “pimp’s cup” to going to so far as to suggest that you do not judge gay people, your approach has been celebrated by many who want to see a shift in Catholicism from it’s current staunch, stale state.

Here’s the problem: your lackeys aren’t getting it.

Case in point: a friend of our publication, Michael Griffin, was recently terminated from his faculty position at a local Catholic high school after twelve years of service because he was gay and applied for a marriage license to marry his long-time partner.  Literally: that was why he was fired.

I tend to cringe when I consider the context of my last two paragraphs: when I see and hear folks talk about how “totally cool” you are as an individual, and how your progressive stance is refreshing, I’m not one to disagree.  However, it’s apparent that your message has not been received or embraced by those in the Catholic Church who are on the front lines of making decisions that effect those who have served the community faithfully for years.  As long as individuals, such as Mr. Griffin, live in fear of losing their jobs because of their sexual preference, your talk is simply that: rhetoric that is empty in the Catholic community.

Yes, change takes time, especially given that the Church has hundreds, if not thousands, of years tainted with sex-driven shame and scandals that have to be purged and dealt with in an honest and steadfast manner.  It’s a system that has been fundamentally broken and, in my heart, I am almost certain that you recognize this.  However, if members of the LGBTQ community continue to be marginalized and persecuted by the Church, it’s going to take a lot more than an ex-bouncer who drinks out of a cool-looking mug to change the public’s opinion of the Church.

(By the way—where did you get that cup?  It would be a great vessel for a Moscow Mule.)



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