A widely-circulated report states that Pope Francis announced his support for gay marriage earlier this month. Is this true or false?
The article was published by The Daily Currant, a satirical website, on October 8, 2013. A careful reading of the article should yield clues that it is not serious, such as a rather silly “quote” from Rick Santorum,
“The queers have gone too far this time,” says former Senator Rick Santorum, a prominent Catholic, anti-gay politician, “They’ve clearly taken control of Pope Francis using some sort of gay mind control. The Catholic Church has a proud 2,000 year tradition of intolerance towards homosexuals, and I find it hard to believe our leader would willingly end that impressive achievement.”
The satirical story was picked up by non-satire sites. Take, for example, the article on CodeWit.com, which has been shared by numerous readers. That article is an exact reproduction the The Daily Currant story. Its citation of the original source is difficult to see, and only links to the main URL of The Daily Currant, not the specific article. Many readers who circulated the CodeWit version of the article seemed unaware of its satirical origin.
July 2013 Interview
The satire in the article has led to questions about the Pope’s stance on gays and same-sex marriage. In a July 2013 interview, Pope Francis was asked about same-sex marriage. When asked about why the Pope did not speak of same-sex marriage in Brazil, he responded:
The Church has already spoken quite clearly on this. It was unnecessary to return to it, just as I didn’t speak about cheating, lying, or other matters on which the Church has a clear teaching!
When asked “What is your Holiness’ position, if we may ask?”, the Pope responded, “The position of the Church. I am a son of the Church.”
When asked about the “gay lobby,” Pope Francis’ response included the following:
If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying … wait a moment, how does it say it … it says: “no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society”.
September 2013 Interview
In an interview published by La Civilta Cattolica, Pope Francis was again asked about homosexuality:
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
Pope Francis did not announce any change in support for gay marriage.
- Press Conference of Pope Francis During the Return Flight (Vatican.va: July 28, 2013)
- Pope Francis: Gays, Abortion Too Much Of Catholic Church’s Obsession (Huffington Post: September 19, 2013)
- Pope Francis Supports Gay Marriage (The Daily Currant: October 8, 2013)
- Pope Francis Says He Supports Gay Marriage (CodeWit: October 8, 2013)