Pope Francis is widely peddled as the ‚Äėprogressive‚Äô pope, but his comments on Sunday regarding abortion prove the papacy is clutching onto its centuries-old conservatism.
The 81-year-old described abortion as the ‚Äėwhite glove‚Äô equivalent to Nazi eugenics and part of today‚Äôs ‚Äúthrow-away‚ÄĚ culture, criticising parents who chose to terminate a pregnancy if the foetus is malformed.
Sure, you can celebrate the pope for writing into his Encyclical that climate change is ‚Äúmainly a result of human activity‚ÄĚ, but a few encouraging words don‚Äôt make him an untouchable.
The pope is spouting the same traditionalist messages that the Church has been serving up for centuries. The difference is, this Pope knows better than any who have come before him how to package Catholic conservatism with 21st century sensitivities.
This year the pope told Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay man and the leading whistle-blower in Chile‚Äôs clerical sex abuse case that ‚ÄúGod made you like this and he loves you‚ÄĚ. ¬†When asked about ‚Äėhomosexuals‚Äô he also said ‚ÄúIf they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge?‚ÄĚ. This comment alone amassed international praise.
Quotes like this have been great for the Catholic Church, giving the impression that the institution has dusted off some of its antiquated views and opened its arms up to the LGBT community.
But when you strip away the feel-good sentiment of Pope Francis‚Äô message, the Pope‚Äôs ideas about homosexuality are in line with Catechism 2359 that ‚Äúhomosexual persons are called to chastity‚ÄĚ. In the church‚Äôs eyes, ‚Äėaccepting the Lord‚Äô for gays means remaining celibate and unable to marry someone of the same sex.
The pope‚Äôs ‚Äúhate the sin, not the sinner‚ÄĚ concept has been ripped right out of the Catechism. It‚Äôs not a radical or new idea, and he‚Äôs not ‚Äúprogressive‚ÄĚ for suggesting gay people be accepted into the church if they alter themselves to fit.
When visiting Poland in 2016, the Pope lamented to a group of bishops ‚Äútoday, in schools they are teaching this to children ‚Äď to children! That everyone can choose their gender.‚ÄĚ
The idea of being transgender, he concluded, is ‚Äúa moment of annihilation of man as image of God.‚ÄĚ ¬†A fan of false equivalencies, the pope has also compared gender theory to nuclear war and genetic manipulation in Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi’s ¬†Pope Francis: This Economy Kills.
Prior to his recent announcement that abortion is akin to Nazi eugenics, Pope Francis has called abortion ‚Äúmurder‚ÄĚ.
Catholics believe life starts at the time of conception. It‚Äôs a belief that scientists have denounced repeatedly. As Dr Richard Paulson, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at USC writes ‚Äúthe multicellular pre-implantation embryo cannot be equated with a human being. It is a collection of stem cells‚Ä¶ but it is not itself a new human life.‚ÄĚ
The pope‚Äôs views on abortion are just as by-the-book as the last Pope, Pope Benedict XVI. He‚Äôs not breaking with the norms of the Catholic Church, and whether you believe that‚Äôs right or wrong, you‚Äôd be na√Įve to call his popedom ‚Äėground-breaking‚Äô.
The Pope‚Äôs fresh image has attracted a wave of support for the Catholic Church. More than 80% of American Catholics and 62% of American adults in general, view Francis favourably; which is considerably higher than his predecessor, according to research by Pew.
The media sensationalism that labels the Pope as ‚Äúprogressive‚ÄĚ is misleading. So please, don‚Äôt pat him on the back for being revolutionary when his views on abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality so clearly prove that he‚Äôs married to the old guard.
Eden Gillespie is a freelance contributor to The Feed.¬†