While Pope Francis seemingly tried to use his visit to America to present a kinder, gentler face on Catholicism and to score a PR triumph, news that Francis met with four times married, serial adulterer Kim Davis shows that nothing has changed in the Church leadership other than a matter of style. Whatever good I thought of the man is gone and I again say that, in my view, gays who remain Catholics are delusional masochists. As for Francis, if the Gospels are to be believed, while Christ met with prostitutes, he had little good to say about Pharisees who were selectively (and falsely) pious - a description that well describes Davis and her professional Christian class supporters. A column in Huffington Post reflects my views of con man Pope Francis. Here are excerpts:
After first refusing to confirm nor deny it, the Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis met with the Kentucky clerk Kim Davis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, where Davis' attorney -- who made the news public after the pope's trip ended -- said Francis told her to "stay strong." And that simple encounter completely undermines all the goodwill the pope created in downplaying "the gay issue" on his U.S. trip.
The pope played us for fools, trying to have it both ways. As I noted last week, he's an artful politician, telling different audiences what they want to hear on homosexuality. He did that in Argentina as a cardinal -- railing against gay marriage when the Vatican expected him to do so -- and he's done that since becoming pope, striking a softer tone on the issue after Benedict's harsh denunciations were a p.r. disaster for the Catholic Church in the West. But this news about Kim Davis portrays him as a more sinister kind of politician. That's the kind that secretly supports hate, ushering the bigots in the back door -- knowing they're an embarrassment -- while speaking publicly about about how none of us can judge one another.
[B]y meeting with Davis secretly, and then at first having the Vatican neither confirm nor deny the encounter -- and now having the Vatican say it "won't deny" the meeting while it still won't offer any other details -- the pope comes off as a coward.
He shows himself to be antithetical to much of what he preaches and teaches. He talks about dialogue and having the courage of one's convictions and the courage to speak out. But he swept this Davis meeting under the rug, seemingly ashamed and certainly not wanting to broach the subject. Even Davis's supporters should find that insulting to them.
[B]y telling Davis that she should "stay strong" -- if her attorney's account of the encounter is to be believed -- the pope is only encouraging the bigots, even if he's doing so quietly.
Rather than moving us forward on LGBT rights ever so slightly, as many viewed the pope as doing, he now, with this meeting, emboldens the haters in the church who will be pushing to make sure church doctrine continues to call homosexuality "intrinsically disordered." And it sends a message to all those people who've experienced anti-gay discrimination . . . . that this pope is not going to end that discrimination any time soon. Rather than stopping that discrimination, he welcomed, with open arms in the Vatican's own embassy, the bigots who promote that discrimination but who've turned themselves into the victims.