The ‘Global War’
Last week, Pope Francis took a trip to the Eurasian country and former Soviet state of Georgia. During one appearance, a woman in the crowd brought up the subject of gender theory, which more or less studies the binary concepts of the male and female genders.
The Pontiff stood firmly against such a liberal notion. In an off-the-cuff speech, he responded to one audience member’s question on the subject by saying, “You mentioned a great enemy of marriage: gender theory. Today, there is a global war out to destroy marriage, not with weapons but with ideas. It’s certain ideological ways of thinking that are destroying it… we have to defend ourselves from ideological colonization.”
The question originally came up in the context of how some Christians feel marginalized by globalization and progressive social tendencies, two trends often supported by powerful countries. Pope Francis spoke out against these developed nations, condemning them for bargaining economic and humanitarian aid in exchange for left-leaning moral influence in developing nations.
So what does that mean for the Pope’s “liberal” reputation?
Same Old, Same Old
Though his Jesuit background has prepared Pope Francis to discuss certain social matters and hot topics including climate change in a way his predecessors rarely have, he is still the head of the Catholic Church, and it should come as no surprise—even to his biggest fans—that his stance is conservative.
And did we really expect anything else? Though major world leaders like the Pope appear to have the power to make great differences during their tenures and in their lifetimes, the fact of the matter is that the institutions and cultures they represent tend to be much more slow-moving. No one was expecting Francis to allow gay marriage in the Church, but should it really be such a revelation to remind Christians that gays deserved to be loved anyway? While his “who am I to judge?” comment may have set him apart from the likes of Pope Benedict XVI, it shouldn’t have earned him honors like The Advocate‘s Person of the Year 2013. Just because he isn’t condemning the gay community doesn’t mean he is helping it.
On the other hand, the Pope’s positive comments reminded Christians that we are all the same and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on global Christianity. We can only hope that he will continue to promote this message of equality for years to come.
Still, this leaves the Pontiff in a peculiar position: critics believe him to be too liberal, and many liberals find him to be as predictably conservative as ever.
Do you think a modern concept of gender, or the belief that we do not have to fulfill the roles society determines for us before our birth will deteriorate the family unit and ruin society at large? SHARE this article and let us know your thoughts.