Pope Francis Calls for Civil Unions for Same Sex Couples

Pope Francis Calls for Civil Unions for Same Sex Couples

     We have a very long newsletter coming out, hopefully tomorrow. For today, though, there is some big news ….

     We are simply writing to note that the Argentinian Jorge Mario Berogolio, also known as Pope Francis, has officially and unequivocally voiced support of gay unions.

     Proactive measures like that of Pope Francis, saying homosexuals deserve the right to unite, form legal unions, and be protected, is actually, not too much of a breakthrough for the Roman Catholic Church, however.

     The Catechism of the Catholic Church’s #2358 has long supported, even demanded, that all homosexuals shall be treated with Compassion, Sensitivity, and Respect.

      Somewhere in America, and surely, in other places of the world, there is a person or person struggling with their feelings because they are attracted to someone of the same sex. This person could be your brother, uncle, or best friend. Every day of their life is consumed with a secret loathsome self-hatred, all because they believe they may be gay.

     This person may also be contemplating suicide, and many will commit suicide or perhaps, be bludgeoned to death because they are gay. They might face the fate of a person like young Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. Matthew was beaten and left to die, tied to a fence. He wound up having a slow, excruciating death. We’ve heard that story many times before. Saint Sebastian, the patron of athletes and invoked for Good Sportsmanship, suffered a similar fate. Here’s his story:

     Sebastian originally hid his true Christian identity from Emperor Diocletian so he could serve as a soldier in the Army. As a soldier, Sebastian discovered he had gentle healing qualities. Many went to him seeking comfort. Sebastian secretly baptized soldiers and civilians during his travels. Sebastian eventually “Came Out” and revealed his true Christian identity to Diocletian, who then ordered Sebastian to be put to death by a firing squad of archers. All because he was different! The archers’ arrows pierced Sebastian. He was abandoned and left to die in the gutter. He miraculously survived after a woman came to his rescue and nursed him to health.

     After his recovery, he was not “Closeted.” Sebastian would not and could not hide his true identity. Sebastian went to confront Diocletian. Sebastian spoke up for his beliefs and criticized Diocletian for hating diversity. The Emperor ordered his followers to tie Sebastian to a tree and beat him to death with clubs, which they did. Sebastian was brutally murdered and his body thrown in the sewer. In the 15th Century, Renaissance artists began painting Sebastian as a nearly nude, handsome, young athlete, tied to a tree, pierced with arrows. Many of the paintings are Masterpieces. Our medal depicts Sebastian tied to a tree or pierced with arrows. Sebastian’s life and death parallel the short life and tragic death of Matthew Shepard, who was also murdered.

Because he was Different.

Like Saint Sebastian.

       Pope Francis has addressed the giant “pink elephant in the room” and said to gays and lesbians: “Hi, how are you, take a seat, let’s spend some time together.”  And with his words, undoubtedly conveyed to a conflicted person, that they are ok, they are worthwhile members of a religious society. They are welcome.

      And some of those very people, the ones Pope Francis has embraced, will have the courage and self-respect, to walk back through the doors of their Church. And so, the lapsed, the marginalized, the men and woman feeling rejected by their religion, will finally be treated with the deserved respect, compassion, and sensitivity the Catechism of the Catholic Church has long demanded.

      When you see these people near your pew, be sure to say, “Welcome Home.”

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