New York, NY: The newly elected Pope Francis continued a recent string of high profile, unexpected statements on divisive issues for the Catholic Church recently by saying “Who am I to judge?” in regards to homosexuals in the church. While this statement is seen as a sea change for the Catholic Church, reactions have been mixed.
“Look, this is great, I really don’t want to downplay the importance of this,” said Greenwich Village resident Andy Westwood. “But essentially it seems like what he’s saying is, ‘Hey, maybe we shouldn’t be dicks to gay people.’” Westwood added that though the sentiment is “a nice change of pace,” he noted that he would still be denied the right to marry his partner of 20 years, and that “not being dicks” is “really the very first, super minimal step” in the advancement of gay rights.
Certain members of the Catholic clergy were also put off by Francis’ remarks. Catholic priest and Queens resident Ronald Huffman stated, “I guess I can’t really say that their lifestyles are immoral and condemnable in services anymore without conflicting with the pope, which for me is a huge bummer.” Huffman’s services regularly feature issues like homosexuality as a theme. “It’s pretty easy to get people riled up about stuff like that,” Huffman continued. “And it gives me a pretty good out, because I don’t have to explain why it makes me feel weird when I see two men or two women in love, I can just point right to scripture passages.”
Huffman stated that he had hoped that the pope’s remarks were more in passing and less active, so that he wouldn’t have to “actually do stuff for [the gay community]now,” as he stated that, despite Francis’ statement, he still believes homosexuality to be “icky gross.”
While most reactions to Pope Francis’ progressive statements have been positive, some have noted that it’s “kind of fucked up” that the statements are seen as progressive. “Like seriously, this is progressive for the Catholic Church,” said Brooklyn resident Jane Wilson. “But that just shows you how backwards this whole thing is. Most people arrived at the, ‘Hey, I’ll just let them do their own thing,’ conclusion, like, forever ago.”
Wilson also wanted to reiterate that she still cannot marry her partner, and noted tha,t since they still can’t get married, they’re technically having sex out of wedlock. “Which means I’ll still be burning in hell with all of the other pre-marital sex havers and masturbators,” Wilson explained. Wilson also added that she’d wait to become excited about Francis’ statements until, “y’know, some stuff actually happens, rather than just some old guy saying things.”
Meanwhile, former Catholics across the nation have been viewing the new Pope’s remarks with very similar reactions, most boiled down to, “Huh. So that’s happening now.”