Jamie Manson on Pope Francie's deep ties to evangelicals (in Latin American, as well as to influential American ones), and how those ties will undoubtedly strongly affect what happens at the World Meeting on Families in Philadelphia this September:
If there is a set of convictions that Pope Francis and U.S. evangelicals share fervently, it could be summed up like this: Marriage is between one man and one woman, children must have a mother and a father, and strict gender roles are part of the divine plan for humanity.
A quick glance at the list of workshops at the World Meeting of Families makes it clear that these ideas will dominate the conference. (Sessions on "traditional" marriage, complementarity, religious freedom, and mandatory celibacy for gays and lesbians are abundant.)
Given the Vatican's many friendships with wealthy evangelical powerbrokers and given the urgency of their shared cause, it's a wonder Rick Warren was the only evangelical asked to address the meeting.
I think Jamie's absolutely correct about this. So, even as the cheerleaders for the pope in the mainstream media continue telling us he represents a new moment in the church, when it comes to how LGBT people are received and treated, the alliance between Francis and the group most determined to resist LGBT rights in the U.S. — right-wing evangelicals — is being cemented even more strongly as a prelude to his American visit.
To an archdiocese headed by one of the most bellicose anti-gay culture-war bishops in the nation, Archbishop Charles Chaput, who, as head of the Denver archdiocese before he went to Philadelphia, refused to admit the children of a lesbian couple who were practicing Catholics to a Catholic school . . . .
So much for that warmer, more merciful, more pastoral church we've heard so much about in the media spin regarding Pope Francis.
The photo of Jamie Manson is from National Catholic Reporter.