Responses to the news that the pope met with Kim Davis and her lawyer Mat Staver of the anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel has had my Facebook page lit up all morning. I'd like to share with you some of the comments now coming in:
I sadly find myself in agreement with my friend William D. Lindsey: "If you're like me, LGBT Catholic folks and people who care about LGBT human beings, now's the time to give up on the Catholic church. I will never listen with respect to another word this pope says." . . .
And then he adds,
And to think of all the people Francis could have met with . . . the parents of LGBT people, those fired from Catholic institutions for being LGBT, a married gay couple, an actual CATHOLIC LGBT person . . . that he secretly met with this woman is just too much. I've long thought of being rebaptized in the Old Catholic tradition (one in which my friend Robert . . . serves as a priest). I really think it's time for that. I just don't want to identify as ROMAN Catholic anymore. The whole system is just too corrupt and dysfunctional.
I am so disappointed with him. I guess I had him up in a pedestal ; just to find out he is hollow and made of clay ; like all the others before him. I still like John XXIII.
And then he adds,
I feel I have been lied to; very disappointed.
[He] had to compensate for that loving spirit toward the poor, outcast, sick and prisoners before he lost support of the conservatives completely. This'll do the trick.
The head of a foreign state and head of a major Christian community came into our country and secretly encouraged disobeying our laws.
If this turns out to be true and he did meet with her, it will be the last straw for many of us who have been grasping for something to hold on to.
I too will consider it the last straw. Meeting with paper pushing overpaid Kim & NOT TRULY addressing ABUSE COVERUP issues just has infuriated me. I ask if the Pope can be trusted in what comes out of his mouth? Some confirmation needs to be forth coming & soon!
I had a tiny sliver of hope ... Now GONE!!!!
What I want to note is that many of these are folks who have been, right up till today, willing to hang on with their fingernails and believe that Pope Francis represented hope. Quite a few of them are Catholics.
That hope has now vanished in an instant.
As David Gibson notes for Religion News Service today, by meeting with Kim Davis — and he has to have known news of that secret meeting would leak out — the pope has put a frame around everything he said that seemed hopeful, positive, focused on the common good in his visit to the U.S. Now all any of us can see inside that frame of pretty words is the face of Kim Davis. Here's David Gibson:
Throughout his just-concluded visit to the U.S., Pope Francis was careful to avoid many of the hot-button social issues that have roiled American society. He repeatedly exhorted his bishops to take a more positive approach and not pick fights that would turn more people off than they would attract.
Now it turns out that even as he was preaching that message the pope met secretly with an icon of the culture wars: Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk and conservative Christian who was jailed for five days in early September for refusing to issue marriage licenses for gay couples because she said it conflicted with God’s law.
And as HeilMary says in a comment here this morning,
The pope wouldn't meet with abuse survivor John Wojnowski, who has protested for 17 YEARS at the Vatican's D.C. embassy where the pope stayed, yet adulterous bigots Kim and Joe Davis were driven to that same building to meet with the pope for 15 minutes! I'm disgusted!
There stands John Wojnowski year after year on a street corner in D.C., in rain, snow, torrid heat, calling on the leaders of the Catholic church to be accountable for their cover-up of the sexual abuse of minors, and the pope chooses to meet with Joe and Kim Davis and praise their courage?
What's wrong with this story?
The pope has opened a world of hurt with this ugly event, and I, for one, cannot buy the defense of his behavior some papal apologists are now shopping around — that he had no idea what he'd be signaling when he met with Kim and Joe Davis and Mat Staver, and had no idea how publicity about that meeting would be used.
If the people responding to this story in my Facebook feed or at this blog site are any indicator of the response to the story, a lot of people who were willing to give Francis the benefit of the doubt have now had it with him (and perhaps we all should have had it the moment he praised the bishops' courage about the abuse crisis and the moment he told reporters that the question of women's ordination remains definitively closed).
I suppose we're all little folks they've never wanted within their fold, in any case, and that they calculate they can write all of us off as those insignificant sorts of people the pretty words tell us we must pay attention to if we're sincere disciples of Jesus.
P.S. I deliberately have not provided links to the Facebook comments I've shared above, since I do not want to invade the privacy of any Facebook friends who have their feed set to friends-only reading.
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