Sometimes the media misses the elephant in the room, and this is clearly one of those occasions.
Buried within several news reports is the stunning revelation that Pope Francis, then Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, may have quietly backed gay civil unions as an alternative to the gay marriage law that passed in Argentina in July 2010.
According to the new pope’s authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, Bergoglio was politically wise enough to know the church couldn’t win a straight-on fight against gay marriage, so he urged his bishops to lobby for gay civil unions instead. It wasn’t until his proposal was shot down by the bishops’ conference that he publicly declared what Paulon described as the “war of God” — and the church lost the issue altogether.
Despite his conservatism, “Bergoglio is known for being moderate and finding a balance between reactionary and progressive sectors,” Paulon said. “When he came out strongly against gay marriage, he did it under pressure from the conservatives.”
Freyre, executive director of the Buenos Aires AIDS Foundation, wrote on his Twitter account this week that Pope Francis “knows that gay marriage isn’t the end of the world or the species.”
In addition, BuzzFeed reports:
When it became clear that stopping the marriage law would be impossible, the church may have tacitly given its backing to a civil union law as a way to head off the marriage bill. Senator Liliana Negre de Alonso, a member of Opus Dei and one of the politicians most closely linked to the Catholic Church, sponsored the civil union bill. (This would be like Rick Santorum having endorsed a civil union law in the United States.) It went nowhere. During the debate, the leader of the majority party reduced her to tears while calling her a “Nazi” for backing legislation that would create a “separate-but-equal” status for same-sex couples.
– continue reading at Millennial.
On Gay Unions, a Pragmatist Before He Was a Pope (New York Times)