Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Editorial: Pope Francis, gay marriage and actualizing change

It was reported Wednesday that Kim Davis, current conservative darling and avowed hatemonger, had a private meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. last week. Per the Washington Post and NPR, the meeting occurred last Thursday at the Vatican Embassy in D.C. Apparently the meeting had been arranged at the behest of the Vatican weeks in advance. Through her legal team, Davis expressed that the meeting, although brief, was profound for both her and Pope Francis, with both clasping each other’s hands and vowing to pray for one another. Francis also sent Davis off with a nice pair of rosaries.

We can’t possibly be the only people skeeved out by this. As we wrote in a previous Darts & Laurels, Pope Francis has become an adored public figure in both secular and religious circles.

He is seemingly bridging his devout faith with "modern" values like believing in climate change and being compassionate to those who are different from you. Actively seeking to meet with Davis, a woman who has crafted celebrity out of hatred, flies in the face of all of that. If we’re being quite honest, on an emotional level, this almost feels like a betrayal; it was no mistake many have affectionately dubbed Pope Francis the "cool pope."

This does not take away from Francis’ other achievements: Making climate change and social inequality pertinent discussions in the Catholic world has been a needed and long-overdue change of pace. However, to positively acknowledge Davis’ crusade in any gesture, whether it be big or small, is tantamount to denying the humanity of LGBTQ+ Americans.

Like we acknowledged in the aforementioned Darts & Laurels, Francis, despite his accolades, is not infallible, and his meeting with Davis is perhaps the most salient example yet.

If there is anything of value to be taken away from this scenario, it is the reminder that we cannot look solely to those in power for meaningful change.

Although same-sex marriage is now a legal right in the U.S. courtesy of the Supreme Court, unwarranted hatred and bigotry are still the name of the game in many parts of the country — like Rowan County, Kentucky.

As the civil rights movement and ensuing years have shown, achieving legal recognition does not change societal conditions overnight.

It is no mistake that Black Lives Matter emerged 50 years after the 1960s; despite progress, things have yet to be ideal. All things willing, it will not take U.S. citizens another 50 years to treat LGBTQ+ individuals with the same respect they would offer anyone else.

In the meantime, it is up to compassionate citizens who share the desire to see others treated equally to be the change they wish to see in the world.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.