Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Papa Rap Papa

Understandably there’s media frenzy over the Pope these days. Starting from the Pope death-watch (morbid but undeniably fascinating) to the growing wake of mourners, the media coverage will escalate into what’s shaping up to be the biggest world-wide event of the year so far: his funeral. And the ending will happen in a cloud of white smoke, when his successor is chosen. World-wide blockbuster ito!

Because of all of these, the Papacy and the Church has been on my mind lately. Despite the Pope being the closest thing to God on earth, he is still a man. And like all men, he was shaped by his past. This Pope grew up under totalitarianism. No wonder then that one of his greatest triumphs is to polarize Poles to go against the communist rule. He also is said to have supported our Catholic Church in defying the Marcoses, leading to the first People Power movement in 1986. He championed the right of the oppressed to be free.

Unfortunately the “oppressed” and “marginalized” did not include homosexuals. (Not surprisingly, many of the gays I know have mixed feelings these days—they feel like crying for someone who angered them on his stand against gays.) Despite the presence of gays in the clergy, it is highly doubtful that a gay-friendly cardinal will one day ascend to be the direct descendant of Saint Peter. I think it may be several lifetimes until we see the Catholic Church softening its stand against homosexuals. After all, it took centuries for the notion of the Earth as the center of the universe to be replaced and for the Church to formally admit that they treated Galileo rather shabbily.

I know I may never see the day when gays are embraced and accepted by the Church the way Christ embraced and accepted Magdalene, a woman engaged in the oldest profession in the world. So I remain part of the Church—but in the fringes.


What if a gay cardinal was elected to be Pope? Either he’ll be closeted or worse, he’ll be of the “love the sinner, condemn the sin” variety. The former has the potential to turn against his fellow “sisters of the cloth” and be very anti-gay (self-hate is just so ugly, isn’t it?) The latter I cannot abide; I don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin.

I prefer to have a straight Pope who is nevertheless very comfortable and accepting of homosexuals. Maybe he is someone who grew up being comfortable around gays, someone who doesn’t think of them as “different” folks. For then he will truly be an example for the straight community to follow. Wouldn’t that be a sight to behold?

Siya talaga ang kauna-unahang tunay na Papa!