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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Open Letter to Pope Francis: A Father Confirms

Dear Pope Francis,

You exemplify a father who draws near to sons and daughters to dignify them. You encourage us to aspire to more, to cultivate magnanimity, to take hold of all for which Christ took hold of us. Thank you.

A father’s power to confirm matters not only to our spirituality as sons and daughters of the one Father; it matters to our sexual clarity. All we know from Scripture about the image of God in humanity is our sexual duality as male and female (Gen. 1:26, 27). Somehow, we represent the Father in the quality of our gift-giving, man to woman, woman to man. St. John Paul II said it best: ‘The dignity and balance of future generations depends on who man will be for woman and woman man.’

We need fathers to coax and confirm that quality in us. Recalling my previous disqualification as a ‘gay’ man, I made every effort to help secure my children in the dignity of their sexual humanity. That meant empowering my daughter and three sons to be reconciled to the unique ways they represented the Father as whole-enough woman and men-to-be.

It is not enough to be born male or female. We become aligned with our sexual gift--body, soul, and spirit--over the course of a lifetime. Good fathers encourage that alignment.

Yet we no longer know our value as male and female. A host of sins (divorce, abuse, all manner of addiction) have broken the boundaries that lend security and significance to our sexual value; this has given rise to the LGBTQ+ spectrum that now codifies a generation as fractured expressions of the Imago Dei. We now define justice by confirming persons as ‘gay’ or ‘trans’ or ‘them’ (unidentified sex).

In truth, one of the main points of the synod seems to be the ‘radical inclusion’ of LGBTQ+ persons into the Church. Rather than learn how to best father people who have adopted a false anthropology and who need confirmation of their true sexual value, the synod wonders how the Church can best assimilate them.

Who is converting who? Heed this, dear father: the LGBTQ+ community is successfully evangelizing the Church, not the other way around. If the synod thus far is any indication, we are in danger of exchanging the Cross of confirmation for a fake compassion that conforms the Church to the rainbow world rather than our transforming it.

Pope Francis, we need your leadership as never before. If you guide our Church into misreading sexual brokenness and embracing LGBTQ+ personhood, we will be lost, as confused and divided as mainline American Protestantism and the worldwide Anglican communion. Not because of ‘gay’ or ‘trans’ people: misbegotten identities are only symptoms of a much greater evil. I name three.

First, we have lost sight of what is truly ‘radical’--the ‘root’ of what it means to be human, made in God’s image. Ours is a crisis of anthropology. Second, we now doubt the authority of Savior Jesus to bring us back to the garden and so restore our native dignity as sons and daughters. The third point results from the first two. We are losing the truth and authority of fatherhood: to confirm in-the-flesh the dignity of our children, in the Spirit of God who made and seeks to save them.

As fathers, let us fight for our children’s integrity with all our might. We pray for your courage to confirm the radical sexual value of every son and daughter.


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