Rousing Her Radiance: Day 16
Leveraging Church Hypocrisy #2
‘God loves you, He made you gay, the pope loves you, and you must love yourself.’ - Pope Francis to ‘gay’ activist Juan Carlos Cruz
How did Pope Francis come to parrot the world in the ludicrous claim that God made anyone ‘gay’? His relationship with bestie Juan Carlos Cruz describes it all.
The relationship emerges out of clerical abuse and cover-up in Latin America. Juan Carlos Cruz and other then male teens were violated by a prominent priest in Santiago, Chile. That priest was disciplined (and ultimately stripped of his priesthood by Francis) but efforts by Cruz and others to indict four bishops complicit in the abuse failed. Francis upheld the bishops’ innocence. Cruz, who had since come out as a ‘gay’ young adult, was slandered by some Chilean clerics as a ‘gay’ teen who had been complicit in his own abuse. Other rumblings ensued and Pope Francis reviewed the case; he concluded that the Santiago diocese was corrupt and self-serving, rife with ‘an authoritarian and narcissistic spirituality.’ This rather complicated series of events has brought the Chilean Church to Her knees.
That’s a good thing. A severe mercy. Abuse is abuse is abuse; complicity needs to be owned and routed. Cruz became a global ‘gay’ activist and was invited by Francis onto a sexual abuse council. It appears he has also become one of Francis’ best friends.
Last July, at Fordham University, Father James Martin introduced Juan Carlos Cruz as a keynote speaker for his ‘Outreach’ gathering; Cruz testified winningly of Francis’ accompaniment of him by describing in detail the much time and personal attention Francis gave him in Rome. Mostly though, he heralded Francis’ fatherly confirmation of his ‘gay’ self (see intro quote) and assured the crowd that the pope wanted all to know this advocacy. Cruz alluded to Francis wanting more LGBTQ+ benefits in the Church (a prophecy of Francis’ intention to bless same-sex couples?), to which the unchaste crowd roared with approval.
Blindness on two counts. At least.
Francis, in atoning for the sins of a compromised Church—clericalism, the well-placed predator, an old-school culture of men who cover each other’s interests first—has played right into the hands of another enemy: the fake anthropology of LGBTQ+ and its politicization. He atones for one set of sins by advocating for another set, an identity confusion that arises out of the very abuses Francis seeks to rectify!
This is demonic work—as obvious to me as the woman who, broken by misogyny, feels justified in her hatred of men. Yet the wound, without being tended, gives rise to more brokenness. It deepens and seals the wound.
Juan Carlos Cruz was damaged at core in his male sexuality by a demonized predatory priest. His ‘gay’ self and activism is partially sourced in that abuse.
Does Pope Francis not see this link? Does he really believe that Cruz is intrinsically, blessedly ‘gay’? Good pope, wake up! Don’t separate the wound from the man! And don’t think your accompaniment to helping Cruz become the best ‘gay’ man he can be cures anything, including the sexual mess of Cruz’s Catholic formation.
It deceives. It exchanges one set of sins (abuse and cover-up) for another cover-up—the obscuring of one’s true self— of Cruz’s inspired nature. He is a man made in God’s image, a new creation, a son and not a slave.
We honor Francis’ efforts to discipline power abuses. Yet we must challenge his misuse of power as ‘father’ by misreading the wound of homosexuality. Instead of helping to cure it, he covers it, even invoking the advocacy of God the Father. Please pray for Francis’ repentance here. For Juan Carlos Cruz. For every hurting soul. For the integrity of the Church of Jesus Christ.
‘Father, forgive us. We have sinned in being complicit in abuse. And we are guilty of misreading the wound. Please inspire Francis to repent of his misdirected mercy and accompaniment. Take us down to our end. We need more chastity, not less, in cleansing our hypocrisies.’
‘Father, we thank You for Jesus who established the Church on a Rock against which hell will not prevail (Matt 16:18). We pray for every Christian leader to build on Her firm foundation of sexual clarity and integrity. Father, unmask the deceiver and divider of Christians and unite us in one Spirit. As weak members of Christ, we ask for truth to guide our pursuit of sexual wholeness, for grace to sustain it, and for spiritual power to transform us. May we reflect the chaste radiance of Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18) as we “shine like stars in the universe, holding out the word of life” (Phil. 2:15-16) to a lost and hurting world.’