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Yes, No, Maybe So

by Christopher A. Ferrara
Octover 9, 2015

In my last column I noted that the Vatican Press Office dismissed as insignificant the Pope’s meeting with Kim Davis at the Vatican embassy in Washington, with Father Lombardi noting: “The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.”

The only “real audience” happened the day before when the Pope’s “former student,” a 67-year-old homosexual named Yayo Grassi and his “boyfriend,” who looked to be half his age, received hugs and kisses on the cheek from Francis.  It was all captured on a video later broadcast by CNN.

This was no perfunctory encounter but rather, as CNN reports, was “arranged personally with the Pope via email in the weeks ahead.” Moreover, as Grassi told the press — without contradiction by Father Lombardi — “Three weeks before the trip, he [Francis] called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug.”  And so he did.  And a kiss on the cheek. And a hug and a kiss for the “boyfriend” as well.

Looking at the nightmarish tableau on the video, one might be tempted to think that Francis could not have known whom he was embracing and what that embrace would signify to the world. And one would be wrong: “Grassi said the Pope has long known that he is gay, but has never condemned his sexuality or his same-sex relationship. ‘He has never been judgmental,’ Grassi said. ‘He has never said anything negative.’” Moreover, as CNN notes: “In the video, Francis says he recalls meeting Grassi's boyfriend in Rome.”

Does this mean Francis — the very Vicar of Christ — is demonstrating his acceptance of “homosexual unions” and “valuing” the homosexual “orientation” as recommended by the midterm report of Phony Synod 2014, a document he approved and ordered published to the world? The answer — thematic of the entire pontificate — is Yes, No, Maybe So. Francis has consistently said one thing and then another, or said one thing and then done another, or done one thing and then done another. 

In this case, as National Geographic reports, Grassi complained by email to the future Pope back in 2010 when Cardinal Bergoglio reportedly told some Carmelite nuns in a private letter that “gay marriage” is “the work of the devil.” Wrote Grassi to his beloved progressive friend: “You have been my guide, continuously moving my horizons — you have shaped the most progressive aspects of my worldview. And to hear this from you is so disappointing.”  

Bergoglio hastened to reply by email (dispatched by one of his assistants as he is not tech savvy). As National Geographic notes, he “began by saying that he had taken Grassi’s words to heart. The Catholic Church’s position on the subject of marriage was what it was. Still, it pained Bergoglio to know that he had upset his student. Grassi’s former maestrillo [teacher] assured him that the media had badly misconstrued his position. Above all, said the future pope in his reply, in his pastoral work, there was no place for homophobia.”  What is that supposed to mean? Who knows?

So, in one letter Bergoglio told the sisters that “gay-marriage” is the work of the devil — or more accurately “a ‘move’ of the father of lies” — but in another letter to his “gay” friend and former student he said that his statement to the sisters had been “misconstrued” by the press and that he is no “homophobe.”  How exactly did the press “misconstrue” the phrase “a move of the father of lies”?  It didn’t, of course.  The Cardinal was merely issuing a politician-style disclaimer of his own words.

By the same token, Francis met with Kim Davis, courageous opponent of “gay marriage,” but only after having already met with two “gay partners,” hugging and kissing them both as part of a long relationship with one of them during which Francis had never even intimated that sodomy and “homosexual unions” are gravely immoral.  And the meeting with Davis was minimized as merely a brief, friendly encounter in no way to be taken as a sign of opposition to “gay marriage.”

This much, however, is clear: the Pope warmly greeted, embraced and kissed on the cheeks a homosexual and his “partner.” The Pope treats these perverse relationships as if there were nothing wrong with them (having previously warmly embraced a woman who had herself surgically mutilated and her “fiancée,” personally invited to the Vatican by Francis for one of his hugs). Thus, every other member of the hierarchy — indeed, every Catholic — will be expected to behave likewise, no matter what Francis might have said before or might say later by way of purely verbal opposition to “gay marriage.”

And so it goes.  On and on, round and round, left and right, stop and go, forward and back, as the Vatican Press Offices issues one useless “clarification” after another. I am reminded of the assessment by a fellow Argentinian within hours of Cardinal Bergoglio’s election to the papacy — an assessment as accurate at it was harsh:

Famous for his inconsistency (at times, for the unintelligibility of his addresses and homilies), accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is….
May God help His Church. One can never dismiss, as humanly hard as it may seem, the possibility of a conversion... and, nonetheless, the future terrifies us.

I was appalled by these remarks at the time, when I had nothing but praise for Francis.  But now, to my own amazement, and with the morally seditious Synod of Doom underway — a ghost ship filled with awful cargo and Francis at the helm — I am forced to conclude that this early critic of the pontificate was putting it rather mildly.

Our Lady of Fatima, come to our aid!