Monday, July 29, 2013

Pope Francis opens the door to abstinent gay priests; NYTimes covers Russia's anti-gay scapegoating law heavily; a problem for the Sochi Olympics?

Pope Francis has indicated more open willingness to accept the idea of abstinent or celibate but openly gay men into the Catholic priesthood, according to a conversation he had with journalists on a plane back from Brazil.  “Who am I to judge?” he asked. The Chicago Sun Times has a typical story (Reuters, Phillip Pullella) here
The previous Pope Benedict has insisted that the “sacrifice” inherent in the priesthood could be meaningful only for a man who otherwise would want to marry and have children with a wife.
Francis has been more insistent on the idea of voluntary, shared poverty than his predecessor.
In the mean time, the coverage of Russia’s law scapegoating gays and lesbians (particularly for its falling birth rates and aging population) has generated more coverage in the New York Times, including an editorial and now this coverage by Frank Bruni on the nuances of whether a boycott of the winter Olympics in Sochi would make sense, link here

The Russians keep saying that the athletes themselves having nothing to worry about.  Publicly open gay visitors (particularly on the Internet) and tourists just might.  We’ll have to see in the next few months what actually happens with this law.  I already have a feeling it won’t be enforced.
Gay equality seems to be moving in different directions: so much progress in marriage and military issues, but in lower income communities and some public schools bullying increases, and in authoritarian countries repression increases.  

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