In a statement sure to enrage the already angry and “persecuted” Christian right in America, Pope Francis has called on Christians all over the world to apologize to homosexuals, women, the poor and anyone else that they’ve offended over the years and, more importantly, ask for forgiveness:
“I think that the Church not only should apologize … to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons,” Francis told reporters on a flight back to Rome from Armenia Sunday.
“We Christians have to apologize for so many things, not just for this (treatment of gays), but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologize! Forgiveness! Lord, it is a word we forget so often!” he said.
Pope Francis was not speaking specifically about the United States but the timing is hard to miss. On the same day the Pope was calling for forgiveness, the US was celebrating one full year of marriage equality being the law of the land. And despite numerous and ongoing attempts by Republicans to codify their hatred of the LGBT community, America has not been ravaged by hordes of gay men stealing husbands away from their wives or children spontaneously turning gay at the sight of two men holding hands in public.
It has, however, seen a serious increase in anti-LGBT violence. This violence enabled by conservative Christians, culminating in the slaughter of 49 young men and women at the hands of a self-loathing bisexual taught to despise himself by his fundamentalist father and right wing hate speech. The social cohesion of our nation is under direct attack, not by The Gay Agenda, but by those who consider themselves to be acting in the name of God when they create an atmosphere of hate and intolerance and encourage others to act on that hate.
If nothing else, these allegedly pious patriots should heed the words of Pope Francis and beg forgiveness from the victims of their hatred. It’s the very least they can do.