Recently, Pope Francis met with Juan Carlos Cruz regarding his sexual abuse victimization.
The Pope, during the private meeting, was said to have told him “that you are gay does not matter … God made you like that and loves you like this, and I don’t care.”
When I heard this, I was overwhelmed with emotion.
Having been a Catholic my entire life, I expected the usual rhetoric from the church – calling this man down for being a “sinner.” I imagined how this man must have felt, having the Pope accept him for who he is. There’s much controversy about this with some Catholics, and we are all waiting to hear what the position of the church will be.
In our society, our current leaders, who are both rigid and homophobic, are very willing to “throw out” anyone that does not fit into their ideals of America and American people.
Take Vice President Mike Pence, for example. Before he became the vice president, his previous job was governor of Indiana where he made headlines with prejudicial remarks and actions against the LGBTQ community. And yet he now sits in one of the highest positions of leadership. Consequently, many people feel free to voice hateful and ignorant opinions about people who are not like them.
I think what needs to happen now is for people to get out of their comfort zones and try to put themselves in others’ shoes. How would you feel had you been in Juan Carlos’ shoes? It’s that easy … empathy.
In the end, all I know is my God is a loving God who accepts everyone as they are. After all, as the saying goes, God made us all and “God don’t make no junk”.