Gay penguins and lesbian rabbits are raising a family? It sounds like a fairy tale, doesn’t it? Well it is. It’s part of a children’s story written by Italian author, Francesca Pardi. There is even a single parent hippo, a kangaroo, and a couple of mixed dog breeds who adopted polar bear cubs. How terrible could that be – educating our youth about the realities of our society? Seems innocent and educational.
However, it created quite a conundrum when LuidiBrugnaro, the mayor of Venice, stepped in and banned it from the school system. Conservative critics are having a field day, claiming that she’s spreading some pro-gay agenda. What’s even more interesting, in some unexpected “twist-of-fate”, Pope Francis has decided to go against the mayor’s actions and chime in, praising Pardi for her work.
Initially, Pardi sent a package to the Pope with a few of her books that address lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. Included was a letter explaining how her books had been banned. To her surprise, she received a letter back from Pope Francis, explaining how the church, historically, opposes the act of homosexuality. But he went on to explain how he has adopted a more welcoming approach.
What did he mean exactly by a ‘more welcoming approach’? Read further.
He said that although the Church has a right to its own opinions, it has no right to interfere spiritually in the lives of homosexuals. In 2013, Pope Francis even said in a speech, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
The Pope plans on visiting the U.S. in September for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. It’s a meeting of Catholics from all over the world to discuss families but, so far, LGBT groups have yet to be invited.
Of course, many are supporting Pardi for taking action against the mayor’s discriminatory act of “banning-of-books with homosexual themes”, regardless of whether they are just gay penguins and rabbits raising a family together. Because of these events, it has also opened people’s eyes to Pope Francis’s beliefs. Pardi went on to say, “It’s not that I think that he’s for gay families, because there’s the Catholic doctrine, but we mustn’t think that we don’t have rights.”
For the Pope to praise Pardi for her work, even after the mayor took steps to ban them from schools, is a step in the right direction. Maybe it’s a leap? Only a few years ago, the Catholic Church would never have taken such a stance on homosexual issues. What do you think?