Lots of people have been getting excited about Pope Francis. He seems moderate and progressive, a humanitarian Christian voice in a world plagued by religious extremism. Recently, instead of staying for dinner with politicians, he decided to eat with some of the homeless in Washington, DC.
He even went so far as to accept evolution and the Big Bang theory. Good for him. He has caught up with the rest of us.
Except not quite. According to The Independent, his acceptance of these theories relies on the fact that they necessarily incorporate a creator – that they don’t work without intentional design:
“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.
“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
These statements reveal how little he understands evolution. If “beings” automatically require a creator, then nothing can exist without something else existing to design it.
So wouldn’t the creator also require a creator and so on ad infinitum? This is an example of the infinite regress fallacy.
Okay, so maybe he’s imposing God on a theory that pretty much negates the possibility of a creator. But he’s a Catholic, so of course, he’s going to find a way to work God into proven scientific facts, right?
He’s entitled to express his opinion, even if it is based on a fallacy. What I don’t understand is why people applaud him for announcing a distorted, unfounded version of what scientists have already been telling us for a long time. Is Catholicism so far behind on the facts that even inaccurate science has become worthy of praise?
Then we have Elton John, the famous gay musician, calling Pope Francis his “hero” for promoting gay rights in the Catholic Church. The Advocate, a gay rights magazine, named the pope Person of the Year, allegedly for nudging the church in the direction of greater tolerance and inclusion of the LGBT community.
Wouldn’t that be great if it were true? Sadly, before becoming pope, Francis (then known as Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio) spoke out against legalizing gay marriage, calling it “an attempt to destroy God’s plan.”
People seem to have misunderstood what he meant by his now-famous quote, which appeared on the cover of The Advocate:
“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”
Of course, I can’t say what’s in his heart, but judging by his track record and other comments he has made, this statement seems more like a reference to casting the first stone only if you’re without sin yourself. He hasn’t actually said that homosexuality is not a sin, just that Catholics should stop judging others. For a more detailed analysis of the Vatican’s current stance on homosexuality, check out this insightful article from TIME. It’s not as radical as you might think.
The fact that people get so excited about this guy shows how restrictive and judgmental the Catholic clergy often are, not to mention hypocritical. At least Pope Francis appears to practice what he preaches.
It’s like if a two-year-old draws a stick person compared to an adult doing the same. The feat seems more impressive when the person isn’t fully developed.
I guess the same goes for the church taking baby steps. We’re so impressed by this pope that we forget how completely Catholicism would have to reinvent itself if it wanted to achieve any kind of progressive status.