“Queering” the Catholic Church

By Joseph D'Hippolito Published on June 21, 2024

An article published in The Stream last March featured this headline: “Pope Francis Must Choose: LGBTQ Ideology or Children.” A few days before “Pride Month” began, Francis announced his choice, quietly but blatantly.

When the Vatican celebrated World Children’s Day in late May this year — a holiday it created — a male drag performer danced in front of children, who even saw the performer’s posterior deliberately exposed to them.

The performer, Carmine De Rosa, said on social media that the Vatican invited him to perform and knew what his act contained: “I would like to point out, reading the comments, that I was WANTED at this event FOR THE TYPE OF SHOW I CARRY ON STAGE and for professionalism…But I simply defend MY ART.” (Capitals in original)

De Rosa’s appearance not only exposes Pope Francis’s public condemnation of gender ideology — which he called “ideological colonization”— as a lie; it shows he supports it. He fully intends to “queer” the Catholic Church, regardless of how it affects children or anyone else — and he has been doing so for quite some time.

Personnel Is Policy

As The Stream’s readers know all too well, Francis uses cunning duplicity as a primary tactic. He says one thing for the benefit of the public, yet acts contrary to those words though his decisions and appointments — and refuses to discipline those who oppose Catholic doctrine.

One such appointment is an American Jesuit, the Rev. James Martin, the editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America and a papal communications advisor. Martin founded Outreach, a Catholic LGBTQ ministry, and uses his various platforms, especially Twitter/X, to promote gender ideology, subtly endorse transgender medical procedures for children, and openly oppose biblical teaching on homosexuality.

Martin even connected his book discussing the meaning of Lazarus’s resurrection in John 11 to gender ideology:

“This message, however, is especially important for LGBTQ people,” he wrote. “‘Coming out’ means to accept, embrace and love who you are, especially your sexuality and the way that God made you, and to reveal or share that part of yourself with others.” (Emphasis added)

On June 12, Martin tweeted that the pope “confirmed my ministry with LGBTQ people and showed his openness and love for the LGBTQ community,” adding that “the Holy Father said he has known many good, holy and celibate seminarians and priests with homosexual tendencies.”

This despite the fact that twice in the previous three weeks, Francis reaffirmed the church’s ban on homosexual seminarians, even using a vulgar slur to describe homosexual behavior.

The Rainbow Fifth Column

Others in this camp hold even higher positions. San Diego Cardinal Robert McElroy demands the “radical inclusion” of LGBTQ Catholics without having them repent from their sexual behavior. Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, one of Francis’s closest advisors, rejects historic teaching on homosexuality and believes doctrinal change is inevitable.

Before becoming president of the Pontifical Academy for Life — which Pope John Paul II founded to fight abortion — Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia commissioned a homoerotic painting for his cathedral. Paglia also developed a sex-education course for teens that one Catholic psychologist called “the most dangerous threat to Catholic youth that I have seen over the past 40 years” because of “pornographic images … used by adult sexual predators of adolescents.”

The Dicastery for the Development of Frociaggine

But Francis intends to make his biggest impact through the Vatican’s highest theological body, the Dicastery for the Development of Doctrine. Its prefect, Argentine Cardinal Victor Fernandez, defended traditional marriage in an interview after his appointment last year, yet allowed the possibility of blessing same-sex unions, as The Stream reported.

“At the same time, I think we should avoid gestures or actions that may express something different,” he said. “That is why I think the greatest care must be taken to avoid rites or blessings that can feed this confusion. Now, if a blessing is given in such a way that it does not cause that confusion, it will have to be analyzed and confirmed.” (emphasis added)

Fernandez formalized that position in December with Fiducia Supplicans, which allows priests to bless unmarried same sex-couples and which Francis approved. The prefect’s other theological writings include two blatantly erotic works.

One book, which Fernandez called “a pastor’s catechesis for teens,” is Heal Me with Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing. In another book, Mystical Passion: Spirituality and Sensuality, Fernandez wrote that homosexuals “will (not) necessarily stop being homosexual” after experiencing divine grace and that those influenced by “strong conditioning … can do things that are objectively sinful, without being guilty, and without losing the grace of God or the experience of his love.” He also wrote things about believers’ relationship with God being similar to the marital act which are too graphic to reprint here.

The Dicastery’s New ‘Allies’

Joining Fernandez in the dicastery this month are three prelates who support gender ideology. Monsignor Bruno Forte, like McElroy, advocates greater acceptance for homosexuality and homosexual relationships in the church, as well as protection of their legal rights. Forte expressed those ideas in the report for the Vatican’s Synod on the Family in 2014.

Cardinal Marcello Semenaro not only supports civil same-sex unions, as Francis does; his Italian diocese annually holds a forum designed “precisely to make homosexuality — and not just persons with homosexual tendencies — fully accepted inside the Church,” reported Riccardo Cascioli. “It aspires to change the Catholic Catechism and argues for a rereading of Sacred Scripture according to a rainbow ideology.”

Another cardinal, Portugal’s Jose Tolentino de Mendonca, wrote the preface for a book by Sister Maria Teresa Forcades i Vila advocating “queer theology.” In 2015, she expressed support for same-sex marriage “because sexual identities are not to be considered as closed boxes that God wants to complement each other and that must remain forever like this, fixed in defined and separate roles,” she told the Milan daily Corriere della Sera.

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The next year, Forcades i Vila told La Repubblica that she believed same-sex love was sacramental, and same-sex couples should be able to adopt children.

“A sacrament is the manifestation of God’s love in space and time,” she said. “Love is always a sacrament of God if it respects the freedom of the other. Possessive love, on the other hand, even if it is between a man and a woman, may not be sacramental in the profound meaning of the term.”

Forcades i Vila added that she “absolutely” supports same-sex adoptions: “What children need is adult, mature and responsible love from parents who put their needs before their own and who at the same time know how to set the right limits for them and help them grow. Growing up with two women or two men is not a problem.” (emphasis added)

Not surprisingly, Tolentino de Mendonca devised the idea for World Children’s Day.

The Trojan Horse of ‘Accompaniment’

Catholic embrace of the LGBTQ agenda goes beyond theory. In the Diocese of Lexington, Ky., the website for the LGBTQ ministry at St. Paul’s Catholic Church has a prayer to “Our Mother of Pride,” featuring Mary cloaked in a rainbow flag and holding an infant Jesus.

In May, Lexington Bishop John Stowe issued a statement supporting a woman who lives as a monastic hermit and identifies as a man; Stowe even used male pronouns for the hermit. In 2021, Stowe publicly supported expanding the 1964 Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination by sexual orientation or gender identity. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opposed it, citing concerns about religious discrimination. The House of Representatives passed the proposal in 2021 but it died in a Senate committee.

Two years earlier, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., told a transgender Catholic, “You belong to the heart of this church. If you’re asking me where do you fit, you fit in the family.”

It’s one thing to help emotionally wounded people heal from immense pain. It’s quite another to ignore or deny the consequences of their behavior. It’s a different level entirely to value that group above the innocent.

But as the spectacle of a drag performer dancing in front of children at a Vatican event demonstrates, Francis and his cohorts have no interest in protecting the innocent. By appeasing gender ideologues, by confusing mercy with enabling, Francis and his sycophants are turning the Catholic Church into the world’s largest grooming agency.


Joseph D’Hippolito is a freelance writer who has written commentaries for such outlets as The Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, and Front Page Magazine.

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