Many people are interested in learning Pope Francis’ position on gay marriage, especially because he is a very popular pope compared to his predecessor. His predecessor is memorable for all of the worst reasons, and many Catholics are thrilled at the fact that Pope Francis tends to project a much more favorable image of the organization that they hold in such high regard. He has spoken out on the subjects of global poverty and global climate change, making him significantly more liberal than many of the popes that came before him. However, the Catholic Church is still fundamentally a conservative organization, with all that this implies.
One of the reasons why so many people are curious about Pope Francis’ position on gay marriage is the simple fact that he tends to avoid talking about gay marriage at all. He has actively told other members of the Catholic clergy to do the exact same thing, so his position on the subject seems like it is part of a veritable conspiracy of silence. The liberal Catholics and the people who are outside the church can often find themselves with no information to draw on when they are actually looking for his position on the subject of same-sex marriage.
However, no amount of evasion can ultimately keep his views on gay marriage a secret, even though he is actively trying to do so. Pope Francis has defined the family as the fruitful covenant between a man and a woman. He makes no allowance for a covenant that includes two women or two men. Incidentally, he also seems to be excluding child-free people in many of his speeches, as if couples who do not want to have children are deficient, or if they do not constitute a family. Pope Francis has a very pro-natal view of the world, which is going to let out the voluntarily childless and the people who adopt children, including gay people.
Pope Francis is also frequently talking about threats to the family, and the supposed idea that the family is experiencing the sorts of dangers that it never experienced before now. Conservatives know that gay marriage and gay rights are mainstream enough today that they cannot obliquely refer derisively to gay people. They have resorted to code words as a result. All across the board, talking about threats to the traditional family have become code words for how gay people are supposedly threatening the family just for wanting to get married and to have their loving relationships legally recognized. People who talk about this issue in those terms are almost never referring to any other threats to the family, unless they are insulting feminism, abortion rights, or other progressive causes. Pope Francis has done this as well, demonstrating the fact that being more liberal than the last pope is not much of an accomplishment. Pope Francis could explicitly proclaim his support for gay marriage in an historic shift. Instead, he has tried quietly hating gay marriage and has encouraged his followers to do the same.