Mark Mason is a gay activist and an outspoken atheist. He’s an unlikely Catholic cheerleader. So why is he such a fan that he’s set a Google Alert so he can read every piece of news coverage on Pope Francis?
I’m aware that the church tries to do charitable things for the unfortunate. On the one hand they’re focused on social justice and improving the lives of impoverished people across the planet, while running into doctrinal issues that prevent them from doing the most sensible things sometimes, like birth control for people in Africa.
I’m not alone here. The polls just came out, between Catholics and non-Catholics, this guy has approval ratings better than basically any other world leader. I have found him so compelling and interesting from the day he hugged that young boy in Brazil who wanted to be a priest. Ever since that moment I was mesmerized by Pope Francis — to the point where I set a Google News Alert on him. Every time there’s a piece of news about him it comes into my inbox. Fortunately it comes as a digest.
He took the position of, what business is it of mine? He framed it in the religious language of, who am I to judge? It creates a gap between their personal life and their journey and their spiritual relationship. That is so important, in stark contrast to love the sinner, hate the sin.
This is clearly a resounding new tone. If it were dangerous, the pope would be obligated morally to be against it. Being gay is not dangerous.
There are going to be atheists going back home soon for holidays and family gatherings. Now they’re going to be armored with the words of the pope. That’s a wonderful way to reunite families that had been broken up over the issues of faith and non-faith.
There’s a “bully pulpit,” if you will, that allows parishioners to ask local parish priests, “How are we reflecting what the pope is sharing with us?”
Companies have CEOs, right? Of course, by having a formal leader, one needs to be really judicious about how they’re selected.
What it certainly does is make it harder for me to be an ornery atheist versus a more accepting atheist. I speak on a lot of panels and such. With a pope as good as Francis, it’s hard to throw a punch out. He’s that worthy of respect.