Pope Francis Meets with Show-Biz Personalities

Pope Francis: ‘Anyone who discards gay people doesn’t have a human heart’

EXCLUSIVE: The Pope gave his answer to gay British comedian Stephen K. Amos, who was moved to tears and gave a grateful response

By Mark Jefferies Showbiz Editor The Mirror

  • 22:30, 18 APR 2019
  • UPDATED14:23, 19 APR 2019

This article first appear in April, 2019 but is being re-crculated on the Internet.

The Pope has said that ­anyone who discards gay people “doesn’t have a human heart”.

His surprise words – a departure from the beliefs of some Catholics – moved British comedian Stephen K. Amos to tears.

The Pope also urged Stephen and other visiting celebrities to pray for him so he can do his job better.

In tomorrow’s (Friday’s) episode of the BBC2 series Pilgrimage: The Road To Rome, Londoner Stephen, 51, is among stars shown having audiences with Pope Francis in Rome.

Others include Brendan Cole, Lesley Joseph and Les Dennis.

Stephen told the Pope: “I lost my mother, three months ago I buried my twin sister, who were both very religious.

Stephen’s moving moment as he shook hands with the Pope (Image: BBC)
The Pope embraced Strictly’s Brendan Cole (Image: BBC)

“So me coming on this pilgrimage, being non-religious, I was looking for answers and faith. But as a gay man, I don’t feel accepted.”

Francis replied carefully: “Giving more importance to the adjective [gay] rather than the noun [man], this is not good. We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are, or how you live your life – you do not lose your dignity.

He gave a hug to Greg Rutherford (Image: BBC)

“There are people that prefer to select or discard people because of the adjective. These people don’t have a human heart.”

He added: “For those of you who are believers, pray for me. For those of you who do not believe, could you wish me a good journey, so I do not let anyone down.”

Mehreen Baig was all smiles (Image: BBC)

Stephen left in tears and said: “If it had been the answer I was expecting I would have walked out. Hearing what he said floored me.

“He gave me faith in humanity. He knows his response to my question… will have ramifications around the world.

The Pope gave a huge smile for Lesley Joseph, who is Jewish (Image: BBC)

“He’s saying those who hold extreme religious views of anti-homosexuality or anti-abortion don’t have a human heart and that is huge.”

In a conversation not included in the show, Strictly star Brendan had also tackled the Pope over the Catholic stance on abortion.

Author Jimmy Burns: The Pope showed a spirit of compassion – not condemnation

Since being elected head of the world’s two billion-plus Catholics six years ago, Pope Francis has earned a reputation as a spiritual leader determined to lift mankind with the good news of the Gospel and the love and respect towards others shown by Jesus. Francis has sought to break the Catholic Church from its stuffiness and made a huge effort to address injustices and intolerance.

His comments reasserting his belief that faith should be guided by the heart, as opposed to excluding people because of gender or sexual orientation, is fresh thinking from the Vatican.

His comments come across as far less judgmental, with an emphasis on compassion rather than condemnation. In July 2013 he said that gay people should not be marginalised and he wanted a greater role for women in the Church.

The Pope’s comments on homosexuality are couched in the language of engagement. Thankfully gone are the days when the only thing a gay person heard from the Catholic Church was: “You’re intrinsically disordered”.

  • Jimmy Burns is the author of Pope of Good Promise (Constable).

______________________________________________________________

Pope Francis, in this article from April 2019, demonstrates his willingness to meet with people from the distinctly worldly arena of ‘Show Business’. In his ease with meeting with anyone, the Pope does not stand on ceremony. (In fact, in a recent encounter with an official Church delegation, he showed his profound disregard for the traditional ‘kissing the ring of the Pope’ procedure, which has been common practice for visiting Church dignitaries for centuries).

This shewed that Pope Francis wants to make the office of the papacy more humanely accessible than ever before in the history of the Church. Of course his critics among the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Chruch, who treasure their own sense of self-importance, see this most recent gesture by the Pope as belittling the role of the Pope – the successor of the Apostle Peter. However, Pope Francis thinks differently.

In this meeting with Show-Biz celebrities, the Pope shows his personal respect for each person who has come to meet with him. To each person he has a word of encouragement and even – in one instance in a photograph here – a hug.

What surprised one of his visitors, black comedian Steven Amos, was his response to Steven’s explanation that he was ‘gay’, indicating that he did not expect to be well-received by the Pope because of that fact. What Pope Francis said to him was totally unexpected:

“Giving more importance to the adjective [gay] rather than the noun [man], this is not good. We are all human beings and have dignity. It does not matter who you are, or how you live your life – you do not lose your dignity. There are people that prefer to select or discard people because of the adjective. These people don’t have a human heart.”

The article says that: ‘Stephen left in tears and said: “If it had been the answer I was expecting I would have walked out. Hearing what he said floored me. He gave me faith in humanity. He knows his response to my question… will have ramifications around the world. He’s saying those who hold extreme religious views of anti-homosexuality or anti-abortion don’t have a human heart and that is huge.”

This, surely, is the truly pastoral ministry of a follower of Jesus who spent a lot of time with the marginalised of his day, encouraging them to believe that they were children of God ansd worthy of respect. My prayers are for this Pope, who loves people!

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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