Graduate Theological Union

New Pope Not Likely to Soften Same-Sex Marriage Opposition says Bernie Schlager, CLGS/PSR

Originally article at KQED, http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/02/11/new-pope-not-likely-to-soften-s...

Bernard SchlagerWith the announced resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, many are wondering about the potential changes with the selection of a new pope.

KQED had a conversation with Bernie Schlager, Ph.D., Executive Director of CLGS and Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies at PSR about the effects a new pope will have on the LGBT community. Below is an excerpt from that article:

Don't expect the next pope to preside over a gay couple's marriage.

Pope Benedict XVI, who announced on Monday that he will step down as head of the Catholic Church at the end of February, has taken a hard line on same-sex marriage.

He worried LGBT Catholics in California when he appointed Salvatore Cordileone as archbishop of San Francisco. Cordileone helped lead the drive for California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.

And Benedict himself has often spoken out to condemn same-sex marriage, including a Christmas, 2012 speech in which he called it an "attack" on the traditional family.

"It's clear that he has been a real tough disciplinarian," said Bernard Schlager, a Catholic who teaches at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, and is Executive Director of the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry. "Not just on LGBTQ, but other issues he has taken a real hard line."

But none of the cardinals who might take Benedict's place have expressed a more liberal view. "The bishops around the world right now are so conservative," said Schlager.

A heterosexual-only view of marriage is written into the Catechism of the Catholic Church, its guiding principles, and Schlager doesn't foresee the next pope changing it. "I would be more than shocked if that were to happen."

The new pope could address other concerns high on the list of Californians, however, said Schlager, such as ethnic diversity.

Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion, www.clgs.org

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