Icelandic minister urges the Pope to reconsider his attitude towards queer people.
Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, has written a letter to Pope Francis asking him to reconsider his attitude towards queer people within the church. “I hope you see the error of your ways,” the minister says in his letter.
The reason for the letter is this quote by Pope Francis from a recent book: “In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church.”
“Our sexual orientation is not a fashion trend that we can discard with the new spring fashion. This is just the way we are.”
Guðmundur Ingi, who is gay, does not agree with this sentiment and in his letter to Pope Francis he points out that sexual orientation and sexual identification is neither a lifestyle nor a choice. “Our sexual orientation is not a fashion trend that we can discard with the new spring fashion. This is just the way we are,” says Guðmundur Ingi in the letter.
In the letter Guðmundur Ingi also explains to the Pope that when he was 21 years old he stayed in a monastery for a while and contemplated becoming a monk. “I know that joining a monastery requires several years of hard studying and I know that it is necessary to set the standard high where the servants of the church are concerned. But that has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Nothing at all. It makes me sad to hear that you, which I have held in regard in other matters, do not see any space for queer people amongst priests, monks and nuns,” Guðmundur Ingi tells the Pope.
The minister points out to the Pope that he is making a huge mistake excluding the contribution of queer people. “The more diverse the group of people working for you is the more likely it is that your church can serve it’s purpose – to represent charity, peace and love. It will increase the understanding within it,” Guðmundur Ingi explains in his letter. And he concludes the letter by urging Pope Francis to reconsider his attitude.
“Dear Francis. A man in as powerful a position as you hold influences a lot of people all over the world. Your words carry responsibility. A lot of responsibility. I hope you will see the error of your ways. Good luck.
With fond regards from Iceland. Mummi.”
Guðmundur Ingi published the letter on his Facebook page but he also sent it via post to his holyness himself. The Pope has not responded yet.