Last October, Pope Francis’ caused controversy when he came out in Vatican News wearing what many interpret to be a “Pride” cross decorated in the colours of the rainbow.
The rainbow colours are currently associated with the LGBT movement, and as such, the Pope’s ostentatious display of the rainbow-coloured cross in such a prominent event as the Youth Synod prompted many to question whether such was a subtle endorsement of the LGBT movement.
Some commentators are explaining that the “rainbow cross” does not really represent an endorsement of the LGBT movement. Young people from Panama and some Latin American Synod fathers presented the multi-colored cross for World Youth Day 2019 to Francis, according to a tweet in Italian from the Holy See’s Vatican News service. Other bishops in the photos with Francis are wearing the rainbow cross as well.
“The Holy Father greeted them with joy and blessed them,” the tweet stated.
Still, some Catholics say there’s no other way to read the message conveyed by the pope showing up in official Vatican photos wearing a rainbow cross.
English theologian and author Adrian Hilton questioned outright on Twitter whether the rainbow cross would be considered as a show of LGBT support on the part of Francis.
The bloggers at Creative Minority Report (CMR) said it doesn’t matter whether the pope wearing the rainbow cross was an intentional pro-gay message, because it would be taken as such either way.
“If they meant it as a gay symbol, they are unfit for office and should resign,” CMR said. “If they didn’t mean it, they are too stupid for words, unfit for office and should resign.”
OnePeterFive Founding Publisher Steve Skojec noted that the read on the rainbow cross would be an automatic gay-rights thumbs-up as well.
“If you’re seeing people explain how the rainbow World Youth Day Cross isn’t about LGBT that’s because everyone automatically thinks it’s about LGBT,” Skojec said. “Nobody needs to explain something that’s obvious. And the people who made the cross know it.”
LGBT Agenda in the Youth Synod
The cross was developed by CELAM (the umbrella group for the Latin American Bishops’ Conferences) and came from the organizers of WYD 2019 in Panama; its colors each represent a region within CELAM’s ministry.
This fact notwithstanding, what jumped out most obviously was the rainbow colors – the commonly recognized symbol used by the LGBT movement. Additionally at issue is that the rainbow is on a cross, which, certainly when worn by a pope, should symbolize Christ’s sacrifice for sinners through His Passion, death and resurrection.
The photo of Francis wearing the rainbow cross was also provocative given its timing amid widespread apprehension that the Youth Synod is being used to advance the normalization of homosexuality within the Church. For the first time in a Vatican document, the term “LGBTQ” was included in the Youth Synod working document. Small groups within the Youth Synod called for the Church to recognize “other forms of family” and to pay more attention to homosexuals and the “realities” they face, specifically mentioning “marriage,” surrogate pregnancy, and adoption.
by Lisa Bourne