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Pope Francis & Gay Marriage
A majority of Catholics support same-sex marriage, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll. They found 54 percent of Catholics are fine with gay marriage, even though the church is against it.
The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, has been very outspoken on same-sex marriage in the past. As a cardinal in Argentina, he called it "destructive of God's plan."
We spoke to Kerry Poynter, who is gay. He is the LGBTQ Resource Officer at UIS.
"Things that the Pope says doesn't matter to me, in my life, personally," Poynter said. "But, I do see it among youth and people who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual and how it can be hurtful to them."
Kerry says he grew up Catholic, but now is no longer practicing. The Catholic Church realizes many Catholics support same sex marriage. But, don't expect Pope Francis to change or soften the Church's teaching against it.
"One of the main responsibilities he has as the Holy Father is to preserve a tradition that has been passed down for 2,000 years," Bishop Thomas Paprocki from the Diocese of Springfield said. "He's the vicar of Christ."
As the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis cared for the poor and washed the feet of people living with HIV/AIDS. He is also the first pope to be elected from a country that has legalized same sex marriage, despite his vocal opposition to it.
"If these institutions want to continue to exist, and perhaps they should," Poynter said. "They do good for some people. There is going to have to be some change."
"I feel very strongly supported in the efforts I have done and our Catholic Conference is doing here in Illinois and we have the Pope 100 percent behind us," Paprocki said.
On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden, the first Catholic American Vice President, met Pope Francis. On Monday, Francis met with his former adversary, Argentina's president, Christina Kirchner, who had clashed with the church over gay marriage and free contraceptives in hospitals.