'It is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill," Pope Francis, then Cardinal Bergoglio, wrote in 2010 in reference to a bill to introduce same-sex marriage in Argentina, "but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."
That would look great on a wedding invitation: "Please join David and Barry as they machinate with the Father of Lies seeking to confuse and deceive the children of God. No gifts."
It's so metal, and I bet the Pope and Kim Davis had so much to talk about.
Lots of people were dismayed this week when it was revealed, at the end of his hugely successful visit to the United States, that the Pope had a private meeting with Ms. Davis, made famous by her tireless efforts to stop gay people in Rowan County, Kentucky, from getting married, as the law of the land now entitles them to do.
Ms. Davis, the county clerk, has refused to issue marriage licences, a task that is part of her job, because, she maintains, issuing them to gay couples would compromise her religious beliefs. Having spent five days in jail for refusing to do her job, or to step aside from her elected position and let someone else do her job, or even to allow her subordinates to do her job for her, she has become something of a folk hero in certain circles.
Somewhere Johnny Appleseed wonders how much greater his legacy would be if he'd just made a big thing about not planting apples and not letting anyone else plant apples, either, but here we are: Ms. Davis is a legend and the belle of the Republican primary ball.
That the Pope chose to have this meeting, even in secret – it was divulged by Ms. Davis's lawyer, who reports that His Holiness asked his client to pray for him and told her to "stay strong," which one assumes means continue the yeoman's work of not doing her job and still getting paid for it – upset a lot of people who haven't really being paying attention.
There was an outcry from the disillusioned; this was not the Pope the media had introduced them to, with cherry-picked quotes in headlines and cherry-cheeked children in Buzzfeed GIFS. It was like hipster-Pope had sold out and played a stadium, but the truth is, the Pope started playing those stadium shows a long time ago, and has never stopped.
"Beware of the new ideological colonization that tries to destroy the family…it comes from outside and that's why I call it a colonization," he said of the movement for gay rights in a January speech in the Philippines.
"When conditions are imposed by imperial colonizers, they seek to make [these] peoples lose their own identity," His Holiness Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church said on his flight out.
There are only three theological virtues, and a strong sense of irony is apparently not one of them.
The Pope is from Argentina and must know the power the spectre of colonialism can have in a country like the Philippines but, excess being one of the hallmarks of the Catholic church, he added: "It is not new, this, the same was done by the dictators of the last century. They came with their own doctrine … think of the Hitler Youth."
In summary, if lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are not Christopher Columbus, they're Hitler.
I, like many, fancied the idea of us having a Bill Murray pope – a charming old guy who pops up in odd places, seemingly delightful and delighted to be there. It's a narrative the press embraced – being so largely free of abused children, a story that had tragically become so "dog bites man," but no one should be surprised that the man who likened LGBT people to Nazis met with Kim Davis.
She may have even asked him to dial it down a notch.
Many were quick to say that not too much should be read into that meeting. We have only Ms. Davis's word on what was said and, as writer, editor and Jesuit priest James Martin explained defensively in the Catholic publication, America Magazine, "The pope meets with many people … Pope Francis also met Mark Wahlberg, and that does not mean that he liked Ted."
To which I can only say: True, but if the Pope had a long history of talking up crap movies about teddy bears, that would not be an unreasonable conclusion to draw.
Yes, the Pope has said: "If a person is gay and seeks God, who am I to judge?" – and that got a lot of play. Many people, including me, are thirsty for evidence that the church (in which I was raised) is moving forward on this issue but, in saying that, the Pope wasn't actually moving anywhere.
Instead, he was essentially channelling the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which beneficently says that gay people "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity," the better to encourage them to "fulfill God's will" by overcoming their "inclination, which is objectively disordered" and to accept the fact that they are "called to chastity."
Wheeeeeee – congratulations, David and Barry!
And who is the Pope to judge? I don't know; would he be the same guy who said that "at stake" in the issue of gay marriage "is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts"?
Yes, that's him, and that hardly puts the man on a different page from Kim Davis, where so many people, for so many good reasons, want him to be.
Much was made of the Pope meeting with a transgender man at the Vatican last winter and, indeed, that was big of him – given that he has likened transgender people to nuclear weapons. I wonder if he wore a special suit.
"Let's think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings," he said of people who "manipulate" their bodies in an interview last year. "Let's think also … of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation."
If a pope portrays LGBT rights as an invasion, a form of cultural occupation, local gay people become collaborators, a group by whom "the family is threatened," and it's easy to see how this could nurture a kind of collective gay panic – and that never ends well.
Calm down, people. We didn't lose our cool Pope. We never had a cool Pope. We've just, for own comfort, been in denial of papal warming.