Well, this is bizarre.
Pope Francis invited a group of around 44 men dressed like women to have lunch with him at the Vatican as part of a 1,000-person luncheon.
This was all part of a Vatican event to feed the poor and homeless in the presence of the pope. And these dudes who pretend to be women were invited.
On Sunday, the women...
— many of whom are Latin American migrants and work as prostitutes — joined over 1,000 other poor and homeless people in the Vatican auditorium as Francis' guests for lunch to mark the Catholic Church's World Day of the Poor.
The menu was evidence of Francis' belief that those most on the margins must be treated with utmost dignity: cannelloni pasta filled with spinach and ricotta to start; meatballs in a tomato-basil sauce and cauliflower puree, and tiramisu with petit fours for dessert.
I can just hear the Pope Francis defenders right now: "He's just like Jesus because he dines with sinners! He's feeding the poor!"
Yeah, Jesus dined with sinners... and called them to repentance. The prostitute in Luke 7 who fell at Jesus's feet was weeping as she washed his feet with tears and oil because it was her way of asking for forgiveness. Jesus said that her sins "are many," but her faith in Him, which can only come with a repentant heart, saved her.
In order to ask for forgiveness, you first must accept that you did something wrong.
Do any of these transgendered people and prostitutes invited by the pope feel like the Catholic pontiff is calling them to repent and sin no more?
For the marginalized trans community of Torvaianica, it was just the latest gesture of inclusion from a pope who has made reaching out to the LGBTQ+ community a hallmark of his papacy, in word and deed.
"Before, the church was closed to us. They didn't see us as normal people, they saw us as the devil," said Andrea Paola Torres Lopez, a Colombian transgender woman known as Consuelo, whose kitchen is decorated with pictures of Jesus. "Then Pope Francis arrived and the doors of the church opened for us."
The whole story is basically describing how Pope Francis is going out of his way to make people comfortable in their sins and not understand the need for repentance and Christ's lordship.
Francis' unusual friendship with the Torvaianica trans community began during Italy's strict COVID-19 lockdown, when one, then two, and then more sex workers showed up at the Rev. Andrea Conocchia's church on the main piazza of town asking for food, because they had lost all sources of income.
The pope has grown close with this group of trans prostitutes since 2020. They were invited into the Vatican for Covid vaccinations and wrote him letters that led to them meeting with him.
Over time, Conocchia got to know the women and as the pandemic and economic hardships continued, he encouraged them to write to Francis to ask for what they needed. One night they sat around a table and composed their letters.
"The pages of the letters of the first four were bathed in tears," he recalled. "Why? Because they told me ‘Father, I'm ashamed, I can't tell the pope what I have done, how I have lived.'"
"What a wretched man am I! Who will rescue me from the body of death! Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!" What a wonderful opportunity to tell these men that they can put their sins behind them and come to the cross because Jesus died for those sins!
Oh, wait, no - we're going with the fuzzy PR op instead? I guess we don't need things like the Cross anymore.
Showing the photo of the exchange on her phone, [trans prostitute Claudia Vittoria] Salas remembered what Francis did next: "He told the gentleman who receives the gifts to leave them with him, saying ‘I'm taking them with me for lunch,'" she said. "At that point, I started to cry."
This whole story is about how the pope is accepting cross-dressing prostitutes as they are and affirming their LGBT identity. It comes on the heel of Francis saying cross-dressing people can be baptized.
For the Catholics out there, why do you think the Associated Press would be pushing such a story? Do you think they might be trying to convince you of something?
Starting from his famous "Who am I to judge" comment in 2013 about a purportedly gay priest, to his assertion in January that "being homosexual is not a crime," Francis has evolved his position to increasingly make clear that everyone — "todos, todos, todos" — is a child of God, is loved by God and welcome in the church.
Acceptance without repentance leads to hell, and that road is broad and "inclusive." Meanwhile, narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
There's nothing Christian about what's happening here.
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