Just one day after Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio took the title Pope Francis I and leadership of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, his conservative, biblical views on the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion have earned him accolades from conservative, Christian, and pro-family leaders — and dubious comments from the major media and social liberals.
In 2010, as lawmakers in his native Argentina considered a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, Bergoglio, then cardinal of Buenos Aires, issued a strong statement in favor of traditional marriage and family, condemning the so-called marriage of homosexual partners as a scheme “of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
In July 2010 the Argentinian congress passed a bill legalizing homosexual marriage, and the legislation was quickly signed into law by the country's president, Cristina Kirchner. But in the weeks leading up to the vote Cardinal Bergoglio spoke boldly for the family and traditional marriage.
According to the July 8, 2010 National Catholic Register, Bergoglio penned a letter to the four Catholic monasteries in Argentina, asking their residents to pray for a positive, Godly outcome on the issue. “In the coming weeks,” wrote the future Pope, “the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family.... At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”
The cardinal declared that the issue was not merely “a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill … but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
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Photo of Pope Francis I at his inaugural Mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican March 14: AP Images