Hell might be freezing over: Pope Francis might be open to ‘blessings’—distinct from matrimony—for same-sex couples

Roman Catholic Church


Fig. 1. Saint Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church, with the rectory in the foreground, in Mount Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The electronic sign says, “Chastity: The way to human flourishing,” suggesting the website pghpure.org. The text on this side of the sign isn’t much more legible in person (it’s a little better on the other side). Photograph by author, August 27, 2023.

Anthony Faiola, Michelle Boorstein, and Kate Brady, “Amid liberal revolt, pope signals openness to blessings for gay couples,” Washington Post, October 2, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/02/pope-francis-gay-blessings-synod/



Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023

Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Lauren Fedor, Colby Smith, and James Politi, “US lawmakers pass short-term deal to avoid government shutdown,” Financial Times, September 30, 2023, https://www.ft.com/content/1723e6e8-495d-4e0c-bf18-6c91e106e71a

Sarah Ferris, Olivia Beavers, and Jordain Carney, “‘It is a surrender’: Why McCarthy reversed with his survival uncertain,” Politico, September 30, 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/09/30/kevin-mccarthy-government-shutdown-deal-00119290

Erin B. Logan, “Kevin McCarthy may avoid a shutdown. But the fiasco shows he’s weaker than ever,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2023, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2023-09-30/government-shutdown-shows-kevin-mccarthy-weaker-than-ever

Ryan Lizza, Rachael Bade, and Eugene Daniels to Playbook list, “Inside the chess match between McCarthy, Jeffries and Gaetz,” Politico, October 1, 2023, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2023/10/01/inside-the-chess-match-between-mccarthy-jeffries-and-gaetz-00119335

Kristina Peterson and Lindsay Wise, “Matt Gaetz Plans Vote to Oust Kevin McCarthy After Speaker Avoids Shutdown,” Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/politics/kevin-mccarthy-matt-gaetz-government-shutdown-1e838cda

Marianna Sotomayor and Mariana Alfaro, “Matt Gaetz files motion to oust Kevin McCarthy as House speaker,” Washington Post, October 2, 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/10/02/kevin-mccarthy-matt-gaetz/

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