Is the Pope Gay?

February 13th, 2007 by Bob Bly

Just got a direct mail package selling subscriptions to Out magazine, which seems to be for gays.

One of the headlines reads: “Is the Pope Gay?”

My first reaction: this is really inappropriate and offensive.

I mean, unless they have an investigative report proving that the Pope is gay, it’s totally speculation … and maybe libel.

Even if they do have such a report (the mailing wasn’t clear about this issue) … why do this to a beloved religious leader?

It’s just sensationalism.

But on the other hand: there are gay priests who are coming out.

There is nothing wrong with being gay.

If the Pope is gay, then he’s gay … right? Why hide it?

So after my initial disgust, now I’m not sure whether Out should be using this headline to sell subscriptions.

What’s your opinion?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 13th, 2007 at 1:46 pm and is filed under Direct Marketing, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

51 responses about “Is the Pope Gay?”

  1. Chris Lake said:

    I’m straight and Catholic and not always a fan of the Pope, but I agree it’s offensive and sensationalist to sell magazines with that headline. I think there is a segment of the gay community that thrives on being in-your-face about their sexuality and everyone else’s prudishness and closed-mindedness–assuming we are with or without proof otherwise.

    There are many ways to make a statement about the tenets of Catholicism and the Pope’s leadership as it pertains to homosexuality, but asking “Is the Pope gay?” isn’t thought-provoking, it’s throwing rocks.

    Try, “Why is Rome so homophobic?” or even, “Is the Pope hypocritical?” Those could make both gays and straights want to read more.

    I’m absolutely sure Out magazine knows way more about their demographics than I do and the piece you received may do well against the control (I shudder to think it could actually BE the control), but it seems to appeal to only a small segment of the gay community. If I may be presumptuous, I’ll bet many of the gay recipients of the mailer shuddered right along with you.

  2. Brendan said:

    Well, with all the controversy surrounding the Catholic church recently and with a “thirsty crowd” of a sort, it might as well sell the mag quite well. Libel issues aside, of course…

  3. Steve Slaunwhite said:

    In his book, the Pope refers to gay marriages as being part of “a new ideology of evil”. Those are pretty strong words. Is it any wonder that OUT magazine would want to tackle this issue with equally strong words?

  4. Bob Bly said:

    Steve: I was not aware of that!

  5. Jonathan Kantor said:

    Whether it’s Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” moment, or Prince showing the shadow from his guitar as a phallic symbol, your mailer is yet another example of advertisers and promoters seeing what they can get away with before going over the decency line and getting their audience angry.

    The problem is that the line keeps moving and society’s standards of what is deemed acceptable continue to rachet downward.

    Remember the good old days when the words from the song “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen were banned?

  6. Steve Slaunwhite said:

    Jonathan, history shows that the person who draws that decency line is the one you should watch out for most!

  7. Suzanne Ryan said:

    If Newsweek had this headline, I would’ve found it offensive. Out, however, has a niche market that pays money to read about so-called outings. (I suspect they are wrong half the time anyway…usually a case of wishful thinking)

    I guess the magazine started out as “in your face” but I never hear about them anymore. They seem like the National Enquirer of the gay world–not to be taken seriously.

  8. John Forde said:

    I’m Catholic and, sure, it makes me stop in my tracks… but I then, isn’t that what headlines are supposed to do? Maybe I’m supposed to be offended, but in the end it doesn’t bother me. As for the Pope, gay or not, I would hope he’s got enough character to be able to handle it.

  9. Steve Slaunwhite said:

    John, I’m a catholic, too, and have a deep respect for the Pope. I suspect he has all the character — and then some — to handle it.

    The Pope is, by necessity, a man of strong opinions. And some of those opinions have obviously offended some people. That’s why I think the OUT headline is effective. It gains attention and evokes emotion.

    Effective, yes. But is the headline appropriate? That’s another question.

  10. Copywriting Services said:

    Hi Bob,

    I’m not a Catholic but have a deep respect for the position. With a headline like this, they are going a little over the top, I guess.

    Hope, the magazine has a thick skin to live with a libel suit.

    Edward Santosh

  11. K Akeby said:

    What do you mean by:

    “There is nothing wrong with being gay”

    Do you have a brain damage or something?

    Gay behavior is dirty and disgusting – we all know it – but the evil elite have quickly programmed the foolish sheeps to not longer own their own thinking – then we have slipped down with the backwards thinking. The society was good until the late fifties.

    Such non human behavior is against nature, you all know it – it’s to reject parents, heavenly priciples and gods and the almost basic fundaments that is life – it don’t bring life further. Then it’s a death road for the society – this kind of live, now promoted by the most wickedness people of the wicked. We don’t any longer learn from history. What we now see in the society is a reflection of what we have becomed in our inner nature – the outher nature is a mirror – two sides of the same coin.

    When the society becomes som evil and bad as it is now, is always what can be seen in the last days of the destruction.

    In this time it’s not only a small group or culture that runs amok, it’s global.

  12. Bob Bly said:

    KA: This is a marketing blog, not a political blog. But the idea that gay life is wrong because a gay couple can’t conceive on their own is ludicrous. The world is overpopulated, and we don’t need to add more people.

  13. Name changed for safety said:

    Is the Pope Gay? and The Pope is Gay! are two different headlines — if it’s a question, is it libel?

    Since when does it hurt to ask?

    Also, the Pope is a public figure, so do those laws really apply anyway?

    What would your reaction be to Is the Dalai Lama Gay? or Is the Ayatollah Khomenei Gay? Rabbi whoever… They are holy men, too — so is Osama, he prays 5 times a day. George Bush is the Christian President — almost a prophet for some. Where do we draw the line on who is fair game and who isn’t?

    We don’t. And we shouldn’t.

    I would hate to see the US go the way of Denmark or France, where people who espouse free speech, however distasteful their viewpoints, have to live in fear of religious zealots. Rushdie has been in hiding how long now? PC-ness has gone too far. And a contrarian viewpoint is a powerful marketing weapon. So go on, out the Pope.

    I wonder how their sales were. Was the article any good?

  14. K Akeby said:

    Comment to no 12:

    The world is over populated becouse we lost out true nature. We live a false life – and the gays are the worst – humanity is a a cencer in the last stage – the it grow fast – the population will also explode. The outside is ALWAYS a mirror of what we have degenerated us to.

    Instead of promoting selfish and demonish wishes in what we call life style – we should a long time ago taken a different path.

    No such ugly things can possibly been accepted in groups/civilization which not have lost their spiritual roots.

    Now we have lost it – not many look inisde them selves – but looking at the outsid, searching to have benefits etc. and think the problems are at the outside- but it at the outside it will manifest, what we already been in our selves. We have not been able tostay at course, but have sliden down at an increasing speed with the quicklu down falling normes and values – the whole societys is such.

    The north american indians tolerated never such behaviour – the know it was not that persons true nature – it is possession – it is always possession, something else which “comes in” instead of what we give up and loose of our more true self – so the indians took that person to a tent and had it there for rituals,smoke out the possession – the know it was necessary, it was for the groups survival. If they let such things penetrate the group, it was the same as to give up their future. If the did not succed to treat the person, I am sure they let him pass away, for it was not actual a human.

    Today it’s this person that rules – and our future time is running out. We have no longer any common sense.

    Our immune systems eliminate, mass killing, every second bad things which try to infiltrate our cells. A nation, a rase, or the humanity as a whole is on another level the same thing – a cell – and look what we say, as no 12… you talk rubbish… look what the humanity now is facing… think about that it’s your kind of “thinking” which leads us, and is responible for this final destruction of humankind. It has always been like this in our history, always always has every civilization disappeard throuh kataklysms and disasters. It follow rules/laws – cause and effect – karma.
    Now it’s global.

    “If the kingdom of heaven is within you then so is the kingdom of hell and you can look around and you can always see which man and woman prefer to externalize.”

    Alan Watt

  15. K Akeby said:

    Another comment to no 12:

    You wrote “There is nothing wrong with being gay.”

    But why did you then first wrote:

    “There is nothing wrong with being gay.”

    ?

    You must be well aware of that this kind of statemant is political – it’s the elite, the hiding secret rulers behind the politicians, banksters and the media – that have this on their agenda. Rockefeller had said that they started and was behind the womens lib etc.it’s wellducumentated. This life style roads is in a agenda… this is politic – it’s through politic that the have managed to programme the population very quickly since the fifties – and the media is in their hands, the own it.

    We should say as it is, what or parents said… that it is perverterd things – and if ONE perverted thing is accepted – then everything will degenerate and be perverted – it works that way – everything communicate – on an energy level… our auras…

    It’s the perverted people who should eliminate the bad things they do – but now people as the owner of this blog demonstrate – hold up the most wicked things as shining pocals, and say”
    “There is nothing wrong…”

    Then we facing the last years – or… please start to think instead of just repeat what the programmers want you to think and say.

  16. K Akeby said:

    My last comment (15) should have this first lines instead, sorry:

    Another comment to no 12:

    You wrote KA: This is a marketing blog, not a political blog

    But why did you then first wrote:

    “There is nothing wrong with being gay.”

  17. Ali Manson said:

    Yowza, sounds like there’s a bit of a political howdy-doo goin’ on here…

    The headline is tacky sensationalism at its worst. While the story would be truly shocking if there was any merit at all in the accusations or question, in reality it’s nothing more than a cheap potshot at a public figure who vehemently disagrees with this demographic’s lifestyle.

    But then again, tacky sensationalism seems to sum up the majority of global media these days…

    PS – Let’s stop the hate and get back to the original question.

  18. Bob Bly said:

    Ali: Yes, thanks … let’s get back to the original question: is the headline “Is the Pope Gay?” effective … in bad taste … acceptable … offensive?

  19. Mike Sieber said:

    I might be mistaken, but I think that the idea of the world being overpopulated has been debunked in a book by John Stossel. I think that in America and Europe, the populations are in decline because of things like abortion and the economics of having large families.

    As far as the headline goes – it’s pretty effective and I’m sure it’ll appeal to a certain segment of people.

  20. Harry Joiner said:

    Forgive them Father for they know not what they do: The Pope is the Vicar of Christ and the successor to St. Peter. To suggest that the Pope is gay is blasphemy, plain and simple. Maybe some people don’t believe that. If that’s not a problem for them now, it certainly could be in eternity. All I know is that I’m glad I didn’t write that!

  21. John Doe said:

    I might be a Muslim but to insult other religion’s beloved religious leader is – insane. Money ain’t everything, It just part of a whole thing (wealth). Even if that magazine’s get what they want (sudden jump in subscription), that doesn’t guarantee it’s going to last as people will get bored at the end (for lack of sensationalist stuff – gossips)

  22. John Doe said:

    Oh, about the question:

    I think it’s going to work for sensationalist lover but not definitely for religion-concious people (people who believe in their respective religion).

  23. A Rowe said:

    K Akeby: Being gay is not a political statement. In fact, it’s not a statement at all. Nor is being gay a ‘lifestyle choice’, an act of ‘evil’ nor is it un-Christian (Catholic or otherwise). Being gay means that you are physically and emotionally attacted to those of the same sex. The fact that certain small-minded, insecure and hateful individuals choose to brand this natural phenomenon as ‘evil’, ‘dirty’, ‘perverted’ etc. has made the issue of homosexuality a polital one because, in the past (and indeed today), homosexuals have been denied the right to lead lives with the same rights as heterosexuals.
    It is unfortunate that, in the past, certain parts of the Catholic church have decided to spread unloving and essentially anti-Christian messages with regards to homosexuals and this could be said for some of the comments which the Pope has made in the past.
    If he is gay, then there no chance that the Pope would come floating out of the closet, so the speculation about his sexuality seems to be unnecessary. However, the question itself is no more offensive than saying, ‘Does the Pope wear blue socks to bed?’, because the essential differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals are no more different than the colour of our socks. Homosexuals love and heterosexuals do. It’s just a pity that there are people out there who want to use gays as an excuse to spread ‘holier than thou’, hateful messages which go against what it means to be Christian.

  24. Andy Wibbels said:

    Let’s see: The Pope spends all day in a lavish house surrounded by antiques. He wears little gold shoes and a big gold hat and has a penchant for flowing costumes. He spends his day being served by young single men.

    People think that ‘Pope is gay’ is an inflammatory remark? How about the pope’s remark that same-sex unions with children are by definition ‘doing violence to children’?

    Gay behavior is dirty and disgusting

    People that are obsessed with what other people do with their genitals are obviously not on the – ahem – straight and narrow. They cherry-pick Leviticus hoping nobody will notice.

    Those that can’t control their own whims are occupied with controlling the whims of others.

  25. Amy Kalinchuk said:

    It’s a sensationalist headline. It will appeal to folks who agree with such tactics. I don’t think it’s libelous.

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    IN THE LAST DAYS LOVERS SHALL FALL INLOVE WITH EACH OTHER AND YOU SHALL HEAR OF WARS BUT NOT BE AFRAID FOR WHEN IT COMES TO PAST THESE WORDS ARE WHAT WE SEE TODAY NOW THEY ARE MAKING A US DOLLAR WITH OUT THE SLOGAN “INGOD WE TRUST” GOD ISNT TAKING SERIOUSLY NOMORE AND PEOPLE ARE GOIN TO FALL PREY TO FALSE WITNESSES AND BE LEAD INTO HELL

  29. Ambrose Aban said:

    Hi Bob
    Love your blog. I share your p.o.v on the Out’s headline. And the Pope, of all people, should know that love knows no sexual boundaries. People can say gay is evil/hell/sinful etc…but love is the greatest of all. I am in love with a man. And I thank God (not the Pope) for him to be in my life.

  30. Charles Laframboise said:

    Yes.. it’s so obvious, it hurts.

    Self-oppression is the gravest sin of all.

    The lies and hypocrisy of the RCC hurt us all, esp. those who promulgate them!

  31. killuminati said:

    heres a hint people,the pope is working for the illuminati. n.w.o.(new world order). you wanna bow down aand let this fagit tell you what to think? fuck em, hes only humon and he likes little boys and girls. lets tie him up and drag him behind a truck tel his ass rips the fuck up into pieces. fucken lieing satinist. lets stop him before he keeps spreading the lie to our youth.

  32. Link said:

    mabey she,s gay,i dont know it wouldnt surprise me, but id do think the pope evil , no condoms pesacution, an organization that is guilty of so many crimes , thank u kind sir for not pedaling your filth on my doorstep

  33. R William said:

    Christ, being the embodiment of Truth, is in need of no vicar. Truth and Love need to representative other than Itself. Certainly no human former Nazi Rat-zinger ought to be confused with Jesus or as representing Him in any way, shape, or form. This pontiff preaches hate. No American should take Rome seriously as far as policy of the US government is concerned. Our forefathers fought against this very sort of debauchery, arrogance, and repression.

  34. s.key said:

    I have a few points I would like to raise

    1. Its a question not a statement so why would that be offensive?

    2. Why is it offensive to suggest that someone is gay, especially someone who is celebate. One would assume sexuality is irrelevant to when celebacy is involved.

    3. Even if the topic was an offensive one and the accusations were damaging why should the pope be immune to such questions. History has shown us that popes are far from infallible, e.g. pre renaissance corruption, so haven’t we learned to be at least questioning of such people?

    4. I haven’t read the article but I’d imagine the question was asked because a lot of people think that if someone has some sort of pre-occupation with homosexuality (e.g. constantly making sweeping statements about gays being objectively evil and being a need to cleans the world of gays)that may stem from discomfort with their own sexuality. I don’t know if there is any basis for making that assumption but I think there is still no harm in discussing it so long as you clearly state that it is an assumption and not a fact.

    5. Do you really think he deserves the respect of the gay community given the things he says?

  35. Mark Brown said:

    All the signs are there that the pope probably is gay.

    1. If you study the pope’s voice and mannerisms, he clearly sounds/looks homosexual. Look up this video on the Vatican’s YouTube account “Benedict XVI: Peace for the world , egoism will not prevail”. Look at the part from 1.04 to 1.30 and you’ll clearly see what I’m talking about.

    2. Next there is his obsession with homosexuality and his aggressive homophobia. There’s a very interesting article on Wikipedia about this kind of behaviour. If you go to Wikipedia and look up “homophobia” and then go down to the “Internalized homophobia” and “social homophobia” parts, you can very clearly see that the pope fits into what they are talking about.

    That is only two examples and I could give many more, but yes I honestly do think the pope is gay.

  36. Timmeeeyyy said:

    Asking if the pope is gay is only offensive if you consider homosexuality to be wrong. Otherwise, it’s no different than asking if the pope is left handed.

  37. Jake E said:

    Nope. The Pope is DEFINITELY gay. I’m a total atheist so conceivably I would go at least a couple circles down, but anyone who thinks gays are bad at all would go further. What really confuses me is that the Pope actually seems to believe that gays are bad, but is totally not going by his own rules if you know what I mean… It’s all explained in that Wiki article as if they’re trying to discreetly reference the Pope.

  38. Killamasta said:

    I wouldn’t doubt it if he was gay…the whole idea of a pope is dumb anyway, so it doesnt matter.

  39. Derek Dunn said:

    This is Very Weird. Is The Pope Gay I would say yes he Fondles young Boys and loves Anal penetration.
    He was Sexually Active in the Gay Scene I am amazed he is in the Catholic Church as He often has gay sex with young Boys.

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