Bernie Schlager, CLGS/PSR, forecasts Pope Francis' stance on issues of sexuality and gender

Originally article at KQED,

Following the selection of Pope Francis, Catholics across the spectrum are reacting to his record on issues.

In a recent article, KQED interviewed Bernie Schlager, Ph.D., Executive Director of CLGS and Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies at PSR, for a perspective on how Francis will likely address issues of sexuality and gender in the Catholic Church. Below is an excerpt from that article:

There's no reason to believe the new pope will depart from his predecessor's positions on human sexuality, said Bernard Schlager, a Catholic who teaches at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, and is Executive Director of the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.

"He supports the church teaching on human sexuality," said  "It would be surprising—it might even be shocking—if he were to change his position."

In a 2010 letter to the monasteries of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio wrote that same-sex marriage was "a destructive pretension against the plan of god."

He has called adoption by LGBT people a kind of "discrimination" against children.

His humble demeanor might be the his only saving grace in the eyes of LGBT advocates. "At some point in the AIDS epidemic he did visit AIDS patients in a clinic and wash their feet," said Schlager.

Likewise, Schlager said, Francis doesn't look likely to bring women into the priesthood, though he thinks the celibacy of priests might be on the table.

Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion,