No, for real.
You used to have to make this stuff up. Not anymore.
This is what happened:
An Italian lesbian wrote a children’s book about two gay penguins who adopt a baby penguin and raise it as their own. The book found its way onto the reading lists of some primary schools. Sounds about right so far – nothing you wouldn’t expect in a modern Western country hell-bent on forgetting its Catholic heritage and committing cultural suicide.
Enter the mayor of Venice. Yes, the mayor of Venice. His name is Luigi Brugnaro, and apparently he has a thing against large gay flightless birds from Antarctica because he promptly removed the book from Venice’s school reading lists.
So naturally, the author of the book did what any lesbian author victimized by the censoring hand of an authoritarian male would do – she wrote a letter to Pope Francis, telling on the mayor and enclosing a copy of her book. Because “who am I to judge?” and all that.
OMG, what happened next? Well, the lesbian author received a letter back, thanking her for the gift, and signed by…guess who? Monsignor Peter Wells!!!
And you have no idea who that is, because he’s nobody. I mean that in a nice way – I’m sure Msgr. Wells would agree. His official title is “assessor to the Secretariat of State,” which translated from the Vaticanese means “mid-level functionary in the Curia who signs ‘thank you’ notes and fetches espresso for cardinals whose names sound like they would taste good sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese.” (Like Casaroli – I always loved that one. Rest in peace, Eminence. Your name sounded delicious.)
Meanwhile, the lesbian author posted the letter from the monsignor on Facebook and the Italian media went wild with the news that Pope Francis gave his blessing to her book and the cause of gay penguins everywhere. Yay Pope Francis! Yay Who Am I to Judge! Yay #Peng Wins!
Except no, not quite.
Which brings us back full circle to the statement issued on Friday by the Vatican affirming that, sorry lesbian author, but the Vatican actually doesn’t support behavior and teachings that are “not in accordance with the Gospel,” and that using the Vatican thank you note to imply otherwise “is completely out of place.”
So there you have it. Full story here.