Don Andrea Gallo is described as an outspoken LGBT rights advocate and Italian Catholic priest from Genoa who has apparently escaped all the silencing that has been the mark of Benedict XVI. His local bishop, Angelo Bagnasco, who is a cardinal and will be at the conclave seems to have left Don Andrea have his voice. I wonder how many votes Cardinal Gagnasco could get from this crowd of electors?
Don Gallo states that he was abused as a young priest. He is convinced that a person repressing his sexual orientation invites the possibility of pedophilia. There may be some simple down to earth wisdom in what Don Andrea Gallo has to say. It is something the cardinal electors should hear, but probably won't.
The UPI story states that Don Gallo has smoked marijuana at city hall to protest against drug laws. He is not only an advocate for GLBT people but also the founder of the Genoa drug rehabilitation program.
Don Gallo's statement that the church needs to welcome gays and lesbians as God's people is a spark of hope as the media watches and reports on all those very severe cardinals gathering in conclave. Don Gallo's voice is a plea to select someone who will speak with the love of the humble carpenter from Nazareth.
Somehow those very words of hope and compassion, which were so characteristic of the humble carpenter from Nazareth seem lost today. The Second Vatican Council wanted the church to speak to the world in those same words of compassion and hope. That has all been lost under the last two popes evidenced by all the men and women silenced by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Those popes also have not done well in handling the sexual abuse crisis as well as internal rivalries in the curia. Don Gallo speaks with a voice the Catholic Church has not heard in quite a few years and one which the world would welcome. Don Andrea Gallo speaks with experience and voice of a pastor.
Often the Spirit speaks in a quiet whisper. I for one hear the voice of the Spirit trying to speak through this seemingly quiet, courageous and gentle pastor from Genoa.