Michael F. Pettinger

Michael F. Pettinger is a writer and scholar of religion who studies the history of sex in the Christian tradition. In addition to short fiction and encyclopedia articles, he has written for The Nation, Religion Dispatches, The Revealer, and HuffPost. He is also coeditor of Queer Christianities (NYU Press, 2014).

Pope Francis leading the weekly general audience in Vatican City.

Why Did a Progressive Pope Use a Gay Slur? Why Did a Progressive Pope Use a Gay Slur?

Given Francis’s apparent embrace of LGBTQ people, many found his use of the offensive term frociaggine confounding—blame fragile masculinity.

Jun 11, 2024 / / Michael F. Pettinger

Pope Francis gives Regina Coeli address on Easter Monday.

The Vatican’s Bewildering New Declaration The Vatican’s Bewildering New Declaration

It’s raised controversy with its unfortunate treatment of trans people. But its own arguments support their right to self-determination.

Apr 16, 2024 / / Michael F. Pettinger

A priest blesses a lesbian couple in Munich.

Why LGBTQ Catholics Are Ambivalent About the “Gift” of Same-Sex Blessings Why LGBTQ Catholics Are Ambivalent About the “Gift” of Same-Sex Blessings

For some, it’s a watershed moment and for others it’s a piddling half-step. But it has the radical potential to encourage some very important conversations.

Jan 3, 2024 / / Michael F. Pettinger

Pope Francis presides with the College of Cardinals for the opening of the General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on October 4, 2023, in Vatican City.

The Pope Wants Us to Talk About Sexuality and Climate Change The Pope Wants Us to Talk About Sexuality and Climate Change

In his new text and recently convened synod, he’s encouraging dialogue. It’s going to take a lot of work.

Oct 11, 2023 / / Michael F. Pettinger

Biden priest

Are Pro-Choice Catholics Worthy of Communion? Are Pro-Choice Catholics Worthy of Communion?

The backlash over the bishops’ challenge to Biden starts from the wrong premise.

Jun 29, 2021 / Michael F. Pettinger

Pope Francis at the Vatican

The Vatican Sex-Abuse Summit Was Never Going to Undo the Harm The Vatican Sex-Abuse Summit Was Never Going to Undo the Harm

The left welcomed the pontiff because he was anti-authoritarian—but that’s exactly why the summit was a disappointment.

Feb 28, 2019 / Michael F. Pettinger

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