ShareThis Page

Metcalfe chained to beliefs

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

VATICAN CITY (Exaggerated Press) — A Pennsylvania legislator today chained himself to a pillar in the Vatican gift shop and demanded Pope Francis resign over his recent inclusionary remarks regarding homosexuals.

The Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Citto del Vaticano, the Vatican police force, identified the man as state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry. The dogmatic lawmaker long has expressed irritation over anyone who doesn't adhere to his strict moral standards, particularly if they are gay.

An incensed Metcalfeimmediately flew to Rome on Monday because Francis was conciliatory in comments concerning gay priests. The pope asserted he was loathe to judge a gay person who seeks the Lord, and added that homosexuals can't be marginalized.

“Those words were an obvious affront to intolerant people everywhere, regardless of their faith,” Metcalfe said in a brief phone interview shortly after attaching himself to the pillar.

He added: “Pope Francis basically has turned his back on those who have inexplicable and unwarranted animus toward people who have done them no wrong. He has shunned the righteously bigoted in favor of those who want to live their dirty little lives like the rest of us in our otherwise pristine, sin-free society.”

Metcalfe said the pope's words make it seem as though he was being mean-spirited and oppressive last month when he prevented a gay colleague from speaking on the House floor. Utilizing a procedural maneuver, Metcalfe kept Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, from commenting on the Supreme Court decision declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

“I was afraid that Sims would say something stupid and sacrilegious — you know, that homosexuals are actual human beings,” Metcalfe said. “It's a bitter irony that Pope Francis would just casually blurt out the very thing I feared Sims would say to rile up all the marauding gay gangs.”

Asked if the pope's compassionate comments were the most disappointing defeat yet in his ongoing effort to repress a significant segment of the population, Metcalfe paused.

“It's certainly as bad as when my repeated efforts to have a voter referendum to ban gay marriage in Pennsylvania went nowhere,” he said. “But I don't feel bad for myself. I feel bad for the pope. I can't imagine the Lord is going to like His will being casually subverted like this. Francis needs to do the honorable thing and resign.”

A Vatican spokesman said Francis has no immediate plans to step down. He added that Metcalfe was free to remain chained in the gift shop for as long as he desires, unless his presence negatively impacts the sale of saints' medals and rosary boxes.

Metcalfe did not say precisely when his protest might end, but indicated he is in it for the long haul.

“I can easily stay until the House's summer recess ends in mid-September,” he said. “Also chained to the pillar is a storage crate containing a large supply of Dinty Moore beef stew, plenty of Diet Pepsi and a 30-gallon Rubbermaid bucket.”

Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.