Professor attacks Pope for blessing disabled man, claims Christianity biased against disabled

Timothy Dionisopoulos
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University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC) Prof.  Lennard Davis, attacked newly elevated Pope Francis for blessing a disabled man, in an op-ed published in the Huffington Post on March 21, 2013.

A professor attacked Pope Francis for blessing a disabled man and claimed the Bible stigmatizes people with disabilities.

In the op-ed titled “Pope Perpetuates Religious Prejudice by Blessing ‘Disabled Man,’” Davis, who is a professor of Disability and Human Development in the School of Applied Health Sciences at UIC,  criticized Pope Francis for stepping out of his vehicle to bless a disabled man while on the way to his coronation.

“Such religious cures may inspire some people, but in our age of disability activism and identity, there is something fundamentally wrong with seeing disability as in need of a cure -- most particularly of seeing the new Pope forge his compassion-credentials on such an act,”  wrote Davis.

Davis also criticized the depiction of disabled individuals in the Old and New Testaments and claimed the Bible depicts disability as a "punishment from God.”

In the op-ed Davis mentioned that disability is constructed by society for “varied reasons” including the “eugenic need to glorify normality to the requirement of having a category of the deserving poor.”

Davis concluded the op-ed by calling on Pope Francis to stop “kissing and blessing people with disabilities” and to “open the clergy up to all kinds of people. Including priests with disabilities.”

Davis is also a professor of English at the University of Illinois Chicago.  He has published numerous books and articles regarding disability and their role within society.

Davis has not responded to requests for comment from Campus Reform.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Timothy Dionisopoulos

Reporter

Tim Dionisopoulos is a reporter for LI's Campus Reform and works as a communications editor in LI’s Campus Leadership Program.

Tim has been with LI's Campus Reform since the summer of 2011, and his stories have been cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets.

Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.

 

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