Pope Francis, the chill pontiff celebrated for his interest in helping the poor and not fucking up the Earth, put the "Pope" back in "Cool Pope" on Wednesday, endorsing a referendum in Slovakia that would ban same-sex couples from marrying or adopting children.

According to Buzzfeed, Pope Francis gave a shout-out to the legislation at his weekly General Audience, saying, "I greet the pilgrims from Slovakia and, through them, I wish to express my appreciation to the entire Slovak church, encouraging everyone to continue their efforts in defense of the family, the vital cell of society."

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Slovakia, but Saturday's referendum aims to further deny rights to gays and lesbians, asking voters to turn the following statements into law:

  • "No other cohabitation of persons other than a union between one man and one woman can be called marriage."
  • "Same-sex couples or groups shall not be permitted to adopt and subsequently raise children."
  • "Schools shall not require children to participate in education in the area of sexual behavior or euthanasia if their parents or the children themselves do not agree with it."

According to The Economist, the Catholic Church has played a central role in promoting the referendum. "With the church's ability to mobilise voters, there is little doubt that over 50% of those taking part will vote in favour of the ballot initiatives," writes the magazine.

[Image via AP Images]