"Tolerance" at Work Part 2


Written on 8:49 PM by Jack B.

In light of the Pope's statements against gay marriage (and divorce and birth control but apparently that's not sexy enough to be a headline), see: Pope condemns gay marriages as "anarchy" (notice Reuters uses the negative word "condemns" - a word the Pope doesn't - instead of just saying " Pope states" or "Pope says" - but there's no bias right?).

Pope Benedict, in his first clear pronouncement on gay marriages since his election, on Monday condemned same-sex unions as fake and expressions of "anarchic freedom" that threatened the future of the family.

The Pope, who was elected in April, also condemned divorce, artificial birth control, trial marriages and free-style unions, saying all of these practices were dangerous for the family.

"Today's various forms of dissolution of marriage, free unions, trial marriages as well as the pseudo-matrimonies between people of the same sex are instead expressions of anarchic freedom which falsely tries to pass itself off as the true liberation of man," he said.

Anyway as could be expected the some are up in arms about it.

Activists criticise Pope for anti-gay remarks
In Berlin, the German Association of Gay and Lesbians said the pontiff had shown a lack of respect bordering on "hatred" towards homosexuals.

In Rome, Franco Grillini, a left-wing lawmaker and leading gay activist, said he had been "strongly disappointed" by the pope's "violent lecturing".

"The Catholic Church should preach universal love. Instead, we see it entrenched in a fortress intent on defending an idea of family, sexuality and relationships
between people that is made up of sadness and prohibition," Grillini said in a statement.
Germans Criticize Pope's Views on Gays Germany
The Green Party and Lesbian and Gay Federation have broken the silence in
Germany among groups that disagree with the Pope’s stance on social issues.
Green parliamentarian Volker Beck said that Pope Benedict XVI’s attitude toward
homosexuality was “marked by theological mercilessness and the haughtiness of
the Pharisees.”

Manfred Burns, spokesperson for the Lesbian and
Gay Federation, called Benedict’s remarks on Monday an “insulting sermon of
This article also has one of the most mind-boggling passages I've seen
since the election of B16:
Since he took office almost two months ago, Benedict has not focused his speeches on sexuality, but rather on encouraging peace between nations and reaching out toward Protestantism and non-Christian religions. Those ideas are not controversial among many Western European Catholics; but in issues of sexuality, their attitudes tend statistically, world-wide, to be more libertarian.

Many Catholic voices in the German media had expressed hope that Benedict would deviate from his predecessor’s line on gay marriage, contraception, abortion, and other sexual issues. But Monday’s speech, and the reaction to it, appear to signal no change in the frustration among gay advocacy groups with the Pope’s conservative views on sexuality and social issues.
Really, I mean did anyone really expect Ratzinger to change his views on anything? Would you have any respect for a 78 year old man who turns his back on everything he has ever believed and taught and everything the Church has taught just because the "German media" hopes for it? Why is okay to talk about peace between religions but not personal morality - isn't peace itself and religious tolerance personal morality? But I guess since it doesn't have anything to do with the pelvic area that makes it okay?

But the most outrageous statement to me was the president of the Gay Rights group, Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese who said:

“It is unfortunate that the pope would choose so early in his pontificate to sweepingly condemn so many faithful Catholics. There is a long biblical tradition of showing love and compassion for all. It is from that tradition that so many fair-minded Catholics want to see their pope speaking. It’s sad that he’s choosing to ignore that tradition and to divide his followers.

“No one in the fight for marriage equality is asking any church to perform or recognize these marriages. What we’re asking for are equal rights and responsibilities under the law. There are millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics who should feel welcomed by their church. Today they do not.”

This coming off of Act-Up's invasion of Notre Dame Cathredral in France for a "mock gay wedding (which I posted about previously) and this: Unchain Us From The Vatican, Say Marchers on Milan Gay Parade
Italy was depicted as a country chained to Vatican dogma at the Milan Gay Pride Parade this evening. Over 100,000 attended the parade.

At the very front of the parade were two men dressed as Vatican ‘Swiss Guards’ escorting a chained woman carrying the slogan “Secular Republic”. Then came someone carrying a placard that suggested Pope Benedict XVI should cease his attacks on gays.

But this did not faze local and regional government officials who took part in the parade as a symbol of solidarity with the gay community. In fact, it was the opposite.

“I am not here to make Milan look bad,” insisted the President of the province of Milan, Filippo Penati immediately prior to the parade. “We have given our support because the institutions need to guarantee the people their freedom of thought.”

And Stefano Apuzzo, a representative from the city of Milan, who was also at the parade along with two other council representative, declared that they were also present to support gay rights.

“We are here to recognize – to recognize a part of our population that has a right to exist and to be recognized,” he said. “(Gays) are not illegals, everyone has the right to make their own choices.”

Also taking part was Nichi Vendola, the President of the Apulia region of Italy. “I believe that the biblical curse of homosexuality is a heritage to be discussed”, he commented. “In the area of Roman Catholic thought, there is a problem of interpretation of scripture.

“I believe that the State needs to legislate for all citizens,” he emphasized. “We are waiting for the separation of the Church and State.” He added that Italy can not stand still on the matter of human rights, while the rest of Europe goes forward.

Isn't it nice that these politicians are telling the Church they're reading the Bible wrong? What exactly makes someone like Signor Vendola an expert on "Roman Catholic thought" I don't know. If he was a theologian I'm sure the article would have mentioned it. But these events, especially coming so close together, don't exactly make Mr. Solomonese's line that "No one in the fight for marriage equality is asking any church to perform or recognize these marriages" ring true. For some groups (and some politicians too I'd wager) anything less than official "recognition" by the Church itself of gay marriage is an attack on "human rights".

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