Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why Doesn't the Pope Just Join the BNP & Have Done With It?


Tis' the season of peace and goodwill to all men

(except 'gayers', natch)


The Pope considers homosexuality as "damaging to the future of the world as the destruction of the rain forests". I wonder if he thinks it is as damaging to the world as the Nazi Party was. This all comes on top of his comments from earlier this year, when he described homosexuality as "a deviation, an irregularity, a wound."

I wonder why, if he considers it such an abomination, why he doesn't root out the "deviants" (using his own language) among his own Catholic Priesthood. Because let's face it, there are plenty of them. It has been suggested that more than a quarter, and possibly up to half of Catholic priests may be gay, yet the Pope seems to consider it OK to allow them to continue administering to their flocks. Perhaps he thinks it's OK as long as they keep themselves to themselves. Except that most of them don't. He hasn't launched an inquisition because he knows the entire Catholic Church would collapse without gay clergy. It's a bit like the London Conservative Party.

The trouble is that bigots like "His Holiness" (it's almost a joke writing those two words in this context) continue to believe that homosexuality = paedophilia. If you're gay, you must a) be promiscuous and b) be attracted to anything in shorts, no matter how young. He could not be more wrong.

He also believes that homosexuality is a choice. It is not. It is in theory true that you can choose (if your resistance to temptation is stronger than most) not to practise it, but its existence within you is not a matter of choice. No wonder the concept of 'catholic guilt' is so prevalent. Without giving people reasons to feel guilty the whole edifice of the Catholic church could collapse.

The Pope is entitled to his view, and he's entitled to express it. But I am also entitled to say that I find his views repellent and disgusting. They do not befit a man of the cloth. They are views which I would normally expect to hear from the likes of Nick Griffin.

PS I do hope the LibDem bloggers who were so 'outraged' by my comment yesterday (see below) will be just as vociferous in their condemnation of the Pope's comments.

UPDATE: I'll be talking about this subject with David Prever on TalkSport from 10.15pm tonight.

UPDATE: Graeme Archer on Centre Right and Tony Grew on Pink News throw in their twopennyworths.

109 comments:

Lady Finchley said...

I counldn't agree more. My friend and former parish priest had a nervous breakdown because he had such a difficult time dealing with the Church's view on homosexuality. It was an open secret that he was gay and not even the oldest biddies minded. It was a great loss when he left the parish and when he died a year letter he was sincerely mourned. I still miss him terribly and I remember how tortured he was - I am sure he is at peace now because God doesn't give a toss about sexualities I am sure.

Paul Halsall said...

The pope is not infallible, and gay Catholics who remain Catholic have plenty of reason to stay Catholic. As long as the basic religious questions: why is there anything rather than nothing?; why is there life?; and how do think about what a moral life is? remain important questions, gay people along with others who find the Catholic approach - focused on the physical manifestation of divine grace - compelling. The opinions of some old men are really irrelevant.

Many years ago I compiled a Calendar of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Saints.

It's online at http://www.otkenyer.hu/halsall/lgbh-gaysts.html

strapworld said...

Iain,

Remember Edmund Burke!

This is democracy. He is entitled to his opinion as you are of yours.

Lady Finchley expresses a view many christian would support- namely that we are all God's children and he doesn't give a toss about individual sexuality.

By the way you have touched a nerve....The Pope and The Nazis!!

Didn't they help the facists? and wasn't this Pope a member of Hitler Youth?

Matthew said...

Hear, hear!

Matthew said...

Strapworld - Of course, Iain explicitly acknowledged that the Pope was entitled to his view, before going on to say that he finds it repellent. Democracy means accepting criticism of one's views as well as asserting one's right to express them.

Of course, the behaviour of the Catholic Church in relation to recent gay law reforms - e.g. non-discrimination in goods and services, adoption reform, etc - suggests that they are less committed to protecting the democratic rights of others than you are.

Matthew Cain said...

Iain

I agree with almost all of your remarks. However, it is not correct (and the Pope's remarks do not leave room for the interpretation) that he drew any parallels between homosexuality and paedophilia.

Suggesting otherwise merely weakens your otherwise well-put argument.

Conand said...

If you follow the logic of 'original sin' to it's conclusion, then it is quite apparent that Christianity itself is the irregularity.
i.e. the 'human norm' is being violent, greedy etc etc
Therefore even in the terms of a supposedly Christian philosophy his argument doesn't make sense.
I guess that at heart I'm a namby pamby protestant.

Oh and by the way, I thought it was really sick of the Lib Dems to accuse Iain of homophobia. I feel so ashamed I used to vote Lib Dem. It's my personal form of 'catholic guilt' really.

Io Saturnalia!

Iain Dale said...

Matthew, I thought I had worded that carefully enough, but clearly not. All I was saying was that people who think like him generally do equate the two. I've come across it often enough to know.

Greg said...

All you have done is picked up a heavily distilled version of what the Holy Father has said.

In essence he is suggesting that all human kind in promiscuous by its very nature - not just gay people. Where you got the inference that he thinks all gays are peodophiles suggests not only a lack of understanding but an inability to put forward an argument in a calm and reasoned way which usually is the case with your blog on other issues

What the pope was saying if you read the original and not the Daily Mail 'cut-and-paste-any-sentence-with-the-word-gay-in-it' version, is that we must protect the sanctity of the human body (whether gay or otherwise). Surely you can't be outraged that the Pope suggests that sex should only occur within marriage (a Sacrament within the Church) which essentially was his calm and reasoned message. 'Church believes sex should only happen in marriage' - Hardly headline news

Afterall the morality as proposed by the Church is there as a goal - everyone fails to reach it, but in a society where everything seems to move to the lowest common denominator is it not great to have aspiration to a higher goal?

Iain Dale said...

Greg,
Did he or did he not say that homosexuality poses as great a threat as the destruction of the rain forests?

Iain

Matthew Cain said...

Iain

Thanks for the response. I thought it was poorly worded because:
a) lumping all bigots together does anti-bigotry no favours

b) the Pope is incomparable to any other person (whether you respect him or not)

no longer anonymous said...

"The Pope is entitled to his view, and he's entitled to express it. But I am also entitled to say that I find his views repellent and disgusting. They do not befit a man of the cloth. They are views which I would normally expect to hear from the likes of Nick Griffin."

I suspect that many people who fought against the Nazis had similar views on homosexuality - it's a generational thing. That said I doubt such people would view homosexuality as a threat to world civilisation.

Greg said...

No I don't think he did - only passage with rainforest in is the following:

'But, in so doing, the human being lives against the truth and against the Spirit creator. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection but the human being - as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom but is the condition of his freedom - does not deserve it less'

The Daily Mail caption (which you quoted - not the Pope's words) chose to assume that the 'in so doing' refers to homosexuality when it patently doesn't.

Paul Pinfield said...

Without wishing to offend anyone, (how often have I said that?) why are we taking any notice of this moronic drivel?

As society changes, organised religion must accommodate those changes or become irrelevant. It is pretty clear to me that the Catholic Church is incapable of change. They should not be surprised when we ignore their mad rambling drivel...

Merry Christmas, and peace to all men, BTW.

Iain Dale said...

Greg, well isn't it strange that every single media organisation is reporting this in the same way. It must be a plot!

patently said...

Iain,

Homosexuality may well not be a choice; I cannot claim any experience or knowledge on that issue. However, the concept of original sin leaves us all with a range of desires that may or may not be appropriate to exercise. I, for example, am strongly attracted to pretty women and fast shiny cars. I would like to take as many of both for myself - but I know that adultery, rape, and theft are all wrong. So I restrain my desires.

As I understand the Pope's comments, he does not regard the desires (yours or mine) as sinful, merely the failure to control them. So there is no condemnation of the person, or of their nature - only their acts, if those acts are sinful. I suspect that peace and goodwill is extended to you, as well as to the straight population.

Hence the "failure" the cleanse the Church of gay clergy, of course. Their homosexuality is not per se wrong. If they are found to have abuse children, disciplinary action follows. If they enter into a gay relationship that harms no-one then (I suspect) it is seen as a matter for their conscience (few of us can claim to be perfect, after all).

(btw - I am not for a moment suggesting that your desires are in any way equivalent or similar to rape or theft, Iain; I am simply short of time and cannot construct a less potentially insulting analogy. I accept the shortcoming of the analogy, and ask that you excuse it)

I am also entitled to say that I find his views repellent and disgusting.

Of course you are. Equally, as you acknowledge, he is also entitled to his views.

Of course, if we expect a Church to accommodate all existing views, to refrain from ever condemning or excluding, we end up with an umbrella under which any can stand and which therefore stands for nothing. Something like the Church of England, in fact.

------------------------------
[While I typed this, Greg has made essentially the same point only more clearly...]

Greg said...

Iain, it must be - I presume you are not to chuffed with being conned and going along with and will alter your blog post to reflect this new revelation. At least read a little deeper when next time you use the Pope and Nazi in the smae sentence - it insults both Catholics and those persecuted by the Nazis. And before you say it, I know you didn't call the Pope a Nazi but it doesn't take long to draw parrallels as some of your other readers evidently have

passing said...

This post is a little confused. Suggesting that something is morally acceptable because you can't help it is a very, very poor basis for an argument. I don't think I need to spell out the consequences of this arguement.

Homosexuality is fine not because "people can't help it", but straightforwardly because there is nothing morally wrong with it. If it were possible to choose to be gay, there would still be nothing wrong with it.

The Pope is an ex-member of the Hitler Youth Movement, and there are plenty of fascist options for him in Italy, so suggesting he joins the BNP is also another source of confusion.

Finally, you should look to your fellow party members before casting your eyes over at the Pope; the poisonous homophobia directed at Mandelson and others on many Tory-inhabited right-wing blogs is deeply unpleasant.

Dick the Prick said...

I'm a fully confirmed Roman Catholic and whilst I acknowledge that his viewpoints may appear problematic, it shouldn't be viewed that way. He's upholding teachings and traditions that go back centuries and is merely concerned with the sanctity of marriage and of reproducing Catholic kids.

I think he views society as moving and changing which doesn't necessarily equate to progress.

We've got all this human rights shite now but it was less than 100 years since we gave lasses the vote, just over a 100 years since we invented the concentration camp.

For secular society to be able to disagree with the Pontiff is cool but we have to be aware that most of our freedoms and liberties are recent and relatively untested. Give him and his successors a few hundred years to see if it's been valuable. Unlike Long Term Capital Management he kinda plays the long game (15 generations for a starter). Heck - i'm not even supposed to use jonnies!

Happy Christmas folks, hope it's a beautiful one.

ma said...

http://www.calendarioromano.co.uk/

Dick the Prick said...

Paul Pinfield - hee hee hee - don't work ike that at all buddy, not at all.

Tom said...

You know, I am a Gay and a Atheist, but I think it is rather easy to make more of these comments than we need to.

The Bible makes clear how it links gender and marriage to creation, and the Catholic Churches stance stems from this. What Ratzinger has come out with is merely a statement of orthodoxy rather than a hardening of the Church's stance.

The real villian was JPII.

Rich Johnston said...

Iain,

No he doesn't seem to have said that. The Mail have him saying "The tropical forests deserve our protection, but man as a creature deserves it no less."

The words "great" and "threat" and indeed "homosexuality" is only used in the Mail headline.

He seems to be talking about respecting marriage between a man and a woman.

ghanimah said...

Iain, would you say the Pope's words were a bit gay.

Just wondered like ;-)

Me vs Maradona vs Elvis said...

Much as I sympathise with your outrage, Iain, I think the comment about the Nazi Party is beneath you. The Pope was not a Nazi any more than anyone of us would have had to pretend to be if we'd lived under Nazi rule.

Raedwald said...

The Church is constrained to uphold moral absolutes, whilst recognising that man is weak. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

The position of the Church is that homosexual acts are sinful. Fine. Faith isn't compulsory. Caesar regulates what we legally do with our loins, not the Church. Accept it as the Church's moral position and move on.

Scary Biscuits said...

Some time ago, Iain made the insightful comment that it's not what you say it's what people hear.

In this case, Iain isn't hearing what the Pope said but what 'other people like him' have said or what Iain himself thinks is an attack on him personally. It isn't.

I've met you personally, Iain, and you're a good person. I also agree with every word the Pope has said (or at least what I heard!). The Pope was making a defence of people like me who are not homosexual, not attacking those who are. These days, you don't need to be a minority to be bullied. White, hetro, middle aged and tax paying will all do.

Lady Finchley, God - and old biddies - love your parish priest being gay because he's a valuable member of the community. You don't make your parish a better place by hounding him out. The much bigger problem is the other 90% of the population who simply aren't having enough children. Japan and much of Europe is in a state of population collapse. Italy and Greece have already fallen below what demographers call 'lowest low', the ratio of children to women from which no society has every recovered. The most endangered species on the planet is not the lesser spotted rhino but man himself. If we lose are ability to maintain the size of our societies we lose our ability to clean the environment or to do other good things. So, yes, population collapse and the persecution of hetros does have the potential to make the loss of the rainforest unimportant.

Andrew Allison said...

Iain

The Pope has a very medieval understanding of theology. It would not surprise me to hear that he refutes the fact the world is round and as to Darwin - well we just won't go there. His views are repellent. He reminds me of an ostrich who occasionally removes his head from the sand,makes comments like this, then firmly sticks it back in again, pretending all is right in his church.

Recusant said...

Talk about the secular media bolting down rabbit holes. Why? Because Benedict himself didn't refer to homosexuality at all. On the other hand, he did say that humanity needs saving from "outmoded metaphysics" that blur the distinction between men and women. That the destruction of traditional heterosexual relations is part of the wider destruction of God's creation.

The liberals will hate that juxtaposition. In the view of the secular world, "saving the planet" has become an alternative or successor project to the defence of the family. Pope Benedict has had the nerve to argue, in effect, that marriage is yet another aspect of the planet that needs saving.

So it boils down to this, really. Pope Catholic, shock horror. Admittedly, the shock and the horror are real. But that's Catholicism for you: a sign of contradiction.

Graeme said...

I'm sick of this benevolent rush from Christians whenever one of their leaders says something vile about gay people. "He's criticising ALL of us for our base sexual desires"- "hate the sin love the sinner"- blah. He's not. He's doing what his church always does and attacking gays because it gives his church common ground with other illiberal forces. The right of gay people to a life of dignity is used by the Christian church as a football in its ongoing war against the secularisation of our common culture.

Homosexual desire is not a perversion of the human spirit. My love is not less than yours. My moral worth as a human being is independent of my sexual identity, not reduced because of it.

Paul Pinfield said...

Dick the Prick said...
"Paul Pinfield - hee hee hee - don't work ike that at all buddy, not at all."

Yes, I know that "Merry Christmas, and peace to all men" is not likely to work, but I thought I would say it anyway...

:)

canvas said...

Sadly, this is old news. It's also pathetic. The views of the Pope and most organised religions are just so out of touch with modern civilisation. That is why so few people attend church these days.

Faith is a personal matter and I respect that. But it's no wonder that religion is the cause of most conflict in this world.

I prefer a humanist society.

Scary Biscuits said...

Graeme, What has the Pope actaully said that is 'vile' against gay people or suggesting that you're less of a person than me? Direct quotes please...

Recusant said...

Canvas

Profound. So profound. And original too.

Tell me, what are you studying for your GCSE's?

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

Iain, you are a living saint, therefore Paul Halsall must have you at the top of his Gay Saint hit parade.

It is nice to the only gays Cardinal Ratface protected were paedophile priests.

canvas said...

recusant - you obviously think the Pope is kosher then? I bet you're a good christian too. :)

T England said...

The pope, like ALL religions, is deluded & out of touch. We should listen to him like we'd listen to a child telling a FAIRY story & take it as serriously :o)

Who said that joke recently about the Catholic religion being the biggest paedophilie ring in the world?

Religion is a way to believe in absurdities which means they can commit atrocities!

Lola said...

From what I have been able to find out he was not condemning homosexuality, he was trying to reinforce marriage between men and women. He seems to have been saying that weakening the support for the institution of marriage - which he and convention defines (roughly) as 'the legal (before God) union between a man and a women to live together and usually for the purposes of procreation of children' - is a bad thing and will weaken society, a point with which I agree, as should you as a Conservative.

Where you may differ from him is that he may not agree that a 'marriage' is possible for homosexual couples. His view of marriage is the traditional view.

To extend this, homosexual couples living together who do form a long term relationships may well be able to marry in law. Would this then satisfy his feeligs about stable 'families' being a fundamental requirement for a successful society? They would never be 'married' in his terms, but would be a stable family.

wv = crank - how very apt!

Mitch said...

Just ignore the loony old Nazi. you can prove he is a kiddy fiddler by his treatment of priests who abuse kids,they re offend until they get moved to head office which if you think about it is a promotion.

Peter O said...

One more thing Iain. Some of us were gay and *chose* not to be. It happens.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Some Gays just want to be martyrs. They just want to "suffer" for something they cannot help. They want to be seen to suffer and all have pictures of Saint Sebastien on their walls, just like Oscar Wilde and just like Derek Jarman. They just want every opportunity to tell you they are an oppressed minority, when in fact some are merely a noisy and often repulsive minority who champion Aids charities whilst going to "pozzing up" parties. (They are called "Bug Chasers" Hypocrisy isn't exclusive to the Pope.

nb. I am not homophobic. In general, I just don't like gays.

canvas said...

wrinkled weasel, that OK because I don't like small minded bigots. I know how you feel. Why can't everybody just be 'normal'? sheesh.

Stepney said...

Strongly argued and well put Iain. The bloke needs telling.

The fact you're a Spanner is, however, repellent.

No-one likes us, we don't care.

Stepney.

Paul Halsall said...

What is really fabulous is that the pope can warble on about preserving gender roles, just as the Vatican news site comes up with this:

http://www.zenit.org/article-24625?l=english.

"The preacher of the Pontifical Household is urging the faithful to follow the example of Mary and give birth to Christ this Christmas. Not physically, of course, but spiritually."
...
""We are mothers of Christ when we carry him in our heart and in our body by divine love and with a pure and sincere conscience," Father Cantalamessa said, quoting St. Francis of Assisi. "We give birth to him through holy works, which should shine forth as an example for others."

Father Cantalamessa is massively in the tradition of Catholic faith and practice which has from the beginning used the language of gender transgression and gender supercession to get over it's message. It was Jesus after all who praised eunuchs (Matt. 19) and St. Paul who came up with "in Christ there is no male nor female."

More at: http://web.archive.org/web/20011217044950/http://www.bway.net/~halsall/lgbh/

Vienna Woods said...

Just to put my oar in about the Hitler Youth thing! I've lived in Austria for many years and have often discussed the Austrian situation and Nazi Germany with friends who lived through this time. It's not so cut and dried as it seems and I certainly don't agree with the standard Austrian explanation that the country was annexed by Germany, as newsreels from the time clearly show hundreds of thousands of people cheering Hitler in the streets of Vienna.

The real trouble occurred during the years leading up to the last war, which followed a worldwide recession such as we might see again shortly. The Hitler Youth organisation deliberately mobilised the kids into local clubs, but the kids themselves were not bad, yet the people organising it certainly were! There was a lot of propaganda which bordered on intimidation in many areas which rapidly evolved into a fear of the state. I wouldn't believe this could happen anywhere today, but who knows?

Peter O said...

My original comment hasn't appeared, so I'm going to add it again.

Iain, while you might disagree with the Pope, at least do him the courtesy of engaging with what he actually wrote (click here for a loose English translation). You're normally a pretty good journalist, but in this case you have let your emotional involvement get in the way of accurate reporting. Let me echo the comments above and ask that you will at least edit the content of your original post to reflect what the Pope actually said, not what various news agencies have alleged (incorrectly) he has said.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Canvas. Would a "small minded bigot" have agreed to share a remote cottage with a screaming queen in 1973, when, believe me, it wasn't easy.

I did, and for my open-mindedness, I was branded as "queer" myself. In fact, my name was written on toilet walls at my place of work with the word "queer" next to it.

So don't lecture me on small mindedness.

It never occurred to me that there was anything pervy, wrong, evil, or un natural about being gay. It's just that on the whole, I have never really met a Gay man that I really liked.

In the end I was ceremoniously thrown out of the Gay Cottage, because I wouldn't have sex with him. He dumped my stuff outside my place of work, and that was it.

So much for my open mindedness.

I hate Red Ken and Fatty Brown said...

Iain. Religious organisations are run by morons. The Pope is just spouting the nonsense that Muslims and other religions also believe in.

The sooner religion is banned the better.

People who follow religion should be thought of as barking mad as those that believe in black magic or aliens.

Matthew said...

There is a remarkable naivity in some of the defences of the Pope's remarks that have been posted here.

Below is the text of what the Pope actually said.

For those like Greg who have been defending him, the reason why Iain and others (including me) are outraged is because of the implication that homosexuality will lead to the destruction of humanity. Do you or do you not concede that this is a fair interpretation of his remarks? Because it seems pretty clear to me that that's what he was saying.

Excerpt below:

since “faith in the Creator Spirit is an essential content of the Christian Creed, the Church cannot and should not limit itself to just pass on the message of salvation to its faithful. It is responsible for creation and must exert this responsibility in public as well. And in doing so it must not only defend the earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to all; it must also “protect man from self-destruction. It is necessary to have something like some kind of ecology of mankind, understood in a proper manner. It is not outdated metaphysics when the Church talks about the nature of human beings as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected. It is about faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation; otherwise it would mean man’s self-destruction and the destruction of God’s work itself if they were held in contempt. What is often referred to by the notion of ‘gender’ is resolved all in all by man’s self-emancipation from creation and the Creator. Man wants to be alone in making himself,—he wants to be able to dispose by himself, without interference, of what pertains to him. But this way he lives against truth and the Creator Spirit.”

“We should re-read the encyclical Humanae Vitae starting from such a perspective. In it Pope Paul VI’s intention was to defend love against a utilitarian view of sexuality, the future against the exclusive claim of the present, and man’s nature against its manipulation.”

Richard said...

Wrinkled Weasel

You could perhaps have put your point more evenly. It is possible that Oscar Wilde did want to be a martyr, I have certainly read such from respectable sources. This was probably not because he was homosexual, but because he was human and had human failings, one of which in his case was a desire for attention and sympathy.

Wilde's homosexuality was the way in which he chose to make a fuss, not the cause of his desire to do so.

You have been unlucky with the people you knew to be homosexual. In my business there are a high proportion of gay men (aviation, not showbusiness!) and they are no better or worse than the rest of us.

canvas said...

Weasel, I think you 'issues' to deal with.

canvas said...

Rather, 'have issues' to deal with. You're entitled to your views but they don't make much sense.

Tom said...

"Why doesn't the Pope just join the BNP and have done with it?"

Mainly because he isn't British...

Dick the Prick said...

Why on earth shoud the Carholic church give a monkeys what those that disagree with it think? His message wasn't for you lot so bugger off bac to your Chomsky or Dawkins or whatever the chuff it is you believe in.

The Catholic church's position doesn't change with fads or fashions. All Abrahamic religions state that homosexuality is an abomination. Global warming is nonsense. Anyway - it wasn't a message for heretics so go back to your porno or whatever.

Iain - the BNP thing is bollox. Catholics have been bloody persecuted in this country a damn sight more than ethnics, but enjoy the pontification of selective 'liberals' - juan quers.

Childprotector said...

Matthew - 1.36pm The passage you cite simply states the obvious - if mankind does not reproduce it withers, and to reproduce one needs two sexes. Yes, it would be possible to have a world in which all reproduction is by lesbians using syringes, but the Pope believes that is better done through a relationship between a man and a woman. One could infer from that a concern that homosexuality and procreation are incompatible. However and it is going a little far to claim that Iain Dale is preventing the human race from surviving, and if the Pope's words are open to black and white interpretation they should perhaps be reconsidered.

Ttony said...

Iain wrote:

"Greg, well isn't it strange that every single media organisation is reporting this in the same way. It must be a plot!"

Is it a plot to twist everything the Pope says to fit media organisations' agendas instead of his? Or is the plot that media organisations cannot be bothered to serve up the truth if fiction is more fun?

And does the irony of a gay man falling hook, line and sinker for a completely false press story just because the press story is anti-anti-gay strike anybody else as much as it does me?

The Burbler said...

Well said Iain. I will blog about this and strongly condemn it. I am not sure that your summary quoted about the rain forests is clearly what he said. As usual for a high falluting cleric what he actually said was virtually indecipherable:

" But, in so doing, the human being lives against the truth and against the Spirit creator. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection but the human being - as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom but is the condition of his freedom - does not deserve it less." "

Chris Paul said...

This is in the bears toileting arrangements category.

neil craig said...

This is roughly how I feel when His Holiness is held up as some sort of moral leader though he & his predcessor gave our Croatian Nazi friends $2 bn to help them carry out their openly avowed campaign of genocide & ethnic cleansing of Croatia's Serbs.

kenny murphy said...

It's a
It's a
It's a sin...

Pet Shop Boys 1987.

Stupid old bufoon.

haddock said...

The Church is concerned with standards, they are called standard because they are, well, standard; they do not change with fashion or trends.
If The Pope sees something as a sin he should speak out about it.... it's his job after all.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

So, I have issues? No, Canvas. It's you who has issues.

In general I dislike gay men. It comes with years of negative experiences.

That is no more "issues" than disliking chocolate or kebabs or Belgians. It's a personal preference and it harms nobody.

What you mistake for "issues" is that I don't hero worship gays or believe they are entitled to special treatment.

An old friend came out to me as gay, some years ago. I put my arm around him and said, "you are my friend and always will be." I never saw him again, and neither did his son or his ex wife. He disappeared into Gayworld. That is his choice, but it's a bit shitty. He was a friend and I miss him.

Richard. I did my honours dissertation on OW and can assure you he had a picture of St Seb on his wall.

I am not going to fall over and be politically correct here. I am an ordinary person with preferences and prejudices, just like you, but if the Nazis come for you, I will fight them to the death on your behalf, so let's draw a line under it shall we?

Fidothedog said...

Iain he started off fighting for the Nazi's then decided that he was going to join a real right wing organisation.

Compared to the Catholic church the BNP are nothing when it comes to burning folk at the stake and oppression.

Matthew said...

Childprotector - You are wrong. Nowhere in the passage does it talk about reproduction.

What it actually says is that "it would mean man’s self-destruction and the destruction of God’s work itself if [faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation] were held in contempt".

The passage then goes on to attack "what is often referred to by the notion of ‘gender’".

That's is a rather broader point than you are willing to concede: it is saying that anyone who identifies as gay is holding God and the creation in contempt.

canvas said...

me thinks weasel doth protest too much. But line drawn.

Roger Thornhill said...

Pope dislikes gays cos they do not produce the next generation of tithes. Pure and simple.

David Lindsay said...

Until the very last sentence, you need hold no supernatural belief to accept that the story of the Wise Men happened exactly as recorded by Matthew. They first follow the natural world (the Star), which leads them to the Bible (the Prophets referred to by Herod’s advisors), which leads in turn to the Christ Child.

And so to the Pope. The gender theory lot are half right. Sex is not just what is between your legs. But nor is it just what is between your ears, either. Rather, it is written into every cell of the body. You can cut up the tissue any way you like. The chromosomes themselves cannot change. People seeking this surgery obviously do need help. But that surgery itself cannot be the help that they really need. That is the Pope’s point. He is right. Most people know that he is right. They look at the world and see it: they follow the Star. Well, the Star leads to the Prophets, and the Prophets lead to the Christ Child.

Science as we now understand it only started at all because the Mediaeval Church, as such, condemned from the Bible the propositions (specifically, from Aristotle) that hold sway always and everywhere without the Christian Revelation.
Those were, and are, eternalism (that the universe has always existed), animism (that it is a living entity), pantheism (that it is itself the ultimate reality), cyclicism (that everything has happened, and will happen, in exactly the same way, an infinite number of times), and astrology (that events on earth are controlled by the movements of the stars within the eternalistic, animistic, pantheistic and cyclicistic universe). Our own culture is visibly regressing to those errors, with ruinous results for science.

Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular, teaches that the universe has an order, which is investigable by the human mind. This is far from self-evident, but science depends on it.

The Catholic Church supports adult and cord blood stem cell research, which deliver the goods while posing no ethical problems, rather than embryonic stem cell "research", which has delivered literally nothing yet is maintained at public expense merely in order to offend Catholics. The side of science here is perfectly clear.

Along with the creation of babies as spare parts, and the registration of two women as the parents on a birth certificate (exactly the sort of thing that the Pope is decrying), the licensing of human-animal crossbreeding is about to turn Britain into a rogue state, a haven for every nutter on earth who wants to set up a "laboratory" and charge taxpayers for the privilege of hosting it. Once again, it is the Catholic Church that is on the side of science.

And what of the Pope and homosexuality? What was he attacking? The idea that it is people, rather than acts, that are homosexual. That idea is not yet forty years old. It post-dates by several years our own humane and necessary decriminalisation of male homosexual acts between consenting adults in private. It is historically and cross-culturally illiterate, as well as totally unscientific. And it was invented by and for pederasts (many also engaged in "transgender" activities) in a network of bars – such as the Stonewall Inn, a major centre of the abuse of boys – in the urban, coastal America of the early 1970s.

Weakened by the liberal hijacking of the name of Vatican II, we all know what happened next in the Catholic Church. She is only just beginning to recover. But the Pope has made it very obvious today that She is recovering. Deo gratias.

Dr John Crippen said...

Matthew Cain said":

I agree with almost all of your remarks. However, it is not correct (and the Pope's remarks do not leave room for the interpretation) that he drew any parallels between homosexuality and paedophilia.



++++++++++

Matthew is correct to say that Mr Ratzinger did not draw any parallels between homosexuaity and paedophilia. But then, whilst he has just roundly condemned the former, for many years he protected the clerical paedophiles and did his best to make sure that they were not dealt with under the law.

Nothing changes. The man is too dreadful for words


John

The Burbler said...

"PS I do hope the LibDem bloggers who were so 'outraged' by my comment yesterday (see below) will be just as vociferous in their condemnation of the Pope's comments."

Hope this is strong enough for you.

By the way, I'd be interested to know where the word "'outraged'" came from. It certainly wasn't from me or Stephen or Alex, and for my part I was more amused than anything else by your anecdote. When will it appear on You Tube so we can all have a good laugh? Setting up straw horses so you can knock them down seems to be a large part of your stock-in-trade doesn't it Iain? It's very clever. Almost.

old and angry said...

Good Heavens above,
So the Pope expresses an opinion that a lot of like minded people subscribe to.
I'm sure there will be rioting in Rome tomorrow when the homosexual pride heroes descend en masse.
You fail to understand, Iain, that not everyone is comfortable with Homosexuals.
It might not be so bad if you could stop ramming your sexual preferences down our throats, so to speak,
Just pipe down and live with it!
Better still, go back in the closet

Lady Finchley said...

Wrinkled Weasel you really are an unpleasant little person aren't you? I doubt if any gay man in his right mind would want to pull you - maybe you wish one would....

Lady Finchley said...

Ugh - Old and Angry - you are even a more distasteful piece of work than Wrinkled Weasel. You are a vile little person.

Gays are out of the closet for good - live with it.

Matthew said...

Old and Angry,

I hope that your post was an ill-directed attempt at humour.

If not, why don't you just fuck off? No one is forcing you to read this blog.

Andrew said...

To quote "Canvas"
"The views of the Pope and most organised religions are just so out of touch with modern civilisation"
How Very true
Aren't we just SO clever these days with our modern outlook and personal relative moralities
Except hang on look around you
What kind of "civilisation" have we got???
Our society is in a state of near collapse and our country in a fearful mess.
I am very sorry Ian.
I honestly,genuinely wish you and your partner nothing other than happiness and good fortune but you have too see the bigger picture.
It's trendy to attack to religion (Yes it's full of faults and hypocrisy) but it was an important glue which held society together, as religious observance has declined over the last 50 years what has replaced it?
Answer Nothing
The consequence is that just as ancient Rome was destroyed by decadence the western world is drowning in a sewer of it's own
creation and meanwhile Islam is waiting outside the gates.
We need good men and women to get together.
We need honesty,deceny,courage, self-sacrifice.
In short all the things which "modern civilistaion" lampoons
We have lost our soul and unless we find it soon we are FINISHED.

Dr John Crippen said...

The Gay/Jew test

Iain, I think it is quite useful, once in a while, to write a post like today’s. It is good for wishy-washy liberals like me, who long since lost interest in peoples’ sexuality and private lives, to be reminded who still lurks in the woodwork.

We can be angry at the overt homophobes but I have a particular horror of the deeply prejudiced who try to cover themselves in a cloak of reasonableness.

Some while ago I listened to a gay speaker at a meeting who said that the best way to analyse whether an article on homosexuality was reasonable was to go through it and substitute every word or sentiment referring to homosexuality with the word Jew, Jewish etc, as appropriate.

Let’s consider Andrew at 3.54:

“I am very sorry Ian”

Oh! Dear, sounds bad already

I honestly genuinely wish you Jews nothing other than happiness and good fortune but you have to see the bigger picture.

It’s a brilliant test. Apply it to all articles on homosexuality. Then you will see exactly how “reasonable” the author is. Try the test on some of the comments above. It is very telling.



John

The Beast Of Clerkenwell said...

So a confirmed batchelor who keeps cats, wears Prada in his 70's and silk robes, used to hang about with men in black uniforms and hates poofs?
Methinks there is Probably a little self hate there

canvas said...

Andrew says "We have lost our soul and unless we find it soon we are FINISHED."

That's simply not true. It's just that with advances in science and technology people now realise that they don't need a corrupt and hypocritical 'religious organisation' to protect them from the big 'evil' world.

People can make up their own minds about spiritual guidance. I'm so sick of hearing about our 'broken society'. Battered this and battered that... It's a nonsense. Instead of 'religion' uniting the world - it divides it. Enough is enough.

We can all try to live an ethical and fulfilling life without religious belief - if that is what we choose.

Many people reject religion in favour of the advancement of humanity by its own efforts.

Dick the Prick said...

What's wrong with not liking Jews, Christians, Muslims, or Gays if it's in your head? Or if you lay it down in a coherent argument, if you don't try and impose your views on others? If you don't break the law. He's wasn't reaching out today - he was kinda preaching to the converted. Hey I believe Jesus was the Christ so Jews, Muslims & all other heretics are gibbering drivel.

You can't apply laws and teachings from way older than anything Blighty has (cept Stonehenge) to modern stuff. Just grow up will ya, especially at this time of year.

You claim to be liberals and by that you mean identikit vessels of the average, of the modal current concepts?

Live and let live my arse, you wanna infect the world with some 6th form idealist shite and I for one ain't standing for it.

The gay debate don't bother me at all - i'm not into human interest stories but I'm glad the Pope seems reactionary, coz bloody 'progress' has been a roaring success.

Paul Halsall said...

I have posted several times in this thread as someone who is both gay and Roman Catholic (and has AIDS, ta-boom). I agree that some of the posts are anti-Catholic in a vile way, and many are homophobic, e.g. when equating homosexuality with effeminacy because the pope wears "a dress." (Such comments are anti-female too, come to think of it. But not, on the whole Anti-Scottish!).

As a Catholic I have found massive amounts of support in the church, countless lay and clerical Catholics who have known I am gay.

I simply will not allow anyone, anti-Catholic bigots, or time-bound popes, limit my celebration of God's incarnation with both my gay friends and my family (some of whose bonds are "step-" bonds, but which are just as precious to me as "natural" bonds.)

Dick the Prick said...

Paul - spot on fella. I'm not saying you can pick and choose Catholic teachings but we all do - just don't make a fuss about it.

There's the brilliant Dara O'Brien line when his priest is whinging because he went off to join the Taliban, converted to Islam, strapped some explosives to his chest and blew loads of people up. His priest simply said - 'he was a bad Catholic'.

All the best, hope you have a lovely Chrimbo and a quality 2009.

Dick the Prick said...

Now John 23 was a Pope. Ah well, in the immortal words of Joe Cocker - if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

Andrew said...

Canvas

Thank you for trying to address my argument, unlike Crippen who just dismisses me as a Nazi (V. Poor)

Advances and science do not alas change the fundamentals of human nature, technology can be used for good but also for bad depending
on the morality of those it empowers.I do not dispute that it is possible to live an ethicallife
without religious belief but without some sort of reference point who defines what is and is not ethical?
The tragedy is that religion need not divide us as such, the teachings of the worlds main religions have a lot of common,
Including (dare one say) a dissaproving attitude toward homosexuality
The trouble is that religion is manipulated to serve other
political agendas and if some sort of ethical humanism caught on
it would be just as prone to similar abuse.

You don't think society is fractured???
I am afraid you need to get out more

Anyway Merry Xmas

cabalamat said...

Why does the state continue to fund Catholic schools? If people like the Pope want to poison young minds with their bigotry, they should do so with their own money, not my taxes.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

Matthew - could I please point out that not once in that excerpt did the Pope mention homosexuals.

If you read it that way, it's your problem. However, I read it as talking about the need for a reappreciation of the importance of marriage, and the importance of love between a man and a woman, as the basis of society. Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't that current mainstream Conservative thinking?

And yes, Iain, I do believe there is a will in newspapers and the BBC to always present anything the Pope says in the most negative light possible a) to get more traffic ("Pope says something about marriage" is hardly good news is it?) and b) because there is a heavy institutional media bias against both the Catholic and Anglican churches, to the extent that they try to present an often completely fictitious picture in a bid to fit in with their news agenda, not the facts.

The only time the Pope's comments even headed towards homosexuality was his blunt suggestion that transgender people were confused idiots who should sort themselves out (I paraphrase but you get the gist - I note Matthew has not quoted these sentences). Why is nobody here worrying about that, preferring instead to chase red herrings all over the oceans?

Childprotector said...

Posters might want to read the full text of the Pope's speech before commenting further

http://www.massinformation.org/2008/12/benedict-xvi-curia-address-in-english.html

molesworth 1 said...

God-botherers, eh? Don'tcha just love 'em?
If it weren't for the pernicious & all pervasive influence of the various hocus-pocus brigades this would all be quite funny, but as it is it's just a further illustration of the general idiocy of these assorted reality-deniers.
D'ya think God knackered the Large Hadon Collider on purpose?

Jimmy said...

"who defines what is and is not ethical?"

We all do. Only some of us own up to it.

DespairingLiberal said...

As a LibDem, I do condemn the Popes' comments and share your outrage Iain. I am not gay, but for a German especially with his background to come out with comments like this is frankly appalling and we should shout him down.

I think you are hinting the right analysis in that this is motivated by a desire to deflect attention from priestly behaviour around the world.

He is also I suspect motivated by calculation that he will extend Papal influence in Africa and South America where queer-bashing is widespread.

The Vatican is one of the most cynical and corrupt/corrupting institutions in world history and they are long practised at this type of debased manouverism.

canvas said...

Andrew, I do not think society is any more 'fractured' than it was 100, 500 or 1000 years ago. It's just that bad news is now instant and more accessible through MSM.

Are you saying humanists have no morals - or that they have a moral code but you are insisting they must have gotten it from religion?

I am an optimist and I haven't lost faith in human nature. I'm fed up with 'organised religion' exploiting the poor and the uneducated. I'm fed up with organised religion spreading hatred and fear. I'm fed up with the corruption and hypocrisy.

People create their own meaning and purpose in life. Perhaps the meaning of life is to live a life of meaning?

Donkey Kong said...

What an over-reaction on your part, Iain. "Pope says homosexuality is wrong" is a story in the same category as "bear has shit in woods", and you know it.

Alex said...

XCall me naive, but the Pope didn't actually say any thing of the sort. The Pope actually spoke once again about the sanctity of marriage and the sinfulness of casual sex. No mention as far as I can see of homosexuality or transsexuality. It is the media that seems to have read between the lines and made up some quotations. I seem to recall them doing something similar with Rowan Williams a few months ago.

This isn't simply a matter of trying to place a church figure in a bad light. These days the press ignores the words of a leading church figure and simply prints what they want them to have said.

Alex said...

Here apparently is an accurate translation of what the Pope said:

"Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Creed, the Church cannot and should not limit itself to transmitting to its faithful only the message of salvation. She has a responsibility for Creation, and it should validate this responsibility in public.

In so doing, it should defend not just the earth, water and air as gifts of Creation that belong to everyone. She should also protect man from destroying himself.

It is necessary to have something like an ecology of man, understood in the right sense. It is not outdated metaphysics when the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and asks that this natural order be respected.

This has to do with faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, which, if disregarded, would be man's self-destruction and therefore a destruction of God's work itself.

That which has come to be expressed and understood with the term 'gender' effectively results in man's self-emancipation from Creation (nature) and from the Creator. Man wants to do everything by himself and to decide always and exclusively about anything that concerns him personally. But this is to live against truth, to live against the Spirit Creator.

The tropical rain forests deserve our protection, yes, but man does not deserve it less as a Creature of the Spirit himself, in whom is inscribed a message that does not mean a contradiction of human freedom but its condition.

The great theologians of Scholasticism described matrimony - which is the lifelong bond between a man and a woman - as a sacrament of Creation, that the Creator himself instituted, and that Christ, without changing the message of Creation, welcomed in the story of his alliance with men.

Part of the announcement that the Church should bring to men is a testimonial for the Spirit Creator present in all of nature, but specially in the nature of man, who was created in the image of God.

One must reread the encyclical Humanae vitae with this perspective: the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against consumer sex, the future against the exclusive claim of the moment, and human nature against manipulation."

RobertEve said...

I'm with the Pope on this one!

Looks like the Germans are right again.

Peter said...

Everyone, including the Pope, has certain barriers they will not cross, even unprincipled politicians.
You just cannot expect the Catholic Church to suddenly overturn centuries of religious teachings.
Just be thankful that the church is not actually persecuting the gay community around the world.
That is the advance in our generation. It may take several more centuries for attitudes to become more liberal.

Dick the Prick said...

Thank goodness - sane chaps at last. Happy Chrimbo dudes.

Niccolo Machiavelli said...

not sure they're too keen on the catholics...

Dick the Prick said...

Machiavelli - wait 'till they get to know us then they'll bloody hate us. Is that too much to ask? To accuse the Holy See of Pontification - you gots to love the equation. OK - maybe not.

Dick the Prick said...

I do think the lack of understanding and the effort of Charlemagne is disgracefully evident on this thread. Not wanting to be a twat or owt but if you lot are gearing up for a Holy War, well, i'll kinda hire mercenaries if that hokely dokely.

Get thy selves a grip. Love your opinions - lovely, lucious, bouncy too - but who the chuff do you think gave you the ability to think this way? Oh gosh, but we all sentient being Ricky with feelings and stuff, we'd have worked it out regardless.

Happy Christmas Peeps, God loves love and so does his Son and so does the Holy Ghost.

joshi88 said...

I applaud Greg for reading the text and working out what the Pope actually said - not something that either I or indeed Iain have got round to doing until now. Thanks!

Juan said...

Very subtly, or not, you linked the Pope with the Hitler Youth. Although he was a member, to alledge that he shared any of their beliefs is utterly wrong, shows factual ignorance and a basic lack of empathy. You may not have literally alledged that, but as a journalist, writer and blogger you should know the potential meaning of your words to your readers, as evidenced in many prior comments. It seems you have fallend prey to misinformed and sloppy journalism, and in part joined the same practice.

DespairingLiberal said...

AlexP, etc, what precisely do you think then that the Pope meant by this bit-:

"That which has come to be expressed and understood with the term 'gender' effectively results in man's self-emancipation from Creation (nature) and from the Creator."

I think it's clear that the media were right and that the "between the lines" message here is that queers are ungodly, even though I agree he didn't come out and say that.

The problem is a long history of obsession with sexual matters by the Vatican, against a background where many of the Popes and Cardinals themselves were hypocrites, engaging in everything from peodophilia to full hetereosexuality whilst lecturing their faithful on chastity. There is even a tour in Rome that shows you buildings put up by Papal children over the ages!!

So even if you are right and he is being wilfully misunderstood, it will take a lot more than evasive half-meanings to clarify their position.

Shirley said...

I wonder if the Pope has seen this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCzbNkyXO50
Gay scientists isolate the Christian gene.

Roger Thornhill said...

Andrew,

One of the biggest fractures in the world is over religion.

Religion, specifically the Abrahamic kind, is all about power and control. It is Authoritiarian (obey or else) and Totalitarian (only our version is right). It is marketing, PR, spin, falsehood, illogic, hear-say, oppression, ritual. It is not rational. The rational view states that Jesus was a man like all others and a few people got carried away, Paul especially ( who I consider to be a PR and Marketing guru).

At least with soap powers, Daz followers do not want to ban Omo's.

Dick the Prick said...

Get a full refund and piss off if you don't want it.

Andy said...

Why do you make the rather outrageous allegation that when the pope says "gays" he means "paedos"? Are you a mind reader or just using an emotional slur?

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

Despairing Liberal, if something is "clear" then it is not "between the lines." Make up your mind.

Better yet, examine the text. He was talking about marriage. It is quite something if the leader of one of the world's largest organisations cannot express a deeply held personal belief in private without a lot of stupid people accusing him of homophobia on the basis of the lies of the media all desperate for a story.

DespairingLiberal said...

Half-blood - maybe you're right, but I would be more likely to believe your interpretation if this Pope hadn't already developed a clear style of throwaway superficially innocent remarks in small lectures to private audiences that clearly have catastrophic, threatening, racist or homophobic implications. We need only review the track record so far - calculated insults against Islam, against people of other Christian demoninations and now against Gays.

In politics this is known as "playing to the base" but given the particular role of religious leaders and the dismal oppressive history of the Roman church, it's appalling that the largest religion has chosen as it's leader a man who holds such retrograde views.

Presumably the next step is to denounce us Brits as protestating spawn of the devil. In private and subtly hinted of course.

Dick the Prick said...

Despairing - heaven forfend a shepherd tends his flock.

Whaddya want? What? Do you want Superman, do you want the omnipotent grand poobah?

Why not just have a man eh? Why not just have a man instead? Someone who shows us we're weak, we're tired and lost, someone who shows us we could do better.

Sure the Roman church has a history, but to carry the sins of the father to those of the son leaves no room for hope, change, redress or spirit.

There's no way to impart faith, to donate it like a gift except to say Happy Christmas dude and all the best for 2009. Hope it's a great one for you & yours.

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