Shame on Pope Benedict (and Giles Fraser)…

… for saying something highly controversial about homosexuality right at the stage of the year when I have no time to track down a copy of what he *actually* said and comment on it.

For now we’ll have to settle for the BBC:

Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

He explained that defending God’s creation was not limited to saving the environment, but also protecting man from self-destruction.

The pope was delivering his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff.

His words, later released to the media, emphasised his total rejection of gender theory.

Pope Benedict XVI warned that gender theory blurs the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race.

And here’s the Daily Mail:

The Pope has declared that saving the world from homosexual behaviour is as important as saving the rainforests.

In a Christmas message, Benedict XVI stressed the importance of traditional marriage and condemned gay acts as against God’s will.

He also attacked transsexuals, saying: ‘It is not man who decides who is a man or woman but God.’

Pope Benedict, 82, known as God’s Rottweiler for his hardline views, made the comments in his festive address to the Vatican’s governing body, the Curia.

He said: ‘The Church must defend not only the earth, the water and the air as gifts of creation belonging to everyone, but it must also protect mankind against the destruction of itself.

‘The tropical forests deserve our protection, but man as a creature deserves it no less.’

In a clear reference to homosexuality, he said the failure to respect the union between a man and a woman amounted to the ‘auto destruction of mankind’.

Humanity needed to ‘listen to the language of creation’ to understand the intended roles of man and woman, he added. Anything that deviated from this was a ‘destruction of God’s works’.

The Pope – who acquired a reputation as an aggressive, doctrine-enforcing cardinal before he was appointed to the Vatican top job – also defended the Church’s right to ‘speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected’.
Father Federico Lombardi

Vatican spokesman: Father Federico Lombardi said the Vatican continues to condemn the use of the death penalty

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are a sin. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality ‘a deviation, an irregularity, a wound’.

The Press Association has the initial LGCM response:

Lesbian and gay Christians have denounced Pope Benedict’s claim that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

The Pontiff said humanity needed to listen to the "language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman and that behaviour beyond traditional heterosexual relations was a "destruction of God’s work".

He called on the Church to protect man from the "destruction of himself" saying that tropical rainforests deserved protection but man as a creature "does not deserve any less".

But the Rev Sharon Ferguson, chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, described his remarks as "totally irresponsible and unacceptable in any shape or form."

She said: "It is more the case that we need to be saved from his comments. It is comments like that that justify homophobic bullying that goes on in schools and it is comments like that that justify gay bashing.

"There are still so many instances of people being killed around the world, including in western society, purely and simply because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

"When you have religious leaders like that making that sort of statement then followers feel they are justified in behaving in an aggressive and violent way because they feel that they are doing God’s work in ridding the world of these people."

*Sigh*

Update

As usual, Giles Fraser, the man who can’t read more than a few verses of Scripture without taking them out of context, has once again completely twisted the story for his own political ends. Here he is quoted in the Telegraph:

The Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Vicar of Putney and president of Inclusive Church, the pro-gay Anglican movement, said: "I thought the Christmas angels said ‘Fear not’.

"Instead, the Pope is spreading fear that gay people somehow threaten the planet. And that’s just absurd.

"As always, this sort of religious homophobia will be an alibi for all those who would do gay people harm. Can’t he think of something better to say at Christmas?"

Do you see what he did? The Pope talked about homosexual behaviour. Giles Fraser decides to not listen and instead assert (or might we be controvesial and say "dissemble") that the Pope has condemned gay orientation, and from there launches into the usual homophobia nonsense. Quite the most pathetic response and a complete misreading of the RC Church’s teaching on this issue.

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