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."
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.
Surprise, surprise: the British media has wildly misquoted and misrepresented what the Pope actually said. I know, I know, scarcely creditable, isn’t it?
Thanks to the miracle of Google Translate, I’ve found the original text, which (as translated by Google) reads as follows:
Since faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian Credo, the Church can not and should not be confined to convey to its faithful only the message of salvation. It has a responsibility for creation and must rely on this responsibility even in public. And it must defend not only the land, water and air as gifts of creation as belonging to all. It must also protect humans against the destruction of itself. It is necessary that there is something like an ecology of man, understood in the right direction. It is not a metaphysical exaggeration, if the Church speaks of the nature of human beings as man and woman and asks that this order of creation is respected. Here it is done by faith in the Creator, given the language of creation, which would be self-contempt and then destruction of the work of God. What often is expressed and understood by the term “gender”, is resolved ultimately in the creation of self-empowerment and the Creator. The man wants to be alone and always and exclusively alone what concerns him. But living in this way against the truth, lives against the Creator Spirit. The tropical forests deserve, yes, our security, but no less worthy man as a creature, which is writing a message that does not mean contradiction of our freedom, but his condition. Great theologians of the Schools have qualified marriage, which is the bond for life between man and woman, as the sacrament of creation, that the Creator has established and that Christ – without changing the message of creation – then welcomed in the history of salvation as the sacrament of the new alliance. Sits on the announcement that the Church must bear witness in favor of the Creator Spirit in nature as a whole and especially in the nature of man, created in the image of God. From this perspective should read the encyclical Humanae Vitae. The intention of Pope Paul VI was the love of defending against sexuality as consumption, the future against the alleged exclusivity of this nature and of man against his manipulation.
A million miles away from saying, “Opposing homosexuality is as important as opposing rainforest destruction”.
The Zenit article might be easier to read:
Pontiff Calls for “Ecology of Man”
Warns Against New Theories of “Gender”
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- While protecting nature is an essential mission of the Church, it’s no more important than protecting the nature of the person, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope spoke today of what he termed an “ecology of man” during his traditional exchange of Christmas greetings with prelates and members of the Roman Curia.
“Given that faith in the Creator is an essential element of the Christian creed, the Church can not and should not limit itself to transmitting to the faithful only the message of salvation,” he affirmed. “It also has a responsibility with creation, and it has to fulfill this responsibility in public.”
The Pontiff added that while the Church needs to “defend the earth, water, air, as gifts of the creation that belongs to all of us [… ], it must also protect the human being from his own destruction.”
“It is necessary that there be something such as an ecology of man, understood in the proper manner,” he said.
This human ecology, he affirmed, is based on respecting the nature of the person, and the two genders of masculine and feminine.
“It is not outmoded metaphysics,” Benedict XVI affirmed, “when Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected.”
He said it has more to do with “faith in the Creator and listening to the language of creation, the contempt of which will lead to the self destruction of humanity.”
The Pope warned against the manipulation that takes place in national and international forums when the term “gender” is altered.
“What is often expressed and understood by the term ‘gender,’ is definitively resolved in the self-emancipation of the human being from creation and the Creator,” he warned. “Man wants to create himself, and to decide always and exclusively on his own about what concerns him.”
The Pontiff said this is man living “against truth, against the creating Spirit.”
“The rain forests certainly deserve our protection, but man as creature indeed deserves no less,” he added.
Benedict XVI explained that great theologians have “qualified marriage, that is to say, the link for life between man and woman, as a sacrament of creation, instituted by the Creator.”
“This forms part of the announcement that the Church should offer,” he concluded, “in favor of the creating Spirit present in all of nature, and in a special way in the nature of man created in the image of God.”
Â I’d hope the Vatican would release an official english translation of what the Pope said. All other translations have been a little unclear in places; forgive me if I’m being thick but what does :
Â “The man wants to be alone and always and exclusively alone what concerns him.”
Â actually mean?
I think that what the Pope is saying is that a lot of gender theory is ultimately about the glorification of self. It can be introverted and concentrated on what I desire for myself, not what God desires.
Ingenious. The Pope takes all the concern about the integrity of nature and turns it around and forces us to look at human beings as natural creatures, and *our* integrity.
I think I understand the point you’re making, but do you fancy spelling it out a bit more for the lesser mortals?
Oh Mark! Don’t go there! You’ll blow a hole in the space-time continuum as they call it.