The Vatican appears to have joined in the clamour of religious zealots to claim ‘persecution’ for being ever increasingly prevented (at least in the developed world) from discriminating against gay people. Given their history of covering up paedophilia in their own ranks, it’s perhaps no surprise that they feel that an offence is a good defence, but this really takes the cake. From Archbishop Silvio Tomasi, Catholicism’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations to the Human Rights Council of all places:
for the purposes of human rights law, there is a critical difference between feelings and thoughts, on the one hand, and behaviour, on the other. A state should never punish a person, or deprive a person of the enjoyment of any human right, based just on the person’s feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings. But states can, and must, regulate behaviours, including various sexual behaviours. Throughout the world, there is a consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviours must be forbidden by law. Paedophilia and incest are two examples.
And how predictable of the bastard to lump paedophilia, incest and homosexuality (by implication) together. Just how should homosexuality be regulated, more to the point why should it be regulated, when national medical and psychological bodies in every country in the developed world agree homosexuality is inherent and not harmful? It’s one of many reminders that the Vatican, this accident of history, remains bound to religious ‘law’ and isn’t playing on the same civil law playing field as the rest of those of us in the 21st century.
But he goes on:
the Holy See wishes to affirm its deeply held belief that human sexuality is a gift that is genuinely expressed in the complete and lifelong mutual devotion of a man and a woman in marriage. Human sexuality, like any voluntary activity, possesses a moral dimension : it is an activity which puts the individual will at the service of a finality; it is not an “identity”. In other words, it comes from the action and not from the being, even though some tendencies or “sexual orientations” may have deep roots in the personality. Denying the moral dimension of sexuality leads to denying the freedom of the person in this matter, and undermines ultimately his/her ontological dignity. This belief about human nature is also shared by many other faith communities, and by other persons of conscience.
Who gives a toss what this moron believes? Does he actually appreciate he’s addressing a human rights council? Does he not appreciate his audience actually knows sexual orientation is inherent? He can philosophise his bigotry all he likes – it doesn’t make him right and it certainly doesn’t give him the right to try to suggest that human rights law shouldn’t cover sexual orientation. Then again this is the Catholic Church, and they have tried every trick in the book to keep themselves from being held to account for their genuine crimes, and Tomasi predictably continues by claiming persecution against Catholics:
People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behaviour between people of the same sex. When they express their moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatised, and worse — they are vilified, and prosecuted.
Expressing a viewpoint doesn’t get anyone prosecuted. What gets people prosecuted is discrimination, which under European law is illegal in the provision of goods and services. The theist line is so damned tedious. As I’ve pointed out time and time again in this blog, in this era of conflicting rights claims and legislation, religion’s rights to discriminate lose out every time, now that almost all western government have concluded that protection of gay people from any discrimination is more important. This, whatever Tomasi would like you to believe, is not an attack on religion itself. It’s time to start ignoring the hate persistently spewed by the Vatican; it’s entirely out of step with the modern world.
The head of Belgium’s Catholic Church is in hot water for saying gay men deserve AIDS for the “travesty” that is homosexuality and that pedophile priests should go unpunished.
A gay rights lawyer is threatening legal action against Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard — a close friend of the pope — for saying AIDS is “justice” for gay men.
Leonard’s press spokesman, Juergen Mettepenningen, has quit over the remarks, saying, “Monsignor Leonard at times acts like a motorist driving on the wrong side of a motorway who thinks all the other motorists are wrong.”
The Archbishop is quoted by the Pink Paper as saying:
“When you mistreat the environment it ends up mistreating us in turn. And when you mistreat human love, perhaps it winds up taking vengeance.
“All I’m saying is that sometimes there are consequences linked to our actions,” the archbishop said, saying of AIDS, “this epidemic is a sort of intrinsic justice.”
It’s almost like he’s trying to divert our attention from something. I wonder what it could be?
Fortunately he’s had somewhat of a comeuppance (albeit a very small one):
Five bishops have left the Church of England in a desperate attempt to legitimise their misogyny and homophobia by any means possible:
Five bishops have announced that they are converting to Roman Catholicism in protest at liberal Anglican reforms and urged others to follow their path.
As first reported in The Daily Telegraph, three serving and two retired traditionalist bishops announced that they are resigning in order to convert to Roman Catholicism.
The defections come as hundreds of worshippers prepare to take up the Pope’s offer to join a new section of the Roman Catholic Church which is being established for Anglicans who cannot accept liberal reforms such as the ordination of women bishops.
The new body, known as the English Ordinariate, is expected to be finalised next week and to begin operation as a full part of the Roman Catholic Church next year.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales welcomed the decision made by the Bishops of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham; Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst; Richborough, the Rt Rev Keith Newton; and two retired bishops, the Rt Rev Edwin Barnes, honorary assistant bishop of Winchester, and the Rt Rev David Silk, honorary assistant bishop of Exeter.
In a joint statement the bishops expressed their “dismay” and “distress” at recent liberal reforms to the Church, in particular the ordination of women priests and plans for the consecration of women as bishops.
I wonder if they too think that ordaining women is as bad as paedophilia? What a loss it is, to have men with attitudes that out of touch with mainstream society leaving an organisation desperate to reconnect with a population that is coming to terms with the fact that the Church isn’t the source of all morality. Any organisation which doesn’t acknowledge social change, and/or which believes that the values of Bronze Age man 2000 years ago are remotely applicable in today’s Information Age, has no place at all in modern society. Good riddance to bad rubbish – Rowan Williams is well shot of them. Now if he could only grow a spine…