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Equality - In Our Faiths - The Inquisition targets same-sex marriage

July 31, 2003 (updated August 1)

The Inquisition targets same-sex marriage
Rome is where the hate is.

"...the Vatican's insistence that politicians put their religion first in determining public policy on the question is beyond the pale." - The Globe and Mail, Canada (Aug. 1, 2003)

"... the example of the Vatican is grotesque ... a bizarre attempt at turning back the clock of social and political history." - The Ottawa Sun (Aug. 1, 2003)


The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith launched a renewed global attack against same-sex marriage today with the release of a document titled Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons. The Catholic Church's hateful document comes from the oldest of the Curia's nine congregations. Founded in 1542 by Pope Paul III, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was originally called the Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition: the same people responsible for torturing and burning victims to death in the name of God.

"faulty reasoning of the Vatican" - Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany (Aug. 1, 2003)


"like a message from times long gone-by ... Let us not beat about the bush: this Catholic Church is a hopeless case."
Der Standard,
Austria (Aug. 1, 2003)

The Considerations is authored by the infamous Cardinal Ratzinger, a mean-spirited person known for an authoritarian streak that is appropriate for a grand Inquisitor. The document admits that it does "not contain new doctrinal elements" but that it is intended to "provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions" and it is also "intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by Cardinal Ratziner, head of the Vatican's Inquisition, excuses violance against gays:  "the Church nor society at large should not be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground and irrational and violent reactions increase."indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area ..."

Indeed, in March, the Vatican released a new glossary of sexual terms which said homosexuals were not normal and countries which allowed gay marriages were inhabited by people with "profoundly disordered minds" (Reuters, July 31, 2003). Much of the twisted and contorted logic found in the Considerations can be found in previous shameful spewing of the Vatican, including:

Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons ( October 1986)

Pope Orders Politicians To Discriminate According To "Divine Plan"( Address of his Holiness Pope John Paul II November 4, 2000)

Family, Marriage and "De Facto" Unions, Pontifical Council For the Family (November 21, 2000)

The low points of the Considerations

"Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon," the Considerations states in its introduction paragraph, noting in particular the "greater concern" of homosexual unions leading to the adoption of children. The rant continues: "homosexual acts go against the natural moral law ... Under no circumstances can they be approved."

The paper goes on to say that homosexuality is "an anomaly" that is "a serious depravity" and "intrinsically disordered" and "objectively disordered."

But in case you get the wrong idea from these hate-mongers, homosexuals "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity." But then a few paragraphs later this sentiment is unmasked: "The Principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions."

Such is the sincerity of the Inquisition.

"Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective," the paper says. These include pressuring governments to make their secular laws conform to Church dogma, and "above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas" that would "contribute to the spread of the phenomenon". Lest we forget, this unholy tirade says, "Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil."

Same-sex marriage, the Vatican says correctly, will "modify the younger generation's perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour." The Catholic Church wishes to create new generations of homophobes and bigots.

"Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development."

It seems that the Inquisition would prefer that the faithful hand children over to the Catholic Church, whose leaders have shown willingness to cover-up and ignore the use of children as sexual toys for some of their priests.

Finally, the Considerations provides instructions to Catholic politicians:

"The Vatican is urging in-tolerance and hate." Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria (Aug. 1, 2003)

"shocking and cruel language ... a classic example of how to embarrass your friends and motivate your enemies ..."
The Guardian
,
U.K. (Aug. 1, 2003)

"When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral. When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth."

The document, that will be cause for apology by a future Pope (just as the Church has apologized for similar aspersions cast on Jews), concludes:

"Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity."

Response to Considerations

Response to this hate literature has been immediate and strong in Canada.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, the pastor who married us in the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto issued a statement today that said, "the Vatican's latest pronouncements only serve to inflame discrimination."

Thoren Hudyman, A spokeswoman for Canada's Prime Minister Chretien said (The Globe and Mail, July 31, 2003), "As Prime Minister of Canada, he has the moral responsibility to protect the equality of Canadians. There needs to be a separation between the church and state."

"... to step outside the church and threaten Roman Catholic public office-holders with hell if they vote for legislation that allow gays to marry is a return to the Middle Ages."
The Ottawa Sun, Aug. 1, 2003

There also needs to be a separation between church and hate. In the same news report, Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary said, "I think his [the Prime Minister] eternal salvation is in jeopardy. He is making a morally grave error and he's not being accountable to God."

Paul Martin, the next Prime Minister said his responsibilities, "obviously must take in a wider perspective [than his faith] ... no church, not my church, no temple, no mosque, no synagogue will be asked to perform marriages in any way other than as they see fit."

Former Prime Minister, Joe Clark (Progressive Conservative party) said Members of Parliament represent "the broad public interest, not the interest of a particular faith" and New Democratic MP Svend Robinson called the Considerations "outrageous and deeply offensive ... It's very sad the Vatican feels it has to threaten Catholic MPs with hellfire and eternal damnation."

What you can do

  • Write to, or phone, Canada's Prime Minister and Justice Minister, and Members of Parliament in support of equal marriage.
  • Write to the Catholic Bishop in your area denouncing the Vatican's interference in secular life.
  • Write to the Vatican to express your outrage at their promotion of hatred.
  • If you are Catholic, withhold your financial support. Instead of dropping money in the collection plate, leave a note explaining your position.
  • Support organizations and faith communities that welcome homosexuals.

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