WHEN the head of the Catholic Church uses his “World Peace Day” message to attack homosexuals you can be sure that the Vatican has reached the very depth of desperation and panic.
It has a lot to be desperate about, and stricken with fear. This year has seen it suffer an unprecedented number of setbacks across the globe, stretching from Ireland, where Catholics are abandoning the faith faster than almost any other country in the world, to the Philippines, where the Government on Monday approved legislation calling for government-funded contraception and sex education classes in the face of strong Catholic opposition.
And in the US, a national poll conducted by Quinnipiac found 49 percent of white Catholics support marriage equality with 46 percent opposed.
Furthermore, global clerical abuse scandals show absolutely no signs of receding, and virtually every day new evidence emerges of cover-ups the Church was involved in to hide evidence of the systematic rape of children by its priests. Australia is now the epicentre of more evidence of the Church’s crimes.
France meanwhile is shaping up for a full scale confrontation with the Catholic Church which is increasingly trying to interfere in its political processes vis-à-vis gay marriage. The French Government has been accused “Cathophobia”.
The Vatican’s response has been to play the only card left it has in its threadbare pack: homophobia.
Ahead of Church’s Word Peace Day on January 1, 2013, Ratzinger issued a warning that any efforts to allow gays and lesbians to wed would:
Actually harm and help to destabilize marriage.
This, in turn, the clown suggested, would pose a threat to world peace.
The Pope wrote that in order to pursue peace:
There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society.
This message of hate and intolerance immediately sparked a protest outside the Vatican, where a small group of around 15 activists gathered this week to display signs reading “Talk About Love” and “Homophobia = Death,” among others.
The group was blocked from getting into St Peter’s Square, where thousands gathered for Advent celebrations and to hear the Pope speak, but that that some of the placards were confiscated by police.
Among the central message of the group’s signs, was one that said:
Gay unions don’t harm peace. Weapons do.
After railing against abortion and marriage equality, Ratzinger said what the other side pursues is:
An offence against the truth of the human person. These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity.
In an earlier display of panic, the Vatican claimed that same-sex couples live in a “different reality” and continue to chase the “utopia” of equality.
L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Holy See, printed a front-page editorial on Monday titled “Marriage Is Not a Contract”, claiming that same-sex couples live in some sort of “different reality” where they believe the foundations of society will not quake if an “utopia” of equality, which “caused such damage in the twentieth century,” is achieved.
The editorial added:
Saying that marriage between a woman and a man is equal to that between two homosexuals is, in fact, a denial of the truth that affects one of the basic structures of human society, the family. We cannot base a society on these foundations without then paying a very high price as happened in the past when there was an attempt to achieve total economic and social equality. Why repeat the same mistake and chase after an unattainable utopia?
The Vatican’s editorial condemns same-sex couples adopting children, stating that this will only lead to “new forms of exploitation” in science.
The article also criticised a piece that appeared in the French Catholic weekly Temoignage Chretien, which endorsed the country’s controversial gay marriage bill. The Vatican says the French article seeks to only promote what is trendy.
Being Catholic is about much more than embracing fashionable cultural standpoints.
An online campaign featuring photos of LGBT people with the phrase “I am a threat to peace” was also launched in Italy and has already posted thousands of images to its Facebook page.