Friday, 2 January 2009

Times: Apology due to Church for articles on homosexuality
Friday, 2nd January 2009 by Richard A. Micallef, Ta' l-Ibraġ

The recent UN issue of decriminalising homosexuality worldwide has been another reason for many anti-Catholics, homosexuals, gays and LGBT's to twist the truth.

This polemic was raised because the Vatican expressed its reservations about the proposed wording, which apart from the original intent to decriminalise homosexuality, included the additional categories "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in the UN Resolution.

These are not recognised or clearly defined in international legislation, and could eventually lead to serious judicial uncertainty. This declaration could become a means to put pressure on or discriminate against those who, to give a very clear example, consider marriage between a man and a woman the fundamental and original form of social life. Another example being, that in the UK, Catholic adoption agencies would be in breach of law if they refuse to grant adoption to homosexuals or gays.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore's interview (December 19) - read in its entirety - was very clear and in no way was to defend the death penalty for homosexuals, as some people aim to insinuate.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church not only excludes the death penalty but all forms of legislation that are violent or discriminatory towards homosexuals. The Vatican statement of December 19 reaffirmed this statement.

Kenneth Zammit Tabona in his comment piece of December 23, requests that the Church or its "self appointed paladins" apologise publicly for the patronising and hurtful letters they send.

After reading his article - to quote: "the stonewalling of the Catholic Church"; "have to be considered with an open mind"; "hurtful and incomprehensible that the Church"; "(without) homosexuality the world would have been the poorer"; "God created Man...He is prepared to accept us as we are"; "homosexual love is love and...cannot be negated"; "only a few bigots..."; "stand taken by the Catholic Church was nothing short of repugnant" - and others much worse on LGBT sites, I feel that a public apology is due to the Catholic Church.

I am in entire agreement with all legislation that prohibits discrimination against homosexuals. However, my concern with the LGBT's lobby is their agenda, and as Mr Zammit Tabona stated we now live in an "accepting" and not just "tolerating" society. The problem I see is that we are now moving towards "a legislated society that muzzles the Church and any person from professing his faith" and be accused of the crime of being homophobic, if one expresses disagreement. In 1982 Pope John Paul II stated that in the past a sin was called a sin, but now what was considered a sin has acquired "citizenship" through the enactment of many laws. This prophetic statement was made 26 years ago!

The God I know is a loving God who is always ready to forgive and save man from being cast into the deepest pit, not to condemn him. With regards to homosexuality, the Church teaches that some persons have a homosexual tendency. Stating that God's creation is beautiful in its diversity, to justify being homosexual, is stretching it a bit. The Catechism of the Church no. 2357 - 2359 explains very well its teaching, but at the same time clearly states that every homosexual act is per se a disorderly act since it goes against natural law.

The Church teaches us and calls upon all homosexuals to live in chastity, and with prayer and the sacraments to live a Christian life. Just as much as married couples are encouraged to enrich their relationship with God and live the virtue of chastity - no. 2349. I agree entirely with Mr Zammit Tabona's concluding note - the Catholic Church will always remain the strongest moral voice in the world.

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1 comment:

  1. The Ctechism does not ban the death penalty.

    1) 2004, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with guidance to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated  succinctly, emphatically and unambiguously as follows:   June, 2004   "Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
    Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick: More Concerned with 'Comfort' than Christ?, Catholic Online, 7/11/2004

    2)  Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, 10/7/2000, "At no point, however, does Jesus deny that the State has authority to exact capital punishment. In his debates with the Pharisees, Jesus cites with approval the apparently harsh commandment, He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die (Mt 15:4; Mk 7:10, referring to Ex 21:17; cf. Lev 20:9). When Pilate calls attention to his authority to crucify him, Jesus points out that Pilate's power comes to him from above-that is to say, from God (Jn 19:1 l).Jesus commends the good thief on the cross next to him, who has admitted that he and his fellow thief are receiving the due reward of their deeds (Lk 23:41). "
    "Paul repeatedly refers to the connection between sin and death. He writes to the Romans with an apparent reference to the death penalty, that the magistrate who holds authority does not bear the sword in vain; for he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer (Rom 13:4). No passage in the New Testament disapproves of the death penalty."
    "Turning to Christian tradition, we may note that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church are virtually unanimous in their support for capital punishment, even though some of them such as St. Ambrose exhort members of the clergy not to pronounce capital sentences or serve as executioners."
    "The Roman Catechism, issued in 1566, three years after the end of the Council of Trent, taught that the power of life and death had been entrusted by God to civil authorities and that the use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to the fifth commandment. "
    "Summarizing the verdict of Scripture and tradition, we can glean some settled points of doctrine. It is agreed that crime deserves punishment in this life and not only in the next. In addition, it is agreed that the State has authority to administer appropriate punishment to those judged guilty of crimes and that this punishment may, in serious cases, include the sentence of death."
    "The Catholic magisterium does not, and never has, advocated unqualified abolition of the death penalty. I know of no official statement from popes or bishops, whether in the past or in the present, that denies the right of the State to execute offenders at least in certain extreme cases. The United States bishops, in their majority statement on capital punishment, conceded that Catholic teaching has accepted the principle that the state has the right to take the life of a person guilty of an extremely serious crime. Cardinal Bernardin, in his famous speech on the Consistent Ethic of Life here at Fordham in 1983, stated his concurrence with the classical position that the State has the right to inflict capital punishment.
    "Pope John Paul II spoke for the whole Catholic tradition when he proclaimed, in Evangelium Vitae, that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral (EV 57). But he wisely included in that statement the word innocent. He has never said that every criminal has a right to live nor has he denied that the State has the right in some cases to execute the guilty. "

    ("The Death Penalty: A Right to Life Issue?" at
    NOTE: although Dulles makes palpable errors of fact and logic within the sections "The Purposes of Punishment" and "Harm Attributed to the Death Penalty", it is, otherwise, a solid historical treatment of the Church and the death penalty)