Saturday, 10 January 2009

Times: Church and homosexuality [2 letters]

Saturday, 10th January 2009by Daniel Bartolo, Qawra

With regard to Richard A. Micallef's letter (Apology To Church Due For Articles On Homosexuality, January 2), I would like to ask on what basis should an apology be made to an institution that keeps driving wedges into families with homosexual members, driving thousands of gay youngsters to depression and even suicide, imbuing most of them with a sense of guilt that will permeate their whole lives, causing untold suffering to parents who think they are guilty of something, and worst of all, denying fellow human beings of the right to love and be loved back by a consenting partner of their choice.

It would be an interesting exercise to see, in terms of balance, which group has inflicted the most damage?

The Church or gay people? How many thousands shunned away, beaten, abandoned, killed, mutilated, condemned or forced into sad marriages?

Anyone with a basic knowledge of history knows the answer.

I am ready to accept that, yes, there may be men and women who are called to celibacy, but surely this is something which they have to embrace and accept themselves, out of their own free choice, and not because it is forced down their throats.

When you think about it, it is really cruel to deny a person the experience of physical love.

Even in terms of the Catholic religion itself, how the act of love between two men or two women can be an act against God, is beyond me.

Psychologists have found that gay youngsters are eight times more likely to commit suicide than their straight fellows. What is the Church doing in this respect?

Does the Vatican and the Pope's recent statements help them in any way?

There is, always, in the statements of the Church and those who defend its ambiguous position regarding homosexuality, a lot of insensitivity and cruelty wrapped up in a sugary nicety (example: it is not the homosexual that is evil but the act). With this kind of vague statement, thousands are condemned to intolerance, ignorance, sadness and guilt.

But then this is the same Church that has had to apologise to scientists and Jews after condemning and burning them at the stake, because they questioned its teachings, and which actively and politically opposed women's rights, before society forced it to embrace them.

What moral authority can such a dubious institution have?

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Saturday, 10th January 2009 by Joseph Anthony Debono, Lija

Richard Micallef does have a point. The letter by Daniel Bartolo (December 30) is another misrepresentation of the Pope's words and intentions. Among other things Mr Bartolo states that the Pope said "that saving humanity from homosexuality and transexuality was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction".
The Pope said no such thing. The actual words of the Pope are to be found at
[PA Note: The supplied hyperlink in the newspaper had a small syntax error - benxvi instead of ben-xvi. I am posting the correct one ]

I have never seen these words quoted anywhere by the international press because the original address was in Italian and only a German translation exists.

Neither, perhaps, did it suit the purpose of the mainstream media to provide a full and accurate translation of the Pope's words.

Be that as it may, it is clear that the Pope did not equate saving the rainforest from destruction with saving humanity from homosexuality or transexuality.

He did not even mention these alternative forms of sexuality. He simply reiterated and affirmed the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church - as is his duty. In any case, his words are entirely reasonable although I stand to be corrected if some luminary were to show me that il legame tra un uomo ed un altro (o tra due donne) e un sacramento della creazione.

I wait with bated breath. Nonetheless, the words of the Pope are for committed Catholics who believe fully in the dogmas and doctrines of the Church.

There is no need for any other to pay heed to, or participate in the rites of, the Catholic Church. They can leave such "burdens" for the rest of us faithful Catholics.
On a final note, Mr Bartolo may be interested to learn that the LGBT cause is harmed, not by the misreported words of a Pontiff abiding by his duty but rather by the tantrums of those who expect the Church to dance to their tune without caring a fig for her messengers and their words.

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