Saturday, 7 February 2009

Times: Message of the Church on homosexuality

Friday, 6th February 2009
Gabi Calleja, Malta Gay Rights Movement, Mosta

Fr Renè Camilleri (February 3) referred to the Xarabank programme that tackled the issue of homosexuality, following the excommunication of three gay persons from the Catholic Church.

Fr Camilleri felt that the Church was not fairly represented on the programme and its voice was not given enough coverage.

Perhaps he needs to be reminded that around 40 to 60 per cent of people are regular churchgoers, giving the Church ample opportunity to spread its message, not just once or twice a year, but 52 times should it see fit, without the possibility of rebuttal by the gay community.

It has its own radio station and newspaper and also uses these to proliferate its teachings on homosexuality - services which are way beyond the means of the Malta Gay Rights Movement's budget. One third of students attend Church schools where, as made clear by the Archbishop on Xarabank, gay people in same-sex relationships are not welcome to teach. One wonders with what audacity the Church can claim that it is being treated unfairly and against which community the bias actually lies.

I would also query in what way discussing excommunication from the Catholic Church and challenging its position on same-sex attractions and relationships could in any way be considered a threat to "the basics of society and its survival". Perhaps Fr Camilleri could enlighten us further as to what he might be alluding to.

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Daniel Bartolo, Qawra

With reference to Archbishop Paul Cremona's statement on an interview on Xarabank on February 3, that the Maltese Church does not employ people who are in an open gay relationship, I would like to know what criteria the Church uses to determine that someone is in such a relationship.

Is it through hearsay, a network of spies or through some kind of metaphysical hunch? Will the fact that two men or two women living in the same flat, be a criterion not to employ that same man or woman?

Will holding hands or kissing another man in public also be such a criterion? Will they be spying on the private lives of Maltese citizens?

Does not the Archbishop feel that through such an assertion, he is opening the door to all kinds of possible abuse and discrimination, including personal vendettas? What does the rule of law, and indeed common humanity and the Maltese Constitution say on all of this?

And does he not think that by focusing on open gay relationships, he is actually helping these relationships go underground? That is reinforcing dishonesty, hypocrisy and lying to one's employer?

And lastly, where is the Christian spirit in all of this?

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