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article imageOp-Ed: Why would anyone with an ounce of humanity wish to be a Catholic?

By Andrew John     Apr 26, 2013 in World
The Catholic hierarchy will never be convinced when it comes to gay marriage – or gay anything at all. There’s little or no point in continuing to try. Never the twain shall meet.
Which prompts the question: Why do people want to have anything to do with the Catholic Church if they’re either gay or simply do not have a problem with homosexuality?
This week we can read in the Washington Post the story of a Long Island Catholic kicked out of his parish jobs for marrying his male partner.
Not only did the ousting generate headlines, but also “outrage and an 18,000-signature petition to Bishop William Murphy to have Nicholas Coppola reinstated,” says the story.
But Murphy has simply returned the petition to Coppola with a one-line cover letter on the bishop’s stationery that reads: “From your faithful Roman Catholic Bishop.” Not even an acknowledgement of the petition’s contents.
Another story to make headlines this week was that of the Colombian Senate, which has voted down a measure that would have made same-sex marriage legal.
And the Catholic News Agency reports that: “The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Cardinal Ruben Salazar, had issued a plea to lawmakers to consider the Church’s arguments on the question and to protect marriage as being a union of one man and one woman.”
He told the agency: “As the Church we have clearly outlined the meaning of marriage and how equating it to homosexual unions affects the very foundation of society.”
So that’s it, then, is it? Lawmakers should listen to people with a particular superstitious belief – religion is nothing but superstition, after all – and make their laws to suit those beliefs, instead of looking at the needs of human beings with the capacity to love?
I could dredge up examples from the mists of time when it comes to Catholic dogma and same-sex unions, but these two will do. We all know that the two ideas go together like peaches and gravy.
What we have here is disrespect for a person in a loving relationship who’s taken the trouble to present a petition, and got a metaphorical poke in the eye for his troubles; and a church getting away with influencing lawmakers who were being asked to remove unfairness and hatred from the law of their land.
Many Catholics, of course, believe in the literal existence of Hell. And, if the Patheos website is to be believed, there’s one “absolutely, positively, the A-1, best reason why the Bride of Christ won’t recognize Same-Sex civil unions as being a good” and that is “Because Hell burns, and for all eternity. That’s why. The Church teaches that engaging in homosexual acts will lead one to eternal damnation.”
And the writer, Frank Weathers, adds: “And as inconvenient to the zeitgeist (yesterday, today, and tomorrow) this truth may be, nothing is going to change the Churchs’ [sic] viewpoint on this. And I don’t just mean the Vatican either. I mean folks in the pews like me.”
Strongly worded attack
This sort of dangerous nonsense is being told to kids in Catholic schools, of course. Every day, they will be made aware of the Pope’s pronouncements on this and that, including one from the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, in 2010.
“In a strongly worded attack,” Digital Journal reported then, quoting the Daily Telegraph, “Benedict XVI insisted that marriage should be founded on the ‘indissoluble’ marriage between a man and a woman.”
He was addressing a large crowd at the shrine of Fatima, when he said that same-sex marriage and abortion were among the “most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good”.
How is a young person coming to terms with her or his sexuality – at the age of, say, 11, 12, 13, or 14 – going to respond inwardly to that, given that this young student will already believe in the Pope’s virtual infallibility through constant preaching and moralising at school by people who believe in certainties?
As we can see, same-sex marriage is growing in acceptance, and will continue to do so. Can legislators, teachers, law-enforcement personnel and others in authority continue to hold in their minds – as cognitive dissonance – the undeniable fact that same-sex marriage exists and that the Catholic Church is a Big Organisation with a Big Clout in world affairs?
Child abuse
How can the two ideas – an irresistible force and an immovable object – share equal space in the collective mind?
The Catholic Church ought to be on shaky ground when it comes to criticising others for their sexual orientation and preferences. Not only did we have the mammoth scandal over paedophile priests, only recently in the UK, where
Cardinal Keith O’Brien – recently named by the gay-rights group Stonewall as its “Bigot of the...
Cardinal Keith O’Brien – recently named by the gay-rights group Stonewall as its “Bigot of the Year”
Gavin Scott
I am resident, a prominent cardinal admitted inappropriate sexual behaviour, and it prevented him from being able to go to Rome to choose a new Pope.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien was formerly Britain’s “most senior Catholic cleric and a man renowned for railing against homosexuality,” according to the Independent.
Yes, despite all of this, senior Catholics continue to bleat about how wrong same-sex unions are, how degenerate, how sinful, how wicked.
We can only hope for small mercies when it comes to the poisoning of young minds in Catholic schools: we can only hope that gay kids will see the Catholic hierarchy for what it is and reject notions that their sexuality is evil, reject the idea that they will go to Hell, reject accusations that they are intrinsically evil and immoral.
And let us hope that they will get on with their lives and their loves in the way nature designed for them.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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