It is time to admit that the gay community has a gigantic Pope problem. Under the leadership of Benedict XVI, the Vatican has become an implacable foe of liberalism, modernity and basic rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Rome has eagerly jumped with both feet into America's culture wars and is working on a global scale to punish or purge ideological dissenters within the church. This aggressive activism presents a formidable new front in the fight for parity -- one with considerable political clout and financial resources.
Last week, a coalition of totalitarian religious activists and radical clerics joined forces to unveil the "Manhattan Declaration" at Washington's National Press Club. This rambling manifesto, written by former Watergate felon Chuck Colson, called for "Christians" to disobey laws they don't fancy and to ignore civil rights laws that protected GLBT people from discrimination. It was a dishonest document filled with historical revisionism that promoted theocracy, encouraged anarchy and supported the dissolution of the rule of law. It falsely portrayed right wing Christians as victims, even as they pledged to work tirelessly to deny equality to those who would not adhere to their sectarian church rules.
An extreme manifesto of such breathtaking cynicism and insincerity is no surprise coming from what passes for "leaders" in today's evangelical circles. It was striking, however, that more than 15 key American Catholic leaders signed on to the "Manhattan Declaration". Signatories included heavyweights such as Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC. This was clearly a call to arms and a powerful signal that the Roman Catholic Church is taking the gloves off to fight political battles in America.
This hands-on involvement from Rome has passed the "trend" stage and appears to be official policy. Consider the significant involvement the Catholic Church had in stripping marriage rights away from GLBT couples in a Maine referendum held earlier this month.
In the same manner, on June 11, the Washington, DC Archdiocese threatened to abandon the homeless and quit charity work in the District if it had to comply with anti-discrimination laws. Catholic Charities had the audacity to believe it was entitled to collect $8.2 million in tax dollars meant to serve all DC residents, and then still get to handpick whom it deems worthy of assistance.
Catholic involvement with arch-conservative politics is growing by the day. In May, Catholic groups tried to stop President Barack Obama from speaking at a Notre Dame commencement ceremony because of his pro-choice position.
Earlier this month, Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin put the clamp on Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), banning the lawmaker from communion because he is pro-choice. This was reminiscent of The St. Louis Archbishop refusing to give communion to John Kerry during his presidential campaign.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has suddenly begun to steer GLBT Catholics to 12-step programs that promise to "cure" homosexuality or support them in a lifelong celibacy. The Catholic Diocese in Sioux Falls, South Dakota urged its 128-thousand members to oppose an attempt to bring legalizing embryonic stem cell research to a public referendum. (I guess the sacrosanct "people's right to vote" on controversial social issues only applies to same-sex marriage)
In fighting back, we must remember that the Vatican is launching these attacks from a position of weakness. It has yet to recover its moral authority from public exposure of rampant child sexual abuse scandals that cost the Church billions of dollars in legal settlements.
The Vatican appears to be acutely aware it is losing its worldwide market share. It is basically defunct in the Middle East, where the religion began, and on life-support in Western Europe, where it once prospered. In Africa, Rome competes with Islam and Anglicanism for a shrinking slice of the pie. (Who can forget that while in Africa the Pope said condoms could make the AIDS crisis worse.) South America, one of its few remaining strongholds, is losing Roman Catholics to evangelical faiths by the millions.
Instead of competing against the conservative evangelical brand, Pope Benedict has decided to embrace it, shaping a conspicuously political Catholicism that embraces extremism and drives out dissenters. The Vatican has become so doctrinaire that it recently launched an invasive probe into the lives of America's 60,000 nuns to enforce anachronistic rules. In January, Benedict welcomed back excommunicated Bishop Richard Williamson who denied that millions of Jews died in Nazi death camps.
Fortunately, Benedict is a cold, unsympathetic figure and the majority of American Catholics often ignore his edicts. The strategy for the GLBT community should be to stand up to Rome and help mobilize mainstream Catholics to fight back against an authoritarian Pontiff who is hell-bent on making the Catholic Church as unpopular and unappealing as His Holiness.
I heard that the vatikkkan just 'slammed' the new Twilight movie (New Moon). I guess helping the poor, sick and hungry is less important than obsessing over 'the effects' of vampire movies, not to mention Harry Potter. Medieval dinosaurs like Maledict xvi still havent learned that the fastest way to get people to read a book or see a film is to tell them that they cant or shouldnt. But that's the least of their problems; these crazy, dragonian policies will just continue to drive the younger generations out of the church, especially the educated ones. I also heard that off the record the curia (the ones that have a brain left) are embarrassed by this old nazi and wish they hadnt elected him. Another example of how absolute power corrupts absolutely!
posted by gary, at
11/23/2009 2:32 PM
I am wondering if Wayne would document for his readers this statement from his most recent posting....."It was a dishonest document filled with historical revisionism that promoted theocracy, encouraged anarchy and supported the dissolution of the rule of law." As a history teacher in a public school I read the document and didn't see any historical revisionism. And I didn't catch a hint that this document supported "anarchy." I am wondering how Wayne supports such statements? And Gary, you may not like the Catholic Church but saying the vatican is the KKK is over the top (and I am a Jew). If you expect to get respect for your ideas and thoughts you need to stop making those kinds of outrageous statements.
posted by Monica, at
11/23/2009 5:58 PM
Even practicing Roman Catholics are suspicious of that evil rancid nazi fuck. So their "manifesto" calls on their flock to break the law? Fine, throw them in prison. That church and religion is our enemy and must be vigourously fought as such. NO TRUSTING ANY OF THEM. They must be plowed over in the courts and stripped of their non profit status if they spend donations discriminating against anyone. The problem is that most religious people are silent because they have been endoctrinated into a life of guilt so this dispicable entity is riding that fact for as long as that gravy train will take them.
posted by ewe, at
11/23/2009 8:19 PM
Monica: Historical Revisionism might as well be the main slogan of the Roman Catholic Church. They are not alone by the way. I am not spending any more time addressing your hate because i prefer to read the other commenters points of view. "The illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light." What do you call how this filthy institution has distorted US laws on abortion rights invading their prey (who are not necessarily religious) by stepping into their personal lives and dictating policy? That is but ONE example. You are a hemmoroidal idiot.
posted by ewe, at
11/23/2009 8:35 PM
No Monica in some ways they're WORSE than the KKK!!! As rotten, hateful and horrible as the kkk is, I dont think even *they* would hide, protect and defend child rapists!! and then REWARD the protectors of the rapists (Cardinal Law) by inviting them to say mass at the late pope's funeral, after his crimes against children and humanity came to light. I was raised in this faith and know how subtle their poison can be. They may not burn crosses on the lawns of blacks and Jews, but having drilled into your head that 'the Jews killed Christ' pretty much has the same effect on society and tolerance. We were told that we werent even supposed to go into a protestant church, and if we *had* to, we could in no way take part in the service. And dont even get me started on the spiritual rape and toxic shame that they've tortured lgbt people with over the centuries and are still doing it. There is more than one way to lynch someone. You can hang them in a tree or slowly drive them to suicide or substance abuse from your hate rhetoric, or 'inspire' others to go out and do the bashing for you. Then they cry crocodile tears when a gay teenager gets beaten to death and tied to fence. My comments about the RCC may be 'outrageous', but it's because they're an outrageous organization. Any "christian" church that threatens to withhold social services to the needy because of a gay marriage equality bill (in DC) is the scum of the earth---and I will continue to say it. Wayne may have to be diplomatic because he's a public spokesperson, but I am not and since this is one of the few places where I can vent about these things---I will! BTW, I'm not talking about the average Catholic laymen, just their corrupt and criminal hierarchy.
posted by gary, at
11/23/2009 8:36 PM
you are so right Gary and i, too, am expressing my views. The fact they put us down is not worth trying to understand. It must be fought and stopped. These people build churches and hang a dead male form with a cloth around his waist on a cross for daily display 2000 years after the alleged incident took place. This is what many people see from the very moment they are born. It is really some sick shit. Disturbing does not even begin to define the horrible emotional scars of this manipulative golden cow.
posted by ewe, at
11/24/2009 1:07 AM
And Monica: you are always begging for attention so what's with you? Jesus was a gay jew. Jeepers. Get your priorities straight. He was not of a virgin. He was the virgin. How could they continue to keep his image hangin in pain if Christians supported equal rights for LGBT people? The reason most people don't use their intellect is because they have been convinced that to do so is to question their faith. And we all know who is responsible for that DARK lock on spiritual growth.
posted by ewe, at
11/24/2009 5:00 AM
What you are seeing is the Benedict XVI justified overreaction to the US Catholic Bishops Conference “-commissioned report finds no evidence so far that gay priests are more likely to abuse. A preliminary report commissioned by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops on the roots of the clergy sex abuse scandal found no evidence that gay priests are more likely than heterosexual clergy to molest children, the lead authors of the study said Tuesday [November 17, 2009].” http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=9108269
This report is most threatening to Benedict XVI, because it clearly takes the blame off gay priests (homosexuals) as the cause of the Vatican’s decades of child sexual abuse cases and it places the culpable negligence where it belongs onto the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. It was then, 2002, Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Benedict XVI) answer to cover up the criminal negligence of the Hierarchy in their failure to protect children.
Do not lose sight of this statement you made “…the Vatican is launching these attacks from a position of weakness. It has yet to recover its moral authority from public exposure of rampant child sexual abuse scandals that cost the Church billions of dollars in legal settlements.”
You have no idea how weakened their position is and this is why Benedict XVI is creating at this time a major smoke screen to distract public attention from what is his and his hierarchy’s Achilles heel. The US bishops’ report to incriminate gay priests (homosexual) to cover their guilt blew up in their faces right at their meeting, last week.
I am surprised that the researchers were even allowed to give their report and that it was leaked to the news media. Because it comes out shortly after Obama signed the SHEPARD AND BYRD HATE CRIMES BILL and the same week ENDA is being discussed in Congress to protect sexual orientation and gender identity. You would likely know better than I why ENDA was delayed last week.
I find it surprising that ENDA was delayed; at the same time the Bishops report was given. The reason that was given for the delay was “Tweaking ENDA language, because of “…an employment practice that does not appear to be overtly discriminatory but is nonetheless discriminatory in practice.” However, as was stated that this practice would not come under ENDA, (which exempts religious organizations) but would come under another law. I find this a curious maneuver. http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2009/11/17/Lawyers_Tweak_ENDA_Language/ New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings: Gay Priests Are Not the Problem – by DAVID GIBSON – Politics Daily http://fathermartykurylowicz.blogspot.com/2009/11/new-catholic-sex-abuse-findings-gay.html
I am a gay Catholic priest who specifically came out in March 1997 to draw public attention to the harm caused to children as young as 4 and 5 years of age who grow up to be gay by the influence of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings.
In October 2005, I made the public statement that the Vatican will be made to pay for the lifetime they cause to children who grow up gay, just as the tobacco companies were made to pay for the harm they caused their consumers.
Your endless tenacious work exposing the life threatening harm of the promises to "cure" homosexuality by the Catholic hierarchy is significantly crucial. Because just using truth you are hammering away also at the harm of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings to children, youth and young adults.
Vatican must renounce all their unsubstantiated antigay teachings, at the same time that the hierarchy is charged with criminal negligence for failure to protect children in the child sexual abuse cases.
The simple truth like daylight to a vampire is what Benedict XVI and his hierarchy avoids at all cost.
Don’t be distracted by Benedict XVI timely smoke screen, it is what he does to cover up his tracks to obscure the truth from the public. Keep the truth coming, at this time, at full force and non-stop. The best to you, Marty
posted by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, at
11/24/2009 11:21 PM
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church is perverted. They are simply projecting their own sins onto other people. Hopefully, like to former Soviet Union, they will implode one day.
posted by Chris L., at
11/25/2009 2:45 PM
And how can we forget the fact that two weeks ago, the Catholic Church threatened to stop all social services if gay marriage passed in Washington DC? That position is truly disgusting.
posted by Chris L., at
11/25/2009 3:21 PM
Monica, I was raised in the roman faith and growing up was told that only catholics went to heaven. This is an evil cult and its fuehrer Ratzinger should be brought before the world court in the Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity throughout the past two millenia, the latest being his statement that condoms do not help prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa and other nations where it has missionaries, a continent where the AIDS pandemic is at record levels, primarily among straights.
Its time to start a movement to abolish tax-exemption for any religious cult directly interfering in the political process as we have seen in California and Maine. These bastards have full representation without taxation at our expense and we have full taxation without representation. Nobody should be above the law or not pay taxes. Hit them in their coffers where it hurts.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
11/26/2009 9:18 AM
I am so glad on this Thanksgiving Day that I am not like the rest of the commentators on this web site.
posted by Monica, at
11/26/2009 9:55 PM
Monica, dear, your comment paraphrases the prayer of the Pharisee. Perhaps you are pharasaical as well?
We're all glad that the rest of us are not like you as well. I find a Jewish person sticking up for the Vatikkkan interesting, especially when during the Holocaust, the Vatikkkan turned its head the other way (See the book "Hitler's Pope"). That sick, evil creep doesn't like Jews any more than he likes us. It's just not socially acceptable for him to say it.
Guys, did you notice that, in one of the photos, Ratzi the Nazi looks as if he's really in need of an exorcist? I can't ever remember any pope looking this evil.
posted by Merlyn, at
11/29/2009 12:04 PM