Monday, April 04, 2005

The Legacy of a Pope...

Let me say first that my thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have loved and been touched by Pope John Paul II, a man of faith who understood the importance of religious dialogue, and did much to advance the cause of human rights through compassion.

That being said, I shall not be among those grieving the death of John Paul II.

The Catholic church has been guilty of open hostility toward gays and lesbians, to the point of labeling us "morally disordered" and even "evil." And for that, we have John Paul II to thank.

I recall his 1986 “Halloween” letter, which declared gays and lesbians "disordered," "self-indulgent" individuals who "threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people." This set the moral tone for millions of people the world over who believe that the Pope is God’s representative on earth. Bishops who were weak on the Pope’s position on gays were essentially marginalized. Gay Catholics who refused to abandon their faith, even as it reviled them, formed Dignity, the Catholic organization for gays and lesbians, which under John Paul II was banned from holding services in Catholic churches. Nice.

The shocking and consistent hate language aimed at gays has been particularly remarkable against the backdrop of pedophile priests, and the relentless scandals which plagued the church through the last 15 years or so, and you would think that would have a moderating effect on John Paul II’s small-minded diatribes against gay and lesbian people, 99.9% of whom have never harmed a child. But rather than strong statements condemning pedophile priests and the diocese officials who had for years tried to protect them, the Pontiff escalated his attacks against the world’s gays and lesbians.

I do recall a statement issued by U.S. Catholic bishops in 1997 which encouraged all people to reject the language of hate, with these words: "The teaching of the Church makes it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any form of injustice, oppression or violence against them." Seemed encouraging at the time, however…

The Pope remained unmoved by such sentiments. He has never been too sick or frail to attack gays. His new book, released just about the time he was recovering from his tracheotomy last month, characterizes the gay rights movement, and efforts to legitimize gay marriage, as part of an “ideology of evil” which attempts to pit “human rights against the family, and against man.”

Evil?????!!!!! God, how I longed for the pasty old hate monger to shut the hell up. Who knows how many hate crimes against gays and lesbians have been motivated and justified in the sick minds of the gay bashers by feelings of hate which have been articulated by God’s inerrant messenger on earth, the late John Paul II?

Now that he’s dead, maybe he knows exactly how much of that he was responsible for.


Blogger Roz2lula said...

There is nothing deader than a dead pope. The church has no duty to continue his legacy of hate towards the one group he couldn't understand. I only wish he had read the book the Red Queen which was a science book. In it as a casual aside to the meat of scientific information was the comment that mothers of homosexuals under great stress at a certain time of pregnancy produced a hormone which was felt responsible for the babies sexual preferences later in life. I found that information to be profound. How can someone who has no choice over the matter be evil? But choice or no choice it seems ludicrus that the man who could forgive child molesters, the man who tried to kill him and the gulag system that kept him imprisoned and from practticing his priestly duties could hold such a view about such a gentle group of people. People who wish to join the family values that others take for granted. The right to marry the person they love. The right to worship God the way they are drawn to. The right to form a family. I am catholic . A choice I made in my 40's drawn to the mystical prayer of the church. Popes come and go. Human beings chose to live their lives without much thought to the Pope. He has never been my consious. He has never made much of a dent in the choices I have made in living my life. I believe in God . I believe I am responsible for every word and action before God. I do not see the church as having any say over who goes where in the end . Someone I love is gay heaven without him would be more than empty without him for me. God who has made each of us the way we are for a reason is above all men. I look forward to a church which will be in tune with the real world and not the ivory tower of the Vatican. I hope the pope elected next will realize that aids calls for condoms, sexuality is a gift from God that is seperate from procreation and takes many forms among consenting adults . That anyone using his or her position in a church to molest children should serve jail time be reported and excommunicated. John Paul 2 was a product of his time and place . He did the best he could with what he had to work with. In the end like all of us he was a sinner in need of mercy not justice. I pray that we will all recieve mercy at the bosum of God.

5:22 PM  
Blogger PinkoLiberal said...

Excellent comment, roz. Thanks.

6:05 AM  

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