Archive for the ‘Benedict XVI’ Category
‘Protest the Pope’ Downing Street Petition launched
Gordon Brown urged to disassociate the government from Pope’s views
Already over 3,000 signatures
London – 22 February 2010
A Downing Street petition has been launched, urging Prime Minister Gordon Brown to “disassociate the British government from the Pope’s intolerant views.”
The petition has been launched ahead of the Papal visit to Britain in September this year. It has been submitted by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and has already attracted over 3,000 signatures.
View the petition here:
Note: only UK residents with a UK address are eligible to sign the petition
A petition by Mr Tatchell on the same subject last year was refused inclusion on the Downing Street website.
“The Pope opposes universal human rights. He rejects equality for women and gay people, condemns the use of life-saving condoms, colludes with Holocaust appeasers and he is implicated in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic priests,” said Mr Tatchell.
“A man with such objectionable views should not be honoured with an official State Visit. If he wants to come to Britain, he should pay his own way. The public should not be expected to cover the estimated £20 million cost. This money would be far better spent on schools and hospitals,” added Mr Tatchell.
The petition reads:
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to disassociate the British government from the Pope’s intolerant views ahead of the Papal visit to Britain in September 2010. We urge the Prime Minister to make it clear that his government disagrees with the Pope’s opposition to women’s reproductive rights, gay equality, embryonic stem cell research and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV. We ask the Prime Minister to express his disagreement with the Pope’s role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy, his rehabilitation of the Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, and his decree paving the way for the beatification and sainthood of the war-time Pope, Pius XII, who stands accused of failing to speak out against the Holocaust. We also request the Prime Minister to assure us that the Pope’s visit will not be financed by the British taxpayer.”
Peter Tatchell has criticised at length the Pope Benedict XVI’s “illiberal” and “often extreme” stance on key social issues:
“The Pope is an opponent of women’s rights. He not only opposes the right of women to choose to have an abortion but also their right to contraception, which can help reduce the abortion rate,” said Mr Tatchell.
“He opposes women’s access to IVF fertility treatment, to give childless couples the chance of parenthood.
“The Pope supports gender discrimination, including a ban on women priests and bishops, and he wants the Catholic Church to be exempt from equality and anti-discrimination laws that apply to everyone else.
“He has sought to block potentially life-saving embryonic stem cell research, and he rejects the right of suffering, terminally ill people to die with dignity at a moment of the their own free choice.
“Pope Benedict denounces the use of condoms, even to stop the spread of HIV, and he has falsely claimed that condom usage “increases” the rate of HIV infection. His teachings put millions of lives at risk.
See The Independent, 27 March 2009:
“He has acquiesced with the Vatican’s lie that condoms spread HIV and that the virus can pass through the latex (sic). This outrageous falsehood has been condemned as untrue and irresponsible by the World Health Organisation and Christian Aid.
See the BBC website, 9 October 2003:
“He rejects legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and their full protection in law against homophobic and transphobic discrimination
“The Pope has approved the Catholic Catechism, which condemns same-sex relationships as a “grave depravity,” “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law.”
See The Vatican website, Catechism 2357:
“In 1992, he authored a Vatican document that condemned homosexuality as an “objective disorder” and a “strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil.” Rejecting the concept of gay human rights, the document asserted that there is no “right” to laws protecting homosexual people against discrimination, suggesting that the civil liberties of lesbians and gay men can be “legitimately limited for objectively disordered external conduct.”
See in full the Vatican document – Some Considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons:
“The Pope has attacked same-sex marriages as “evil” and vilified supporters of gay equality as “gravely immoral.” He has also vilified homosexual equality as a “deviant trend” and condemned same-sex love as being “without any social value.”
“Pope Benedict colludes with anti-semitism, including with holocaust deniers and with Catholic leaders who were complicit with the Nazi regime.
“He rescinded the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson who, in 2008, denied key elements of the Holocaust with claims that a maximum of 300,000 Jews died in concentration camps and that none were gassed by the Nazis.
See the BBC website, 4 February 2009:
“He has also paved the way for the beatification and eventual sainthood of Pope Pius XII by issuing a decree in 2009 celebrating his virtues, despite the war-time pontiff’s 1933 Concordat with Adolf Hitler and his silence concerning the Nazi mass murder of six million Jews.
See The Guardian, 22 December 2009:
“While condemning loving, consenting adult same-sex relations, the Pope helped shield from prosecution Catholic clergy guilty of child sex abuse. He colluded with the cover up of their crimes and with the policy of relocating paedophile priests to other parishes, where they often went on to commit further sexual abuse, as revealed in the 2006 BBC Panorama programme, Sex crimes and the Vatican.
See the Evening Standard, 30 September 2006:
and see BBC Panorama 1 October 2006:
“Pope Benedict is complicit with human rights abuses and should not be accorded the honour of a State Visit to Britain,” said Mr Tatchell.
Oppose Pope Benedict’s State Visit to the UK
Stop the Vatican’s crusade against women’s and gay rights
London – 10 February 2010
Protest the Pope
This Sunday 14 February 2010
Meet at 1pm outside Westminster Cathedral (not Westminster Abbey).
Victoria Street, London SW1 (near the corner with Ambrosden Avenue)
March to the Italian Embassy in Grosvenor Square for a rally at 3pm.
· Women’s equality and reproductive rights
· Equal rights for LGBT people
· A secular Europe – immune to the Vatican’s agenda
· One law for all, no religious exemptions from the law
· State neutrality in matters of religion and belief
· European Union collusion with religion (Lisbon Treaty Article 16c)
· The special status of the Vatican in the United Nations
· State-funded faith schools
· The economic privilege and political influence of the Vatican in Italy
· Taxpayers funding the Pope’s State Visit to the UK this September
· Misogyny, homophobia, fascism, racism and xenophobia
Protest against the Pope’s State Visit to the UK
“We want a secular Europe, where the Vatican and the Catholic church cease attempting to impose their harsh, intolerant morality on everyone else,” said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, who is speaking at Sunday’s protest and assisting with its organisation.
“The Pope opposes women’s rights, gay equality, embryonic stem cell research, death with dignity and the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV.
“He wants the Catholic Church to be exempt from equality and anti-discrimination laws that apply to everyone else.
“Pope Benedict played a key role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy.
“He has rehabilitated the Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, and even though Pope Pius XII failed to speak out against the Holocaust he plans to make him a saint.
“Given that he opposes universal equality and human rights, Pope Benedict should not be accorded the honour of a State Visit to Britain.
“The estimated £20 million cost of the visit will be funded by the taxpayer. The Pope has already denounced our equality laws. He is likely to abuse his presence in Britain to further attack our democratically-agreed legislation that gives equal rights to women and gay people.
“The Pope has discouraged the use of condoms in countries where HIV infections are decimating whole populations. Such teachings are irresponsible and immoral,” said Mr Tatchell.
Sunday’s demonstration is organised by the Central London Humanist Group in partnership with the British Humanist Association, the National Secular Society, One Law for All, the Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association, the Rationalist Association and OutRage!.
It is in solidarity with the demonstration happening the same weekend in Rome, also against the Vatican and its reactionary interference in Italian, European and world-wide politics.
Program of the demonstration:
- Assemble: 1pm at Westminster Cathedral (not the Abbey)
– March: 2pm – 3pm from Westminster Cathedral to the Italian embassy
– Rally: 3pm – 5pm at the Italian embassy (Grosvenor square)
Speakers at the Italian embassy (3pm) :
* Bob Churchill (British Humanist Association),
* Derek Lennard (Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association)
* Maryam Namazie (One Law for All)
* Gerard Phillips (Protest The Pope)
* David Pollock (European Humanist Federation)
* Terry Sanderson (National Secular Society)
* Peter Tatchell (OutRage!)
* Josh Kutchinsky (Central London Humanist Group)
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE VATICAN
Protest organiser, Marco Tranchino, writes:
The tiny Vatican State is inhabited mainly by priests. It is extremely powerful and its “moral” crusades adversely affect the lives of millions of people in Europe and across the world.
Officially part of the UN, its “observer-state” status means it can access, influence and pressure UN debates on issues such as birth control, abortion and homosexuality. No other religion has such privileged UN status.
The Vatican has diplomatic relationships with almost all the countries in the world (174 when John Paul II died) and in many EU countries it benefits from the support of Catholic politicians and, in many cases, of Christian political parties.
Of the 27 countries of the European Union, 14 are bound to the Vatican by at least one treaty. No other faith has such political power in Europe and the world; prompting the Economist to publish an investigation about the diplomatic service of the Vatican, questioning whether it deserves its special status in the UN (21 July 2007)
The Catholic Church is an extremely profitable business. It owns businesses such as hotels, restaurants, shops and private schools and the Vatican pays no tax! On top of this, the Vatican receives public money in many countries: in Italy about 1000 million Euros in taxes paid to the Vatican every year (991 millions € in 2007 ).
Through its very considerable political, diplomatic and economic power, the Vatican adversely impacts on the lives of European citizens, and the wider humanity.
THE POPE’S OPPOSITION TO WOMEN’S & LGBT RIGHTS
The issue of women’s rights and the Catholic Church goes way beyond the hierarchy of the church, where women are unable to ascend to priesthood as a result of their gender. Women who have had a divorce, women who want to have an abortion and women who are living as single parents in Catholic countries are often victims of moral intimidation and discrimination. The Pope encourages us to view women as unequal to men, by consistently and publicly stating that the two genders are different and that women are naturally inclined to be mothers and child-carers. In some Catholic countries, like Ireland and Poland, abortion is illegal. In others, like Italy, the right to an abortion is constantly under threat from the Vatican’s pressure on the government.
The Pope says that being gay is an “objective disorder” and a “moral evil”. In nearly half the countries in the world, homosexuality is totally illegal and punishable by long terms of imprisonment. A proposal for the universal decriminalisation of homosexuality was opposed by the Vatican in the UN in 2008. It has a long history of blocking attempted UN debates on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights; often refusing to condemn homophobia and opposing laws to protect LGBT people against discrimination.
RELIGIOUS POWER IN THE UK
Although Britain is a fairly “secular” society, Christianity still has considerable influence in many British institutions and it continues to enjoy unfair privileges.
A limited right to abortion has been granted to women living in England, Scotland and Wales, but in Northern Ireland it remains illegal. This anomaly is significantly due to religious influence, including that of the Catholic Church. Christian lobbies are engaged in continual efforts to restrict a woman’s right to abortion and have succeeded in reducing the time limits for an abortion.
Religion retains undue influence and power in various ways. With increasing numbers of state funded faith schools (1 in 3 of all schools in the UK is either Catholic or Church of England), religious institutions continue to exercise an influence on many young people.
The churches (especially the Catholic church) made sure that the proposed EU Constitution – and the now approved Lisbon Treaty (article 16c) – dangerously commits the European Union to “an open, transparent and regular dialogue with Churches and religious organisations”. Why should religious bodies receive this special treaty guarantee, which is denied to humanists and human rights advocates?
WE DEMAND A SECULAR EUROPE
The state should be neutral in matters of religion or belief.
No faith should have privileged legal or social status, or special access to government
The beliefs of one group should not be used to limit the rights of others.
We affirm the common values of the people of Europe as expressed in the Brussels Declaration.
We want to protect democracy and to champion human rights against those who seek to retain undemocratic influence and deny equality and protection against discrimination to others.
Peter Tatchell, OutRage!
Protest coordinator: Marco Tranchino – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pope attacks British equality laws
Coded attack on the legal rights of women and gay people
London – 2 February 2010
The Pope has criticised UK equality laws, including the Equality Bill that is currently before parliament. This attack comes ahead of the pontiff’s State Visit to Britain, scheduled for September this year.
“Pope Benedict is unhappy with the new rights and protections afforded to women and LGBT people. He objects to the fact that religious institutions can no longer lawfully discriminate at will on the grounds of gender and sexual orientation,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“The Pope’s criticism that British equality legislation ‘violates the natural law’ is a coded attack on the legal rights granted to women and gay people. It is a de facto defence of faith-based discrimination.
“His ill-informed claim that our equality laws undermine religious freedom suggests that he supports the right of faith organisations to discriminate in accordance with their religious ethos. He seems to be defending discrimination by religious institutions and demanding that they should be above the law.
“This outburst signals that Benedict is likely to make highly partisan political criticisms during his visit to the UK in September. Most British people will not welcome a meddlesome pontiff who opposes our equality laws.
“They will especially resent the fact that the UK government is asking taxpayers to cough up around £20 million to finance his visit. This money would be far better spent on schools and hospitals,” said Mr Tatchell.
23 September 2009
GAY HUMANISTS CALL FOR STRONG PROTEST WHEN POPE VISITS UK
The gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has called for a strong protest to be made when Pope Benedict XVI visits the UK early next year.
The PTT’s secretary George Broadhead said: “This pope has shown himself to be paranoid about homosexuality. His opposition to LGBT rights knows no bounds. In his Christmas message last year he declared that saving humanity from homosexual behaviour was as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. This must be the most outrageous and bizarre claim yet made by someone who has already got a well-deserved reputation as one of the most viciously homophobic world leaders on a par with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. The Vatican reinforced its anti-gay reputation by strongly opposing a UN declaration calling for an end to discrimination against gays and the Pope’s Christmas messsage provided clear evidence of an obsession about homosexuality which is tantamount to paranoia.
“It is imperative that the strongest possible protest be made when he visits the UK next year”, continued Mr Broadhead. “This is not without precedent. During the last papal visit to the UK by John Paul I in 1982, a protest
called POPE (People Opposing Papal Edicts) was instigated by the Gay Humanist Group of which I was a founder member. It had the support of other gay and secular organisations including the Campaign for Homosexuality and the National Secular Society. On the occasion of the next papal vist we must pull out all the stops to demonstrate our opposition.”
The Pink Triangle Trust, 34 Spring Lane, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2HB
44 (0)1926 858450
Gay & Lesbian Humanist magazine:
Note for Editors
The Pink Triangle Trust is the only gay humanist charity and the only organisation worldwide publishing an online magazine (Gay & Lesbian Humanist) for lesbian and gay atheists, freethinkers and Humanists. The trust is named after the pink triangle that lesbians and gay men had to wear in the Nazi concentration camps. This registered charity (number 1015629) was set up in 1992 to advance the education of the public and particularly of lesbians and gay men, in the principles and practice of Humanism and to advance the education of the public, and particularly of Humanists, about all aspects of homosexuality.
See Also No Vat : http://www.facciamobreccia.org/
Protests this weekend will call for an end to the Vatican’s privileges and its undermining of human rights
guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 February 2009 19.30 GMT
The Vatican should stop meddling in politics and misusing its power to oppose human rights. Just as importantly, it is time the Italian government ceased kow-towing to the pope’s theocratic agenda. All of Europe should be secular, where people are free to practise their faith but where no religion has privileged legal status and unique access to political power and influence.
These are the demands of protesters, backed by the British Humanist Association, who will assemble in London this Saturday afternoon in support of a simultaneous protest taking place in Rome against the Vatican’s manipulation of Italian, European and worldwide politics.
In celebration of Charles Darwin’s debunking of the Biblical idea that the world was made by God in six days, the protesters will meet at the Natural History Museum. It is hosting the biggest-ever Charles Darwin exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 150th anniversary of his book, On the Origin of Species. His theory of evolution was long rejected and denounced by successive popes.
Undeterred by church hostility, Darwin made his view of religion very clear: “Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity … it is more humble and I believe truer to consider him created from animals.”
From the Natural History Museum, the marchers will go to the Italian Embassy to demand that the Italian government curb its favouritism and appeasement of the Vatican. The Italian parliament too often allows itself to be bullied by the Vatican, resulting in it dumping legislation for same-sex civil unions and sex education in schools.
The Catholic church in Italy is a huge corporate business empire. It owns hotels, restaurants, shops and private schools but it does not pay tax. On the contrary, it is subsidised by the Italian taxpayer, with about four billion euros in public money being given to the Vatican every year.
Saturday’s protest organisers, Marco Tranchino and Serena Bassi, describe the Vatican as a “tiny statelet inhabited almost entirely by priests, with a disproportionate and malign influence on Italian and global politics”.
Officially part of the United Nations, the Vatican’s observer state status means it intervenes in UN debates on a variety of issues, including old-time favourites, such as birth control, abortion and homosexuality. No other faith has this privileged status, access and influence at the UN.
The Vatican maintains diplomatic relationships with nearly every nation in the world. In most EU countries it benefits from the support of Catholic politicians and in many cases its policies are advocated by political parties like the Christian Democrats and their successors and allies. The Vatican does not shrink from using threats and intimidation to enforce its will. To keep Catholic MPs in line with papal policy opposing gay equality, for example, the Vatican has threatened to excommunicate any Catholic legislator who votes for same-sex civil unions.
Of the 27 countries in the European Union, 14 are bound to the Vatican by at least one treaty. No other religion has such state-level power and connections, either in Europe or the wider world.
The pope has made sure that the proposed EU Constitution – and now the Lisbon Treaty (article 16c) – commits the European Union to “an open, transparent and regular dialogue with churches and religious organisations”. No other non-governmental organisation is afforded such dialogue – not trade unions, not human rights groups and not bodies representing the rights and welfare of women, black or disabled people.
Within Britain, the Catholic church has lobbied hard to restrict women’s reproductive rights, in particular access to contraception, abortion and fertility treatment. It has led the opposition to medical advance by means of embryo and stem cell research. With increasing numbers of state-funded faith schools (1 in 3 of all schools in the UK are either Catholic or Church of England), the Vatican continues to exercise a strong and biased influence on hundreds of thousands of young people.
The pope encourages us to view women as inferior to men by barring them from the priesthood and by consistently stating that the two genders are naturally different and that women are biologically inclined for a more mothering and domestic role in life. In many Catholic countries, women who have had a divorce or abortion, and women who are living as single parents, suffer religious-inspired stigma and discrimination. In some Catholic countries, like Ireland and Poland, abortion is illegal. In others, like Italy, abortion rights are under constant threat from the Vatican’s pressure on the government.
To the delight of homophobes everywhere, the pope propagandises that being gay is an “objective disorder”, “grave depravity” and a “tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil”. In 1992, the Vatican officially rejected the concept of lesbian and gay “human rights”, asserting that there is “no right” to homosexuality. It added that the civil liberties of homosexuals can be “legitimately limited”. While condemning “unjust” discrimination, the Catholic leadership declared that some forms of anti-gay discrimination are “not unjust” and may even be “obligatory”.
In around 80 countries male homosexuality is still illegal, with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment and even death by execution. Last December, a proposal to decriminalise homosexuality and protect gay people against discrimination was opposed by the Vatican in the UN and by fellow religious bigots in the Organisation of Islamic States.
In contrast, if Catholics suffer discrimination I will be the first to defend them. Equally, when the pope supports discrimination against women and gay people I will be the first to oppose him. That is the difference between me and the pope. I reject all discrimination, including against Catholics. He supports sexist and homophobic discrimination whenever it suits his intolerant interpretation of the Christian faith. That is why the Vatican must be opposed and why I will be joining Saturday’s march in London.
No to Vatican. Protest Saturday 14 February 2009. Assemble at 2pm outside the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD (near the corner with Exhibition Road).
The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Papal Nuncio to the Netherlands to the ministry and expressed objections to the approach the Holy See took at the UN over a statement on the human rights of gays.
Maxime Verhagen, who is a Christian Democrat, told Monsignor François Bacqué that the Pope’s recent claim that homosexuality is as great a threat to humanity as the destruction of the rainforest was not constructive.
The minister also said he was surprised at the negative approach the Holy See took at the UN initiative, which the Netherlands backed.
66 nations supported the statement on LGBT rights at a session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.
It was read out by Argentina’s Ambassador the UN.
It does not create new rights and is not legally binding but instead builds on similar past initiatives.
It affirms the principle of universality: that all human beings, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to equal dignity and respect.
The Roman Catholic Church’s representative at the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, said the Vatican opposed the use of the phrases “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” in the statement as they have no definition in international law and are cultural concepts.
“The Holy See appreciates the attempts made to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge states to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them,” he said.
The Chuch claims that the statement: “goes beyond this goal and instead gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human rights norms.”
Despite the fact the statement is not legally binding, the Vatican claims it “would create serious uncertainty in the law as well as undermine the ability of states to enter into and enforce new and existing human-rights conventions and standards.”
I was asked by the Dutch Foundation of Friends of the Gay Krant (SVGK) to distribute their appeal for an international campaign against the Pope. See their statement below – Peter Tatchell
Gay’s furious at Pope
BEST, NL – JANUARY 4th – The Foundation of Friends of the Gay Krant (SVGK) starts a global action against the gay discriminatory statements of Pope Benedict XVI. 90% of the readers of the Gay Krant wants the Dutch government to protest officially and call for the nuncius in The Hague.
Never before in such a short time there were so many angry phone calls, emails and letters on the desks of the editorial staff of Gay Krant. “On this first working day of the year we really were overwhelmed with responses, reports editor Henk Krol, worldwide initiator of opening up civil marriage.
Henk Krol: “The results of a survey under readers the last few days have been unlikely clear. 90% believe that the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen should protest against the pope.
Together with France, the Netherlands launched a declaration at the United Nations against criminalization of homosexuality. The statement was signed by 66 countries.
In recent weeks the Vatican pushed a anti-gay ruling at the UN. The reason is obvious: the opening of the civil marriage as advocated by the SVGK. The Dutch initiative gets worldwide more and more following. Even on the website of the Roman Catholic church can be read: “The Pope fears that marriage between persons of the same sex can become a human right. That would mean that the church does not oppose the impunity of an open civil marriage. We have the freedom not to sin”, reports the website.
Especially the statement of the Netherlands and France to ban homosexuality as an criminal act, is way to far for the Vatican. That would not acknowledge any sexual orientation “and that would be ‘legal uncertainty’ cause, said the Pope’s UN envoy, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, last weekend against Radio Vaticana.
The church will never recognize ‘gay marriage’ warns Martino in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Because the natural marriage between man and woman “is very different from the union of two persons of the same gender.
“From God we have received the precious gift of freedom. The freedom to choose whether or not to sin “, the President of the Papal Council Justitia et Pax said.
The UN declaration last month was called for by Minister Maxime Verhagen. He and his French colleague were supported by 66 of the 192 UN member states. 58 countries voted for a counter-declaration which was submitted by Egypt and Syria. They want the freedom to see homosexuality as a criminal act. The French-Dutch proposal was ready for vote in the General Assembly of the UN.
The Vatican is pleased that there is no majority for the statement.
The Holy See has said in many Member States have given support for its position.
A group of MEPs in the Euro parliament was already asked the pope to express in a more modest way.
The Dutch human rights activists Boris Dittrich of SVGK, who also works for Human Rights Watch in New York, and Henk Krol, the motor behind same sex marriage, are starting a worldwide campaign to increase the political role of the Vatican. They have seen with their own eyes how the Vatican lobbied for a UN declaration against gay rights. The text was dictated to Egypt by representatives of the pope. “Recognition of rights of homosexuals would inevitably lead to the legalization of pedophilia, incest and bestiality.”
The Foundation Friends of the Gay Krant, as initiators of opening up civil marriage, has contacted several gay organizations around the world.
Together they will discuss their further steps. They asl for a stop of the right of speech for the Vatican during the sessions of the UN. The Roman Catholic church is now the only religion with the right to speak in de UN-meeting. Neither the other Christian movements, nor Judaism, Islam or Buddhism, for example, have a right to speak. Only the pope has his direct influence in this forum in world politics.
Both Krol as Dittrich believe that statements such as: “Homosexuality is a serious threat to the survival of the human race, just as climate change” are not compatible.
According to SVGK now is the time that the world wakes up and diminish the role of the Vatican at the United Nations forum. “Stop the right to speak for representatives of the pope. Instead, an international inquiry into the complicity of the Vatican to discrimination against gay, women with complicated pregnancies and AIDS patients should be in place.”
All the best,
The Vatican refusal to sign the declaration before the UN that seeks to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide is true to form. In a recent ‘clarification’ the Vatican claims that while it has declined to sign-on, it condemns ‘unjust’ discrimination against homosexuals – without saying what exactly might constitute just discrimination.
By exempting itself from the list of states calling for decriminalization, the Vatican is in effect handing moral authority to those nations that are determined to keep homosexuals on the periphery of society, under fear of being persecuted for the ‘crime’ of gay orientation.
The two-faced position adopted by the Vatican is nothing new.
In a recent Guardian article, Peter Tatchell covers part of the Vatican’s abysmal track record on gay rights.
Unsurprisingly, the Vatican and the Organisation of Islamic States are leading the fight against the UN declaration. The opposition of the Pope is truly sickening, depraved and shameless.Of course, the Vatican has form. In 2004, it teamed up with Islamist dictatorships in the UN Commission on Human Rights to thwart a resolution sponsored by Brazil that opposed homophobic violence and discrimination. The Holy See is so viciously homophobic that it opposed the UN condemnation of the murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Recently a sit-in was staged near St Peter’s Square to protest the Vatican’s position on the declaration. Protesters sat under the banners of Arcigay and Arcilesbica – the two main gay and lesbian advocacy groups in Italy.
The main thrust of the Vatican position hinges on UN envoy Migliore’s convoluted contention that signing the document might “pillory” countries where homosexuality is illegal and force them to create “new categories (gay people) protected from discrimination.” And this is a bad thing?
Of course the main concern is that ‘normalizing’ homosexuality might lead to same-sex unions. But this makes little sense. The social sanctions and taboos against same-sex marriage in countries where homosexuality is outlawed makes the Vatican’s stated concerns about same-sex marriage little more than a red herring. It is an excuse to avoid stepping up to the plate on this issue… a posture consistent with the Vatican’s homophobic agenda.
Vatican’s anti-gay witch-hunt continues
The Pope’s plan for psychological tests to purge gay men from the priesthood is a new low.
By Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
The Vatican has announced the “psychological screening” of all new applicants for the priesthood, in a bid to weed out men who are deemed to be psychologically flawed. It has taken this initiative following the widespread sexual abuse of children by its clerics.
In a diversionary tactic to deflect attention from the child sex abuse scandal, one of the main aims of these psychological tests is to weed out gay men, not paedophiles.
The Vatican identifies homosexuality as a deep-seated personality disorder and psychological flaw; condemning same-sex acts as “grave sins,” “objectively disordered”, “intrinsically immoral” and “contrary to natural law.” Even men who have a gay orientation but abstain totally from sex are condemned by the Pope as possessing a “tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil.”
Accordingly, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has issued a new document, Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood.
It proposes psychological tests to root out men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” from seminaries.
Estimates of the number of gay men in Catholic seminaries and the priesthood typically range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a review of research in the US by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood. A similar proportion of priests is thought to be gay in the UK and Europe, including a number of bishops and cardinals.
The new Vatican document states that seminary candidates should undergo psychological evaluations whenever there is a suspicion of personality disturbances or doubts about their ability to live a celibate life, such as any manifestation of masculine weakness or a homosexual orientation.
When assessing a candidate’s ability to be celibate, the Vatican document insists that “it is not enough to be sure that he is capable of abstaining from genital activity” but that it is also necessary “to evaluate his sexual orientation”.
It advises that would-be priests must have “a positive and stable sense of their own masculine identity.”
Surely all this makes Pope Benedict himself a prime candidate for psychological testing and exclusion? After all, he wears a dress, loads of jewellery, Prada shoes and has a penchant for high church, high camp ritual and theatrics. While I don’t want to indulge in stereotypes, Benedict is not exactly macho. In fact, he’s quite effeminate. He is also surrounded exclusively by men, has an unusually young and handsome male private secretary and has no known close friendships with women.
He would not be the first gay Pope. There have been several others, most scandalously
Pope Julius III (1487 to 1555), who was more a pederast than a homosexual. He took a 13 year old boy as his
lover and made him a cardinal at the age of 17, showering him with such wealth that he became one of the richest men in Europe.
Anyway, I digress.
Commenting on the new Vatican document, Cardinal Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, advises:
“The candidate does not necessarily have to practice homosexuality. He can even be without sin. But if he has this deeply seated tendency, he cannot be admitted to priestly ministry precisely because of the nature of the priesthood, in which a spiritual paternity is carried out. Here we are not talking about whether he commits sins, but whether this deeply rooted tendency remains…It’s not simply a question of observing celibacy as such. In this case, it would be (required for him to have) a heterosexual tendency, a normal tendency.”
This indicates a serious hardening of Vatican homophobia. It reverses the previous Catholic stance that only same sex acts are wrong, not the homosexual condition itself.
Cardinal Grocholewski elaborated:
“In a certain sense, when we ask why Christ reserved the priesthood to men, we speak of this spiritual paternity, and maintain that homosexuality is a type of deviation, a type of irregularity, as explained in two documents of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith….Therefore it (same-sex love) is a type of wound in the exercise of the priesthood, in forming relations with others. And precisely for this reason we say that something isn’t right in the psyche of such a man. We don’t simply talk about the ability to abstain from these kinds of relations.”
The Vatican is recommending that the people who do the testing should have “solid human and spiritual maturity”, and a “Christian concept of the human person, sexuality, the priestly vocation and celibacy”. In other words, conformity to homophobic Catholic doctrine takes precedence over professional qualifications.
It is now revealed that the Catholic Church in England and Wales has jumped the gun. They have already introduced psychological tests for candidate priests.
Who conducts these tests? What are their qualifications? Have the tests been vetted and approved by a professional psychological authority? What is their scientific validity and reliability? Do they operate within a professional code of conduct? Is there sufficient protection for vulnerable applicants exposed to these procedures? Even if candidates consent to being tested, is that sufficient? These are questions the Catholic Church has not answered.
The Vatican’s new policy aimed at excluding gay men from the priesthood is bigoted and hypocritical. It will encourage dishonesty, fuel homophobia and lead to Vatican sex spies snooping on trainee priests.
If these rules had existed in the past, many existing archbishops and cardinals would have never been allowed to enter the priesthood. Given the high proportion of gay clergy in senior positions in the Vatican, this new policy is rank hypocrisy.
Instead of paving the way for witch-hunts and purges of gay seminarians, the Pope should concentrate on rooting out child sex abusers. Sadly, the fundamentalists in the Vatican have often chosen to protect paedophile priests, while hounding gay clergy.
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Remballe ton pape !
Communiqué de presse
Un regroupement d’associations, syndicats et organisations politiques appellent à manifester à Paris dans la soirée du vendredi 12 septembre pour dénoncer, a l’occasion de sa venue en France, les positions prises par le pape. Les signataires s’opposent à l’intervention de la religion catholique dans les affaires publiques et dénoncent l’écoute bienveillante des propos du Vatican par nombre de responsables politiques français.
Les signataires refusent les retours en arrière concernant les droits à l’avortement et à la contraception, dénoncent les appels criminels du pape à ne pas utiliser les préservatifs, défendent le droit de choisir son genre et sa sexualité. Elles réaffirment leur attachement à la solidarité et aux luttes sociales visant à accéder ici-bas à des vies décentes.
Les signataires exigent :
- que l’Eglise catholique cesse de s’immiscer pas dans la politique,
– que l’Eglise catholique cesse ses déclarations criminelles,
– que les gouvernements français mettent tout en place pour s’affranchir de l’idéologie catholique,
– le libre accès et la totale gratuité des moyens de contraception et de l’avortement.
La manifestation partira du métro Filles du Calvaire le vendredi 12 septembre à 18h30
Signataires : Marche Mondiale des Femmes (MMF), Panthères roses, Alternative libertaire (AL), Offensive libertaire et sociale (OLS), Scalp, Collectif National Droits des Femmes (CNDF), Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR), Coordination des associations pour le droit à l’avortement et à la contraception (CADAC), Collectif libertaire de Bourges, Coordination des Collectif Unitaires pour une Alternative au Libéralisme de l’Hérault, Coordination Femmes Egalité, Scab (Suisse), Fédération Sud-PTT, Ligue du droit des femmes, Mouvement Français pour le planning familial (MFPF), Dones D’Enllac (Catalogne), Collectif de pratiques et de réflexions féministes “Ruptures”, Réseau féministes “Ruptures”, Act-Up – Paris, Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (MRAP) – Marseille, Union Syndicale Solidaires, Association culturelle des travailleurs immigrés de Turquie (ACTIT), SOS sexisme, National Secular Society (Angleterre), Espoirs de femmes, Coordination égalité, Les Alternatifs, Mix-Cité – Paris, Jeunesses communistes révolutionnaires (JCR), Gauche Alternative 67, Initiative féministe européenne (IFE) – France, Les Amis de la Commune,
Lundi 8 septembre 2008