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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Friday (March 9) denounced the "powerful political and cultural currents" that are working to "alter the legal definition of marriage" in the United States. By Alessandro Speciale.

2 Comments

  1. So Benedict is saying that gays have no right to sex, but straights do. What kind of an unjust God does he formulate? A God who would give equal drives to all people, including clergy, allow straights to indulge in sexual pleasures, and deny all sexual satisfaction to gays? Well, we know from centuries of Catholic history and current events of clerical sexual abuse that Catholic seminary living produced immature, undeveloped sexuality in priests, including gay priests, and that resulted in the sex sins and crimes of celibate clergy, and the equally sinful and criminal cover-up of those crimes that continues to this day. The celibate Catholic priesthood became a haven for gay men who considered that since they could not have legitimate sex lives, anyway, their gay orientation must have been a sign from that cruel God that he wanted them for the priesthood. That, of course, did not resolve their sexual drive at all, it only, sickly, misdirected it. Celibacy, which was inaugurated more than 1,000 years after Jesus, only to preserve church property, having nothing to do with the biblical scripture, was the beginning of the whole culture of sexual sickness in the Catholic Church. Benedict and Cardinal Dolan of New York either haven’t learned that lesson, or they are maintaining the facade reinstated by John Paul II that there is something sacred–and biblical–about celibacy. By requiring celibacy for ordination, the Catholic Church begs for real sexual deviancy that leads to abuse of young people by its clergy. That means, regarding sexuality, both in its demand for clerical celibacy and in its current politicking into the privacy of women and couples in sexual relationships regarding contraception, the Catholic Church is not just illiterate, but sick. A God like that which Benedict proposes is a wicked God, to bestow intelligence and drives in people and then forbid the satisfaction of those drives. That is more evil than the ancient mythology of the God of Adam and Eve being given the perfection of Eden along with the temptation of that damning apple that would tease them to know all about good and evil. What an evil God! What an evil Benedict!

  2. The solution is simple. Hold strictly to the separation of church and state that is required by our Constitution and end the convenience of allowing religious ministers to act as agents of states in presiding over marriages. Let their ceremonies be strictly religious, separate from legal ceremonies. Require everyone who wishes to enter into a legal marriage to engage in a legal ceremony, presided over by a non-church representative of the state, like a justice of the peace or any judge. If anyone wishes to have a religious ceremony, that can be added to the purely legal action.

    That is how it is done in Monaco and other places, especially in Europe. That should satisfy Benedict’s concern about gay marriages. Churches would be free to refuse to participate in gay marriages, just as they are now. So what’s all the fuss about?

    When Benedict talks about his church continuing its “reasoned defense of marriage,” he, like all others, have the right to their own opinions, hopefully informed by study, knowledge, and reason. But when Benedict and his bishops try to force their notions about marriage onto others. That violates conscience. That violates all other liberties, including religious liberty.

    When Benedict preaches about the “virtue of chastity,” he has the right to his own ideas regarding sexual activity, but he has no right to try to force others to accept his ideas.

    The only veiling of the sex scandal of the Catholic Church have been done by its bishops who are following orders given to them by the Vatican. Benedict and his Vatican are fooling no one. Catholic bishops around the world act in concert because they are following the same directives from the Vatican that micro-manages everything. If they do not follow Vatican directives, they are fired like Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba, Australia, for urging married priests and the ordination of women as a reasonable solution to the clergy shortage. Or they are threatened with excommunication like Fr. Roy Bourgeois for suggesting the same and participating in the ordination of a woman. There is nothing in biblical scripture that requires the misogynistic exclusion of women from the priesthood.

    All this fuss about contraception and the sex lives of homosexuals, from the Vatican on down to the New York mouth-piece of the Vatican, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, is only one more tactic to divert attention from their continuing efforts to cover-up the sex scandal they caused and promoted for generations, nay, centuries, and their outrageous waste of the money lay people put into their churches to pay high-cost lawyers and accountants to continue obstructing justice in those matters.

    How much does Benedict know of the positive and negative details of cohabitation compared to marriage? He would not be able to say that there are more negatives resulting from cohabiting relationships than those that result in “holy, happy” marriages. Again, where do these celibates, chaste or non-chaste, come by concentrating so much of their thought and work on the sexual lives of others? Though celibacy was not ordered for any spiritual reason, Benedict and other clerics would do well to use it for the opportunity it gives them to concentrate on other, non-sexual matters of the spirit.