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Is Pope Benedict XVI Just Being Ironic?

Jim Burroway

December 11th, 2008

The Catholic Church is not known for its ironic sense of humor. But how else do we read this statement from Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Some 60 years ago, on Dec. 10, the U.N. General Assembly, meeting in Paris, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which still today constitutes a very high point of reference in the intercultural dialogue on liberty and the rights of man. The dignity of every man, really guaranteed only when all his fundamental rights are recognized, protected and promoted. The Church has always confirmed that the fundamental rights, beyond the different formulations and the different weight they might carry in the realm of the different cultures, are a universal fact, because they are inscribed in the very nature of man.

…I support these good wishes with the prayer that God, Father of all men, will enable us to build a world where every human being feels accepted with full dignity, and where relations between individuals and peoples are governed by respect, dialogue and solidarity.”

The Vatican has taken a nonsensical, contradictory position by opposing a U.N. resolution calling for the elimination of anti-homosexuality laws around the world, even though a Vatican spokesman claims they oppose all criminal penalties against homosexuality. The Vatican has staunchly opposed the death penalty while opposing a measure calling on nations to lift the death penalty and other criminal penalties for LGBT people.

And despite all of that, the Pope calls for a world where people are “goverened by respect, dialogue and solidarity.” What solidarity? What respect? What dialogue? I am truly at a loss for words.

I think maybe he’s confused the meaning of Matthew 6:3. He must think it says, “Don’t let your left hand catch what your right hand is doing.



December 11th, 2008 | LINK

i think you might be a little confused between “irony” and “hypocrisy”.

Panzenpapa is not being ironic; he is being a hypocrite.

not to mention he’s being an idiot – someone who is too stupid to know that he is ignorant…

December 11th, 2008 | LINK

oops… my German is rusty.

i meant “Panzerpapa” not “panzen”:

sorry. there is no such word as panzen.

David C.
December 11th, 2008 | LINK

Isn’t it obvious?

The Holy See has just been steeped in Catholic Church Logic for so long his reasoning is completely unsound. One gets this impression in spades from what the Church says in its Catechism by comparison to what it actually does when it applies its particular brand of logic to its political activism.

Richard Rush
December 11th, 2008 | LINK

I doubt that Benedict is able to see any contradiction. After all, this is a man who has lived most his life inside of a bubble where superstition, myth, and stories of imaginary beings have all been woven together to create a magic truth.

December 12th, 2008 | LINK

Uncle Joseph knows exactly what he’s doing. The Vatican doesn’t really want to see gays imprisoned, still less executed, but if it’s a choice between that and giving the impression that the Vatican approves of, or even condones, homosexual “practices”, then it considers the judicial persecution and even the judicial murder of gays a lesser evil.

David C.
December 12th, 2008 | LINK


You are probably right. I had secretly concluded that was his position. Still, I consider that brand of morality arithmetic objectively disordered.

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