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Posts for March, 2014

Vatican Cardinal Criticizes Criminalization of Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

March 5th, 2014

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana has called on Uganda to repeal its Anti-Homosexuality Act:

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said Tuesday that “homosexuals are not criminals” and shouldn’t be sentenced for up to life in prison. Speaking to reporters in Bratislava where he attended a conference on the Catholic Church and human rights, Turkson said the Vatican also calls on the international community to keep providing aid.

Cardinal Turkson’s comments are considered significant in Catholic circles for two reasons: he’s a member of the Roman Curia, and he’s sometimes mentioned as being among the “papabile” or potential candidates to be elected pope in a future conclave.

Wikileaks: Vatican Lobbied Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

September 11th, 2011

A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable dated December 15, 2009, reveals that the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican lobbied the Catholic church to oppose the proposed Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. According to the cable:

Embassy Vatican has actively lobbied Holy See officials to take a stand against pending legislation in Uganda that would criminalize homosexuality and in extreme cases, even punish it with death (reftel). On December 11, after the Ambassador raised USG (U.S. Government) concerns, Cardinal Antonelli Ennio, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, reaffirmed the Church’s position that legal approaches to homosexuality are inappropriate. Antonelli admitted that he had not followed the Uganda controversy closely, but agreed that Catholic bishops there or anywhere should not/not support the criminalization of homosexuality. The Ambassador urged the Cardinal to make sure bishops in Uganda understood this. Embassy poloff followed up with the Cardinal, providing information about the bill and USG concerns about it

On December 8, DCM met with Monsignor Peter Wells, Assessor in the Vatican Secretariat of State’s Section for General Affairs (NSC equivalent) and raised these issues. Monsignor Wells expressed the Vatican’s view that the Church considers homosexuality sinful but does not believe it should be criminalized. Moreover, the Church is opposed to the death penalty.

…The Vatican likely will not want bishops in Uganda to support the criminalization of homosexuality, so Embassy efforts may well translate into Vatican officials communicating with bishops in Uganda to reaffirm the Church teaching that homosexuality is a personal moral decision, which should not be penalized in any way by judicial authorities. The Vatican, however, likely will shy away from instructing the bishops directly to denounce the bill, as bishops everywhere are given a lot of leeway in deciding how to conduct pastoral work in their own dioceses. Embassy Kampala may want to reach out to the Holy See’s Nuncio and to the President of the Ugandan Conference of Catholic Bishops to further underline USG concerns.

On December 10, 2009, the Vatican released a statement which opposing “all grave violations of human rights against homosexual persons,” particularly “the murder and abuse of homosexual persons are to be confronted on all levels, especially when such violence is perpetrated by the State.” The statement didn’t reference Uganda by name, but that last statement was taken as an oblique reference to the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Shortly before Christmas Day that year, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Uganda, Cyprian Lwanga, denounced the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill in his annual Christmas message from Rubaga Cathedral. That message was broadcast over several Ugandan television channels.

See also:
Feb 17, 2011: Wikileaks Posts Cables from US Embassy in Uganda Concerning Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Feb 17, 2011: More Wikileaks Cables on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 10, 2011: Wikileaks: Ugandan First Lady “Ultimately Behind” Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 11: 2011: More On Ugandan First Lady’s Support For Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 11, 2011: Wikileaks: Vatican Lobbied Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Sep 12, 2011: Wikileaks on Uganda’s Homosexuality Bill: Museveni “Surprised” and Buturo “Obsessed”
Sep 12, 2011: Ugandan Presidential Aide Confirms Wikileaks Conversation
Sep 23, 2011: Ugandan First Lady Affirms Support For “Kill The Gays” Bill

Catholic Church continues to have predatory priest problems

Timothy Kincaid

March 17th, 2010

pope eyesSurely, surely, there are Catholic priests who haven’t molested children. And there simply must be a Cardinal or Archbishop somewhere who didn’t cover up abuse. However, now the Catholic Church is beginning to appear as though abuse and cover ups were the norm rather than the exception.

With newly reported cases in the growing scandal in Germany, along with bizarre developments in Brazil, the ten people dedicated to inspecting cases and paying settlements are beginning to feel overwhelmed. (NY Times)

In a rare interview, by telephone on Tuesday, Monsignor Scicluna acknowledged the concern. Asked if he wanted reinforcements, he said with a laugh: “I would hope we have less work. That’s my hope. Not more people, less work.”

He added that if the number of cases averaged 300 a year, “We can continue doing our job well with 10 people. The problem is: Are these numbers going to settle?”

Despite the small number of people in the Vatican working on such cases, he stressed that his office was the last step in a long process for the cases, after they have been investigated by “hundreds of canon lawyers” in dioceses worldwide.

“It’s not that these people are doing every case from A to Z, otherwise we’d really be bonkers,” he said.

The investigative arm is bonkers, but the PR division must be going crazy. Because the Brazilian scandal was televised (AP).

The case came to light after the SBT network aired a video purportedly showing an 82-year-old priest having sex with a 19-year-old altar boy who worked for him for four years. Other young men appeared on the report saying that they, too, had been abused by Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa.

ick

Pope said to have facilitated child molestation

Timothy Kincaid

March 15th, 2010

pope eyesPope Benedict XVI is quick to condemn the “intrinsic evil” that comes from committed same-sex partners pledging devotion and care for each other. He finds same-sex attracted persons to be such a threat that he purged them from the seminaries.

Oh, yes. This Pope truly can be said to find gay people to be an enemy of all that is right and decent.

But pedophiles? Not such a problem for him.

The Times Online is reporting

The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria.

To recap, while Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict’s former name) was in charge of the church in Germany Archdiocese of Munich & Freising, Priest H (whose identity is being kept secret) molested an 11 year old boy. The church didn’t report him but instead “rehabilitated” him and sent him to another parish. Where he sexually abused more minors. That would be, AFTER his rehabilitation.

Now the Pope is saying, “Who me?” and laying all the blame on an underling.

The Vatican said that Mgr Gruber had taken “full responsibility” for the priest’s move back into pastoral work but did not comment further.

Mgr Gruber said that the Pope, who was made a cardinal in 1977, had not been not aware of his decision because there were 1,000 priests in the diocese at the time and he had left many decisions to lower-level officials. “The cardinal could not deal with everything,” he said. “The repeated employment of H in pastoral duties was a serious mistake … I deeply regret that this decision led to offences against youths. I apologise to all those who were harmed.” He did not indicate whether the convicted paedophile would be allowed to continue working in the church.

Deal with everything? Everything?

What on Earth is of more importance than, “OH MY GOD, we have a priest molesting children!!”

Was the German Catholic Church so full of pedophiles that this was an every-day mundane unimportant administrative matter to be shuffled off? Really? Is that what you want us to believe?

Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the head of Germany’s Catholic bishops, apologised yesterday to the victims of clerical sex abuse after meeting Pope Benedict. He said that the German-born Pope had expressed “great dismay” over the scandals and had encouraged him to take “decisive and courageous steps” to tackle the problem.

Oh no doubt the scandals caused Il Papa great dismay. It’s a pity the molested children never did.

Pope’s “Gentleman” caught in gay prostitution ring

Timothy Kincaid

March 4th, 2010

pope eyesAngelo Balducci is a Papal Gentlemen, a ceremonial usher of the household of Pope Benedict XVI. He’s also corrupt and “intrinsically evil”.

During an investigation into Balducci’s taking of bribes for public works projects, another vice was discovered (Guardian):

The Vatican was today rocked by a sex scandal reaching into Pope Benedict’s household after a chorister was sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, was caught by police on a wiretap allegedly negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Vatican chorister, over the specific physical details of men he wanted brought to him. Transcripts in the possession of the Guardian suggest that numerous men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood.

The very idea of homosexual prostitution in the Vatican make me… yawn.

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.

Hundreds Protest Vatican’s Opposition to Decriminalization of Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

December 8th, 2008

According to AFP, about 250 people protested in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday over the Vatican’s opposition to a U.N. resolution calling for member nations to decriminalize homosexuality.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi exhibited more of the Vatican’s intrinsically disordered logic by saying the Church opposed “all forms of violent or discriminatory penal law regarding homosexuals…. No one obviously wants to defend the death penalty for homosexuals.” Some 80 countries have laws against homosexuality, with some including the death penalty or long terms of up to life imprisonment.

And yet the Vatican claims to oppose all “discriminatory penal law regarding homosexuals” by actively lobbying against a U.N. resolution calling for the repealing of all such laws. It certainly can’t get any more contradictory than that.

Here is an Italian news report of the protest:
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[Hat tip: Towleroad]