The Pope has used his Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy to… you guessed it, hate on gays. This time he’s decided that gay people entering into marriage is against nature in such a fundamental way that it could spell the end of humankind.
“There is no denying the crisis that threatens it [the family] to its foundations — especially in the Western world,” the Pope is quoted as saying. “When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child — essential elements of the experience of being human are lost.”
Utter nonsense of course, as some gay people marrying does not by extension delete the mother, the father or the child, and to infer that it does is beyond childish, it’s belittling to all intelligent conversation. It also infers what the Pope has previously offered: that people in same-sex relationships are somehow not human.
Indeed, the Pope seems to have jettisoned all measured response on this issue, going on to say that people are somehow manipulating their identities against nature and destroying the “essence of the human creature.”
“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned.”
Oh Pope, you’re festive disposition is just too much.
Earlier in the week, the Vatican released a full front-page editorial that appears to claim same-sex couples exist in some sort of different reality because they cannot conceive children together, and that marriage equality is questing after an “unachievable utopia.”
The Vatican’s anti-gay rhetoric has increased over recent years as nations like Portugal and Argentina, and more recently the United States and Britain, have moved, with increasing support, to offer marriage equality.
However, the Pope’s yuletide address wasn’t completely devoid of seasonal goodwill. In bashing marriage equality, Pope Benedict decided to quote, and quite liberally, Chief Rabbi of France Gilles Bernheim, signalling the Pope might be angling for the formation of a broad coalition of anti-gay marriage faith leaders — a Frock Force, if you will.
The Pope, with this latest speech, seemed to have exceeded even his own strident past statements, disclosing what by any standard appears to be a theocratic show of displeasure at the autonomy to define one’s own meaning and purpose, saying:
“Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his own nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. [...] When freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God.”
From this bumper Christmas address, it seems we are meant to infer that the Vatican has decided that all nicety toward gay people — for whom the Vatican has in recent years maintained a condescending sympathy — is to come to an end.
That the gloves were well and truly doffed was said most definitively when the Pope, earlier this month, chose to bless Ugandan parliamentary speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who is now the chief proponent of Uganda’s Kill the Gays bill. The bill missed its Christmas deadline but could and most likely will be taken up in the new year.