What is it with the Church and their open display of homophobia? It’s as though they have been awarded with the God-given right to decide who is a good person and who is not. In their eyes, being a homosexual does not qualify the person as being a valid human being.
The Christian mouthpiece, Catholic Archbishop George Pell’s views on homosexuality first came into the spotlight, with the gay and lesbian community at least, back in 1999 when he was quoted as saying:
- homosexuality, especially among the young, is not a “fixed” or “in-escapable” condition and youth should be discouraged from “going in that direction”
- those who “work to win recruits to homosexual practice” and “the homosexual community” must share some of the blame for, “the suicide of homosexuals”
- the “gay agenda” seeks to “silence public discussion of health risks” which are “much greater than smoking” and to “lower the age of con-sent and recruit new members to the sub-culture”.
- moreover, the “homosexual orientation often brings suffering, but acting this out generally brings greater suffering, particularly when accompanied by adult seduction.”
- therefore, “to legitimise homosexual activity and boost the recruitment drive would only make a sad situation far more sad”.
- the Church will be “working consistently to stop the spread of the gay agenda in our schools.”
Further displays of his homophobia also came into the spotlight in 2000 when as Archbishop for Melbourne he refused to give communion to gays and lesbians in St Patricks. We learn, from that incident that:
The archbishop’s homophobia has not been confined to church ceremonies. In one instance, when asked about how the church will address the issue of homophobia in schools, Pell responded “We will be doing nothing to encourage the spread of the gay agenda in Catholic schools and we will be consistently working to oppose it”.
When asked if he was concerned with the effects of homophobia on youth he responded, “If [youth suicides] are connected with homosexuality, then that is another reason to be discouraging people going in that direction”.
Pell further outraged gays and lesbians as well as AIDS activists when, on one occasion, he referred to homosexuality as “being a greater risk than smoking”.
And back in 2002 he again refused Holy Communion to openly gay and lesbian parishioners. He followed with this Almighty attack:
Our Judeo-Christian religious tradition allows men and women sexual expression within the bounds of family life, a sexuality which is life-giving. Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, they close the sexual act to the gift of life.
It’s laughable that this man was availed the opportunity to submit his opinion to a Senate inquiry into amendments to the Marriage Act.
Evidence of homophobia in the Church is not confined to our most high-profile religious leader and not confined to Australia. It seems to be a phenomenon in the Mother Country as well.
In London, Lynne Featherstone, the Equalities Minister said religious leaders had a responsibility not to “fan the flames of homophobia” after fierce by the UK’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, while across town Ruth Whippman writes:
You have to hand it to the Catholic Church. It takes a certain level of chutzpah to come through arguably the most widespread global paedophile scandal in human history and its subsequent alleged cover-up, and still be dishing out moral guidance on ‘disordered sexual practices.’
With their continued endorsement of homophobia, the Catholic Church, in my opinion, is morally backward.