Monday, April 17, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI

Now I am not religious by any means i.e. I do not go to church regularly.... but I do have what I think are firm Christian ideals. For instance, I believe we should be doing all we can to help less fortunate third world countries, make sure that people are not starving or being persecuted by some raving despot ruler or a dictatorship. After all everyone is entitled to live in peace, have food in their belly every day, have a roof over their head and have a shot at some sort of employment. I am also a great believer in protecting the environment for future generations..In fact my job is tied up with the environment so I understand what the depletion of our natural resources means. My partner is a devout Catholic and he goes to Mass every week and he believes that all these difficulties we face every day are a test of our faith. Personally, I do not believe this but he has the right to his beliefs and I would not try to question them. Pope Benedict XVI used the opportunity in marking the Stations Of The Cross on Good Friday to have an indirect go at same sex relationships without actually coming outright and saying it. Earlier in the week the Italian people had voted in a left wing Government which is committed to recognizing gay and lesbian couples. The Pope used extremely emotive language in his address and this is some of it...

Pope Benedict XVI called for the "filth" that surrounds society to be cleansed and said the world is in the grip of "a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family". Lord, we have lost our sense of sin," he said. "Today a slick campaign of propaganda is spreading an inane apologia of evil, a senseless cult of Satan, a mindless desire for transgression, a dishonest and frivolous freedom, exalting impulsiveness, immorality and selfishness as if they were new heights of sophistication.

He even used a meeting prior to the election with Italy's right of centre party to make another attack on same sex marriage which caused the left of centre coalition to accuse the Pontiff of trying to influence the election ! As Cardinal Ratzinger he was the Vatican's most outspoken opponent of gay marriage. Now as a gay person I do not find that sort of rant very Christian but I wonder how my partner feels as a devout catholic who happens to be gay. We have not discussed this in any detail and for the sake of harmony I do not intend to. I don't know if it was just me but there seemed to be a great deal of "holiness" about the person of the late Pope John Paul II even though his beliefs may not have been in sympatico with mine. He did after all attack same sex "marriages" for instance. But this current Pope seems to have a great deal of arrogance about him and in Christian terms I don't find that very "user friendly". I am quite happy to continue in my life with my own Christian ideals without even setting foot regularly in a church except for the odd wedding, christening or funeral. My own personal Christianity is all about humanity and I think that is something that Pope Benedict XVI lacks. I think it's about time the Catholic church finally emerged into the 20th century let alone the 21st..but please don't hold your breath for too long !!


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