Thursday, January 12, 2012

More Official Catholic Statements about the Gays: Curioser and Curioser

A day or so ago, I took note of the recent papal remarks to the Vatican diplomatic corps.  As I noted, in these remarks, Pope Benedict once again took the opportunity in a new year's address to suggest that gay marriage is threatening the future of humanity.

Writing yesterday in the Guardian, Andrew Brown asserts that, in his address to the Vatican diplomats, Benedict did not say (or even suggest) that gay marriage is a threat to humanity's future.  But Peter Montgomery (at Religion Dispatches) is having none of Brown's spin-doctoring.  Montgomery writes, 

Brown not only claims that the Pope didn’t specifically use the words “gay marriage,” he says that there wasn’t even the suggestion “that gay marriage was the most important of these [policies that threaten the family] and he didn't mention it at all.” Really? Immediately following his naming of the family as the most important setting for the education of young people, the pope defines family as being “based on the marriage of a man and a woman,” next asserting that marriage “is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society,” (language that could have come directly off the website of the National Organization for Marriage).  
The Pope didn’t use the phrase “gay marriage,” but he didn’t have to; not in the context of his “marriage of a man and a woman” comment. 

And Montgomery is right.

Meanwhile, in a baffling attempt to walk back the unfortunate recent statements of Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Antonelli's under-secretary Monsignor Carlos Simón Vazquez has just issued an equally baffling "clarification."*  As I note in the posting to which the first link above leads, the bishop of Córdoba, Demetrio Fernández, indicates that Antonelli has revealed the existence of a U.N. plot to turn half the world gay in the near future.  

I dare you to read Fernández's statement and make any sense out of the spate of nonsense that the reverend gentleman disgorges to Zenit.  If you need a cheat sheet, here it is--this is fast becoming the official Catholic hierarchical party line about the gays:

The gays exist, unfortunately.  We don't like that fact.  But the world at large has alerted us to the fact, and we have no choice except to deal with it. 
And we are choosing to deal with it by asserting baldly, without any evidence and in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that only heterosexual people and heterosexual relationships contribute in any positive way to the common good.  The gays militate against the common good just by existing.  And because their whole lives are built around self-gratification.  And so their relationships are inherently self-centered, and serve no positive purpose in society. 
And so the gays have no rights.  Rights are reserved only for heterosexual people and their relationships. 
But we do love us some gays.  Because we have to do so, being followers of Jesus and all that.  We love them and their "difficulties" as long as they deal with those difficulties by forever and throughout their entire miserable, self-centered lives tamping down any sign of who and what they are.  And remaining chaste and relationship-free their whole lives long. 
And this is redemptive love.  Because we say so.

(Thanks to Jim McCrea for emailing me and others the Zenit article.)

*And it turns out I am spectacularly wrong here.  As Jack Barry points out in a comment below, Vazquez is clarifying some remarks Antonelli made prior to 15 January 2009, and not Antonelli's latest statement, per Fernández, about the U.N. plot of the gays to turn the world half gay in the near future.  The mistake here is, I hasten to add, entirely mine and not Jim McCrea's.  When he emailed the Zenit article to me and others, I assumed (without checking the date of the article) that Vazquez was clarifying Antonelli's most recent remarks about homosexuality.  Jim's email is not the source of this misinformation.

It appears Vazquez is walking back statements Antonelli made to open the January 2009 Theological-Pastoral Congress of Mexico.  Clearly, Antonelli has, at the very least, a propensity for making remarks about gay issues that end up creating embarrassment and controversy of one sort or another (though I am not defending my mistake by making that observation--just noting that his latest gaffe about the U.N.'s secret plan appears to be part of an ongoing history of inflammatory or misguided remarks about this issue that result in the need for "clarifications").

My sincere apologies for my mistakes above.  I am working overtime on the book project i mentioned some days ago, and perhaps shouldn't be blogging when my mind is elsewhere and I'm not reading articles in the news as carefully as I should.

And for valuable commentary on what Antonelli did say in Mexico City in January 2009, here's Andrés Duque at the Blabbeando blog site on 15 January 2009, and then a day later, writing about Vazquez's clarification.

And another addendum to an already lengthy addendum (with apologies): I'm just now seeing that David Gibson posted at Commonweal's blog site several days ago re: Antonelli's UNESCO-secret-homosexual-plot zinger.  And I see near the end of the thread that developed following D. Gibson's post (in which, predictably, some commentators doubted that any Vatican official could say anything as outlandish as what Antonelli is reported as having said), Jack Barry had already noted that Antonelli made remarks to the 2009 Congress in Mexico that required an immediate "clarification"--and, as Jack notes, this previous incident strengthens the argument that Antonelli almost certainly did say the outlandish thing now being reported about UNESCO and its purported gay plot.

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