Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Putting the record straight - ish.

I'm not gay. Never been even a flicker of interest in that direction. When I was young I thought there was something wrong with gays - men in particular. I think most of my contemporaries thought the same in those days. When I became an adult and thought about these things, I accepted that some people are just made that way - and so what. So like most people I was quite shocked to hear it reported today that the Pope has declared homosexuality to be a greater threat to humanity than destruction of the rain forests.

One reason this interested me is that my regard for the Catholic Church has risen over recent years. In particular, I think that the Church of Rome takes the sanctity of human life rather more seriously than other religions. This sense within me grew during passage of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill through the House of Commons earlier this year. And one of our sons has recently married a Catholic girl as well - so there's now a family interest in the Catholic Church.

Which brings me to the point I want to post on tonight. Not surprisingly, fellow blogger, Iain Dale, (and many others) has taken great exception to what the Pope is reported to have said. I read some of the comments on his blog post, which included some from Greg, who sought to defend the Pope. The gist of Greg's interpretation of the Holy Father's words were that they were about the sanctity of the human body, and that sex should be an act of creation within marriage - an aspiration which is beyond most human beings, who are, of course, imperfect. In the interests of balance, I thought it was worth repeating the only part of the Pope's speech which referred to rain forests.

"But in so doing, (abusing the sanctity of the human body) the human being lives against the truth, and against the Spirit creator. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection, but the human being - as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom, but is the condition of his freedom, does not deserve it less"

Its still out of touch with the way many humans choose to live their lives today. It may be very idealistic, and divorced from reality, but it does not appear to be as blatantly homophobic as has been generally interpreted.


Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure Glyn.
It's not just what you say but the way you say it. In many ways the previous Pope was just as theologically conservative yet he radiated love and even if you disgreed with him you found it hard to question his essential goodness.
The current incumbent on the other hand seems cold- more concrened with doctrinal correctness than human happiness.
Some may say you shouldn't judge people on such a subjective basis. Bur God- or nature- gave us these instincts about who to trust and who not to.
Frankly for the head of a Church that looked the other way during the Holocaust and actively shielded hundreds if not thousands of child-abusing priests to tell loving adults what they should do in their bedrooms is stomach-churning.

menaiblog said...

Don't see what all the fuss is - what the Holy Father said was a simple expression of Catholic orthordoxy in these matters. Nothing new.

The question of whether or not the view is divorced from the reality of how some live their lives simply isn't relevant.

No one is required to be a Catholic - but if you are one, that's what you believe.

Michael Aaron said...

Your post is very offensive to Roman Catholics. To us the Holy Father is infallible. If that is his word, that is enough for us.

Glyn Davies said...

menaiblog - I think thats roughly what I was trying to say.

Michael - Sorry if I was offensive - certainly no intent to be. I don't think I said that the Holy Father is fallible. All I pointed out that many people (including Catholics) do not live by his or the Church's teaching.

Anonymous said...


"Your post is very offensive to Roman Catholics. To us the Holy Father is infallible. If that is his word, that is enough for us.

Sure Michael. That's why most Catholic falilies use contraception. Have you been asleep for the last five hundred years?
Frankly most Catholics would find your comment far more offensive than Glyn's.
Incidently why are you using the "Roman" thing- that's a perjorative protestant term. Are you really a Catholic?

The Wilted Rose said...

Glyn - a thoughtful post. Merry Christmas to you.

Anonymous - your comment is silly. The Vatican is in Rome; that is why it is called the RC church.

Glyn Davies said...

Where's Michael gone

Anonymous said...

If you don't have a faith its probably VERY hard to understand or comprehend why the pope would say such a thing. it probably seems homophobic. It is important how you say things, thats true, and Jesus Christ, being the only perfect human to ever walk this earth, though he didn't condone peoples life choices, he did radiate love, forgiveness, acceptance. BUT he did tell people to live a different way. The woman caught in the act of adultery received grace and forgiveness from Jesus but he did say "Go and sin no more". So love also speaks the uncomfortable truth too. I love homosexual people (as well as straight people !) and I understand them too, but there is no denying that the bible condones sex within the confines of a marriage between a man and a woman. God's not a prude (read the song of solomon if you think he is) but He is all knowing and He made us to be whole, when we live in a different way to the way he intended us to live we just aren't whole and we harm ourselves. Thats why I agree with the pope, even though its offensive to say it today, and from personal experience I know God gives us the grace to live how he wants us to live if we will trust Him.