The disgrace of papal blessing for Ugandan homophobia

Jill Filipovic, in her remarkable piece “The disgrace of papal blessing for Ugandan homophobia” has put out her neck for the chopping. She is willing to speak the unspeakable, to forsake the usual orgy of intellectual self-pleasure, cast aside the shallow paradigm of unexamined vitriol, and say something the Internet has not the wherewithal to whisper: The Pope should — wait for it — modernize Catholic dogma.

Oh, how she will be opposed! She’ll have to wade through thousands upon thousands of thought-out responses articulating the reality of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality and the political role of the Roman Pontiff to find the one, lonely piece of agreement claiming that “Pope is pedophile catholic church most oppressive institution ON THE PLANET. Can’t believe people still believe dogmas #fightthepower”

Here’s the issue Filipovic takes with my dear old bishop. There is in Uganda a massive and terrifyingly legalistic movement to make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment and death. Rebecca Kadaga is a politician in favor of the “Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill” — proposed legislation that would do just that. This is an inexcusable sin, and has been spoken against by Kadaga’s archbishop. It is a crime that flies in the face of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, which is held so innately in the minds of everyone reading gender articles on the Internet that Filipovic saw no need to mention it:

It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law. (LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS)

Of course, Church teaching on homosexuality is in the bizarre habit of using verbs besides “Hate!” and thus remains widely incomprehensible to minds forced through our culture-war meat-grinder that renders all disagreement the total deprecation and rejection of the human person. Similarly, the position spewed by Rebecca Kadaga is in direct and awful contradiction to the Catholic Church’s teaching on the death penalty, which our author, again, neglects to mention:

Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2267)

(As a brief aside, one wishes that the enemies of the Catholic Church — may they live long and cease resisting grace — would realize that we’ve written down every damn thing we believe, and it’s all available online. (I assume, however, that it’s easier to write about what you just know deep in your heart the Catholic Church teaches.))

Now if this is the case, and the Church — by virtue of her teachings — is diametrically opposed to the policies of Kadaga, how on Earth could Pope Benedict do something so bad-bad-evil-bad as greet and bless her? I began doing some research on this hideous phenomenon, and I found a vast, scarcely-concealed conspiracy. You thought the Pope blessing Kadaga was bad? Here he is meeting with a a man diametrically opposed to the Church’s teachings on human rights, a known abusive dictator!

And with those who diametrically oppose the Church’s teaching on the value of human life!

He even meets with those who have professed that Heaven is a fairy-tale for people afraid of the dark!

Apparently Pope Benedict is unaware of the truth Filipovic has been so happily endowed with, that blessings and greetings are only for people who are known to be morally sound, and in agreement with the teachings of the Church. To her horror, he meets and blesses people quite carelessly. It’s as if he’s taking a leaf out of the book of that Rabbi no one likes:

Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. (Matthew 9:10)

Who the hell is in greater need of a blessing than a woman considering defying the teachings of the Catholic Church and risking the salvation of her eternal soul by allowing evil to reign in her country? And yet it doesn’t even appear that there was a blessing.

Rebecca Kadaga was one of thousands filtering by the Pope for a greeting, and according to the Vatican, “relations with the delegation were not outside the normal framework and there was no blessing…The group of Ugandan delegates greeted the Pope, as did many other persons who attended the audience with the Pope, which in no case is a specific sign of approval of the actions or proposals of Ms. Kadaga…”

So why has it been so suddenly necessary to frame a meeting — one that no Pope following the example of Christ would refuse — as a great commission from the Vatican to go forth and kill the gays? Though I wish it was otherwise, it appears that our author is not primarily concerned with the potential persecution of the gay people of Uganda. The Pope, by not refusing anyone, has given her an opportunity to uncork from her lungs every criticism of the Catholic Church that has fermented in the same, routine fashion for the past 60 years — and ultimately for the past 2000. The truth of the matter is cleverly ignored, and the appearance of the thing has served as an allowance to babble that all-encompassing bitternes which renders essays long, awkward, and pre-disposed to containing lies.

The Pope’s “track record on men who sodomize children isn’t exactly stellar”, “the early anti-sex crusades were focused on women – and haven’t let up. Women were ordered to serve their husbands and were barred from the priesthood.” “Desperate for a way to show its power and control followers, the Vatican decided that it was wrong to use anything other than crossed fingers to control the number and spacing of your children.” (Fertility awareness is effective as the Pill, do your damn research.) “The Church also took a stand against abortion again, and declared that abortion couldn’t even be had in the case of an ectopic pregnancy where the fertilized egg will never develop into a fetus.” (Even Wikipedia knows this is stupid).

Reality is manipulated to serve as an effective soapbox to unleash the courageous yodel that the Catholic Church should cease being the Catholic Church, that it should align itself with the views expressed in — what will surely be a philosophical cornerstone to rival the contribution the Church has made to Western civilization — On Gender and Other Agendas.

To close then: Even if the Pope’s actions were somehow worthy of reproach, you cannot, as Jill Filipovic demands, modernize a dogma. A dogma of the Catholic Church is a dogma and not an opinion precisely because it cannot be modernized. It is immutable, and while all other things mankind have held to be true are subject to that entropy exerted by modernization for the sake of modernization — while all bold statements must bow constantly to the weighty force of pop philosophy – these stand alone, true for all people for all time, revealed by God and proclaimed by His Church. This is the issue with learning about the Catholic Church on and then attempting to offer it constructive criticism. We are trafficking in words, the meaning of which have been demolished.

Catholics For Choice Whine To The Huffington Post: Everyone Leaves Feeling Gratified
Sustainable Sex
Why This Catholic Girl Is Praying For a Schism Part 2
Catholic Hospital Claims Fetus is not a Person!
  • Joseph Jablonski

    Any link on Kadaga’s Archbishop condeming the bill?

    • emmet

      The link given seems to be to an interview with an Anglican clergyman – is that right?

      • emmet

        Can’t be.

      • JoFro

        Yup, he’s condemed the bill but not homosexuality. It is the Anglican archbishop of course because Rebecca Kadaga is Anglican

    • Thom Blanton
    • Paul

      Full text:

      We, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda, appreciate and applaud the Government’s effort to protect the traditional family and its values. The Catholic Church is clear in its teaching on homosexuality. Church teaching remains that homosexual acts are immoral and are violations of divine and natural law. The Bible says that homosexuality is strictly forbidden [Lev. 18:22] “Do Not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable”, Furthermore, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, and under no circumstances can they be approved” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No: 2357). However, the Church equally teaches the Christian message of respect, compassion and sensitivity; The Church has always asked its followers to hate the sin but to love the sinner. Considering the fact that all are called by God to fulfill his Will in their lives and to repent of their sins (Mk 1:14-15) “After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Homosexuals have the need of conversion and repentance. They also need support, understanding and love as all strive to be members of the Kingdom of God. The recently tabled Anti-Homosexuality Bill does not pass a test of a Christian caring approach to this issue. The targeting of the sinner, not the sin, is the core flaw of the proposed Bill. The introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts targets people rather than seeking to counsel and to reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support, and hope. The bible says in Luke 6:36-37 “Be merciful as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Furthermore, the proposal to prosecute those who fail to disclose information regarding homosexual acts puts a risk of the breach of confidentiality and professional ethics of persons such as Parents, Priests, Counselors, Teachers, Doctors and Leaders, at a time when they offer support and advise for rehabilitation of homosexuals. The proposed Bill does not contain clauses encouraging homosexuals to be rehabilitated. As a Catholic Church, we have a mission to reach out to all of the people of God as Christ showed no one is beyond God’s mercy and love, “In Mt. 9:10-13, while Jesus was at table in his house, many tax Collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus. The Pharisees saw this and said, Those who are well do not need a Physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire Mercy not sacrifice, I did not come to call the Righteous, but sinners.” The criminalizing of such reaching out is at odds with the core values of the Christian faith. Additionally, in our view the proposed Bill is not necessary considering that acts of sodomy are already condemned under section 145 of the penal code. +Cyprian K. Lwanga ARCHBISHOP OF KAMPALA 23RD December, 2009 (easily available from

  • Aaron Lopez

    Great polemic, Chester- I mean Barnes.

    Keep it up!

  • Joseph

    A sin? What if the law is not based in malice, but profound charity, and out of concern for the souls of those who oppose homosexual acts?

    • Anna Dawson

      Isn’t that the case? (At least with Catholic law?)

  • Joseph

    Perform, that is, not oppose.

  • Loud

    Charity? All sin is based in love of something, Joe, just distorted love. If we can make homosexuality a capital crime with love as our excuse, why cant a SSA man live a homosexual lifestyle with love of his ‘partner’ as an excuse? Hitler loved his country, he wanted it at the top. Theives love property, they just seek to make it their own so that they can appreciate it more. Everybody loves something, an dthats good. But its HOW we go about loving these persons, countries, things, pleasures, beauties, and stuff that causes the problems.

    • Joseph

      Loud, I am saying that anti-sodomy laws are not necessarily a bad thing, that they aren’t merely created out of malice. I am saying that it is an extreme thing for Marc to claim that the death penalty, which the CCC states every State has a right to impose, for sodomy is necessarily malicious. It could be born out of a desire to serve the common good, and out of a charity, a charity that desires an ever less open and vibrant homosexual sub-culture within the State, thus helping prevent homosexuals from being ever more readily drawn to pursuing a lifestyle that would kill their souls.

      • Joseph

        I am talking about true Christian charity, one that loves an individual by desiring and working for what God would want for that inividual.

        • bobthechef

          Yes, and you think the Christian God is beyond the death penalty? Now, I think the death penalty is a bit harsh for sodomy, but not as harsh as Marc claims. Charity shouldn’t be confused with compassion which is reserved for the victim. Charity is one of the most misunderstood things about the Church. The victim comes first, and the deterrent status of the law can put the pinch and send a message to people who would otherwise refrain from such practices.

      • yan

        I would like to agree with you but how does one reconcile the new CCC teaching on the death penalty with such laws? The person that has committed a homosexual act is not about to physically hurt anyone. According to the CCC and JPII it is the inability of the state to otherwise restrain criminals from harming others that justifies capital punishment.

        On the other hand how can we reconcile that teaching of the CCC with most of the history of Catholic civilization in which capital punishment for homosexual acts was permitted under the civil law of Catholic and Christian countries based on the rationale that such acts are heinous sins?

        Homosexual behavior is a difficult problem for society to address justly.

        • Ronk

          The CCC quote is not restricted to merely “physical” hurt. Sodomy hurts other people. Putting the offenders in gaol is unlikely to protect society from sodomy and may even increase it.

        • bobthechef

          Well, I’m not sure saying the Church has introduced a new teaching in this respect is accurate. JPII isn’t saying capital punishment has no place. He was merely saying that today that place may not exist. The teaching is the same. The death penalty is justified in certain cases. Frankly, we could use a few beheadings now and then just to remind people of the graveness of their actions. I’m certain few people would be willing to die for their hedonistic lifestyles when it came down to it.

  • Tom

    Great response, as always, Marc. I read through that wonderful article (oh how I wish I didn’t register a hit on it) and stopped listening by the second paragraph. What lovely vitrol all in the name of “tolerance”.

    • Micha_Elyi

      Jill Filipovic’s abuse of the pseudo-diagnostic word “homophobic” should have tipped you off.
      The atheist Soviets also labeled their truth-telling dissidents with phony psychiatriac diagnoses. Coincidence? You decide.

  • Anna Dawson

    Wow, the source article is face-slappingly absurd. I’ve never seen stupid spread so efficiently though a piece.

  • Cal-J

    “Of course, Church teaching on homosexuality is in the bizarre habit of
    using verbs besides “Hate!” and thus remains widely incomprehensible to
    minds forced through our culture-war meat-grinder that renders all
    disagreement the total deprecation and rejection of the human person.”

    I think that’s the most direct you’ve been with addressing the culture in a long time. Welcome back.

  • Jeffrey Pinyan

    Notice how the Guardian article does not abide by the Guardian’s commenting policies. Double standards to the rescue!

  • Mary Ann

    Why is your blogger name “bad catholic”? Your response to the article indicates to me you are a “good catholic”, very nice job. It is frustrating to see people want to “modernize” to fit their own agendas. Fortunately “the gates of Hell will not prevail” but some days it seems like it’s knockIng on the door. Keep up the great work, Mary Ann M

    • Honeybutterchickenbiscuit

      Not certain, but I believe his blogger name is a gesture of humility; an admission that, like the rest of us, he is a sinner.

  • Melia

    It’s terrible what the Pope is doing. It’s almost as deplorable as that Jesus fellow, when he showed his obvious support for prostitution and tax extortion because he went after the people who did those kinds of things.

    • Patterrssonn

      Or as deplorable as that pope fellow who blessed Hitler.

      • Cal-J

        Be careful with that one. Not everybody knows “Hitler’s Pope” is a hoax.

        • Patterrssonn

          He had his fingers crossed behind his back? Maybe Ratzinger did too whith his gay marriage/threat to world peace rant. He was just pretending to be a buffoon.

          • David Kennedy

            No Pope ever met Hitler, except in your vivid imagination

          • Patterrssonn

            Did someone say that he did?

          • Jambe d’Argent

            Prove that any pope really blessed Hitler.

          • Patterrssonn

            I just read about the popes concordat with Hitler and how it provided Hitler with the support of German Catholics which had previously been denied him. Amazing how Hitler played on the stupidity, political naivety and greed of the pope to consolidate enough political power to turn a democracy into a dictatorship.

          • John King

            I wouldn’t be talking too much about stupidity or naievty if I were you, since your reading seems to be at a fairly basic level. Been at the old “Hitler’s Pope”, have you? That’d be the book that its author had to pretty much retract.

            The concordat was in fact a perfectly normal agreement, in a country of which some constituent states (laender) which were catholic had already signed similar agreements in the 1920s, simply guaranteeing the rights of the church. Maybe you’d consider reading the actual document itself sometime? Or would that be too much like hard work as opposed to trolling? Germany had a long history of outright opposition to the Church, going back to Bismarck’s kulturkampf, so concordats were a pretty necessary thing. But you knew that, didn’t you?

            And of course the Nazi State promptly went and broke pretty much all of it within a very short time. Which resulted in Pius XI’s magnificent “Mit Brennender Sorge”. Which of the European democracies openly criticised the Nazi regime’s policies so openly befiore the war?

            But you knew all that, didn’t you?

          • Patterrssonn

            No actually, I hadn’t been at the “old Hitler’s Pope”. I’d been reading about the concordat on Wikipedia, just look up Reichskonkordat. It’s an interesting if fairly disturbing page and clearly outlines the benefits Hitler gained from signing the concordat such as gaining support from the CC for his assumption of dictatorial powers in the enabling act. “That’d be the book that its author had to pretty much retract.” Bet that’s news to Cornwell.

          • Cal-J

            “I just read about the popes concordat with Hitler and how it provided
            Hitler with the support of German Catholics which had previously been
            denied him.”

            Ah. You can’t back up the “pope fellow who blessed Hitler” horseshit, so you downgrade the charge. That’s cute.

            “It’s an interesting if fairly disturbing page and clearly outlines the
            benefits Hitler gained from signing the concordat such as gaining
            support from the CC for his assumption of dictatorial powers in the
            enabling act.”

            Of course Hitler gained benefits from the concordat. It’s a treaty, “and treaties are generally meant to benefit all parties.

            “interesting if fairly disturbing”
            Wow. Really? In what way?

            You see, what you, like all the other commentators who get to enjoy the protection of living far, far away from Nazi Germany fail to understand is that the Pope shares responsibility for the lives of normal Catholics. So when dangerous German politicians and their supporters threaten the lives of the Catholics in their reach, one of the default and responsible reactions of the papacy is to try and lessen the danger.

            Hitler offered an opportunity by asking for a Concordat. That Hitler and his government were dangerous was obvious, But when you’re two options are “take what you can get from a dangerous enemy” or “directly oppose that dangerous enemy and put everyone you care about in mortal peril“, what would you do?

            Answer that last question.

            (post-script: Also, you’re cheating: you don’t get to indulge in hindsight and read all the fallout that came from Hitler and the Nazis during the decade after the concordat back into the decision-making).

            We can criticize particulars of the decision. It was a flawed decision decided by flawed people in flawed times. Hitler could — and did — market the Concordat as papal approval (some people seem to believe the advertising) — and the papacy tried to stop him — but again, you don’t get to pretend that the pope’s hands weren’t tied.

            John King’s post still stands.

          • Miss Doyle

            Oh Patterrssonn! Stop! You’re killing me! You learned something on Wikipedia? Get out of town!
            I just finished reading a book with all the primary material from the British, American, German, French and Italian diplomatic corps with all of the original communications – telegrams, letters and secret documents which were released to the public after the files were open. If you took the time and effort to read it, you might learn something!
            Can you beat that?

          • Patterrssonn

            To be honest Miss Doyle I don’t really give a shit. Who really cares what political machinations some absurd old freak had to engage in when faced with a threat to part of his organizations power structure. I’m more concerned with the actions of the present pedophilia rationalizing, gay hating, frothing at the mouth lunatic of a pope.

        • Claude

          Some of you might want to read Papal Sin. Do you love truth or merely authority?

          • Cal-J

            False dilemma. Catholicism holds that God endowed the Church with a specific authority that transcends the faults of its constituents. We had the Borgias, dude, there’s really nothing that you can present that’ll shock us.

          • Claude

            Spare me the swagger, I was born into the Catholic Church and duly indoctrinated. Why would I want to shock you? It is you militant Catholics who shock me.

          • Cal-J

            I’ll spare you the swagger when you spare me the “truth vs. authority” nonsense. And calling it being “indoctrinated” simply suggests your education was lacking. Secondly, you just threw a book titled Papal Sin at us; the title is obviously meant to be scandalous, hence the accusation of you trying to shock us.

          • Claude

            It’s not nonsense, of course, but you answered my question. You love the authority of the Church above truth.

            I doubt Garry WIlls intended his title to be scandalous. It simply describes what his book is about. Have you not heard of it? It’s well-known. You might be interested in his chapter on “Historical Dishonesties”: “The debilitating effect of intellectual dishonesty can be touching.” Enjoy.

          • Cal-J

            It’s not a dishonesty; the faithful of the Church hold that the the authority of the Church is the truth, hence the false dilemma. It’s a first principles thing; if you deny the authority of the Church, no matter what I can argue about any specific act of any specific priest, bishop, cardinal, or pope is going to change your idea that the institution is false.

          • bobthechef

            You don’t seem to understand the Catholic approach to authority, or what authority the pope actually has. I recommend youtubing “Papal infallibility 2 minutes” for an explanation at your grade level.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    I encourage everyone to tweet this article to the author of the original @JillFilipovic

  • Yoyo

    So the pope has no responsibility to address a great and criminal wrong against the weakest of us? It’s enough that a vague encyclical said that we shouldn’t really hate the gays too much.
    Come on! This is a human right abuse the pope should be screaming about! Particularly since he “used” his Christmas message to preach about the danger of the gays.
    This article is miserable in its hypocrisy.

    • Scaevola

      Tu quoque, Yoyo?
      There are too many human rights abuses in this world for one man to address. Even if he had, I have a feeling that for those of your ilk BXVI will never be able to go far enough.

      The Church has had an unremarkably consistent view of homosexuality; it’s there in the CCC in black and white. Here’s a link. Paragraphs 2357-2359.

      • Patterrssonn

        Except he does address this but from the abuse side.

    • Sophias_Favorite

      Sorry. Reckless endangerment is a crime, and crimes that kill thousands can be punished by death. Sodomy in a country experiencing an AIDS epidemic is reckless endangerment and can kill thousands.

      I still think killing people for it is a bit extreme, but it ain’t my country. Want another Iraq War, Yoyo? Saddam Hussein was a hell of a lot worse than this law.

      • Yoyo

        Sorry Sophia you may get several versions of my response but the first seems to have disappeared. You are wrong intact and appallingly wrong in morality. I worked in HIV/aids prevention in many countries of Africa amongst others. Unfortunately, the evangelicals spread a misconception that sex with a virgin would cure aids which has lead to an incredible increase in both rape and heterosexual transmission.
        Secondly, with safe sex, gay men are more likely to transmitt HIV than anyone else. (whoops your pope hates condoms doesn’t he?)
        Thirdly, the weird recent focus on homosexuality in Africa has lead to men raping uppity women the think may be lesbians in places like south Africa and Nigeria.
        I would think your ope could take little time out from forgiving his butler and address one of the major human rights issue of his biggest growing congregation.

        • Sophias_Favorite

          I assume you mean “no” more likely to spread HIV, but unfortunately, “safe sex” does not exist, that’s why they now call it “safer” sex.

          And my name is Sophia’s Favorite, not Sophia. Get it right.

          • Yoyo

            Sophia’s FAVOURITE, of course safe sex ( or if you prefer safer sex) is not 100% however your comment regarding HIV not being an std without the gays is completely disproved. One of the first indications that this was not just a gay disease was our early epidemiological analysis of HIV transmission in Africa, of all places. What became very clear, was that HIV like most retro viruses attacked communities in different ways depending on a range of factors. In Africa it spread along the trucking routes among the HEYEROSEXUAL community, in Scotland it was spread mostly among injecting drug users of all sexualities, in Thailand it was young female sex workers (augmented by the idea that sex with young women cured aids).
            I have been involved in this area since 1987 so don’t try and preach where your knowledge is so very shallow.
            Secondly, the issue in Uganda is not about HIV/aids, it’s about whether gay human beings have a right to life.

          • Yoyo

            Excuse the typos. I’m sure you can follow my meaning if you care.

          • yan

            Strictly speaking those that have committed homosexual acts have forfeited their right to life, as the law of Moses makes clear. The question is whether in light of the revelation and mercy of Jesus Christ, society ought to enforce that old law, and whether the new revelation permits us now to consider any other factors in deciding how to respond to individuals that commit such acts. I personally think the new law of Jesus Christ makes a difference to those considerations.

            But I think it is a mistake to say that those that have committed mortal sin have a right, strictly understood, to life, anymore.

            They may however have some legal form of a right to mercy as children of God like the rest of us.

            But they don’t have a right that their acts be approved, encouraged or accepted, as so many seem to think.

          • Claude

            Gay people have a right to equality under the law. Amazing to have to point out that the US isn’t a theocracy and that notions of mortal sin are irrelevant under the Constitution.

            Do you really believe that homosexuals have forfeited their right to life? Shocking.

          • Jambe d’Argent

            Religious believers have a right to equality under the law. Amazing to have to point out that religious freedom is protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

          • Claude

            Gay marriage does not violate your right to religious freedom.

          • Claude

            But I shouldn’t have restricted to marriage; equality for homosexuals, rather.

          • yan

            I am talking about rights in their metaphysical sense, not legal sense. It is the former sense, informing our conscience, which makes us decide what form rights will take in a legal sense. We all start out with a right to life, but our moral sense subsequently determines that certain actions that we take causes us to forfeit that right. That’s why there is capital punishment.

            In what cases and under what conditions the law should exercise its prerogative is a difficult question in light of the mercy of God shown to us in the new testament. But that a homosexual act is sin so grievous against God that it merits capital punishment should be our starting point in deciding whether to implement that punishment. The moral culpability is there.

            But other arguments justifying capital punishment are not there. There is no fear of physical harm from a person committing a homosexual act in most cases; there is no disturbance of the peace in most cases. Furthermore we presently save capital punishment for only the most extreme cases of murder. If we don’t carry out the punishment against most murderers it is hard for me to see why we should carry it out in the case of someone committing a homosexual act.

            But that doesn’t mean that the moral culpability meriting it isn’t there.

            It was there in the case of adultery too, and Jesus said, ‘he who has no sin, let him cast the first stone.’ The sentence was not carried out, even though strict justice required it.

            Christ Himself on the cross said forgive them Father for they know not what they do.

            Truly as JPII said forgiveness is the might of God.

            So I believe these teachings must inform the law as it makes decisions about who to punish, and how much.

            But again, the moral culpability is there. I am sorry that is shocking to you; in recent times such an assertion would have been elementary.

            It is quite clear in any case that gay people do not have complete equality under the law. If they did there would be no gay marriage debate.

          • Claude

            But that a homosexual act is sin so grievous against God that it merits capital punishment should be our starting point in deciding whether to implement that punishment.

            This is a repellent apology for cruelty, and in the name of God! Of course gay people do not have complete equality under the law; that is the point! However, that equality will come to pass; it is inevitable, despite the chilling sentiments of religious zealots.

          • yan

            It might be cruel to implement such a punishment but if it is cruel to hold that such acts even merit the punishment, then the Law of Moses is cruel. I have a hard time with that, but perhaps it is cruel in that respect. I will think about that.

            Whether they will have complete equality under the law, at least in respect to marriage, we shall soon see. I tend to doubt they will, in respect to the Constitution. But perhaps they will anyway, through federal or state laws.

          • Claude

            Paul vacillated on the Law of Moses in light of faith in Jesus’s resurrection. I hardly think it binding.

          • yan

            Binding upon what? It still seems to me to be binding upon how we determine what sin is, and how bad it is, in its passages dealing with moral rather than ceremonial norms.

            I reject the term ‘vacillated.’ Paul’s writings clearly rejected the ceremonial aspects of the law. They embraced the moral aspects of it. It is the manner of his embrace and the resulting proper use of that law in forming the positive law that is difficult for me to completely understand.

            When we talk about sexual sin, let us first be clear that we are dealing with an area of the law which is moral, not ceremonial. Thus, we are dealing with an area of the Law which St Paul embraced in some manner. So did Jesus. He in fact interpreted the moral aspects of the law so that it was more, not less, morally demanding, than the words of Moses. We see this most clearly in the Sermon on the Mount, and in His comments about divorce.

            However, while He revealed that the moral law is actually more demanding than the Law of Moses, at the same time, He acted in a way that contradicted the Law of Moses by refraining from punishing those that violate it, as that Law instructs, in those very things which He taught were of even greater moral seriousness than the Law taught.

            There is of course the incident in John 8. St Joseph acted similarly, even before Jesus was born, when instead of publicly exposing Mary for what appeared to be adultery, he was called a just man for deciding to put her away quietly.

            So Jesus presents us with a contradiction. On one hand, the Divine Law is even more demanding than Moses’ Law. On the other, it is better seemingly not to punish transgressions of the Law [either of God or Moses].

            But the questions we are dealing with, as I see it, pertain to whether the Mosaic Law was cruel, and whether the punishments prescribed there are a basis for determining whether someone that commits a sin deserving of that punishment is also worthy of it in God’s eyes, or if there is some other meaning that may be inferred from the fact of those punishments.

            I’ll keep thinking about that.

          • Paul

            The Catholic bishops of Uganda would seem to disagree with you. They say that “The recently tabled Anti-Homosexuality Bill does not pass a test of a Christian caring approach to this issue. The targeting of the sinner, not the sin, is the core flaw of the proposed Bill. The introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts targets people rather than seeking to counsel and to reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support, and hope. Furthermore, the proposal to prosecute those who fail to disclose information regarding homosexual acts puts a risk of the breach of confidentiality and professional ethics of persons such as Parents, Priests, Counselors, Teachers, Doctors and Leaders, at a time when they offer support and advise for rehabilitation of homosexuals. The proposed Bill does not contain clauses encouraging homosexuals to be rehabilitated. As a Catholic
            Church, we have a mission to reach out to all of the people of God as Christ showed no one is beyond God’s mercy and love.”

          • yan

            I agree with the Bishop. Sorry if I did not express myself with sufficient clarity.

          • Sophias_Favorite


            Uganda isn’t under the US Constitution.

            Did you maybe not notice what we’re talking about here?

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Really? So your personal experiences make you an expert in epidemiology? Huh. Well, I guess we’ve been totally wrong these last few centuries, with our “scientific method” and our “research”. I guess the personal experience of a few people can trump all of that.

            And no, it’s not about whether people who don’t know their reproductive organs from their digestive ones have a right to life. It’s about whether recourse to the death penalty may be permissable to prevent them from recklessly killing thousands of their countrymen just to achieve an orgasm. And if you had bothered to read what I said, you might’ve noticed I actually said probably not—merely that those who thought so were not completely insane.

          • Patterrssonn

            Could you link to your proof Sophy, cause otherwise it just sounds like the usual ranty catholic extremist homophobic bullshit.

          • Jambe d’Argent

            If many homosexuals are such ignorant, abrasive and offensive screaming queens like you, being “homophobic” is clearly justified.

          • Patterrssonn

            Using slurs to justify bigotry, how refreshing.

          • Cal-J

            I agree Jambe’s comment was poor.

            But let’s not forget that you happen to be Mr. “Sometimes Ad Hominem is the only way to go”.

          • Cal-J

            Jambe, that didn’t help.

            Ignore or criticise the term. Don’t accept it.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Michael Fumento, The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS.

            I eagerly anticipate your denouncing his work as “bourgeois pseudoscience“—you know, like genetics—but it’s not been refuted yet, and certainly not for want of trying.

            And seriously, you need to learn the difference between a rant and a condescending sneer.

          • Claude

            Oh but I think of you as the Abominable Sophia. Is that OK?

          • Cal-J

            Sure, but Sophia is the goddess of wisdom. In calling wisdom “abominable”, you basically just called yourself an idiot.

    • Arkanabar

      Strictly speaking, no, il Papa doesn’t have the responsibility of correcting a politician who does not live in his diocese. In the case of Rebecca Kadaga, the duty for correction belongs with first of all her pastor, and secondly with Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala, her bishop (who *has* sternly corrected her). The doctrine of subsidiarity means that only when both of those fail does anyone further up the hierarchy have the responsibility to step in.

      • Yoyo

        As for are bar, if your pope sees fit to comment on everyone else’s bedroom habits, IVF and gay marriage yes, pure consistency says he needs to address this or he is a fool in crimson shoes.

        • Sophias_Favorite

          You have to be able to follow someone’s ideas before you can judge whether they’re consistent or not, shortbus.

        • Paul

          But he does address this, at exactly the same level of abstraction as he addresses the others. It’s not unusual that your knowledge of papal declarations is limited to those that the secular media love to trumpet and distort, but it really isn’t hard to find the others on the internet, if you have a mind to look.

  • Yoyo

    Wow, reading the comments here, and hoping and praying that most were poes, there is a disgusting glee in wishing misery on those you see as sinners. I need a bath. People like loud and Joseph and Mary Anne could never fit into Jesus’s crew. Their hatred is like slime on their skin and obvious to most.
    Jesus never said you have to kill the village to save the village you horrible haters.

    • Brad

      The lady doth protest too much.

    • Sophias_Favorite

      I haven’t seen them wish misery on anyone, but you’re obviously hallucinating, so arguing with you would do no good.

  • N.D.

    The line has been drawn in The Sand between those who claim we have been ordered to live in relationship as objects of sexual desire, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transexual, polysexual…and those who recognize that we are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters…

    • Patterrssonn

      So you’re in favour of gay marriage then

      • Frank

        Only those that reject the Word of God and His created order would be in favor of gay unions.

        • Patterrssonn

          How long do you think before the CC starts doing gay marriage 20? 30 yrs?! Another 50 and they’ll be claiming it was their idea.

          • Dan Li

            … Never? We’ve held off for quite a while on abortion. We’ll hold out for a long while (preferrably sempiternally) on the ‘gay marriage’ issue. If you want ‘catholic’ churches that perform such ceremonies, look at the heretical ones; its highly unlikely we’ll be joining them any time soon.

          • Jambe d’Argent

            If the Catholic Church ever approves of the sodomitic pseudogamy, I will leave her without a second thought because she will be then in a state of apostasy.

          • pagansister

            Guess you’d better pack.

          • Jambe d’Argent

            And why a pagan is interested in the Catholic Church?

          • Patterrssonn

            So probably 50 yrs then

          • Dan Li

            Your statement is correct if and only if you are working in bases 2 through 5. In that case your answer would be a nonsense and irrational (which it is anyways). The church is not interested in bowing to heresies of public opinion.

  • schmenz

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: when it comes to the unspeakable vice of sodomy, people begin to lose their marbles. The author of this article appears to be one of the marble-less.

    • Yoyo

      So you campaign to make sure all those catholic heterosexuals who have always used it as a form of family spacing to be xcommunicated I’m sure (not). Hypocrite.

      • Sophias_Favorite

        They excommunicated themselves, when they blasphemed the sacrament of matrimony by engaging in masturbation.


        • Yoyo

          Masturbation? That makes no sense. We were talking about anal sex within a married relationship which by my understanding is not grounds for excommunication. However if you think all young boys who masturbate should burn in everlasting fire I think you have revealed yourself as a fanatic

          • yan

            You probably don’t care but the Catholic Church holds masturbation to be a grave sin and an act contrary to the natural law. That it is contrary to the natural law should be obvious to everyone.

            Sophia’s F was using the word masturbation by analogy in that sexual stimulation within marriage that is not ordered to the form of a procreative act is similarly [and with similar obviousness] also contrary to the natural law and thus tantamount to masturbation in that respect.

          • Yoyo

            I’m sorry Yan, that you hold and are comfortable expressing such cruel beliefs. What gives me comfort ,is when I read your and Sophia’s comments to my daughters they think it is a joke, that I’m pretending that people can think its a good idea to kill gays for the sake of others souls, that masterbation makes baby Jesus cry, that the pope still had the moral status he had in the 1960s before we discovered the dirt.
            Unfortunately when I tell them that the catholic church had a major role in protecting knowledge and art during the late middle ages and we would all be bereft with it, they find it hard to believe.

          • yan

            Yes, I agree that it is sad that your children have a skewed view of the Catholic church, and that they hold to your moral views instead of the views of the Church. You seem to be responsible for that.

            Sometimes what is holy and true is hard. Sometimes nature is hard and cruel. We all have our crosses. God calls us to carry them. If you fling away one cross, you will likely be given another and greater one–St Francis de Sales. And if you fling them all away, what is your life but an attempt to maximize your pleasures, and what can the end of such a life be but damnation?

            You want to praise the church for protecting some art. The Church loves all that is good, true and beautiful and tries to foster it and protect it. Of far greater value than all the baubles created by the genius of man is a single human soul, and of infinitely more preciousness. A soul that fails to fulfill its destiny by finding God has met with the only true and lasting tragedy that can befall a man.

            It will surely fail if it rejects the truth. However hard it may at times be, truth is also full of consolation and beauty. I encourage you to rethink your ideas about what is moral and what is not under the guidance of your catechism.

          • yan

            I don’t think ‘my’ [I am only attempting to parrot the Church, not inventing my own ideas] moral characterization of sexual acts is cruel. If it were cruel then every celibate would be experiencing cruelty by virtue of his vow. Furthermore it would be morally illicit to require him or her to take such a vow. And it would be masochism for him or her to voluntarily take it.

            Perhaps you subscribe to such views. I however believe that difficulty and cruelty ought to be distinguished where the moral law clearly teaches us what we must and ought to do.

          • pagansister

            Yoyo, having read your previous posts, I admire the work you have done in the past. It has never ceased to amaze me how the RCC has hindered the efforts to stop the spread of AIDS by condemning condoms and education, and yet they claim to be educators too!

          • Rick Connor

            Masturbation to male climax (even between married couples) and anal sex to climax (even between married couples) is considered intrinsically disordered. Neither leads to automatic excommunication–and neither does same sex activity. All three are gravely and objectively disordered.

          • Patterrssonn

            What does “intrinsically disordered” mean?

          • yan

            In reference to sexual acts it means per se not directed to the bonds of marriage and the goal of procreation that are part of God’s design for sexual acts.

            Even so, anyone who for some reason for which he is not responsible has an inclination to commit such a disordered act has not sinned solely by virtue of possessing the inclination. He sins when, like anyone else, by thought, word, or deed, he acts upon the inclination to sin.

          • Patterrssonn

            Just a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo then.

          • yan

            You mean you don’t agree that marriage involves a bond only possible between a man and woman nor that procreation is part of God’s design for sexual acts?

          • Patterrssonn

            Nope, marriage like god is a human construct and exists to satisfy human needs. Their is absolutely nothing “natural” about it.

          • yan

            Man and woman are not a human construct, in my opinion. It is on the basis of their being designed by nature that we are able to assert that they have a complementary design for matters involving sex and also for other aspects of their relationship. However I grant that the hypothesis [which I believe to be a fact] of God explains more easily than the fact of natural existence alone that deviations from the natural design are sinful, though even without the hypothesis of God, one can see clearly enough the unnaturalness of alternative arrangements which could plausibly be called sin.

            Even if marriage were arguably purely a human construct [a premise I reject] that would not alter the obvious fact that procreative sex can only take place between a man and a woman as a result of the design and intention of nature which made them to be complementary in large part for that very purpose. It is both sensible and logical that public policy keep such facts in view.

          • Patterrssonn

            “Man and woman are not a human construct, in my opinion.”

            I don’t think man and woman are human constructs in anyone’s opinion. Doesn’t alter the fact that men and men, and women and women have complementary “design” for having sex. It might come as a surprise to you but men and men, and women and women are having sex all the time.
            And that’s not just humans, same gendered sex happens a lot among other animals too, can’t get much more natural than an activity found abundantly in nature across a myriad of species.

          • yan

            We at least agree that man and woman are not a human construct. Others have seen fit to disagree with that proposition, proposing instead that society has constructed those meanings, and that it is up to individuals now to decide for themselves what they are.

            My point is that the complementary design of man and woman, which you accept as being a natural reality, is instructive as to which sexual relations are natural and which not. To me, taking a survey of naturalistic behavior is as indicative of the intention of nature for sexual beings as taking a summary of radar gun readings on the freeway is indicative of what the actual road speed limit is. The issue, to my mind, is: what does the design teach us about what nature intends for the sexual act? If a few male wolves exuberantly force themselves on their same sex, that does not reveal to us the intention of nature for the act of sex.

            Most fundamentally [but in the higher animals and humans not solely] sex exists in nature for the purpose of continuing the species. Obviously, no same sex act is suitable for this most fundamental purpose of the sex act. Humans are not dogs and should take notice of their design in order to rightly form their consciences in respect to what nature intends in regard to sex.

            Because sex is also an act of self-giving in the human context it is not enough to look at the procreative aspect of sex in determining what nature’s design intends for sex. We are self-conscious beings and our sex act has the potential of bringing into bringing another such being. That being has been ordained by nature to come into existence in a family consisting of himself, and his own mother and father.

            The homosexual relationship, by nature, can never bring about such a state of affairs. It is clearly not in accord with the intention of nature.

            To say that homosexual sex exists at times in nature may be an argument for tolerating homosexual sex in humans, or for expecting it in humans. But it is not an argument that proves that such acts are part of the design of nature or instructive to us about what human beings, not animals, should or should not do in respect to sex.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            That’s quaint. So existence itself—which is what the Christian God is, the fact that anything exists—is a human construct for human needs, but a concept that basically didn’t exist until Michel Foucault, sexual identity, is an absolute. LOL.

            Also? The pair-bond of a pack’s alphas, which is what monogamous marriage is (polygamous ones are a silverback and his harem), is not a human construct. Learn some biology, organisms do not construct their reproductive structures, their reproductive structures construct them.

            Or did we maybe not get the point of the Sokal hoax?

          • yan

            It is not obvious to you that man and woman are designed by nature and nature’s God to be complementary sexual beings, and that this design shows that alternative arrangements are contrary to the design of nature and God?

          • Rick Connor

            It means that a BEHAVIOR OR ACTIVITY (not the person) thwarts a natural process. It does not mean that the person is disordered. Binging and purging or self-starvation, for example, thwart eating–the “ordered purpose” of which is to obtain nutrition, enjoyment, and social bonding.

            A man ejaculating into an anus (or his hand) thwarts the reproductive process. Frequently disordered activities lead to mental health or physical disorders. For example, when habitually performed, anal sex increases the rate of anal cancer by 4000% (yes, four thousand). I assume that “the receiver” may develop health problems if the colon is scratched and the “the giver” may experience problems when feces makes contact with the penis. The “well ordered” purpose of the anus is for the discharge of waste not the accommodation of a penis. Another example, men who frequently masturbate to porn may have problems with pre-mature ejaculation or may lose their erections more easily.

          • Patterrssonn

            “It means that a BEHAVIOR OR ACTIVITY (not the person) thwarts a natural process.”

            Kind of like antibiotics or anti-hypertensives?

          • Rick Connor

            No, it means that the activity not the person is disordered. The Church does not say that that gay people are disordered–the activity is. But you just want to argue and poke fun don’t you? You’re not really interested in finding out what it means. I was pretty sure you weren’t asking questions in good faith, but thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe someday you’ll try to discuss in good faith.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            No, because hypertension and bacterial infection themselves thwart natural processes.

            “Natural” in this context means “consonant to the identity and nature of the entity in question”. Either you did not know that “natural” has multiple senses, or you deliberately pretended otherwise.

            Which is it? Are you an ignoramus, or a liar?

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Psst. Anal intercourse is not actually sex, it’s masturbation involving the end of the digestive tract. If both organs involved are not sex-organs, sex has not actually taken place; “anal sex” is just a legal fiction we invented so we could charge men with rape for nonconsensual sodomy.

            And by not knowing that, and putting the words of a bigoted caricature in my mouth, I think you’ve revealed yourself as a hate-filled ignorant twit.

      • Rick Connor

        When Catholics use anal sex or mutual masturbation to orgasm, is it just as sinful as when gay couples practice the same behaviors. If Catholics use anal sex to prevent pregnancy then they are not following Church teaching. The Church has problems with the behavior–not the people engaging in the behaviors.

    • Patterrssonn

      “when it comes to the unspeakable vice of sodomy, people begin to lose their marbles.” The sex-phobic certainly seem to. But that’s not unusual as sex-phobia often turns into sexual obsessiveness, hence all the Catholic pedophilia scandals.

  • Brad

    The faithful are obliged — obliged — to believe and conform to dogma. Dogma is not “mere” doctrine.

    “And now, O Israel, hear the commandments and judgments which I teach
    thee: that doing them, thou mayst live, and entering in mayst possess
    the land which the Lord the God of your fathers will give you.”

    The Catholic Church is the new Israel thanks to Emmanuel and His sweet new covenant. Each soul is, also, Israel: “He who struggles with God”.

    Thank you, Lord, for giving us each and every dogma.

  • Sophias_Favorite

    Her remarks about the Catholic view of women are laughable; apparently she doesn’t know that, were it not for the Church, Europe would be worse than Pakistan on women’s rights. Does she maybe not know what Ancient Rome was like, RE: women’s social status?

    Any element in European culture that says women should be subservient is, provably, something that got reborn in their precious “Renaissance”; medieval women, e.g. in the 12th century in France, owned property, practiced trades, filed lawsuits, and could vote in any assembly men could. They could also file for civil divorce on grounds of physical abuse (if you repeat the “rule of thumb” canard, you are admitting you speak no Romance languages, all of which call an inch a “thumb”), including the taking of “conjugal rights” by force. When exactly did your laws get around to addressing spousal rape?

    As for Uganda, frankly, executing people for homosexual acts, in a country experiencing an AIDS epidemic, is simply having a capital form of reckless endangerment. I personally think it’s a bit extreme, but in context (Post-Modernists like to say everything is context, except when context is relevant), it’s no different from killing people for stealing livestock (which could reduce the victims to destitution and starvation).

    • Patterrssonn

      Could you try to be a little more grotesque?

      • Cal-J

        He could. Inviting it upon yourself is no way to start the new year.

        • Patterrssonn

          Don’t worry I’ve argued with MRA’s and white supremacists. I know how low people can sink in defence of the indefensible.

          • Cal-J

            I would believe that, except asking a person if he were capable of being more grotesque is not, technically speaking, argument. No, it’s really a kind of conversational out. Insulting an opponent and then calling that an argument is what we call an ad hominem.

          • Patterrssonn

            Well when you’re dealing with a foaming at the mouth bigot calling for the criminalization of homosexuality (apparently you can say what you want about gays around here and as long as you don’t use the word hate it’s not erm hateful) ad hominems are sometimes the only way to go.

          • Cal-J

            Except he hasn’t done any of that.

            Sophia’s Favorite was describing the government’s approach to homosexual acts in a country experiencing an AIDS epidemic.

            How much he actually approves of the act is debatable, but he certainly isn’t calling for anything.

            Secondly, ad hominems are fallacies. You just told us that “sometimes the only way to go” is to abandon logic. People are already having trouble taking you seriously, big guy.

      • Sophias_Favorite

        Explain. What about that is grotesque? Not a single thing I said is anything other than factually correct.

        Could you try to be a little less grievously uncommunicative.

        • Jambe d’Argent

          Or more intelligent?

    • yan

      I admire your historical knowledge of the law and find the facts you have adduced here to be illuminating. I don’t think however that executing people for homosexual acts in Africa is fully comparable to executing people for stealing livestock, say, in the old West, since a homosexual act [at least a private one] is not per se an offense against the public order, a threat to property, or an act that is done with the intention [in most cases] of spreading a dangerous and deadly disease which could cause harm and death to the body. Stealing livestock, on the other hand, by virtue of the act creates all of these public dangers, thus justifying capital punishment where the perpetrator cannot be imprisoned.

      But perhaps that is why you wrote that you think it is a bit extreme.

      The utilitarian rationale in combination with the teaching of the CCC seems persuasive to me in this case to say that the law is a bad idea.

      Does that have anything to do with the Pope meeting with a lawmaker or blessing such an individual? I would say, very little.

      • Sophias_Favorite

        Cattle theft was not done with the intent of reducing the victim to starvation, either. It was done with the intent of having the cattle added to the perpetrator’s own wealth.

        Most wrongdoing is not done from deliberate malice, but from selfish neglect of consequences. “Man cannot desire evil, he desires a good wrongly.”

        • yan

          I think cattle theft, by the very act, is foreseeable to cause a breach of the public peace in a way that a homosexual act, in most circumstances, is not. Theft causes people to confront and pursue thieves. When pursuit is accomplished there is often a fracas. Fights cause injury and death. Foreseeable consequences, not intent, is the issue.

    • Sven2547

      The Catholic Church was one of the strongest forces opposed to women’s suffrage in Europe. Indeed, there are only three countries left on Earth that do not let women vote as equals to men: Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Vatican City.

      “She is the queen of the domestic kingdom, and her proper sphere is in the home. If she were to embark on the ocean of political life, it is very much to be feared that her dignity would be impaired, if not jeopardized.” –Cardinal Gibbons, to the New York Times

      • Sophias_Favorite

        That attitude can be traced to the Renaissance, when the Church re-adopted the pagan Roman view of women. When Catholics were using their own values, as in the Middle Ages, women were men’s equals. You cannot change that fact, however much you might like to. As for Vatican City…it’s an electoral monarchy whose princes-elector are all a certain kind of monk (namely, Catholic bishops), it’s not remotely comparable to any contemporary secular state. Nice strawman.

        Blaming Catholicism for things Catholics do under the influence of principles alien to their own beliefs is like blaming Buddhism for the actions some Japanese Buddhists took under the influence of Neo-Confucian Imperialism.

        • Sven2547

          Such astounding spin! You do not deny the fact that the Roman Catholic Church fought against women’s sufferage, but instead claim that they were under the influence of pagan principles (as if they were incapable of making their own decisions).

          And no, it’s not a straw-man. I don’t think you understand what that term even means. The only people who can vote in the Vatican who can vote are Cardinals, and only men can become Cardinals. Women cannot vote the way men can. QED.

          • Cal-J

            “You do not deny the fact that the Roman Catholic Church fought against
            women’s sufferage…”

            Actually, he really just did. Members of the Catholic
            Church, some in high standing, opposed woman’s suffrage on
            philosophical grounds. Others did not. To claim the Church as a whole took a stand against woman’s suffrage (either in teaching — which it does not — or in official policy — which you have not demonstrated adequately) is easily arguable as a gross overstatement. Hell, you’ve only quoted one cardinal; to establish a pattern in an argument, you need three distinct examples.

            “but instead claim that they were under the influence
            of pagan principles (as if they were incapable of making their own

            Many people act in accordance with the spirit and ideas of their times. After all, to dispute his point, you’d have to claim that people during the Rernaissance and people during the Reformation weren’t influenced by different principles. Your “as if” is as much a dodge of the charge as you claim his point to be.

            “And no, it’s not a straw-man. I don’t think you understand what that term even means.”

            A “straw man” is a deliberate misrepresentation of an opponent’s argument or position that is easier to defeat. For example:

            “The Catholic Church was one of the strongest forces opposed to women’s suffrage in Europe.”

            Again, since you did not answer this question the last time I asked, according to whom? You simply make the assertion and quote one (1) Cardinal from a hundred years ago, which isn’t exactly a compelling argument for a statement on Church teaching (especially considering that the very same Cardinal denies the Catohlic church was opposed to it — but you’re quoting the NYT ripoff of the original Milwaukee Journal article, so you probably didn’t catch it).

            And again: “The only people who can vote in the Vatican who can vote are Cardinals,
            and only men can become Cardinals. Women cannot vote the way men can.

            Now, you came closer to having established pattern here (congrats on the three examples), but you equivocate, which is another argumental no-no.

            As Sophia’s Favorite pointed out, you compared a electoral monarchy whose electorate consists of monks with a contemporary democratic republic, which is a gross equivocation (not that it wasn’t enough of an equivocation when you compared Lebanon’s parliamentary democratic republic with Saudi Arabia’s absolute monarchy, where nobody votes at all), and thus a misrepresentation, and thus a Straw Man.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            “Astounding spin”?

            You are pretending that a priestly hierarchy should function like a liberal democracy. You want the entire cosmos and every aspect of human life to conform to your fetishized political ideology.

            Don’t talk to me about spin, brownshirt.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Oh, and also, again, I am not denying that those individual Catholics who say such things are in error (leaving to one side your quaint belief that women should be involved in picking the next pope—newsflash, precious, they aren’t involved in picking the next Dalai Lama, either, unless we’re counting the Chinese version of Avalokitesvara).

            I object however, to your laughable assertion that Catholicism is to blame. Sorry, we have very specific definitions for what is and isn’t an official Church teaching, and nobody has ever claimed that women’s suffrage in a democracy violates those.

            Again, you are essentially saying that Buddhism is responsible for the Rape of Nanking, since it was carried out by a people who were 90% Buddhist at the time. Only, no, they committed that atrocity at the behest of a Neo-Confucian ideology, State Shinto.

          • bobthechef

            Speak for yourself. I’m with Chesterton on this one. He thought the whole spectacle of suffragettes was silly looking. But while I believe certain things are more consonant with the feminine than other things, I do not think legislation in a number of areas is necessarily the appropriate way of going about it. Women should be brought up to be women and men to be men, and then they’ll decide for themselves, and society will regulate. Even today you see few women in politics. Why? Not because there’s anything barring them from it. No, women simply aren’t interested in politicking. Women have more rights today than men do.

      • Cal-J

        “The Catholic Church was one of the strongest forces opposed to women’s
        suffrage in Europe.”

        According to whom?

        “Indeed, there are only three countries left on
        Earth that do not let women vote as equals to men: Lebanon, Saudi
        Arabia, and Vatican City.”

        The only country that statement properly counts for is Lebanon, and I don’t know enough of their politics to bother disputing it. However, Saudi Arabia and Vatican City are both absolute monarchies. Voting has really very little.part to play in both, except for the functions entrusted by the monarchs to bodies that may choose to vote.

        “She is the queen of the domestic kingdom, and her proper sphere is in
        the home. If she were to embark on the ocean of political life, it is
        very much to be feared that her dignity would be impaired, if not
        jeopardized.” –Cardinal Gibbons, to the New York Times

        Classy of you to include a source with that. Found one anyway. here’s one. (Note: That’s the New York Times “Special”, which is largely a shortened version of the story that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal that goes into slightly more detail — and appeared the day before). (And now you have a reason to say that the NYT is traditional, at least as regards its journalistic integrity).

        According to the Milwaukke Journal report, Cardinal Gibbons expressly denied that his personal opinions on the matter (which you quoted without source, thank you) reflected the actual teachings of the Church, and was in fact speaking to correct a misstatement from a suffragette (Inex Milholland). He also made the point that he was not taking issue with the suffragettes, but held that a woman’s dignity did not exist in the world of politics. (Hell, nobody’s dignity exists in the world of politics).

        • Sven2547

          “He was not taking issue with the suffragates”, you say? He was explicitly talking about women’s suffrage. “The country already has quite enough votes”. And what the heck do you mean I “quoted without source”? I plainly told you it was the New York Times.

          • Cal-J

            Alright, allow me to clarify. He opposed their views, but wasn’t picking a fight with the suffragettes. (Read the original Milwaukee Journal article for the context).

            And the article — the hacked article — happens to be one hundred years old, my friend. That’s a bit more intensive a search than just name dropping the publication. Hell, a title for the article would’ve been a vast improvement.

          • bobthechef

            Let’s burst this sacred cow. I declare that suffragettes were WRONG. That’s right: wrong. And since it has been proved that beauty is objective, I shall argue on that basis that it is aesthetically offensive to see a woman politicking. It’s like watching a woman mutilating her body. Nasty stuff. Besides, women don’t want to be in politics. They don’t want jobs where testosterone runs high (neither do I; have you seen the mustaches on some of those “women”?).

            Your sacred taboo cow is now dead. Let us no longer presuppose that attacks aimed at suffragettes, the spoiled lady children of wealthy industrialists, disqualify the validity of the relevant arguments.

  • Patterrssonn

    So a man who thinks gay marriage is a threat to world peace gives his blessing to a genocidal lunatic who’s trying to engineer the murder of all Ugandan gays and lesbians and this Is supposed to be okay because of a history of papal/celebrity photo-op blessings.

    • Phil

      I take it you didn’t actually read the article, then?

      • Patterrssonn

        Are you referring to the above tortuous rationalization or the original guardian article?

        • Sophias_Favorite

          Anyone who knows anything knows gay marriage is a threat to world peace—all unrealities in the law are a threat to peace. As Confucius says, “To call things by their right names is the sole path of right order”, and “right order” is the sole rational definition of peace.

          Calling two gays “married” is as laughable as calling Nero’s horse a senator or calling black people property. We’re sorry you don’t like that the world doesn’t work how you want it to; maybe if you kill yourself now you’ll reincarnate in a cosmos that does.

          • Patterrssonn

            Do you actually froth at the mouth when you come up with this crap?

          • Jambe d’Argent

            I think you should address this question to yourself…

          • Patterrssonn

            Really Jambe? Why is that?

          • Cal-J

            Because most of your counter-arguments tend to be variations on “You suck.”

          • Sophias_Favorite

            No, actually I sneer very slightly, as I speak it aloud under my breath in a very elaborately condescending tone of voice.

          • pagansister

            OMG, you’re at it again.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    You know what fascinates me about things like this? The very same people who tell the pope to shut up and to stop messing in the affairs of the state are the very same people who are now condemning him for… not speaking up about the affairs of the state.

    • Cal-J

      Of course. This is the 21st century!

    • bobthechef

      What we need is a bit of a Berlusconi pope. You know, the kind of guy that, when accused before the camera, makes a joke of it.

      Reporter: “You didn’t speak up, Pope! Nasty guy!”
      Pope: “Didn’t you tell me to keep my nose out of the state?”
      Reporter: “Yes, but…”
      Pope: “Ahhh, so I did. And now you want me back? Fine, I forgive you.” *smile, wink, blessing*

  • Catholic Mutt

    I have noticed something recently. I was recently reading a couple of places in the Epistles where St. Paul was telling us to accept and obey lawful authority. Supporters of President Obama were awfully quick to bring up those verses to non-supporters after the election. I haven’t fully researched it, but I don’t seem to see those same people applying those verses to what the Pope is teaching. Maybe he’s not a lawful authority if he’s hanging out with such riffraff?

  • Bear Fact

    A perfectly abhorrent rejoinder engendered by deliciously malappropriate and specious malevolence – supported lavishly by vehement, hateful, snide and dismissive comments! Delightful! Remember, class: “Any way you look at it, You Lose!”
    I look forward to seeing you all IN PERSON! (And won’t that be fun! – We’ll explore the issue *in depth*!)
    Your affectionate

    • Dan Li

      … So, what in this post makes it “abhorrent” and what gives you the impression that it’s “malappropriate and specious malevolence” that drove its creation? As far as can be seen, this post simply corrected misunderstandings about the “blessing” of Kadaga, and misunderstandings regarding the Church’s views on the Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. The post itself has sarcasm and vague irritation (and maybe a hint of trolling), not malevolence.
      Perhaps some of the comments here have not been charitable, but Marc’s contention still stands, and the Guardian article is still misleading.

      • Bear Fact

        Truly a Lose-Lose situation. I wonder if the trench warfare of WWI was as tedious and pointless as the gay marriage debate, or as pyrrhic.

        • Sophias_Favorite

          Given somebody won WWI, I’m guessing not. It’s not their fault Woodrow Wilson and the British deliberately neutered the effect of their victory.

          Seriously, you actually still believe World War I was a pointless war? Teehee. Do you also think black holes are only a theory? That’d be another thing that’s changed since 1990.

          • Bear Fact

            War is always a dismal business. You have to evaluate it in point of necessity. WWI was particularly distressing, possibly responsible for the final demise of all western civilization. What could justify such bloodletting? It amounts to a suicide pact between brothers. At the end, everybody is dead on the floor.
            Similarly, the gay marriage debate reminds me of rats contesting for a morsel of dirt on the subway tracks below. Except that rats seem to have an innate sense of who’s boss rat. In SSM, every rat is king rat.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            “Suicide pact between brothers”? Whose brother, pray, were the Prussians—and if anyone else in Europe were their brothers, doesn’t that make them kinslayers?

            And what are you talking about, “everyone is dead on the floor”? Everyone was still alive after World War I. If the English and Americans had not deliberately sabotaged the peace, there would’ve been no Nazism, and the Soviets likely wouldn’t have lasted as long as they did. They certainly wouldn’t have gained control of half of Europe.

            For the rest…I’m sure you were very impressed by your rhetoric here, but rats do not have a dominance hierarchy comparable to those of canids or primates—and do not contest for dirt, but for food.

            A little less rhetoric and a little more lucidity would be salutary.

          • Bear Fact

            It’s hard to say who walked away from WW (i -> n) a winner or even alive. I’d say that given all contemporary appearances, the Germans won.
            As far as rats are concerned, I have a feeling we’re all going to be learning a lot more about rat sociology, and soon.

      • Bear Fact

        As Catholics fall over themselves to justify traditional marriage, they find themselves trying to describe adjectivally the blue of the sky, or the taste of salt. All sentient beings must know. Gay rights activists don’t even want to be married. That’s completely absurd, like a duck walking. All they want is acceptance, which they think they will achieve by absconding with those two pillars of social acceptance, marriage and child rearing. But they’d much rather fly than waddle. By hammering gays on this issue, straight Christianity is just backing them into a corner, hardening their resolve. What they should do instead is give them a cookie and expain that marriage is for fools, not cools. And there you have it!

        • Sophias_Favorite

          If we were liars and cowards, then sure. Unfortunately nobody worth calling an adult would abandon an issue like that.

          • Bear Fact

            A win-win situation is where illusory differences are resolved to reach a point where all participants obtain the objectives they truly desire. To often participants in a negotiation engage in posturing and recrimination, which result in erecting insuperable obstacles to reaching mutual satisfaction. I submit that we are already liars and cowards, in that we have willed in our hearts the subjection and in fact the annihilation of our opponents, rather than their authentic validation. We have gone from a potential win-win scenario, past win-lose, straight to lose-lose as the only remaining option. Mutual assured subjection.

          • Sophias_Favorite

            Their idiocy has no right to validation. We’re sorry that, in terms of human sexuality, the reproductive system is not equal to the digestive tract, but that’s the way the world works.

            And how is lose-lose the only remaining option?

          • Bear Fact

            Somehow a discussion of what people do has devolved into an attack on who they are. People who engage in the behaviors you describe have as much God-given right to err as others who hide behind blusterous tradition, and err in secret. Your “debate” has demonized people as much 20th century eugenics did, has debased you, and transformed your trump card into a loser.

  • Jambe d’Argent

    Kadaga has been already rebuked by her archbishop as mentioned in the article. That was sufficient – after all, the pope does not have the duty to do everything by himself. Also, a blessing (be it priestly, episcopal or even papal) is a neutral tool – it works for the people who are in a state of grace, it does not work for these who aren’t. Its giving is always based on a charitable assumption that it would work. If Kadaga is, in the eyes of God, unworthy of it, then it won’t. The same applies to Fidel Castro, the Obamas and the rest of the hypocrites and atheists who have ever received it. What’s all that fuss about?

  • Sven2547

    Fascinating Wikipedia link. The Roman Catholic Church will allow the abortion of ectopic pregnancies, but only if the method is a Salpingectomy, which causes completely unnecessary harm to the woman. Indeed, it is considered better to harm the woman than to NOT harm the woman. This may be one of the most obvious examples of irrationality and barbarism within contemporary Catholic doctrine (the same irrational barbarism that is driving people away from Catholicism in droves throughout the developed world). Thank you, Marc, for this very useful tidbit of information.

    • Cal-J

      Thank you, Sven, for weighing in.

      Wikipedia for the uninformed: ‘”Salpingectomy” refers to the surgical removal of a Fallopian tube.
      It is often related to tubal pregnancies and is a procedure that is
      preferred over its ovarian tube-sparing counterparts due to the high
      rate of recurrence in said ectopic pregnancies.’

      “The Roman Catholic Church will allow the abortion of ectopic
      pregnancies, but only if the method is a Salpingectomy, which causes
      completely unnecessary harm to the woman.”

      Define “completely unnecessary”, please. Since, from what I can tell, the woman just had a tubal pregnancy, which is extreme danger to both mother and child.

      Do you mean “excessive?” Well, let’s consider the options. To “treat” it medically with with methotrexate, or to use salpingostomy or salpingectomy, both surgical procedures.

      Methotrexate is a Pregnancy Category X drug (if it doesn’t kill the baby, expect severe defects) used as an abortifacient and used in part to deal with ectopic pregnancies; I hesitate to say it “treats” ectopic pregnancies because the drug is specifically designed to harm things. Here’s the list of ways it can backfire on you.

      Surgically, we have two options. Salpingectomy, which everybody just read about, and salpingostomy; the first removes the entire Fallopian tube containing the pregnancy, and the latter simply cuts open an incision to remove the pregnancy itself. On the surface, it would seem — seem — that the latter is superior, but I again redirect you to the opening description: ‘[Salpingectomy] is often related to tubal pregnancies and is a procedure that is
      preferred over its ovarian tube-sparing counterparts due to the high
      rate of recurrence in said ectopic pregnancies.”

      So the procedure that does “completely unnecessary harm” to a woman is better than the alternative because it more adequately deals with the problem.

      “Indeed, it is considered better to harm the woman than to NOT harm the woman.”

      The only purpose that statement has at this point is to declare your distaste for the profession of a surgeon in general. Surgeons are constantly making decisions to “harm” to better serve the patient. Hell, in its own twisted way, this is the logic of abortion (“Indeed, it is considered better to destroy the baby than to NOT destroy the baby.”)

      So, in view of that, I’m going to file that last comment under “pointless, self-contradicting, and stupid”.

      • Cal-J

        Now then, the Catholic Church does allow for Salpingectomies and I’ll explain why that is. The wikipedia link describes it as follows:

        “Using the Thomistic Principle of Totality (removal of a pathological
        part to preserve the life of the person) and the Doctrine of Double
        Effect, the only moral action in an ectopic pregnancy where a woman’s
        life is directly threatened is the removal of the tube containing the
        human embryo (salpingectomy). The death of the human embryo is unintended although foreseen.”

        “Unintended but foreseen” are the operative words. You are not allowed to will and seek to do harm (which is what abortion is), but the removal of the tube and allowing the child to die as a result does not fall under that distinction.It’s a sad thing, and grievously so, but it isn’t an abortion.

        This is a very important point to make, which is why care is needed in these cases.

        “This may be one of the most obvious examples of irrationality and
        barbarism within contemporary Catholic doctrine (the same irrational
        barbarism that is driving people away from Catholicism in droves
        throughout the developed world).”

        If the irrational barbarian may be allowed to speak, your points are unfounded.

        • Sven2547

          Here’s what I mean by “completely unnecessary”: a chemically-induced abortion can end the pregnancy without removing part of the Fallopian tube. By removing part of the Fallopian tube, that tube is now useless, and the woman is forever rendered partly sterile (eggs from the ovary in that direction will not reach the uterus).

          “If it doesn’t kill the baby, expect severe defects”, you say regarding Methodextrate. HELLO? We’re talking about Ectopic Pregnancy here! The baby will not make it. Full stop. Defects are irrelevant in this context. What an absurd red herring.

          When I say “it is considered better to harm the woman than to NOT harm the woman”, I’m not talking about the surgeon, and F you for misrepresenting me in such a way. I’m talking about adhering to an archaeic principle that an “indirect abortion” (which involves removing part of the woman with the embryo attached) is somehow superior to a “direct abortion” (which leaves the woman intact).

          Your bizarre rationalization, that the “unintended but foreseen” death of the embryo as the result of a Salpingectomy is not an abortion, is nothing but childish denialism.

          Irrational. Barbaric. I stand by these words.

          • yan

            “We’re talking about Ectopic Pregnancy here! The baby will not make it. Full stop.”

            Actually, sometimes, though rarely, ectopic pregnancies do come to fruition. I read about it in wikipedia.

          • Miss Doyle

            Oh dear Sven, methinks you need to revisit some definitions. The type of abortion that the church is opposed to – are abortions which are the deliberate taking of an unborn child with the intention of ending that life.
            Treatment for an ectopic pregnancy can involve an ‘indirect’ abortion – that is, if an ectopic pregnancy is not treated, there can be a significant threat to the life of the mother. To treat the ectopic pregnancy, the recommended course would be to attempt to remove the embryo and replant where the embryo may grow. If this doesn’t succeed, the medical terminology would still call it an abortion, but because it doesn’t have the intent of taking that life – it is not in moral opposition to church teaching.

            I know when things get technical it’s difficult to follow, but it is necessary. Trust me, I’m almost a lawyer.

  • Alessandra

    On the Uganda bill:

    “Aggravated homosexuality” is defined to include homosexual
    acts committed by a person who is HIV-positive, is a parent or
    authority figure, or who administers intoxicating substances,
    homosexual acts committed on minors or people with
    disabilities, and repeat offenders.”

    Who doesn’t think that a person who has a homosexual problem and sexually abuses a minor or someone with a disability is perverted? Transmitting HIV in a country that has little availability of drugs is not a horrible act? Who doesn’t think these homosexuals and bisexuals are incredibly harmful individuals?

    If society wasn’t such a monstrous place, such people would be “deported” to prison where they belong. Unfortunately today most people who commit sex offenses aren’t even reported, much less charged, much less sent to prison. And this is due in part to cover-ups like the recent Penn State debacle.

    The Uganda bill stipulates capital punishment for such offenses. While one can debate whether capital punishment is warranted, to claim that there is something wrong in demanding punishment for such heinous acts, to omit this information about the Uganda bill is really to mislead the public.

  • Alessandra

    “The offense of homosexuality” in the Uganda law is defined to include
    same-sex sexual acts, – which is illegal and would receive
    life imprisonment

    In the West, the question of criminalization of homosexual activity is just
    what homosexual activists yearn for to paint anyone who suggests it as the same as Himmler. However, the question that no one asks is: do people with a homosexual problem commit more or less violence and harm in Uganda than in the US? Who gets to decide who is going to perpetrate what kinds of violence and harm in society?

    In the US, it’s the people pushing for a harmful homosexuality agenda who claim they have the right to destroy society and the rights of anyone who objects to their destruction. There is enormous impunity for all kinds of crimes and harmful acts committed by people with a homosexual problem (abuse, harassment, spreading of serious STDs, promoting dysfunctional sexual ideologies and behaviors, etc.).

    There is no doubt that people are safer from being harassed and harmed by homosexuals and bisexuals in Uganda than in the West.

    Today, there currently are millions of violent and criminal homosexuals and bisexuals in the West. I would also not be surprised that if we counted up the number of murder victims by homosexuals or bisexuals, it would be greater than the number of homosexual death penalty targets of the Uganda law, should it come to pass.

    • Claude

      This is sheer histrionic bigotry. For shame.

  • ZacharyMartinez

    I agree that this story is a bit of a beat-up. The fact that she met with the Pope, or that the Pope blessed her, does not mean that the Pope agrees with all of her political positions. At the same time, I think that the Pope can be criticised on another ground: while the local Bishop has indeed spoken out against this proposed law, to my knowledge the Pope himself has not spoken out against this topic. If the Pope was to express public opposition to the criminalisation of consensual adult homosexuality, that would go a long way. I’m not asking for the Pope to morally approve those acts; all he need say is, The Catholic Church believes these acts to be immoral, but at the same time, opposes their criminalisation; it is not the proper role of the State to criminally prohibit every immoral act.

  • locksmith

    this is something we never forget

    Dunwoody locks

  • Ronk

    There is nothing in the proposed law “to make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment and death” nor punishable by any other punishment whatsoever. The proposed law concerns the act of sodomy. It will have no effect whatsoever on homosexuals who do not commit sodomy. You characterisation of the Ugandan legilators as acting contrary to Catholic doctrine is most unfair and apparently untrue.

    • ZacharyMartinez

      Why is it the state’s business what consenting adults do with each other’s bodies in private? Individuals and churches can have whatever moral beliefs they wish; but why should the government enforce them? It’s not the government’s job to stop all instances of immorality, only the most serious (such as rape or murder); less serious moral issues should be left to individuals, families, churches, etc. To say the state should be involved in everything (including what people do in their bedrooms) is a recipe for totalitarianism

  • Clare

    Marc, you are absolutely correct: Catholic dogma cannot be modernized. Yet it seems in today’s Catholic society that most people are ignoring or are unaware of some of the most vital dogmas of the Church. If Catholics, the lay and the clergy, do not know and defend dogma, how will Catholic dogma be enforced? I am not asking if dogmas will be changed (they never will be), but rather is this a devilish way to vicariously “modernize Catholic dogma”?

  • Sabrina

    “We’ve written down every damn thing we believe, and it’s all available online. ”
    Goodness I love this blog.

  • danny

    well is nat pop any mor tucson locks

  • Gino gelduf

    well is nat there any mor


  • Dunwoody locksmith

    we all be in

  • Dunwoody locksmith

    love and peace its great thing


  • Dunwoody locksmith

    to be in this

  • jj kellers

    path is the front look likew its in

  • Jose pasada

    we all think in this thing

  • Gean Ward

    park on this in from the all