Pope Francis Encourages Bishop to Condemn Same-Sex Parenting

He may have gathered enough liberal credibility to snag Time’s Person of the Year award, and even a citation from an LGBT magazine, but apparently Pope Francis draws a line in the sand when it comes to supporting some gay couples’ desire to adopt and raise children.

The pontiff reported himself “shocked” that the Civil Unions bill in Malta, which allows for two men or two women to marry, also allows for these couples to adopt children. At the encouragement of a pope widely touted as pro-gay enough to change the direction of the Catholic Church, Bishop Charles Scicluna delivered a heated sermon on the subject that stirred up some controversy within the Maltese congregation and around the world.

Scicluna reports that his sermon was “not about the rights of gay people, but about children’s rights,” but the sermon’s text is known to have included the observation that God chose a man and a woman to raise Jesus, not two men or two women. Thereafter, he urged the government “not to destroy the family based on the lasting bond between one man and one woman.”

And don’t be fooled – the rights of gay couples to adopt (and why those rights shouldn’t exist) are an issue about which Scicluna is passionate. He’s been speaking about it for a while. Earlier this month, he made news in Malta by calling for a study into the effects of gay adoption on children, saying:

This is not about the rights of gay people, but about creating a new type of family where the founding principle is not marriage between a man and a woman but any social partnership [. . .] The Church is against putting children in an environment where the common and natural experience of the conjugal love between a man and a woman is substituted by the quasi-marital relationship between a man and a man, or between a woman and a woman. Let us not play with the innocence of our children.

Scicluna seems to have an unnaturally hefty dose of innocence himself – rather too much to be commenting on the subject – if he believes that all straight marriages are naturally filled with love and virtuousness, and he’s downright ignorant if he’s unaware that gay relationships may also possess these qualities.

But this whole thing would hardly be worth remarking upon if not for the green light he reported from Pope Francis. Apparently, the pope who asked rhetorically “who am I to judge?” has found an answer. He may not be willing to judge the salvation or damnation of individual gay people, but he’s more than happy to judge their fitness to parent.

I guess a few choice sound bites do not an ally make.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • anthrosciguy

    I am shocked – shocked I tell you – to learn that bigotry is ongoing in the Vatican!

  • TheTundraTerror
  • Jimmy Martello

    There’s a fair amount of bigotry right here as well. The Catholic Church isn’t the only faith that teaches homosexuality as a lifestyle is contrary to the Will of God. Most religious faiths do as well.

  • MerchantMariner

    Indeed they do. More men in pretty dresses obsessing about what other blokes do with their penises.

    But since this particular thread concerns the RCKFC and it’s new CEO, mentioning the failings of other faiths isn’t relevant.

  • Jimmy Martello

    It is a matter of Sacred Scripture, the Judeo-Christian moral theological Sacred Tradition, and the Natural Moral Law.

  • MerchantMariner

    As I said, you have a way with weasel words. Even Better When They Are Capitalised.

  • Jimmy Martello

    Thank you.

  • Damon Icke

    Seems like all this universal love for the new pope was a little premature. Reminds me of what Winston Wolf said in Pulp Fiction, “Let’s not all start blanking each other’s blanks just yet.”

  • Rationalist1

    I work with children in a volunteer capacity and encounter children from many familial backgrounds – gay, straight, married, divorced, common law. I’ve seen no disadvantage with children coming from same sex parents, save the discrimination some adults seem eager to impose upon them. The good news is that most children don’t care what orientation their friends’ parents are and that gives me hope for the future.

  • Jimmy Martello

    I hope that’s the case, I honestly don’t know, but it’s a good reason to have multiple studies to put the issue to rest once and for all. Let the chips fall where the may.

  • Rationalist1

    What if the study also finds that children of mixed race parents suffer increased discrimination and unhappy childhoods because of their circumstances, do we seek to ban mixed race marriages? I don’t think so. I have no doubt that same sex parents would be as good as regular parents (the same with mixed race parents). The problem is we adults, If we get over our hangups and prejudices, the children will be fine.

  • Jimmy Martello

    There have already been multiple studies on mixed race parents in dozens of countries all over the world over five decades. While it’s true those children traditionally have suffered more discrimination, those studies show those families no less healthy than single race households. Google it. Easy found. Problem is, no such studies exist for homosexual household. I would think such studies would be welcomed. Those households should be more affluent, professional, middle to upper-middle class, progressive, highly educated. Why not study it?

  • Rationalist1

    The reason mixed race households have faired poorly in the past is societal discrimination against them which, thank reason, is mostly gone.

    What if studies showed that same sex parents were better parents for children than different sex parents. What would you propose we do?

  • Rationalist1

    DId a google search myself
    “The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families is the world’s largest attempt to study how children raised by same-sex couples compare to children raised by heterosexual couples. According to a preliminary report on the study of 500 children across the country of Australia, these young people are not only thriving, but also have higher rates of family cohesion than other families:”

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/06/05/2106751/same-sex-parenting-study/

    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/children-same-sex-parents-healthier-study-article-1.1365963

  • Anna

    Sadly, people like Jimmy don’t care. I believe they are being intentionally dishonest when they make such claims, since all relevant studies are easily found via Google. It’s just their tactic, pretend that same-sex parenting is some kind of “social experiment” that no one has ever researched, in order to try to convince people that gays and lesbians shouldn’t get married and start families.

    There are plenty of other studies just like the Australian one, including longitudinal studies that have been going on since the 1980s in Europe and the United States.

    Many other studies mentioned here:

    http://www.nllfs.org/publications/

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx?item=9

  • Anna

    Problem is, no such studies exist for homosexual household.

    I’d say you were simply ignorant, but my suspicion is that you know very well that there are plenty of studies, but you choose to ignore their existence.

    Here is a link to 67 studies on children of lesbian and gay parents dating back to the 1970s:

    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx?item=9

    But of course, your insistence on wanting to see studies is the ultimate in red herrings. The truth is you don’t care how many studies there are because it will never make you change your mind. The Catholic church (and its most fervent followers) will never approve of same-sex couples and families no matter how many studies they are presented with. What annoys me most is that they can’t even bother to be honest about that.

  • Jimmy Martello

    I am not familiar with these studies, their paraments, their independence or the sample sizes. It should be interesting, but as I said for my part, let the chips fall where they may and I meant that. I’d rather see children in good solid homes than foster care.

  • Rationalist1

    Jimmy – And if same sex families turn out to be better than heterosexual marriages would you still let the chips fall where they may?

  • Rationalist1

    Lots of studies exist for same sex families. Did you not search? I found them in seconds.

  • MerchantMariner

    I always have a laugh when a professional celibate presumes to lecture others about marriage, or intimate relationships between consenting adults of any kind.

    But even better, he then comes out with this: “Let us not play with the innocence of our children” What a pearler coming from a member of the RCC. It’s okay to rape children, but FFS don’t play with their innocence. Again I ask, why does anybody take anything these useless wankers have to say seriously?

  • allein

    And keeping adoptable kids in an unstable foster care system or orphanage until they age out is a great way to preserve their innocence, too!

  • Jimmy Martello

    About 1.1 billion of us take him seriously…and that’s just the Western Rite.

  • Rationalist1

    The 1,1 billion number is not accurate at all. For example in the Los Angeles Archdiocese if you take the number of Catholics they claim and divide it by the number of churches, you get 16,000 people per parish. I would be surprised if it was one quarter of that. The Archdiocese I live in claims just under 9,000 per parish. And when I was a Catholic many years ago a parish would be lucky to have 1000 to 1500 out for its combined Sunday masses.

  • Jimmy Martello

    By the same token, the Church is ordaining the highest numbers of priests since 1974, religious houses and foundations are spreading at rates not seen in North America since the 1950’s, all provinces are seeing new parishes open even as older parishes are closed…the Church is doing just fine except in pockets of areas most secularized.

  • Rationalist1

    Do the math for math for your diocese? Are the average numbers per parish anywhere close to being accurate?

    Number of priests world wide has been flat since the 1970’s

    http://cara.georgetown.edu/caraservices/requestedchurchstats.html

  • Jimmy Martello

    The most accurate listing of priests, religious, parishes, convents, schools, chanceries, hospitals, and social services in the Catholic Church in the United States is the Official Catholic Directory published under the auspices of the USCCB and includes all sacramental numbers for all parishes for the the US. The numbers will ASTOUND you how great things are.

  • Rationalist1

    The numbers they report for the number of Priests is 40,271 for 2011 while my link gives 39,600 for 2013. They seem is good agreement.

  • Jimmy Martello

    Check seminary enrollment, projections, retirement, Rome based, missionaries, religious and diocese. The numbers change.

  • Rationalist1

    The Cara stats are from the Official Catholic Directory. Trend in the US is down, rest of the world flat,

  • Jimmy Martello

    Okay, go right ahead. Believe whatever you wish. It doesn’t change a single number and it isn’t any skin off my nose. Meanwhile, I’m going to the dedication of our newest major seminary in Charlotte next Fall…whatever will we do with that? LOL!

  • Rationalist1

    I’m not believing what I wish, I’m quoting Catholic Statistics. Historical Statistics show the number of priest in the US is dropping since the 70’s and the number of parishes staying flat despite a claimed growth in the Catholic population. You can assure yourself that all is well but with your religion but numbers say differently.

    Is this the seminary related to the Poor Clares?

  • Jimmy Martello

    It is for the diocese, but the Poor Clares will have a monastery adjacent.

  • MerchantMariner

    Turn it into a crack house – put a match to it.

  • Jimmy Martello

    Nah…I think we’ll fill it with seminarians instead who will later fill our pulpits and provide the Sacraments to thousands.

  • MerchantMariner

    Or you could do something useful with it.

    But I suppose you do have to train the next generation of child abusers.

  • Rationalist1

    Sorry here’s the link. I try to always give links so my statements don’t have to be taken on faith.

    http://old.usccb.org/comm/catholic-church-statistics.shtml

  • Jimmy Martello

    You are looking at 2009 numbers, not 2013

  • Jimmy Martello

    Check the trend page with the National Catholic Directory

  • MerchantMariner

    I didn’t ask how many, I asked why?

    Obviously your putative 1.1 billion take these pronouncements seriously. They haven’t got enough sense not to.

  • Sam Hauer

    Isn’t this the same Pope who once claimed that gay rights are nothing but the “machinations of the Father of Lies”? And that atheists are allowed to go to heaven… as long as they aren’t gay? I don’t really see why anybody is especially surprised that Pope Francis has a touch of homophobia about him. And it’s really to be expected, considering his avenue of employment.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Everyone knows that the Maltese Pope is just a fake 😀

  • Bob Jase

    Lead?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    The stuff that dreams are made of.

  • duke_of_omnium

    It was you and your stupid attempt to buy it! You imbecile! You bloated idiot! You stupid fathead!

  • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

    Calm down, Joel Cairo.

  • $84687101

    Yeah, lots of people have been making way too big a deal about some of his recent public comments without understanding the weaselly application of Catholic theology behind them. We’re still not getting into heaven unless we convert, we just get to do it on our death bed. He may not judge gay priests, but you better believe he thinks God will. And you’d better believe he’ll judge them for breaking the vow of celibacy. And of course he supports a bishop who’s arguing against gay couple adopting. Have you read what he said on this topic when he was a bishop in Argentina? The man was far more incensed about gay marriage and adoption being legalized than about murderous dictatorships.

    I think he’s a good deal more decent than the last pope, and I think on poverty, he walks the walk. But the rest of this is just PR. Hell, the whole thing is PR. Ratzi was too associated with the sex scandal so the church needed someone else at the helm or it would just keep being rocked by every new revelation. It needed to fix its public image. That’s why there was an unprecedented resignation. Not because he was old and tired, because he was the face of the sex abuse scandals. And Francis was selected to be the face of the new friendlier church that cares about the poor and about peace. And the media is buying it hook, line, and sinker.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    “walks the walk?” so… what catholic mansion or priceless painting has he sold off lately to buy food and shelter for the poor? i must have missed that.

    The Advocate really dropped a turd by naming this pope their man of the year. the cover was disgusting, they put the No H8 logo on his face as if he actually embraces marriage equality. obviously that’s not even close to the truth. i don’t read The Advocate and haven’t for a long time, because of bone headed crap like that. please DO NOT assume they speak for me, or a majority of the queer community. you should’ve seen the bashing they took over at a couple gay blogs i read for such a thing. brutal.

  • $84687101

    what catholic mansion or priceless painting has he sold off lately to buy food and shelter for the poor? i must have missed that.

    Point taken. Did he sell the Popemobile, or just mothball it? I suppose that’s like me selling my kid’s bigwheel and calling it a sacrifice…

  • Carmelita Spats

    Sell the bullet proof Pope-mobile and rely on God for protection? Hell, that would require faith. Fantastical Frank needs the Pope-mobile for his disgusting PR stunts with disabled children. The genital-free creep offers them a “Pimp-My-Ride” joyride in his mega-slick Pope-mobile so the press can amp his “good guy” image. Of course, he’s VERY selective when it comes to the type of disabilities that he allows into the Pope-mobile. He has yet to share the cramped space of the Pope-mobile with a paranoid schizophrenic off his meds and wielding a ballpoint pen. That would also take faith. One reporter caught this wicked little gem oozing out of Pope Frank’s yammering maw while parading a disabled kid, “I can’t escape. It is physically impossible to slide more than nine inches away from you and it’s apparently illegal for me to spend the entire joyride in the three-square-foot Pope-mobile banging my head against the window, and there simply aren’t enough little bottles of Bacardi Rum to turn your conversation from brain-gnawingly deadly to merely numbly sufferable.” Nasty Pope. I want evil Ratz back.

  • ve6

    hey Gus, what have you done to alleviate poverty?

  • $84687101

    I pay my taxes, I lobby my representatives in government to use that money and establish policies to help the poor, I donate to food banks and homeless shelters and international relief agencies, and I loan money to people in the developing world through Kiva.

    But then, I don’t control the wealthiest institution on earth, one that is supposed to be collecting ten percent of the income of one sixth of the world, one that is supposedly founded on the words of a man who said: “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven” and instructed his disciples (including the supposed first Pope) to cast off all their worldly possessions. What ought such a person do to alleviate poverty? What percentage of that church’s wealth and income ought to go to helping the poor?

  • Jimmy Martello

    It isn’t the government’s job to care for the poor…it’s our’s. Each and every one of us individually have a responsibility to do for the poor. We must not expect the higher power do what the lower power can do for itself. It’s called subsidiarity.

  • Rationalist1

    And it is our duty to create a society through our participation in government that helps the poor and creates an equal playing field for all.

    “The richer class have many ways of shielding themselves, and stand less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly depend upon the assistance of the State. And it is for this reason that wage-earners, since they mostly belong in the mass of the needy, should be specially cared for and protected by the government.”

  • MerchantMariner

    I love weasel words like that. You RCC types do them so well.

  • Jimmy Martello

    Thanks.

  • $84687101

    Without government intervention, there simply is no way individuals, or even large groups, can make a significant difference in global poverty. Only the government has the resources to tackle poverty. Your notion of whose job it ought to be is meaningless. No one else can do it. People have done the math on this. The amount that churches (or other organizations) would have to raise if the government were taken out of the picture would simply not be possible.

  • Jimmy Martello

    You are correct. Pope Francis doesn’t embrace the secular notion of homosexual “marriage”, though as cardinal-archbishop he did advocate civil unions instead as an alternative.
    The pope, any pope, would be barred by dogmatic and ecclesiastical theology…not to mention sacred scripture…from endorsing homosexuality as a viable moral lifestyle. He would be declared an anti-pope and cause a schism. No pope would do that.

  • Jimmy Martello

    Actually the Church doesn’t teach you have to convert to go to heaven or even be straight.

  • $84687101

    Read for comprehension, Jimmy. Did I say anything about gay people going to heaven? No, I didn’t.

    And convert, in this case, doesn’t absolutely mean going through all the rites to become a Catholic. It means convert from atheism. In other words, accept the divinity of Jesus. If you can find me a reference showing that Catholic doctrine allows people who have been fully educated about Jesus, but don’t believe in him, to get into heaven without at some point coming to believe, then I would stand corrected.

  • Greg G.

    Of all the private, personal matters in all the world, the RCC had to stick its nose into mine.

  • LesterBallard

    I’d rather have a child raised at a classic San Francisco Gay Pride parade than anywhere near a Catholic Priest.

  • Logician

    Hmm, that must mean:
    Since Jesus chose among his disciples men who fished with nets, not poles, pole fishing is an abomination unto god.

    Since god parted the waters for his chosen people rather than giving them extraordinary swimming skills, swimming must be an abomination to god.

    Since god provided his laws on stone tablets, paper must be an abomination to god.

    Wow, this is enlightening. I’m changing my whole lifestyle today!

  • Lark62

    Remember, if God had wanted us to walk around naked, we would have been born that way.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    …wait.

  • Kathryn Culbertson

    interesting, considering Jesus had 2 dads, god, the ‘biological’ father, who asked Joseph, the cuckold, to raise his bastard. And we wonder why Christianity is such a misogynistic religion.

  • Librepensadora

    Will Time magazine be running this story in its next issue?

  • Stan
  • allein

    Just gonna note that video is NSFW. (Personally I like the live version from Sonisphere 2010 better.)

  • God’s Starship

    Maybe this will be the beginning of an era where people discuss what this pope is actually saying, not what they want to believe he’s saying.

  • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

    That would be nice.

  • Olive Markus

    I have two friends who used to be social workers, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that a “bond” between a man and a woman does not ensure that children are even remotely cared for, let alone loved and many times abused. They quit their jobs because there is nothing they can do for the children. Another friend is an occupational (my mistake) physical therapist and she is having a breakdown over consistently working with children in abusive situations. Again, there is nothing she can do and it kills her.

    I am dealing with several (three) situations in my own family, where CATHOLIC, MARRIED, HETEROSEXUAL couples are abusing the fuck out of their children and it is tearing us apart trying to help these kids. I spent the good part of this morning, in fact, crying with my mom over one of the situations. My GAY aunt and her partner are doing more good and giving more love to my own nephews than anybody else has managed. These two women are the rock of our family, and they work very hard to do whatever good they can for all of us. All of the time.

    Pope Francis and the rest of you bigots: Look in the mirror, and then go thoroughly FUCK YOURSELVES.

  • ve6

    your compassion and way with words is very modern.

  • Olive Markus

    Oh? You’re somehow offended that I value loving children over hating homosexuals for no good reason?

    Your bigotry is very Catholic. And archaic.

  • ve6

    I cannot condone the sin of homosexuality. You have, as I do, free will. I don’t agree with this lifestyle, never did, never will, don’t put words in my mouth about hate.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Fine, then don’t have homosexual sex. Problem solved. If you think something’s a sin, don’t do it.

    Just don’t condemn other people who don’t share your archaic, hateful views of sin or homosexuality. According to Catholic doctrine, masturbation and premarital sex are also sins, as is eating meat during Lent and on Fridays, yet you don’t want to deny the ability to adopt to people who have engaged in those activities. Your “approval” is entirely irrelevant.

  • ve6

    you aren’t very tolerant of others’ views.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    I am perfectly tolerant of you having those views. I do not tolerate you trying to hurt other people by trying to get your views enshrined into law.

    How is it intolerant to tell you not to do things you don’t want to do? How is it intolerant to criticize your worldview as archaic and hateful, when it is in fact both quite old-fashioned and very hateful towards certain people?

  • Olive Markus

    I’d be much more interested in hearing about how you justify encouraging adoption for people who break all other Catholic requirements. Why are you so obsessed with homosexuals?

  • ve6

    You were the one who opened this commentary about homosexuals and concluded with FUCK YOURSELVES. Another person who can only tolerate agreement with their intolerance.

  • Olive Markus

    I have no tolerance for bigotry and the hatred you spread about people I love and who have done great things in this world. I’m not ashamed of that. You should be.

  • Olive Markus

    But, no, REALLY, I am interested in hearing how you justify choosing ONLY homosexuality as a reason a couple can’t adopt children when most people of the world don’t adhere to Catholic teachings. Please.

  • Robert Scott McKnight

    Ah, yet another conservative apologist claiming that being intolerant of their bigotry is being intolerant. Interesting tactic. Here is the thing. You have a right to your beliefs. You have a right to espouse said beliefs. We have the right to criticize those beliefs…and we do. You do not have the right to deny people equity before the law. Nor do you have the right to have your particular beliefs enshrined in law. Personally, I find a man desiring sex with another man odd and more than off putting. I don’t have the attraction. Others do. For me, I would not have a gay relationship. Others are attracted to dark skin, over weight people, feet, and etc. We all have our little quarks as to what we find attractive. The difference is I do not seek to make illegal the attractions I do not have. I simply accept that they work for other people and follow that little thing about “Judge not, lest by the same measure you will be judged.” You should try it some time. Very liberating.

  • ve6

    So you accept people from all segments of the sexual spectrum, even pedophiles?
    I don’t but good for you!

  • MerchantMariner

    You say you don’t accept pedophiles – and yet you support and defend the RCC. So your comments have no credibility either. Tata!

  • MerchantMariner

    Isn’t it obvious? Why else would so many people devote so much of their time to thinking about what other people do with their genitals?

  • ShoeUnited

    Thankfully in this society, you don’t have to be Catholic to adopt.

  • MerchantMariner

    What a pearler – a left-footer criticising someone about tolerance. Comedy gold!

    One should be tolerant of a person’s right to hold or express a view. Tolerance of the views themselves is not mandatory, or even desirable. Let’s say for example my view was that all Catholics should be rounded up and shot by the end of this week. Is that a view that should be tolerated?

    I can see from your posts you’re another repressed Catholic with a queasy fascination with how other people have sex. Worried you’re missing out on some fun, eh?

  • Olive Markus

    By standing in solidarity with people who spread vicious lies about a homosexual couples’ ability to raise children (WITHOUT ONE IOTA OF EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT YOU) you are being hateful. True Story.

    By marginalizing a human being’s ability to love another simply because they love and care for somebody of the same gender is extreme hatred (and wrong). True Story.

    Your comment says it all. I put no words in your mouth.
    You are a bigot. Plain and simple. Of course you have free will, and you are using it to be a bigot and condemn people who don’t deserve it. I am using free will to love and appreciate my family and care for children who desperately need it. True Story.

  • Robert Scott McKnight

    Sin huh? Shell fish, blended fabrics, planting different crops next to each other (modern farming), pork, keeping milk and meat together, meat and cream gravies, and etc. You know, the other 612 laws of the Talmut you all seem to ignore on a daily basis while using one of them to condemn couples who just want equity before the law. “Hypocrite!!! First remove the log from your own eye. Then you will be able to see clearly to help your brother remove the spec from his.” – Jesus

  • MerchantMariner

    We don’t need to “put words in your mouth about hate” – you’re doing a great job of that yourself.

  • duke_of_omnium

    Meet the new Pope, same as the old Pope.

  • Ellie

    I love the WHO!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I have never thought that Pope Francis is anything but a fraud. He will continue to tease, giving lip service for vague ideas of liberalism and reform, but the actual policies of oppression, judgmentally, authoritarianism, self-serving autocracy, and control, control, control will continue.

    …[Scicluna’s] sermon’s text is known to have included the observation that God chose a man and a woman to raise Jesus, not two men or two women.

    Wait for it… 3, 2, 1…
    “It was Joseph and Mary, not Joseph and Gary!”

    If you are feeling unwell, you may use the paper bag provided for your convenience.

    Scicluna is calling for an impact study into the effects of gay adoption on children.
    So far, the credible studies I’ve seen indicate that all other variables being equal, children adopted by same-sex couples fare just as well as heterosexual couples. I wonder if the Bishop wants a genuine study that observes all the data and then comes to a conclusion, or a “study” that starts with the conclusion he has already formed, and then observes any data that supports it and ignores any data that contradicts it. We see that a lot when religion evokes science in pursuit of its own agenda.

  • MerchantMariner

    Richard, it’s like any other form of politics – never commission an inquiry or study unless you’re sure what the answers will be.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    THIS. Ever wonder why every government study on cannabis has been scrapped midway through?

  • Derpington_The_Third

    That’s a completely unfounded assertion that science is “written by the victors”, otherwise no research would ever get done.

    Good god…

  • MerchantMariner

    That assertion wasn’t made. Nor were we talking about science as such, but government studies/inquiries. I can’t speak for the US, but here the findings or outcomes are usually determined well in advance by careful attention to the terms of reference. Don’t want any nasty surprises, do we? On this subject, do you seriously reckon that Scicluna would want to hear the results of study that doesn’t support his prejudices?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    The studies were scrapped by the government precisely because the results did not support the War on (Some) Drugs. Cannabis is currently classed with fucking heroin (Schedule I), when it is clearly non-addictive, and is, in fact, safer than alcohol or tobacco, both of which are perfectly legal.

  • UWIR

    There’s also the question of just what metrics are used to measure outcome. Often, studies on children raised by same-sex couples do in fact find higher prevalence of negative outcomes. Where “negative outcomes” includes such things as atheism, acceptance of homosexuality, etc.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    Thing is, by all meaningful metrics, the children of same-sex couples do just as well as (if not better than) children of opposite-sex couples.

  • Anna

    That’s true. There was one study that found young daughters of lesbian mothers are more likely to profess interest in non-traditional careers, so of course that was seen as a bad, bad thing by the religious conservatives who think all women should do is stay home and have babies.

  • George Hanson

    I think bigotry is only part of the motivation for the popes statement.Gay parents probably will not bring children up in a religiously befuddled environment and will be less likely to encourage their children to fill the churches pews and coffers…..This particular dog collared vampire is not nearly as sweet as every one seems to think. He kisses a few retarded children and the faithful think it erases 2 millennia of bigotry, child exploitation , and murderous savagery. But in the end nothing has changed. He still heads the worlds largest ,longest continuously operating, and most vicious criminal organization. The thing that is changing is everyday there are fewer and fewer sheep in the pews.

  • lucky21

    And this is the reason people call atheists being self righteous on tolerance and understanding. Atheists got mad when conservatives bashed the pope for not fully following their views but they do the same here. Talk about being two faced and not so different from each other.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    What is bothersome about your comment is the ethos it makes a pretense of possessing. If you want the universal sin (you are slouching towards both calling out and committing yourself), it is in trying to score points for a “side” by talking in terms of “people” and [group label], and it is certainly one that everyone who fights for a “side” commits. What you mean to say is, “And this is the reason I, and some other people I know, call atheists being self righteous on tolerance and understanding.” But your personal opinion on what all atheists are or do is not persuasive, so you must resort to “people”, and take refuge from counter-criticism in the morass.

    Categories are useful when they are understood to be describing tendencies among a grouping. When someone is taking as broad a category as “Christians” (a few billion members worldwide) or “atheists” (a few billion members) or “women” (a few billion members) or “Asians” (a few billion members), and make categorical statements about them, those statements are very, very easy to dismiss, because exceptions abound, and the categories are so rough around the edges that they become self-contradictory to the point of uselessness if one picks some individuals at random from the set and compares them. Just think, in a set of a billion exemplars, a deviation of 1% yields ten million counter-examples.

    When using categories in that clumsy a fashion, false equivalencies are hard to avoid. The relationship of conservative Catholics, (or conservative Christians more generally, even) to the Pope is likely to have a huge number of relevant qualitative differences than the average atheist picked at random would have with the Pope. The office has formal meaning to those former groups, but likely only practical meaning to the latter, just to pick the most obvious. And so making comparisons while eliding that difference is likely to lead to fatuous and nonsensical conclusions. Atheists would reasonably be expected to launch asymmetrical criticisms against conservative Catholics that would not make much sense if they were reciprocated precisely because of those qualitative differences; the atheist is perhaps calling attention to the hierarchy worship endemic to the arguments that conservative Catholics advance in the milieu of Papal behavior that atheists themselves do not possess.

    So, if that whole criticism bored you, leave at least with the point that if all you’re interested in doing is singing the tu quoque song and dancing upon a (mostly self-imagined) image of universal atheist smug self-superiority, it won’t do your argument any favors. As much as atheists are human beings (much like yourself) and are guilty of making broad generalizations (much like yourself), the moral error if any is in thinking that pointing it out is meaningful.

    tl;dr Being an asshole does not make you wrong. Calling out people for being assholes is, thus, kind of a dumb way of scoring points for your team.

  • lucky21

    Or as much as they call themselves to be above what they criticize they do the same thing and justify what they do. Well, some atheists. This your interpretation of what an asshole is.

  • MerchantMariner

    I understand perfectly what Scicluna’s position is – and by extension that of his boss. It deserves no tolerance at all. As I wrote earlier, a professional celibate has no credibility when making pronouncements about marriage or relationships. And even less credibility when he claims to be thinking only of the children. You want an example of self-righteous, there’s one staring you in the face.

    This atheist couldn’t give a toss if conservatives “bashed” the pope. They deserve each other.

  • UWIR

    1. Atheists oppose bigots when the bigots bash someone else for not being bigoted enough.
    2. Atheists bash people for being bigoted.
    3. Atheists are therefore two faced.

    Do I have that right?

  • Anna

    If only that were true! But there are plenty of gay parents who happily offer their children to the Catholic church (and other churches) even as homophobic as it is. If the church actually became pro-gay, I have no doubt even more of them would do so.

  • Keulan

    I’m not surprised by this at all. Back when he was still a Cardinal in Argentina, Francis was against gay marriage. People need to stop falling for his PR and actually read what he said about these things in the past. I doubt Francis’ bigoted, backwards views have changed now that he’s the pope.

  • tm17

    “Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.”

    ― Christopher Hitchens

  • ve6

    Christopher Hitchens, now there was a real PITA.

  • Verna

    Keep standing up for God Will Francis!

  • Anna

    Your god must be rather impotent if he needs a human being to do all his work for him. If he doesn’t want same-sex couples to raise children, why doesn’t he just prevent them from becoming parents?

  • Verna

    Free will.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    That’s a pretty lame answer.

  • Verna

    Nothing lame about the truth. Sorry you refuse to accept it.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    No, you misunderstand. I’m not saying there isn’t free will. I think the question is very much open. What I am saying, rather, is that “free will” doesn’t solve the moral puzzle. It’s not a good answer to that question. When a person makes choices that have material consequences, it not only affects them, it affects the range of will that people other than them can exercise. So it does not excuse moral duties even for the being that values it.

    Events (including the results of other peoples’ choices) deprive people of meaningful choice all the time, so as a theodicy it is lame because it is partially self-negating; by God supporting the ability for people to choose wrong things, he devalues the choice of those to whom the wrong things happen to, thus showing he doesn’t care about choice after all, or has a demented “whoever chooses first wins” approach to the value of free will.

  • Anna

    So he couldn’t even make lesbians infertile? Like I said, it seems awfully suspicious that he needs a human being to do all his dirty work for him.

  • Old Hippie

    Adoption by same sex couples should not be absolutely banned. But it is certainly not an optimal situation and no agency should be required to place children in this arrangement. A strong preference should be in place for a normal family with functional mother and father figures.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Why? What does a penis/vagina arrangement have over a penis/penis arrangement or vagina/vagina arrangement? It isn’t genitals that care for children, hug them, cook for them, wipe their noses, help with homework, pick them up, rake leaves into a pile to jump in, etc. Those are all things people do completely independently of their genital configuration.

  • UWIR

    This, from someone who says that not criminalizing polygamy would create immense problems.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    Oh, the agony of being deliberately misinterpreted!

    What I actually said was decriminalizing or legalizing and licensing polyamorous relationships would be a giant legal headache. Which you know full well.

    What does that have to do with allowing couples of any sexual orientation to adopt children? Oh right, nothing. You just want to be an ass right now.

  • TCC

    Why the fuck do people think that it’s at all helpful or necessary to bring different conversations into completely unrelated threads? Seriously, fuck off with that shit already.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    Some people value self-consistency as an end in itself, perhaps not cognizant (or simply heedless) of the fact that all comments made are made truly sensible only when situated in the context in which they were originally individually offered. It is rare that, when a person asserts something for the purposes of one argument, they are seeking to apply the same concept in the same way to all arguments that could possibly intersect the idea motivating the assertion.

    This has, I think, a cognitive source and a cultural source. The cognitive source is what is, when disruptive enough to be medicalized, Obsessive-Compulsion. Even people without OCD can have definite bias towards self-consistency, leading to actual uncontrollable rage when they detect an inconsistency which seems irreducible in the positions of their opponents. The other, cultural, source I tend to think is an over-reliance on hypocrisy as a moral category (as opposed to a descriptive one), used inappropriately to moralize against inconsistency between asserted oughts and the realization of those oughts in behavior of the asserter.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    I value self-consistency as well. UWIR just wanted to fuck with me by bringing up a completely irrelevant and also incorrect twisting of my view of the matter.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    I do too. But I think it possible to overvalue it, especially when regarding one’s interlocutor instead of oneself. The accusation made that “You are not consistent!” is generally quite boring and usually fails to contribute meaningfully to discussion, mainly because its only utility is in attacking the ethos of the speaker, i.e. you shouldn’t trust him/her now because they’ve said something before which contradicts what they are saying now.

    I concur with you about UWIR’s bizarre and self-serving interpretation of your comments on the poly-marriage thread.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    I mostly agree with you, though I do find that bringing the contradiction to the forefront (as in, you said X before, and now you say Y which is incompatible with X) can be a good way to bring out cognitive dissonance or force people to acknowledge the inaccuracy/unfairness/bigotry of a position. However, that is a specific exception to the general rule that saying that someone is not consistent is a bad argument.

  • UWIR

    I think that it’s helpful to warn people that Feminerd is insane, and trying to have a productive conversation with her is likely to be futile. Why in the world should anyone listen to anything Feminerd has to say, given her previous conduct? And I notice that you have never taken Feminerd to task for her repeated practice of claiming that I am racist, based on me disagreeing with her in other conversations.

  • TCC

    Who the fuck are you to take it upon yourself not only to determine who is “insane” and can “have a productive conversation” but to then proclaim it to everyone? I reiterate: Fuck off with that shit already.

    And I notice that you have never taken Feminerd to task for her repeated practice of claiming that I am racist, based on me disagreeing with her in other conversations.

    That’s because I haven’t fucking noticed it, as I’m not an obsessed maniac who goes around looking for any possible infraction once I call someone out on their asshattery.

  • UWIR

    Who are you to ask me who I am to determine who is insane? What, does one need a special license to come to conclude that someone is not operating in a shared reality? That’s a pretty idiotic rejoinder.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor
  • TCC

    Idiotic maybe only to someone who thinks “I know you are, but what am I?” is a sound rhetorical strategy.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    Ha ha NO. She calls you racist because you have made, and continue to make, racist comments.

  • UWIR

    Merely failing to adopt your worldview doesn’t constitute racism, asshole.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty — Survivor

    You’ve also displayed a profound depth of misogyny, and general hatred.

  • Anna

    I was raised by two lesbian mothers and consider it a perfectly optimal situation. No one’s ever been able to explain to me why it isn’t. Perhaps you could shed some light on what you feel is wrong with my family configuration?

  • UWIR

    This is not a new argument. The RCC has a history of taking children away from Jews, on the grounds that the children’s right to not be raised by non-Christians supersedes the parents’ rights.

  • Anna

    How in the world did this Pope ever get a a pro-gay reputation? Why are so many liberals falling all over themselves with praises for this man? Has everyone forgotten what he said about same-sex parenting a mere three years ago?

    He opposes same-sex marriage; when Argentina was considering legalizing it in 2010, Bergoglio opposed the legislation, calling it a “real and dire anthropological throwback”. In July 2010, while the law was under consideration, he wrote a letter to Argentina’s cloistered nuns in which he said: “In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts. Let’s not be naive: This is not a simple political fight; it is a destructive proposal to God’s plan. This is not a mere legislative proposal (that’s just its form), but a move by the father of lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God… Let’s look to St. Joseph, Mary, and the Child to ask fervently that they defend the Argentine family in this moment… May they support, defend, and accompany us in this war of God.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis#Homosexuality

    Nasty, bigoted nonsense, all of it, and he clearly hasn’t changed his mind since then.

    Scicluna reports that his sermon was “not about the rights of gay people, but about children’s rights,” but the sermon’s text is known to have included the observation that God chose a man and a woman to raise Jesus, not two men or two women.

    This is supremely ironic considering their Jesus had two fathers. They go on and on about children’s “right” to be raised by their biological mother and father, yet the man Jesus (supposedly) called “dad” wasn’t his biological father at all. Not only that, but the creation of this family was divinely commanded.

    Earlier this month, he made news in Malta by calling for a study into the effects of gay adoption on children…

    I love how these people always act as if this is some new thing, like same-sex couples haven’t been raising children openly for decades and no one has ever actually studied it as a social phenomenon before. There’s over 40 years of research on children of gay and lesbian parents. But they don’t care about that. They wouldn’t accept those studies no matter how many there are or how positive they are because their minds are already made up. They’re never going to change their minds because of actual studies, but you rarely see them admit that. It’s their faux interest in research that annoys me most.

  • MerchantMariner

    Making allowances for the fact that these comments were presumably translated into English from whatever languages these two speak, what always strikes me is this – not only do they talk utter garbage, they demonstrate piss poor language skills while they do so. Just one more reason to ignore their bleating.

  • scoj

    What a ridiculus statment to make “God chose a man and a woman to raise Jesus, not two men or two women” this would also imply that a single woman or a single man has no right to raise a child. Come on here people, at least hire an English major to proof your propaganda

  • Anna

    Actually, we’ve seen what happens when the Catholic church has the power to take children away from single mothers, and it ain’t pretty. Their hypocrisy is pretty blatant. The church didn’t care a smidge about biology when it pressured, shamed, coerced, and outright forced generations of unmarried girls and women to relinquish their babies for adoption, but as soon as same-sex couples decide to conceive or adopt children of their own, they’re against children being raised by anyone other than their biological mother and father.

  • http://atheistcards.com Andy Stout

    Ah, Christians certainly love children, yes indeed.

  • Robster

    So here we have unmarried, childless old men in silly clothes who happily eat Baby jesus each Sunday telling us about raising children. Are they serious?

  • http://twrl.github.com/ Tom Robbins

    Nobody has the right to adopt in any reasonable system. What everybody should have is the right to be considered on their merits if they wish to adopt, and not excluded on the basis of prejudice. This is in everybody’s interest, because a larger and more diverse pool of adopters means that more children will be adopted into more suitable homes in less time. Our current scientific understanding is that same-sex couples, and single people regardless of sexual orientation, can be just as good parents as anybody else.

    Sciluna seems to be skirting the concept of the complementarity of sexes; personally I think that betrays a very crude understanding of both gender and of human relationships. Every individual is unique, and strong relationships of any kind are built on those individuals being a good compliment to each other. Reducing that to a single characteristic, such as sex, is to reduce the people involved to their genitals. If you’re using your genitals to raise children, you’re doing something very wrong.

  • Bill Freeman

    This is so very disappointing. We had all hoped for so much more. Same sh_t,, different pope!

  • Graham Ash-Porter

    Gays have no interest in converting people to become Gay! But bigots want to promote hatred of gays…

  • Jimmy Martello

    The Holy Father’s comments about “not judging” are always taken out of context. Pope Francis actually said, “if a homosexual person seeks Jesus, who am I to judge.” There is a difference here that Time Magazine may not have taken into account. The pope also made a sharp distinction between a homosexual person seeking to live a life according to Gospel principles and, as he put it, “the gay lobby”.
    In short, when the rubber hits the road there is no daylight between Pope Francis and his predecessors on homosexuality or on any sexual issues. This pope is as solidly Roman Catholic as the Council of Trent.

  • Anna

    People are so eager to believe this Pope is different. I suppose that’s a good sign. But it bothers me that so many are being taken in by it.

  • Jimmy Martello

    Well, Pope Francis is different in style. In theology, there is no difference at all between this pope and any others. They are all bound by the same Catholic doctrines, dogmas, scriptures, ethics, and history. It is the Church which bides a pope, not the other way around. The pope cannot unilaterally change whatever he wishes. The papacy itself is expected to obey Sacred Scripture, Ecumenical Councils, Sacred Traditions (dogmas), etc. He cannot “go in a different direction” than these established parameters.

  • MerchantMariner

    Sacred Scripture – bullshit made up by stupefied peasants.

    Ecumenical Councils – bullshit made up by men in dresses and pointy hats on a jolly.

    Sacred Traditions – bullshit made up by more men in dresses and pointy hats to justify and reinforce the other bullshit.

    Weasel words, capitalised.