Pope Toughens Stand on Gay Marriage

Associated Press/Alessandra Tarantino – Pope Benedict XVI, right, acknowledges the crowd during his weekly general audience in Hall Paul VI, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The pope took his opposition to gay marriage to new heights Friday, denouncing what he described as people manipulating their God-given gender to suit their sexual choices — and destroying the very “essence of the human creature” in the process.

Benedict XVI made the comments in his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy — one of his most important speeches of the year. He dedicated it this year to promoting family values in the face of vocal campaigns in France, the United States, Britain and elsewhere to legalize same-sex marriage.

In his remarks, Benedict quoted the chief rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, in saying the campaign for granting gays the right to marry and adopt children was an “attack” on the traditional family made up of a father, mother and children.

“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”

“The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned,” he said. (Read more here.)

  • Bill S

    “In his remarks, Benedict quoted the chief rabbi of France, Gilles, in saying the campaign for granting gays the right to marry and adopt children was an “attack” on the traditional family made up of a father, mother and children.”

    How is allowing gays to marry and adopt children an attack on the traditional family? Straight couples will continue to live their lives without any interference from gays. So that part doesn’t change. They will continue to marry and have children so there doesn’t seem to be any effect on them by gay couples who may even be friends with them. They may run into gay couples at PTA meetings or soccer games but I don’t think that should be a problem. They may have to wait a little longer for adoptees. Is that going to be such an affront to the traditional family?

    I think Benedict and Rabbi Bernheim are really grasping at straws and are just homophobic.

    • Ted Seeber

      ” Straight couples will continue to live their lives without any interference from gays. ”

      I find my life interfered with by gays all the time. They are the most bigoted, anti-Catholic, anti-child group in the United States right now. I’ve been spat upon and called a breeder for allowing my special needs child to survive. You are lying. But that isn’t a surprise, because all you are for is lies.

  • vox borealis

    You didn’t read carefully, did you. It is an attack on the traditional family, that is what the Pope said, according to the article. And it is precisely because equating so-called gay marriage with marriage as it has been known in all societies throughout all of human history (though not necessarily monogamous in all societies) effectively redefines marriage as merely an affirmation of the affection and presumably sexual relationship between two individuals. It removes any notion that marriage is bound up with the procreation and rearing of children, which in turn undermines the idea that normative (indeed ideal) family involves father-mother-children.

    You don’t have to agree with it, but please don’t pretend not to understand the arguments.

  • Manny

    Yay! Finally we pull out the heavy guns. I just hope it’s not too late in the debate. Gay marriage is an absurdity. It’s like now declaring one plus one equals three. It’s cognitive dissonance.

  • Bill S

    “It is an attack on the traditional family, that is what the Pope said, according to the article.”

    The Pope can say something like that without any evidence to back him up. Just because he is the Pope, everyone is supposed to take his opinion seriously and ignore voters and judges. That’s not how it works.

    • Dave

      Bill S,
      Vox B. gave the Pope’s reasons in his comment, which are quite clear. You may not agree with the reasons but it certainly can’t be described as “with no evidence to back him up.”

  • Dave

    You are entitled to your opinion, but I will side with the Pope. Of course the Pope does not think that all, or even most, homosexuals are pedophiles. I am not sure why you think he does. I can’t really blame him for wanting to keep homosexuals from becoming priests when something like 90% of the abuse that has happened in the Church which has sullied the Church’s name has been same-sex abuse.

    • Bill S

      The priests committing the abuse are perverts and pedophiles. They are probably bisexual but have more opportunities to prey on boys than on girls. Well adjusted homosexuals who choose to be celibate (my iphone changed it to “celebrate”) pose less risk to children than the perverts and pedophiles. The Pope is ignorant to blame the abuse scandals on the sexual preference of the priests. This is just more evidence that he has lived a sheltered life and is homophobic.

      • Dave

        One of the reasons that perverts and pedophiles are able to sometimes abuse and gain access to victims for a long time is because they are extremely good at fooling people. Even though most homosexuals and bisexuals are not pedophiles (I’d say by definition they are perverts), it is evident that something is “off” psychologically (yes, even though the psychiatric manuals changed their mind 40 years ago) and thus it is safer to bar them from the priesthood.

        I do agree that there are some gay people that are outstanding people though, and manage to control their desires with the help of God’s grace. I have nothing but the greatest respect for them.

        • Bill S

          Dave, I don’t know what is going on with my posts, but if you don’t see the last one, go up above, it is there twice.

      • Ted Seeber

        The Pope is following the evidence. But hey, you can’t even admit that morality is objective, so why should we believe anything you say?

  • Bill S

    I know it is only Wikipedia, but I will take this summary over anything the Church has to offer:
    “Scientific and medical understanding is that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather a complex interplay of biological and environmental factors, especially with regard to early uterine environment. While there are those who still hold the view that homosexual activity is “unnatural” or “dysfunctional”, research has shown that homosexuality is an example of a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects. Prejudice and discrimination against homosexual and bisexual people, however, have been shown to cause psychological harm.”
    Where you say:
    “I do agree that there are some gay people that are outstanding people though, and manage to control their desires with the help of God’s grace. I have nothing but the greatest respect for them.”
    I would say the same except that they don’t really need to control their desires. What they do in private is their business and is not for me or anyone else to judge. It is a normal, healthy and socially acceptable form of human sexuality.

    • savvy

      It’s the use of heterosexual organs for different purposes. This violates human biology itself. There is a difference between judging motives and judging ideas or actions.

  • Bill S

    Dave, my response got posted out of order. If you don’t see it, here it is again. Sorry for the double post.

    I know it is only Wikipedia, but I will take this summary over anything the Church has to offer:
    “Scientific and medical understanding is that sexual orientation is not a choice, but rather a complex interplay of biological and environmental factors, especially with regard to early uterine environment. While there are those who still hold the view that homosexual activity is “unnatural” or “dysfunctional”, research has shown that homosexuality is an example of a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects. Prejudice and discrimination against homosexual and bisexual people, however, have been shown to cause psychological harm.”
    Where you say:
    “I do agree that there are some gay people that are outstanding people though, and manage to control their desires with the help of God’s grace. I have nothing but the greatest respect for them.”
    I would say the same except that they don’t really need to control their desires. What they do in private is their business and is not for me or anyone else to judge. It is a normal, healthy and socially acceptable form of human sexuality.

    • Dave

      I would disagree that “research has shown that homosexuality is an example of a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects. ”

      Research can show no such thing, as there is no way to control for the variables in those cases. As to whether it is a choice or not, I make no claims either way, but it is irrelevant. There are genetic components to alcoholism, kleptomania, some forms of violent tendencies, pica (eating things that are not food), etc. but that does not mean that these things are good, right, or “normal and natural variations.”

    • savvy

      Research has not proved that pre-determined inclinations always result in certain pre-determined actions. Behaviour is a choice. There is a difference between genetic pre-disposition and genetic determinism.

      This is an act that violates a natural law.

  • Bill S

    Dave: It is unbelievable just how much the Church has Catholics making every argument they can come up with to oppose gays. It’s like institutionalized bigotry. Society has accepted gays but the Church can’t.

    • savvy

      The church is doing something right when she is counter-cultural. A dead thing can go with the flow, only a living thing can swim against it. If someone wants to enact laws changing the fabric of civilization, then they need objective evidence that is not based on what goes on in their head. I am sorry, but that’s the way things are.

      Gender theory, replaces sex with gender. Making gender whatever a person “thinks” it is. To make this utopia possible, the fundamental differences between men and women have to be discarded.

  • Bill S

    “The church is doing something right when she is counter-cultural. A dead thing can go with the flow, only a living thing can swim against it.”

    Does the Catholic Church recognize the authority of the United States Supreme Court? That is who will decide this issue once and for all. Catholics and all Americans should abide by their ruling.

    • savvy

      The Supreme court has a right to decide, but Catholics are under no obligation to accept it. Any amount of civil laws cannot make something a marriage.

  • Bill S

    A marriage accepted by civil authorities is as much of a marriage as anyone will ever need. Merry Christmas, Savvy.

    • savvy

      Bill S,

      Merry Christmas. That might be the case for you. Trends come and go. As Chesterton said, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions”

  • Bill S

    Does that mean that you don’t celebrate Christmas? We celebrate it but not so much for its religious meaning as a family tradition. I posted this elsewhere:

    We know absolutely nothing about the actual birth of the man we know as Jesus. The story was written years later and is likely all or mostly fiction. The only one who could tell the story would have been Mary but even she would not have known all the details contained in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

    Do you agree?

    • savvy

      I celebrate Christmas. Jesus did not write a book, he established a church that received and recognized scripture. The church comes first. There was already an established church by a 100 A.D. The Apostolic fathers, studied under the Apostles. So we can’t say there is no evidence.

      BTW, why do continue to be dishonest and call yourself Catholic then.

  • Bill S

    It’s not worth it to be truthful about not believing. It would cause too many problems without any benefit. Besides, there really is nothing to be gained by robbing people of their faith.

    • savvy

      There is something to be gained by being honest to yourself. Saint Thomas Aquinas, says if a Catholic comes to believe the Church is in error in some essential, officially defined doctrine, it is a mortal sin against conscience, a sin of hypocrisy, for him to remain in the Church and call himself a Catholic, but only a venial sin against knowledge for him to leave the Church in honest but partly culpable error.

  • Bill S

    I know this sounds terrible to you but I am not inclined to pay any attention to any talk of mortal and venial sins. I know I can’t go out and kill somebody but I don’t worry about what I believe and what I don’t believe as far as being sinful in any way

    • savvy

      In that case, maybe you should stop making comments, and asking others to change your views, when you do not know what you stand for.

      • savvy

        I meant their views.

  • Bill S

    I feel justified trying to convince Catholics to stop discriminating against gays. If they want to save their souls that’s a good place to start.

    • savvy

      Nobody’s discrimination against gays. We are defending marriage.

    • savvy

      Laws are changed, attitudes and beliefs are affected and ultimately the freedom to teach your kids that homosexuality is wrong is denied under threat of removing them from your custody. For that reason people of faith have a right and indeed a duty to their input in the public sphere – it affects them, their families and their kids at school. Claiming that homosexual marriage is right because to say otherwise is wrong – is circular reasoning and much of the reporting by the media amounts to just that. The director of the press simply points that out – that the response of the media does not debate the pope on point but rather shouts over him in an attempt to silence him – make him look like a bigot so he’ll just want to stop talking – this is the core tactic of the homosexual agenda. But the pope will not be silenced. He didn’t create the law of natural marriage – God did – he simply points out what God has taught us on it.

  • Bill S

    Gay marriage does not pose a threat to traditional marriage. But I’ve said it all before and I can’t convince you. I stand by the first comment I made.

    • savvy

      It wants us to reject what is physically real and accept some fantasy. I am not changing my mind.


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