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Religion Last Updated: May 18th, 2006 - 10:51:08

The wholly hypocritical Catholic Church
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

May 18, 2006, 10:43

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Monday, this report came out on the heels of Pope Benedict�s latest tirade against gays: �The Roman Catholic Church was in the midst of damage control on Sunday following the firing of a key aide to the Cardinal in London for being gay and the reported arrest of a top Vatican official in Rome for trying to pick up a gay or transsexual prostitute.�

The London Times provided further details on the firing:

Cardinal sacked gay aide
By Ruth Gledhill

The leader of British Catholics has been accused of 'sickening hypocrisy' by homosexual rights groups

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O�Connor, faced accusations of hypocrisy from gay rights groups last night after it emerged that he dismissed a senior aide who was homosexual. . . .

The row is embarrassing for the Archbishop because, although Mr Noon was dismissed in 2003, details have emerged only days after Cardinal Murphy-O�Connor wrote in a letter to The Times: �The Church has consistently spoken out against any discrimination against homosexual persons, and will continue to do so.� . . .

Gay rights campaigners were quick to condemn him. Terry Sanderson, a columnist on Gay Times and spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and the National Secular Society, said: �The sickening hypocrisy is almost unbelievable.� . . .

When Cardinal Camillo Ruini opened the recent assembly of Italian bishops, he read a statement �condemning every type of �discrimination� toward gays,� except when it comes to employment, adoption and, of course, civil marriage, that is. Mr. Sanderson was correct: �the sickening hypocrisy� is almost unbelievable but wholly consistent with the Vatican�s and church hierarchy�s previous actions.

The report cited a Sunday article by Jonathan Oliver in the British paper, The Mail:

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales was last night drawn into a furious row over a senior aide sacked because of his homosexuality.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster, was personally involved in the dismissal of his personal Press secretary, who is also a devout Catholic. . . .

Mr Noon, 35, joined the Archbishop�s staff in 2003 as his �35,000-a-year Press secretary, with a wide-ranging brief to improve the public image of the Church. He was also charged with advising Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor on public statements on ethical issues of the day. . . .

Insiders say relations with Cardinal Murphy-O�Connor started well, but deteriorated after Mr Noon's long-term partner visited him at the office. A source told The Mail on Sunday: �His partner came into the office to meet him at the end of the day and was introduced to the Cardinal.

�Shortly after the Church made clear his sexuality was incompatible with the job he had to do. Since he was the spokesperson for the Cardinal, Murphy-O'Connor clearly felt he had to act because homosexual acts are regarded by the Church as a sin.�

The Church considers premarital and casual sex �a sin,� as well as sex not performed for procreative purposes, hence its objection to birth control. Wonder if they fire all lay employees who engage in any of those behaviors, use birth control or, God-forbid, masturbate? One would assume the Church considers pedophilia �a sin,� but that didn�t stop its hierarchy from covering up decades of sinful and illegal pedophilia by priests by simply relocating the offenders to other parishes so they could continue their abuses.

Mr. Oliver�s report also cited a comment made by a spokesman for the National Union of Journalists in relation to the church�s actions: �Discrimination can never be acceptable. It is shocking that anyone should face such blatant disregard for their human rights.� Apparently the Catholic church in Britain believes its dogma should place it above and beyond the law: �Church groups [in Britain] secured wide exemptions from new laws banning discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of sexual orientation.� Sound familiar?

Roman Catholic adoption agencies won�t be penalized by the state of Massachusetts for refusing to consider gays and lesbians as adoptive parents, even though doing so violates state antidiscrimination laws. The state Department of Early Education, which regulates adoption agencies, said it is not taking action because Gov. Mitt Romney has proposed legislation that could allow the agencies to refrain from considering gays on religious grounds. . . .

Romney proposed the bill after Catholic Charities of Boston announced last month it was ending its adoption services because it could not reconcile state law with church teaching, which considers adoption by gays �gravely immoral.�

�Gravely immoral.� Where was that attitude when the Boston archdiocese -- one of the worst offenders -- was busy illegally covering up their priests� pedophilia?

Given the Vatican�s (and the church hierarchy�s) history, it�s a bit difficult to believe their statement that �Information disseminated this morning by newspapers concerning a cleric in service at the Vatican are totally without foundation.� The �information� the Vatican was denying concerned reports in the Ansa news agency and Italian newspapers �that the 48-year-old priest -- whose rank was withheld and who was identified only by the initials CB -- works in the office of the secretary of state of the Vatican. . . . The media outlets are standing by their stories.�

But what can�t be denied are Pope Benedict's recent statements:

Pope Declares War On Italy's Government Over Gay Unions
by Malcolm Thornberry, European Bureau Chief
May 11, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(Rome) Pope Benedict warned Italy�s new left-of-center government on Thursday that the Vatican will use all of its power to thwart any move to recognize same-sex couples.

Speaking at a Vatican conference on marriage and the family, Benedict condemned gay unions -- especially marriage -- noting that marriage must be a union between a man and a woman and must be open to procreation.

Only the rock of total and irrevocable love between a man and a woman is capable of being the foundation of building a society that becomes a home for all mankind,� the Pope told the conference. [italics added]

�Use all its power.� Coming from a pope, that�s ominous indeed. Aside from the Vatican�s silent complicity during the slave trade and its �policies� during the Holocaust, history is quite clear how vicious the Vatican and popes can be:

His Holiness Pope Sixtus XIII (1585-90) declared with infuriated vigour: �While I live, every criminal must die!�

The Most Blessed Father Pope Benedict XII loved inflicting pain and turned his palace into a vast torture chamber �with irregular walls off which the screams and shrieks of prisoners bounced back and forth into silence.�

Clement VI �pillaged Cesena in 1377, where 4,000 anti-papal rebels were massacred.�

Pope Stephen IV (768-72) tore out the eyes of an antipope and was incredibly cruel. He is today venerated as a saint in parts of Sicily . . .

In the early thirteen century the Church showed how it dealt with those who would not surrender to papal dogma during the so-called Albigensian Crusade, which devastated much of France in the process of theological cleansing. . . .

Pope Sergius III deposed and imprisoned Pope Christopher (who had earlier deposed pope Leo V in 903), subsequently having him strangled to death.

Pope Boniface VI was involved in the death of Pope Forsus, and, in turn, was murdered by his successor, Stephen VI.

Pope Boniface VII �ordered the murder of his predecessor, Benedict VI.� He then imprisoned and presumably murdered former pope, John XIV. He in turn was murdered by a �vengeful Roman mob.�

Gregory I �paid fulsome compliments to the most vicious and brutal rulers of the time -- Queen Brunichildis of Gaul (Epp., I, 74) and the Emperor Phocas (XIII, 31, 38, and 39) -- when they promised to help the Church, and shockingly rejoiced in the murders of good men who opposed the Papacy.� [italics added]

Good men -- and good women -- both gay and straight continue to oppose the papacy�s ongoing medieval thinking, its new Holy Inquisition, and its current vendetta against Italy�s civil government and its citizens� civil rights: �more than 71 percent of Italians are favorable to gay civil unions such as those allowed in the U.K., Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium, according to a January report by research group Eurispes.�

Benedict XVI wants all unions �open to procreation.� Apparently the pope hasn�t heard about the global overpopulation problem, or the fact that lesbian couples can use in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination. And obviously he missed the fact that there are millions of children awaiting adoption. But then again, the Catholic church opposes gay couples providing homes for homeless children.

His supposed dogmatic �infallibility� aside, perhaps Benedict should read the argument made by the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, Dr. Rowan Williams, in his paper �The Body�s Grace�: making love need not be purely for procreation. The pope might also want to have a look at the writings of The Right Rev. John Shelby Spong in relation to �secular humanism,� which the Vatican takes every opportunity to damn:

I look at the 20th century, which in many ways was a secular humanist century in which organized religion declined dramatically in influence and in power. Yet in that very century, the emancipation of women occurred, the end of colonial domination of the less developed third world nations was largely ended, the civil rights movement broke the back of segregation and homosexuals began to overcome the prejudice that has prevented them from achieving full membership and justice in the social order. Each of these is a powerful achievement. A study of the history of that century also reveals that the majority of the Christian world, expressed through the leadership of institutional Christianity, resisted each of these changes.

But the most out-of-touch, hypocritical statement the pope made was �Only the rock of total and irrevocable love between a man and a woman is capable of being the foundation of building a society that becomes a home for all mankind� [italics added].

Again, apparently the pope hasn�t heard about �divorce,� the rate of which in the United States is between 40-50 percent. In commenting on his research group�s 1999 study of divorce among Christians of all denominations, George Barna had this to say:

While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages. [italics added]

The Barna Group�s 2004 study confirmed their earlier results: �among married born again Christians, 35 percent have experienced a divorce. That figure is identical to the outcome among married adults who are not born again: 35 percent.�

According to an article, titled �Breaking Vows: When Faithful Catholics Divorce� by Tom Hoopes, �The divorce rate among Catholics is reputedly the same as that among the general public, where about 35 percent of people who have been married have also been divorced.�

Benedict XVI argued for �a society that becomes a home for all mankind,� as long as gays and lesbians are excluded from that �society� and not welcome in that �home for all mankind.� The pope, his cardinals and the church hierarchy say one thing and do another.

Since its beginning, the Roman Catholic Church as been one of the most corrupt and hypocritical institutions the world has ever known. It continues that tradition today.

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