Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lucia Drama Queens versus the Pope

I was going to write something on the fact that the Pope is Catholic and making Catholic pronouncements on things of interest to Catholics is part of his job, but, LifeSiteNews has taken the time to write something more thoughtful. Read it and the rest of the post before you comment on this thread - ok?

The Pope Had the Guts to Say We Need to Save Ourselves from Self-Destructive Sexual Lifestyles ~ LifeSiteNews

VATICAN CITY, December 23, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In thousands of news articles and talk shows around the world today from Bulgaria to India, Pope Benedict XVI is being bashed for daring to say we should care as much for mankind as the tropical rainforests; that the harm caused by going against the Creator's plan for human sexuality is destructive and hurtful. In truth, he is being pilloried for having enough love to tell his brothers and sisters struggling with same-sex attraction, promiscuity, pornography, adultery and more, that their behavior is hurting them and society at large. It is hurting them physically, psychologically, but most importantly - hurting them spiritually.

The homosexual press has the most outrageous headlines on the topic; Pink News in the UK screams: "Pope Benedict learnt nothing from his time in the Hitler Youth" and "Pope Benedict's latest outburst 'justifies' homophobic bullying and attacks". But the coverage in the mainstream press is hardly less offensive.

A San Fransico Chronicle headline reads, "Pope Benedict at Christmas: Preaching bigotry disguised as compassion", and the Times of London opines: "Christmas was never meant to be about this". See one example of the explicit hate mongering by gay activists against the Pope in the YouTube video at link

Interesting to note is the fact that nowhere in the Pope's remark did he even use the word 'homosexual' or 'homosexuality', rather he referred to 'gender' and to the Creator's plan for human sexuality as being in life-long marriage between one man and one woman. In this respect, he spoke not only to the problem of homosexual acts but also other sexual aberrations such as sex outside of marriage, adultery, pornography, and even contraceptive sex. This is borne out by the fact, unreported by the mainstream media, that within the speech he urged the faithful to re-read the encyclical Humanae Vitae - known most for its prohibition of contraception.

Hence, our coverage of the Pope's message yesterday was headlined "Pope's Christmas Greeting Says We Must 'Protect the Human Being against Self-Destruction' of Sexual Aberration"[...]

Trust me, the Pope is not going on about such matters to be popular, not because he has some vendetta against gays. He is preaching the truth out of love; love for God and his Truth, love for mankind as a whole, but specifically love for his fellow human beings who are hurting themselves with destructive sexual lifestyles. By being accepting of homosexual sex, or even encouraging it, society at large is playing the part of the appeasing friend who allows or even encourages the teenager to engage in 'freedom' - in those risky behaviours which will lead to his downfall. The appeasing friend may profit from the teen's self-abuse, or at least be seen as accepting. It is the role of those who really have the teen's best interests at heart - parents, teachers, sibling, and true friends - to point out the danger despite the rancor they may receive.

The Pope has sounded the alarm on rejecting God's plan for human sexuality and pointed to the dangers for those involved and society in general of fostering such behavior. He is now experiencing the backlash, but like any good parent, he will weather it in patience and love, knowing that one day, his aberrant children will come to their senses or at the very least that he has tried his best to get them to do so.

The statement made recently by atheist Penn Jillette of 'Penn & Teller' fame applies in this case, and serves as a reproach to all those Christian leaders who, out of fear of being politically incorrect and losing human respect, are - unlike the Holy Father - silent on the topic of sex outside the plan of God. Speaking on a video monologue recently, Jillette said: "If you believe that there's a heaven and hell, and that people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward ... - how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell them that?"

See the Pope's complete Christmas address

The author of Holy Smoke is a bit more caustic in his defence of the Holy Father: Pope revealed to be Catholic, shock, horror!:

He's done it again. The Pope has reiterated unfashionable Catholic teaching on sexuality. And at Christmas! What poor taste. Moreover, he has dared to do so in the context of a discussion of (pause to genuflect) the environment. Is nothing sacred?

Benedict XVI stands accused today of ecclesiastical gay-bashing. When I was woken up very early this morning by a radio station looking for a quote, I was given the impression that he'd given a speech saying homosexuals were as big a threat to the planet as climate change.

That would have been an own goal, I admit. But look at the text of the Pope's speech to the Curia and he doesn't even come close to saying that. The point Benedict is making is that God's plan for creation encompasses both stewardship of the planet and the expression of human sexual relations within (and only within) marriage.

Nowhere in his speech does he say that "homosexuaity" is a sin, because that's not Catholic teaching. On the other hand, and there's no getting round this, all homosexual genital activity is condemned. But that teaching is implicit in the Pope's speech, not explicit.
I suppose the subtlety of what the Holy Father has said is lost on many that are active in highly immoral lifestyles. Rather than just accepting that the Pope is Catholic, they instead are horrified that their lifestyle is held up as destructive.

Now read NCRep’s John Allen on the Pope’s annual address to the Curia , with commentary in red by Fr Z of What Does the Prayer Really Say?

In a similar vein, reflection on the Holy Spirit also led Benedict to underscore the Christian concern for the environment.

Faith in the creator Spirit is an essential component of the Christian creed,” the pope said. [Creatio ex nihilo set us apart from all other religions.] “The ultimate basis for our responsibility towards the earth lies in our faith regarding creation. It is not simply our property, which we can exploit according to our own interests and desires. It is instead the gift of the Creator, with certain intrinsic rules [This "rules" point might be a good point of differentiation from secular or gnostic environmentalist types.] that offer us an orientation we must respect as administrators of creation.” [Interesting… another theme is, perhaps, mediation.. our secondary role, ... Pope as Vicar of Christ, we are stewards. It is about us, but not about us. There are logical distinctions to be made.]

The pope insisted that the church must get involved in today’s environmental debates. [I agree.]

“Because faith in the Creator is an essential part of the Christian creed, the church cannot and must not limit itself to transmitting only the message of salvation to its faithful,” Benedict said. “It has a responsibility for creation, and must express this responsibility in public.” [This is a key to what Pope Benedict is trying to accomplish in his pontificate. The Catholic Church and her faithful must have a voice in the public square on all those things touching also the human experience. But in order to have something to contribute, we have to know who we are and what we believe and we must live it.]

At the same time, Benedict clearly distinguished the church’s approach from secular environmental movements – insisting that concern for tropical rain forests and the church’s traditional pro-life commitments, including sexual morality, are indissolubly linked.

[The church] must defend not only the earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to all,” he said. “It must also defend the human person against its own destruction. [In the Christian vision, man is at the summit of material creation and not separate from it. The materialists and gnostics too often oppose man a creation, as if we were opponents.] What’s needed is something like a ‘human ecology,’ understood in the right sense. It’s not simply an outdated metaphysics if the church speaks of the nature of the human person as man and woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected.” [He spoke of "rules" and now of "order".]

“Here it’s a question of faith in creation, in listening to the language of creation, [Interesting. The Pope seems almost to be saying that the Logos echoes in creation, and we can discern its language. Sure there are therefore rules and order.] disregard of which would mean self-destruction of the human person [because we are going against ourselves] and hence destruction of the very work of God,” [who created ex nihilo] the pope said. “That which is often expressed and understood by the term ‘gender’ in the end amounts to the self-emancipation of the human person from creation and from the Creator. [Excellent. Part of the order, with the rules that come from order, in the "language" the Divine Logos as the one through whom all things were made, includes real differentiation.] Human beings want to do everything by themselves, and to control exclusively everything that regards them. But in this way, the human person lives against the truth, against the Creator Spirit.” [There must be a submission to reality or we do ourselves harm.]

“Yes, the tropical forests merit our protection, but the human being as a creature merits no less protection[more, rather] a creature in which a message is written which does not imply a contradiction of our liberty, but the condition for it,” the pope said. [Interesting. The image of God in is is a "message". We are back to language. What comes to mind is the language of the human genome, the codes in our fabric. But there is a language, a logos in its deepest sense, behind the codes.]

On that basis, Benedict offered a defense of traditional marriage and Catholic sexual morality. [Because here the differentiations and complementarities come together. Keep in mind the folly being discussed at the UN. The Holy See reacted that that and the secular press went after the reactions.]

“Great Scholastic theologians defined marriage, meaning the lifetime bond between a man and a woman, as a sacrament of creation, which the Creator instituted and which Christ – without changing the message of creation[There it is again: "message" of creation.] then welcomed into the story of his covenant with humanity,” the pope said. “This witness in favor of the Creator Spirit, present in the nature of this bond and in a special way in the nature of the human person, is also part of the proclamation which the church must offer. [In the public square!] Starting from this perspective, it’s important to re-read the encyclical Humanae Vitae : [40 years after…] the intention of Pope Paul VI was to defend love against treating sexuality as a kind of consumption, the future against the exclusive demands of the present, and the nature of the human being against manipulation.”
Now that everyone has some background into the actual comments, let's just finish with New Zealand's GayNZ typically juvenille "reporting" of the Pope's comments. The following photoshopped picture is published on their site with the words :

Papal power: The Pope's resemblance to an evil Star Wars character is highlighted in a viral email.
The rest of the article just repeats the same old talking points that the homosexual press around the world are fainting over.

Saving humanity from homosexual acts is as important as saving the rainforests, the Catholic leader had said in his Christmas message.
What about saving humanity from inaccurate and biased reporting?

When it comes down to it, the Holy Father was just clearly stating Catholic teaching. Our readers may recognise the message as being consistent with what has bee published on this website. In other words, nothing new, don't get too excited. The Pope is Catholic, and Catholicism does not dance to the whims of fashion.

Related Links:

Europe’s Choice for Christmas: Pink Trees or None at All ~ Brussels Journal
Homosexuality is as great a threat as rainforest destruction, says Pope ~ Daily Mail, UK

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