Pope's Benedict's Witch Hunt

Revolution #027, December 19, 2005, posted at revcom.us

A new Vatican statement on homosexuals and the priesthood echoes the fervor of the Nazis who pinned pink triangles on homosexuals and put them in concentration camps. And with this new document, the Vatican is launching a concerted campaign of persecution. In what amounts to a vicious witch hunt, Vatican investigators have been instructed to visit each of the 229 seminaries in the United States to look for "evidence of homosexuality."

The Vatican's statement says that those with "deep-seated" gay tendencies should not be ordained. It also bans "supporters of so-called gay culture" from entering the priesthood, and says that only men who have "overcome" their homosexuality for at least three years will be accepted as priests. These instructions affect those entering seminaries to prepare for the priesthood, not men who are already priests.

The document which says homosexuality is "objectively disordered" and a "grave sin," echoes and will enforce the view of a 1961 Vatican document which said: "Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers."

A statement by People of Faith for Gay Civil Rights responded: "In approving this instruction, Pope Benedict is behaving like hes the leader of the Nazi Party of his youth rather than the church of Jesus Christ." Matt Foreman of Americas national Gay and Lesbian Task Force says the Vaticans new document is an affront to thousands of gay priests, and he accused the Vatican of a calculated campaign to blame gay men for the churchs own criminal conduct in fostering and covering up decades of sexual abuse." (RedEye, 11-30-05)

For 25 years, before becoming the Pope, Benedict (then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), served as the Vatican's chief enforcer of orthodoxy. He drafted official positions regarding homosexuality and fought the legal recognition of homosexual couples. Two years ago, in a document attacking homosexual unions as a "misrepresentation of marriage," he wrote that "within homosexual unions, the biological and anthropological elements of matrimony and the family, on which foundations for legal recognition of such unions could be reasonably laid, are totally absent." The document went on to state that among the missing elements are a "conjugal dimension" for "transmission of life." In other words, he agues, sex is for having children, so society should not morally accept or legally recognize homosexual couples.

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