Friday, April 20, 2012
Vatican City: Holy See Critizises US Nuns For Not Being Homophobes & Anti-Feminists Enough
Pink News UK reports: 

The Vatican has criticised a group of nuns for challenging settled doctrines and failing to speak out against equal marriage and abortion.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious was assessed by the Vatican and found to have “serious doctrinal problems”, the New York Times reports.
The nuns were accused of “radical feminism” and of challenging what it believes to be settled issues.
The group was formed in 1956 and has 1,500 members.
Sister Simone Campbell is a director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby which was begun by its members and criticised by the Vatican for focusing its work on economic injustice rather than opposition to abortion and marriage equality.
She told the New York Times: “We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.”
A statement on the group’s website said it was “stunned” by the assessment.
“Because the leadership of LCWR has the custom of meeting annually with the staff of CDF in Rome and because the conference follows canonically-approved statutes, we were taken by surprise.
“This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church. We ask your prayers as we meet with the LCWR National Board within the coming month to review the mandate and prepare a response.”
Archbishop J Peter Sartain of Seattle was appointed by the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to lead a five-year reform of the women’s group.
The archbishop has said in the past that the “unique sacrifices” made by straight couples should be rewarded by a “special” system of marriage reserved for them exclusively.
He has also lent his support to a petition in the state of Washington which would see a public ballot on whether to revoke citizens’ rights to marry a person of the same sex. He wrote of treating people with love, but said “sexual intercourse is so intimate and significant that it is intended only for a man and woman in marriage”.

Vatican City: Holy See Critizises US Nuns For Not Being Homophobes & Anti-Feminists Enough

Pink News UK reports: 

The Vatican has criticised a group of nuns for challenging settled doctrines and failing to speak out against equal marriage and abortion.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious was assessed by the Vatican and found to have “serious doctrinal problems”, the New York Times reports.

The nuns were accused of “radical feminism” and of challenging what it believes to be settled issues.

The group was formed in 1956 and has 1,500 members.

Sister Simone Campbell is a director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby which was begun by its members and criticised by the Vatican for focusing its work on economic injustice rather than opposition to abortion and marriage equality.

She told the New York Times: “We haven’t violated any teaching, we have just been raising questions and interpreting politics.”

A statement on the group’s website said it was “stunned” by the assessment.

“Because the leadership of LCWR has the custom of meeting annually with the staff of CDF in Rome and because the conference follows canonically-approved statutes, we were taken by surprise.

“This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church. We ask your prayers as we meet with the LCWR National Board within the coming month to review the mandate and prepare a response.”

Archbishop J Peter Sartain of Seattle was appointed by the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to lead a five-year reform of the women’s group.

The archbishop has said in the past that the “unique sacrifices” made by straight couples should be rewarded by a “special” system of marriage reserved for them exclusively.

He has also lent his support to a petition in the state of Washington which would see a public ballot on whether to revoke citizens’ rights to marry a person of the same sex. He wrote of treating people with love, but said “sexual intercourse is so intimate and significant that it is intended only for a man and woman in marriage”.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
PENNSYLVANIA: Philly Pedophile Catholic Priest Jokes About Molesting 3 Boys A Week  
A jury in Philadelphia has heard the most repulsive testimony yet at an unprecedented trial of a Catholic priest for shielding pedophile collegues. (Via Yahoo News):

In the day’s most startling testimony, a detective read internal church memos about a priest who allegedly “joked about how hard it was to have sex with three boys in one week.” His accuser also stated that the priest had a “rotation process” of boys spending time sleeping with him. Defense lawyers argue that Lynn tried to address the problem as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, but was blocked by the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and others in the Philadelphia archdiocese. The testimony Monday also included a 1992 complaint about a different priest who allegedly molested boys at a church-owned camp three decades earlier. Several junior counselors complained in the early 1960s that the priest was on the prowl at night, molesting them in their tents. They said it was a well-known secret among teen counselors for several years.
According to Joe Jervis, last week Father Edward Avery, Lynn’s co-defendant, abruptly changed his plea to guilty just as the trial was to begin. During his allocution, Avery confessed to molesting parish boys and admitted that his diocese knew about his assaults yet did nothing.

PENNSYLVANIA: Philly Pedophile Catholic Priest Jokes About Molesting 3 Boys A Week  

A jury in Philadelphia has heard the most repulsive testimony yet at an unprecedented trial of a Catholic priest for shielding pedophile collegues. (Via Yahoo News):

In the day’s most startling testimony, a detective read internal church memos about a priest who allegedly “joked about how hard it was to have sex with three boys in one week.” His accuser also stated that the priest had a “rotation process” of boys spending time sleeping with him. Defense lawyers argue that Lynn tried to address the problem as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, but was blocked by the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and others in the Philadelphia archdiocese. The testimony Monday also included a 1992 complaint about a different priest who allegedly molested boys at a church-owned camp three decades earlier. Several junior counselors complained in the early 1960s that the priest was on the prowl at night, molesting them in their tents. They said it was a well-known secret among teen counselors for several years.

According to Joe Jervis, last week Father Edward Avery, Lynn’s co-defendant, abruptly changed his plea to guilty just as the trial was to begin. During his allocution, Avery confessed to molesting parish boys and admitted that his diocese knew about his assaults yet did nothing.

Monday, April 2, 2012
Ireland: Priest’s PC Autoplays Porn Slideshow To Congregation 
Gizmodo reports:

Father Martin McVeigh was giving a talk to 26 parents and one 8-year-old kid when computer disaster struck. He connected his USB drive into a PC to start his Powerpoint presentation and, instead of the word of God, a hardcore gay porn slideshow started—thanks to Windows’ autoplay.Some parents—who were there to hear McVeigh talk about First Communion—were angry. Others were in shock. Just like McVeigh. He was so embarrassed that, according to witnesses, unplugged the USB drive and walked out of the room without uttering a single word. Later he declared to the press:I don’t know how it happened but I know what happened. There are people making innuendoes who weren’t even there but in this day and age these stories grow.Well, Father, I think there’s little space for innuendo after showing gay porn in church. McVeigh, however, claims there is an explanation for all this.The Archdiocese of Armagh, where the parish belongs, called the police and gave them the USB stick for inspection. The police told them there was no crime in gay porn and the drive didn’t contain any pedophilia. It was just normal gay porn.According to The Ulster Herald, “an emergency meeting was held in the parish last night.” You know, because gay priests are such a rare event that emergency meetings need to be held with the utmost urgency, so everyone can slam someone who mistakenly made his sexual preferences public. Embarrassment is not enough! To the fire with him.

(Tipped by R. King).

Ireland: Priest’s PC Autoplays Porn Slideshow To Congregation 

Gizmodo reports:

Father Martin McVeigh was giving a talk to 26 parents and one 8-year-old kid when computer disaster struck. He connected his USB drive into a PC to start his Powerpoint presentation and, instead of the word of God, a hardcore gay porn slideshow started—thanks to Windows’ autoplay.
Some parents—who were there to hear McVeigh talk about First Communion—were angry. Others were in shock. Just like McVeigh. He was so embarrassed that, according to witnesses, unplugged the USB drive and walked out of the room without uttering a single word. Later he declared to the press:
I don’t know how it happened but I know what happened. There are people making innuendoes who weren’t even there but in this day and age these stories grow.
Well, Father, I think there’s little space for innuendo after showing gay porn in church. McVeigh, however, claims there is an explanation for all this.
The Archdiocese of Armagh, where the parish belongs, called the police and gave them the USB stick for inspection. The police told them there was no crime in gay porn and the drive didn’t contain any pedophilia. It was just normal gay porn.

According to The Ulster Herald, “an emergency meeting was held in the parish last night.” You know, because gay priests are such a rare event that emergency meetings need to be held with the utmost urgency, so everyone can slam someone who mistakenly made his sexual preferences public. Embarrassment is not enough! To the fire with him.

(Tipped by R. King).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dan Savage In This American Life: The Return To The Scene Of The Crime 

Just powerful.

Friday, March 30, 2012
KANSAS: House Approves Catholic-Backed Bill Which Legalizes Anti-Gay Discrimination
LJWorld reports:

The Kansas House on Wednesday advanced legislation that would allow a religious defense to discriminate against gays.Two Lawrence representatives attacked the bill, called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, as an attempt to destroy a city of Lawrence anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation.In an impassioned speech, state Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said, “I am very proud of my Lawrence community, and I’m very proud of the ordinance that we passed.” Ballard added, “Discrimination is an injustice. It is an injustice to everyone.”House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said, “I don’t believe it is ever right to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation.”But State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, defended his bill, saying it was meant to make sure government could not infringe on an individual’s religious beliefs.“Free exercise of religion is at the core of who we are as a people,” Kinzer said.Davis asked Kinzer if under Kinzer’s bill an apartment owner could cite his religious beliefs to fight a complaint if he refused to rent to a same-sex couple.“That is generally correct,” Kinzer said.Davis said that was unfair to the city of Lawrence, which is the only city in Kansas that has an anti-discrimination ordinance designed to protect people based on sexual orientation.State Rep. Charlie Roth, R-Salina, said that Kinzer’s legislation was “homophobic” and that it will hurt Kansas’ image. “It sends the message that Kansas is not welcoming. Kansas will become known as the land of the pure as defined by the few,” Roth said.But Kinzer said local units of government should not be allowed to engage in religious discrimination against its citizens.The bill was approved 89-27. Ballard, Davis and state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, voted against it. State Reps. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, and TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, voted for it.The bill would prohibit state and local governments from substantially burdening a person’s religious beliefs unless the government can prove that the burden is advancing a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive way of advancing that interest.The measure is supported by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration, the Kansas Catholic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Kansas. It was opposed by Lawrence officials, the Kansas Equality Coalition and the state chapter of the National Organization for Women.Right before advancing the Kansas Preservation of Freedom Act, the House gave preliminary approval to putting a chapel for prayer and meditation in the Statehouse.Both proposals will require a final vote before going to the Senate. Those votes will probably be taken Thursday.

KANSAS: House Approves Catholic-Backed Bill Which Legalizes Anti-Gay Discrimination

LJWorld reports:

The Kansas House on Wednesday advanced legislation that would allow a religious defense to discriminate against gays.
Two Lawrence representatives attacked the bill, called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act, as an attempt to destroy a city of Lawrence anti-discrimination ordinance that includes sexual orientation.
In an impassioned speech, state Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said, “I am very proud of my Lawrence community, and I’m very proud of the ordinance that we passed.” Ballard added, “Discrimination is an injustice. It is an injustice to everyone.”
House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said, “I don’t believe it is ever right to discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation.”
But State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, defended his bill, saying it was meant to make sure government could not infringe on an individual’s religious beliefs.
“Free exercise of religion is at the core of who we are as a people,” Kinzer said.
Davis asked Kinzer if under Kinzer’s bill an apartment owner could cite his religious beliefs to fight a complaint if he refused to rent to a same-sex couple.
“That is generally correct,” Kinzer said.
Davis said that was unfair to the city of Lawrence, which is the only city in Kansas that has an anti-discrimination ordinance designed to protect people based on sexual orientation.
State Rep. Charlie Roth, R-Salina, said that Kinzer’s legislation was “homophobic” and that it will hurt Kansas’ image. “It sends the message that Kansas is not welcoming. Kansas will become known as the land of the pure as defined by the few,” Roth said.
But Kinzer said local units of government should not be allowed to engage in religious discrimination against its citizens.
The bill was approved 89-27. Ballard, Davis and state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, voted against it. State Reps. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, and TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, voted for it.
The bill would prohibit state and local governments from substantially burdening a person’s religious beliefs unless the government can prove that the burden is advancing a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive way of advancing that interest.
The measure is supported by Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration, the Kansas Catholic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Kansas. It was opposed by Lawrence officials, the Kansas Equality Coalition and the state chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Right before advancing the Kansas Preservation of Freedom Act, the House gave preliminary approval to putting a chapel for prayer and meditation in the Statehouse.
Both proposals will require a final vote before going to the Senate. Those votes will probably be taken Thursday.

Monday, March 26, 2012
“Moron Of The Week" Inductee Child Rape, Inc. CEO (aka Pope Benedict XVI) Visits Mexico
And fortunately for Mexico City, he won’t be paying a visit to the capital because he apparently has a heart, which can’t handle the city’s altitude given his delicate health situation. 
Millions of pesos are being spent to make his visit as comfortable as possible, and of course from our taxes. And protests are of course making its way onto the mainstream media:

Ratzinger is quite unpopular in Mexico because soon after becoming pope, Pope Benedict XVI acted too little, too late when he removed child rapist Father Maciel from active ministry after an investigation that started under John Paul II, ordering him to just retire. 
Mexico has the world’s second largest Catholic congregation after Brazil.
He’s schedule to leave Mexico To Cuba today.

Moron Of The Week" Inductee Child Rape, Inc. CEO (aka Pope Benedict XVI) Visits Mexico

And fortunately for Mexico City, he won’t be paying a visit to the capital because he apparently has a heart, which can’t handle the city’s altitude given his delicate health situation. 

Millions of pesos are being spent to make his visit as comfortable as possible, and of course from our taxes. And protests are of course making its way onto the mainstream media:

Ratzinger is quite unpopular in Mexico because soon after becoming pope, Pope Benedict XVI acted too little, too late when he removed child rapist Father Maciel from active ministry after an investigation that started under John Paul II, ordering him to just retire. 

Mexico has the world’s second largest Catholic congregation after Brazil.

He’s schedule to leave Mexico To Cuba today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
United Kingdom: Muslim And Sikh Leaders Oppose Cameron’s Same-Sex Marriage Plan   
Joe.My.God. reports: 

Unsurprisingly, it’s not just the Catholic Church and the Church of England who are battling against British Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage.
Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Whilst we remain opposed to all forms of discrimination, including homophobia, redefining the meaning of marriage is in our opinion unnecessary and unhelpful. “With the advent of civil partnerships, both homosexual and heterosexual couples now have equal rights in the eyes of the law. “Therefore, in our view the case to change the definition of marriage, as accepted throughout time and across cultures, is strikingly weak. In common with other Abrahamic faiths, marriage in Islam is defined as “a union between a man and a woman”, he said. “So while the state has accommodated for gay couples, such unions will not be blessed as marriage by the Islamic institutions.” Lord Singh, head of the Network of Sikh Organisations, said the proposed reforms represented “a sideways assault on religion”. “It is an attempt by a vocal, secular minority to attack religion,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Sikhs believed in marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that changing the definition was an attack on the English language, he said. “We have total respect for gays and lesbians and we are delighted that there is a Civil Partnership Act. We believe that this gives gays and lesbians everything they need.” 
Last week the British government launched a 12-week period of public comments on Cameron’s plan.

United Kingdom: Muslim And Sikh Leaders Oppose Cameron’s Same-Sex Marriage Plan   

Joe.My.God. reports: 

Unsurprisingly, it’s not just the Catholic Church and the Church of England who are battling against British Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Whilst we remain opposed to all forms of discrimination, including homophobia, redefining the meaning of marriage is in our opinion unnecessary and unhelpful. “With the advent of civil partnerships, both homosexual and heterosexual couples now have equal rights in the eyes of the law. “Therefore, in our view the case to change the definition of marriage, as accepted throughout time and across cultures, is strikingly weak. In common with other Abrahamic faiths, marriage in Islam is defined as “a union between a man and a woman”, he said. “So while the state has accommodated for gay couples, such unions will not be blessed as marriage by the Islamic institutions.” Lord Singh, head of the Network of Sikh Organisations, said the proposed reforms represented “a sideways assault on religion”. “It is an attempt by a vocal, secular minority to attack religion,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Sikhs believed in marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that changing the definition was an attack on the English language, he said. “We have total respect for gays and lesbians and we are delighted that there is a Civil Partnership Act. We believe that this gives gays and lesbians everything they need.”

Last week the British government launched a 12-week period of public comments on Cameron’s plan.

Monday, March 12, 2012
United Kingdom: Equality Minister Says The Church’s Opposition To Gay Marriage Is “Dark Age” Homophobia
Pink News UK reports:

Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat minister for equality has said that the language the Church of England and the Catholic Church have used is homophobic and that the views that the leaders are expressing belong in the Dark Ages. Mrs Featherstone told the Sunday Times: “This is about love and commitment and things that are good for society and families; it is a matter of celebrating love and commitment.” She added :“I have heard homophobic language used in connection with this very loving and progressive step.” She said the language use “belongs in the Dark Ages”.“This is a live-and-let-live policy,” Mrs Featherstone told the newspaper . “We have no wish to cross over into territory that is not ours, no desire to stop those who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.“They [the opponents] do not have to agree with this. But we will have to agree to disagree because for those who want to express their love in a civil marriage, then I think the state is here to facilitate that and to encourage it and rejoice in it.”A new law would“bind people together in love” and allow lesbians and gay men to express “a lifelong commitment that is so emotional and so strong”.Mrs Featherstone reiterated that the Government will not propose to make it legal for Churches or Synagogues that wish to conduct same sex marriages to do so. This is in part to ally the fears of religious critics but PinkNews.co.uk understands that if significant numbers of people and organisations call for this during the consultation period that opens this week, the Government will consider adding provisions to legislation. Lord Ali, who pushed through legislation to allow religious civil partnerships is planning an amendment to any same sex marriage legislation to make this happen. Scotland is proposing to allow religious groups to decide themselves whether to offer same sex marriage.Mrs Featherstone said she was shocked by Cardinal O’Brien’s article in the Sunday Telegraph last week where he describes same sex marriage as a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” and compared the Government’s support for it to introducing slavery.“I totally respect religious views but I think that sort of intemperate language has been misjudged,” Mrs Featherstone told the newspaper.“I think most people, gay or straight, would find the cardinal’s comments offensive. Using language like ‘grotesque’ really only reinforces the fact that there is still discrimination against gay people. I know many many Catholics who are concerned by such vituperative language.  I don’t want to get into any kind of argument with the churches or any of the religions.”Echoing a joke made by Stonewall, she said: “Anyone who doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage should not marry someone of the same sex.”

United Kingdom: Equality Minister Says The Church’s Opposition To Gay Marriage Is “Dark Age” Homophobia

Pink News UK reports:

Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat minister for equality has said that the language the Church of England and the Catholic Church have used is homophobic and that the views that the leaders are expressing belong in the Dark Ages. 
Mrs Featherstone told the Sunday Times: “This is about love and commitment and things that are good for society and families; it is a matter of celebrating love and commitment.” She added :“I have heard homophobic language used in connection with this very loving and progressive step.” She said the language use “belongs in the Dark Ages”.
“This is a live-and-let-live policy,” Mrs Featherstone told the newspaper . “We have no wish to cross over into territory that is not ours, no desire to stop those who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
“They [the opponents] do not have to agree with this. But we will have to agree to disagree because for those who want to express their love in a civil marriage, then I think the state is here to facilitate that and to encourage it and rejoice in it.”
A new law would“bind people together in love” and allow lesbians and gay men to express “a lifelong commitment that is so emotional and so strong”.
Mrs Featherstone reiterated that the Government will not propose to make it legal for Churches or Synagogues that wish to conduct same sex marriages to do so. This is in part to ally the fears of religious critics but PinkNews.co.uk understands that if significant numbers of people and organisations call for this during the consultation period that opens this week, the Government will consider adding provisions to legislation. 
Lord Ali, who pushed through legislation to allow religious civil partnerships is planning an amendment to any same sex marriage legislation to make this happen. Scotland is proposing to allow religious groups to decide themselves whether to offer same sex marriage.
Mrs Featherstone said she was shocked by Cardinal O’Brien’s article in the Sunday Telegraph last week where he describes same sex marriage as a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” and compared the Government’s support for it to introducing slavery.
“I totally respect religious views but I think that sort of intemperate language has been misjudged,” Mrs Featherstone told the newspaper.
“I think most people, gay or straight, would find the cardinal’s comments offensive. Using language like ‘grotesque’ really only reinforces the fact that there is still discrimination against gay people. I know many many Catholics who are concerned by such vituperative language.  I don’t want to get into any kind of argument with the churches or any of the religions.”
Echoing a joke made by Stonewall, she said: “Anyone who doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage should not marry someone of the same sex.”

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Freedom From Religion Foundation To Liberals: Quit Child Rape, Inc. (aka The Catholic Church)

This was an ad on yesterday’s New York Times print edition. Beautiful, isn’t it? 

“Moron Of The Week" Inductee & Pedophile Enabler Pope Benedict XVI Commands U.S. Bishops To Hate LGBTs
The AFP reports:

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday condemned gay marriage in a speech to bishops from the United States after Maryland last week became the eighth US state to legalise same-sex unions. “Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage,” the pope said, warning against “the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage”. “Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature.” He also said bishops could not overlook “the serious pastoral problem presented by the widespread practice of cohabitation”. “The contemporary crisis of marriage and the family… has led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost”

Moron Of The Week" Inductee & Pedophile Enabler Pope Benedict XVI Commands U.S. Bishops To Hate LGBTs

The AFP reports:

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday condemned gay marriage in a speech to bishops from the United States after Maryland last week became the eighth US state to legalise same-sex unions. “Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage,” the pope said, warning against “the powerful political and cultural currents seeking to alter the legal definition of marriage”. “Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature.” He also said bishops could not overlook “the serious pastoral problem presented by the widespread practice of cohabitation”. “The contemporary crisis of marriage and the family… has led to grave societal problems bearing an immense human and economic cost”

Monday, March 5, 2012

United Kingdom: Catholic Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien Says Gay Marriage Is “A Grotesque Madness”

Pink News UK reports:

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the most senior Catholic in Scotland, Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, has said that gay marriage is a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. He suggests that same sex marriage will lead to three way marriages and compares the government’s support for equality to legalising slavery.The Conservative MP Margot James said Cardinal O’Brien’s language was “unacceptable” while the Home Office says that couples should have the right to marry “irrespective of their sexual orientation”.His article comes just a week after the spiritual head of the Church of England, Rowan Williams said that the Anglican communion will fight gay marriage.Introducing gay marriage is supported across the political spectrum including by the SNP first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond; the Conservative prime minister of the UK, David Cameron; the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister of the UK, Nick Clegg; and by the Labour leader Ed Miliband.In his article today, Cardinal O’Brien writes: “On the surface, the question of same-sex marriage may seem to be an innocuous one. Civil partnerships have been in place for several years now, allowing same-sex couples to register their relationship and enjoy a variety of legal protections. When these arrangements were introduced, supporters were at pains to point out that they didn’t want marriage, accepting that marriage had only ever meant the legal union of a man and a woman.“Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, warned that in time marriage would be demanded too. We were accused of scaremongering then, yet exactly such demands are upon us now.”Mr O’Brien claims that gay marriage redefines marriage for everyone: “Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.“Redefining marriage will have huge implications for what is taught in our schools, and for wider society. It will redefine society since the institution of marriage is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. The repercussions of enacting same-sex marriage into law will be immense.“But can we simply redefine terms at a whim? Can a word whose meaning has been clearly understood in every society throughout history suddenly be changed to mean something else?”“In Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, marriage is defined as a relationship between men and women. But when our politicians suggest jettisoning the established understanding of marriage and subverting its meaning they aren’t derided.”Controversially, Mr O’Brien writes that gay marriage is “madness and grotesque”: “Their attempt to redefine reality is given a polite hearing, their madness is indulged. Their proposal represents a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.”“There is no doubt that, as a society, we have become blasé about the importance of marriage as a stabilising influence and less inclined to prize it as a worthwhile institution.”Mr O’Brien then refers to a constant theme of anti-gay marriage supporters, that the purpose of marriage is to procreate. “It has been damaged and undermined over the course of a generation, yet marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that the children born of those unions will have a mother and a father.“This brings us to the one perspective which seems to be completely lost or ignored: the point of view of the child. All children deserve to begin life with a mother and father; the evidence in favour of the stability and well-being which this provides is overwhelming and unequivocal. It cannot be provided by a same-sex couple, however well-intentioned they may be.“Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.”Last month, a senior Church of England bishop, the bishop of Salisbury said that the argument that marriage was created as an institution to support the birth of children was a irrelevant and outdated. He told The Times: “Contraception created a barrier in that line of argument. Would you say that an infertile couple who were knowingly infertile when they got married, weren’t in a proper marriage? No you wouldn’t.”Mr O’Brien also appears to suggest that gay marriage may lead to three way marriages: “Other dangers exist. If marriage can be redefined so that it no longer means a man and a woman but two men or two women, why stop there? Why not allow three men or a woman and two men to constitute a marriage, if they pledge their fidelity to one another? If marriage is simply about adults who love each other, on what basis can three adults who love each other be prevented from marrying?”He also claims that schools will become forced to stock “homosexual fairy stories” in their libraries.The prime minister David Cameron promised that churches won’t be forced to conduct gay marriages but Mr O’Brien says the government is being disingenuous and “staggeringly arrogant.” He also compares gay marriage to legalising slavery.“No Government has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage.“Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that ‘no one will be forced to keep a slave.’ Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right? Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?”A Home Office spokesman said the British government believed that “if a couple love each other” and want to commit to a life together, they should “have the option of a civil marriage, irrespective of their sexual orientation”.Margot James, openly lesbian Conservative MP said: “I think it is a completely unacceptable way for a prelate to talk. I think that the government is not trying to force Catholic churches to perform gay marriages at all. It is a purely civil matter.”Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, Brian Paddick said: “Same-sex marriage should simply be a universally accepted human right for everyone. If we really believe in equality, there is no sound intellectual argument against gay marriage. There may be religious objections, as there are religious objections to equality for women, but that does not mean we should be ruled by them.”

United Kingdom: Catholic Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien Says Gay Marriage Is “A Grotesque Madness”

Pink News UK reports:

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the most senior Catholic in Scotland, Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, has said that gay marriage is a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”. He suggests that same sex marriage will lead to three way marriages and compares the government’s support for equality to legalising slavery.
The Conservative MP Margot James said Cardinal O’Brien’s language was “unacceptable” while the Home Office says that couples should have the right to marry “irrespective of their sexual orientation”.
His article comes just a week after the spiritual head of the Church of England, Rowan Williams said that the Anglican communion will fight gay marriage.Introducing gay marriage is supported across the political spectrum including by the SNP first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond; the Conservative prime minister of the UK, David Cameron; the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister of the UK, Nick Clegg; and by the Labour leader Ed Miliband.
In his article today, Cardinal O’Brien writes: “On the surface, the question of same-sex marriage may seem to be an innocuous one. Civil partnerships have been in place for several years now, allowing same-sex couples to register their relationship and enjoy a variety of legal protections. When these arrangements were introduced, supporters were at pains to point out that they didn’t want marriage, accepting that marriage had only ever meant the legal union of a man and a woman.
“Those of us who were not in favour of civil partnership, believing that such relationships are harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of those involved, warned that in time marriage would be demanded too. We were accused of scaremongering then, yet exactly such demands are upon us now.”
Mr O’Brien claims that gay marriage redefines marriage for everyone: “Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.
“Redefining marriage will have huge implications for what is taught in our schools, and for wider society. It will redefine society since the institution of marriage is one of the fundamental building blocks of society. The repercussions of enacting same-sex marriage into law will be immense.
“But can we simply redefine terms at a whim? Can a word whose meaning has been clearly understood in every society throughout history suddenly be changed to mean something else?”
“In Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, marriage is defined as a relationship between men and women. But when our politicians suggest jettisoning the established understanding of marriage and subverting its meaning they aren’t derided.”
Controversially, Mr O’Brien writes that gay marriage is “madness and grotesque”: “Their attempt to redefine reality is given a polite hearing, their madness is indulged. Their proposal represents a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.”
“There is no doubt that, as a society, we have become blasé about the importance of marriage as a stabilising influence and less inclined to prize it as a worthwhile institution.”
Mr O’Brien then refers to a constant theme of anti-gay marriage supporters, that the purpose of marriage is to procreate. “It has been damaged and undermined over the course of a generation, yet marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that the children born of those unions will have a mother and a father.
“This brings us to the one perspective which seems to be completely lost or ignored: the point of view of the child. All children deserve to begin life with a mother and father; the evidence in favour of the stability and well-being which this provides is overwhelming and unequivocal. It cannot be provided by a same-sex couple, however well-intentioned they may be.
“Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.”
Last month, a senior Church of England bishop, the bishop of Salisbury said that the argument that marriage was created as an institution to support the birth of children was a irrelevant and outdated. He told The Times: “Contraception created a barrier in that line of argument. Would you say that an infertile couple who were knowingly infertile when they got married, weren’t in a proper marriage? No you wouldn’t.”
Mr O’Brien also appears to suggest that gay marriage may lead to three way marriages: “Other dangers exist. If marriage can be redefined so that it no longer means a man and a woman but two men or two women, why stop there? Why not allow three men or a woman and two men to constitute a marriage, if they pledge their fidelity to one another? If marriage is simply about adults who love each other, on what basis can three adults who love each other be prevented from marrying?”
He also claims that schools will become forced to stock “homosexual fairy stories” in their libraries.
The prime minister David Cameron promised that churches won’t be forced to conduct gay marriages but Mr O’Brien says the government is being disingenuous and “staggeringly arrogant.” He also compares gay marriage to legalising slavery.
“No Government has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage.
“Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that ‘no one will be forced to keep a slave.’ Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right? Or would they simply amount to weasel words masking a great wrong?”
A Home Office spokesman said the British government believed that “if a couple love each other” and want to commit to a life together, they should “have the option of a civil marriage, irrespective of their sexual orientation”.
Margot James, openly lesbian Conservative MP said: “I think it is a completely unacceptable way for a prelate to talk. I think that the government is not trying to force Catholic churches to perform gay marriages at all. It is a purely civil matter.”
Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, Brian Paddick said: “Same-sex marriage should simply be a universally accepted human right for everyone. If we really believe in equality, there is no sound intellectual argument against gay marriage. There may be religious objections, as there are religious objections to equality for women, but that does not mean we should be ruled by them.”

Sunday, February 26, 2012

“Moron Of The Week" Inductee Pope Benedict XVI: Ban Fertility Treatments, Cause They’re Arrogant 

NY Daily News reports:

Couples struggling with fertility shouldn’t bother looking to the Catholic Church for help.Speaking at the end of three-day convention on diagnosing and treating infertility at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI slammed artificial procreation and fertility treatments. Marriage was the only place to create a human being, he said.The comments reaffirm the decision Catholic leadership has held on artifical reproduction since 2008.“The human and Christian dignity of procreation, in fact, doesn’t consist in a ‘product,’” he said, “ but in its link to the conjugal act, an expression of the love of the spouses of their union, not only biological but also spiritual.”The pope is pressing for a ban on artificial procreation and called on science and fertility experts to resist “easy income, or even worse the arrogance of taking the place of the Creator.”In 2008, the Catholic Church banned modern reproductive technologies including in vitro fertilization, arguing it was just as wrong as destroying embryos for stem cell research.“The desire for a child cannot justify the production of offspring, just as the desire not to have a child cannot justify the abandonment or destruction of a child once he or she has been conceived,”Vatican officials wrote at the time.On Saturday, the Pope did offer hope for couples who are struggling to become parents: He said the church encourages medical research on infertility.

Moron Of The Week" Inductee Pope Benedict XVI: Ban Fertility Treatments, Cause They’re Arrogant 

NY Daily News reports:

Couples struggling with fertility shouldn’t bother looking to the Catholic Church for help.
Speaking at the end of three-day convention on diagnosing and treating infertility at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI slammed artificial procreation and fertility treatments. Marriage was the only place to create a human being, he said.
The comments reaffirm the decision Catholic leadership has held on artifical reproduction since 2008.
“The human and Christian dignity of procreation, in fact, doesn’t consist in a ‘product,’” he said, “ but in its link to the conjugal act, an expression of the love of the spouses of their union, not only biological but also spiritual.”
The pope is pressing for a ban on artificial procreation and called on science and fertility experts to resist “easy income, or even worse the arrogance of taking the place of the Creator.”
In 2008, the Catholic Church banned modern reproductive technologies including in vitro fertilization, arguing it was just as wrong as destroying embryos for stem cell research.
“The desire for a child cannot justify the production of offspring, just as the desire not to have a child cannot justify the abandonment or destruction of a child once he or she has been conceived,”
Vatican officials wrote at the time.
On Saturday, the Pope did offer hope for couples who are struggling to become parents: He said the church encourages medical research on infertility.

Friday, February 24, 2012

NEW YORK CITY: Empire State Building Won’t Go Red To Honor Cardinal Timothy Dolan (LOL)

Metro News reports:

Today, the Empire State Building has refused to honor Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s recent promotion.Dolan has served as the Archbishop of New York since 2009 and is the spiritual leader of the city’s 2.5 million Roman Catholics. Last week, on Feb. 18th, he was officially elevated to cardinal at a ceremony in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY), a Congressman who represents parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, sent a letter to Anthony Malkin, who owns the Empire State Building, asking the iconic New York structure to honor Dolan by lighting up the tip of the tower with “Cardinal red” until Feb. 26.“Cardinal Dolan is so much more to New Yorkers than just our archbishop. He is both an everyman and person marked by incredible warmth and generosity of spirit,” Grimm wrote. “His positive contributions to our lives make him a figure that all people of all backgrounds can celebrate. He deserves to have his elevation acknowledged by the city he calls home.”The lights atop the skyscraper often change for special events, like on Feb 28th when they will turn green and blue in honor of the National Eating Disorders Association and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The Empire State Building Company responded Thursday with a resounding “No.”“After careful consideration of your proposal, unfortunately, the decision has been made to deny your request,” the rejection letter read.The Empire State Building has rejected many requests for religious remembrances, most notably for Mother Theresa’s 100th birthday in 2010. "The Empire State Building celebrates many cultures and causes in the world community with iconic lightings," Malkin said in a statement at the time, in response to the outcry.He said the building traditionally lights up every year for the religious holidays of Easter, Eid al Fitr, Hanukkah, and Christmas, but he draws the line there."[The building] has a specific policy against any other lighting for religious figures or requests by religions and religious organizations," wrote Malkin. Grimm said he strongly disagrees with the decision.“I am disappointed,” Grimm said. “I strongly encourage them to reconsider their position. His new role is something all New Yorkers can be proud of, which is why I couldn’t think of a better way to show our pride than by lighting the top of the Empire State Building ‘cardinal red.’”Cardinal Dolan, no. Ninja Turtles, sure!Malkin may take issue with lighting up the tower for religious figures, but he has no problem lighting up for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.In 2009, the building was lit with green lights for the 25th anniversary of the cartoon terrapins.The building also turned red and gold in 2009 in honor of the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Back in 1995, it was even lit up in bright blue for the rollout of blue M&Ms.

“Moron Of The Week" Inductee Bill Donohue weighs in.

NEW YORK CITY: Empire State Building Won’t Go Red To Honor Cardinal Timothy Dolan (LOL)

Metro News reports:

Today, the Empire State Building has refused to honor Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s recent promotion.

Dolan has served as the Archbishop of New York since 2009 and is the spiritual leader of the city’s 2.5 million Roman Catholics. Last week, on Feb. 18th, he was officially elevated to cardinal at a ceremony in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY), a Congressman who represents parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, sent a letter to Anthony Malkin, who owns the Empire State Building, asking the iconic New York structure to honor Dolan by lighting up the tip of the tower with “Cardinal red” until Feb. 26.

“Cardinal Dolan is so much more to New Yorkers than just our archbishop. He is both an everyman and person marked by incredible warmth and generosity of spirit,” Grimm wrote. “His positive contributions to our lives make him a figure that all people of all backgrounds can celebrate. He deserves to have his elevation acknowledged by the city he calls home.”

The lights atop the skyscraper often change for special events, like on Feb 28th when they will turn green and blue in honor of the National Eating Disorders Association and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. 

The Empire State Building Company responded Thursday with a resounding “No.”

“After careful consideration of your proposal, unfortunately, the decision has been made to deny your request,” the rejection letter read.

The Empire State Building has rejected many requests for religious remembrances, most notably for Mother Theresa’s 100th birthday in 2010. 

"The Empire State Building celebrates many cultures and causes in the world community with iconic lightings," Malkin said in a statement at the time, in response to the outcry.

He said the building traditionally lights up every year for the religious holidays of Easter, Eid al Fitr, Hanukkah, and Christmas, but he draws the line there.

"[The building] has a specific policy against any other lighting for religious figures or requests by religions and religious organizations," wrote Malkin. 

Grimm said he strongly disagrees with the decision.

“I am disappointed,” Grimm said. “I strongly encourage them to reconsider their position. His new role is something all New Yorkers can be proud of, which is why I couldn’t think of a better way to show our pride than by lighting the top of the Empire State Building ‘cardinal red.’”

Cardinal Dolan, no. Ninja Turtles, sure!

Malkin may take issue with lighting up the tower for religious figures, but he has no problem lighting up for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

In 2009, the building was lit with green lights for the 25th anniversary of the cartoon terrapins.

The building also turned red and gold in 2009 in honor of the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Back in 1995, it was even lit up in bright blue for the rollout of blue M&Ms.

Moron Of The Week" Inductee Bill Donohue weighs in.

Monday, February 20, 2012

France: Off The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism 

NPR reports:

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier’s parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.LeBouvier says this rural area is still conservative and very Catholic, but nothing like it used to be. Back then, he says, you couldn’t even get credit at the bakery if you didn’t go to mass every Sunday.LeBouvier grew up in that world and says his mother once hoped he’d become a priest. But his views began to change in the 1970s, when he was introduced to free thinkers. As he didn’t believe in God anymore, he thought it would be more honest to leave the church. So he wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptized."They sent me a copy of my records, and in the margins next to my name, they wrote that I had chosen to leave the church," he says.That was in the year 2000. A decade later, LeBouvier wanted to go further. In between were the pedophile scandals and the pope preaching against condoms in AIDS-racked Africa, a position that LeBouvier calls “criminal.” Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptismal records. When the priest told him it wasn’t possible, he took the church to court.Last October, a judge in Normandy ruled in his favor. The diocese has since appealed, and the case is pending."One can’t be de-baptized," says Rev. Robert Kaslyn, dean of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.Kaslyn says baptism changes one permanently before the church and God."One could refuse the grace offered by God, the grace offered by the sacrament, refuse to participate," he says, "but we would believe the individual has still been marked for God through the sacrament, and that individual at any point could return to the church."French law states that citizens have the right to leave organizations if they wish. Loup Desmond, who has followed the case for the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, says he thinks it could set a legal precedent and open the way for more demands for de-baptism."If the justice confirms that the name Rene LeBouvier has to disappear from the books, if it is confirmed, it can be a kind of jurisprudence in France," he says.Up to now, observers say the de-baptism trend has been marginal, but it’s growing. In neighboring Belgium, the Brussels Federation of Friends of Secular Morality reports that 2,000 people asked to be de-baptized in 2010. The newspaper Le Monde estimated that about 1,000 French people a year ask to have their baptisms annulled.There is much anger across the continent by the recent pedophile scandals. In September, Germans marched to protest the pope’s visit.Christian Weisner, who is with the German branch of the grassroots movement We Are Church, says Europeans still want religion, and they want to believe, but it has become very difficult within the Catholic Church."It’s the way that the Roman Catholic Church has not followed the new approach of democracy, the new approach of the women’s issue," he says, "and there is really a big gap between the Roman Catholic Church and modern times."Back at the church in Fleury, LeBouvier stands by his parents’ grave. When asked if the case has ruined his chances of being buried in the family plot, he says he doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s donating his body to science.

I’m loving Rene. I’m gonna start my own petition to get nullify my baptism.

France: Off The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism 

NPR reports:

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He’s taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.
Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier’s parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.
LeBouvier says this rural area is still conservative and very Catholic, but nothing like it used to be. Back then, he says, you couldn’t even get credit at the bakery if you didn’t go to mass every Sunday.
LeBouvier grew up in that world and says his mother once hoped he’d become a priest. But his views began to change in the 1970s, when he was introduced to free thinkers. As he didn’t believe in God anymore, he thought it would be more honest to leave the church. So he wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptized.
"They sent me a copy of my records, and in the margins next to my name, they wrote that I had chosen to leave the church," he says.
That was in the year 2000. A decade later, LeBouvier wanted to go further. In between were the pedophile scandals and the pope preaching against condoms in AIDS-racked Africa, a position that LeBouvier calls “criminal.” Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptismal records. When the priest told him it wasn’t possible, he took the church to court.
Last October, a judge in Normandy ruled in his favor. The diocese has since appealed, and the case is pending.
"One can’t be de-baptized," says Rev. Robert Kaslyn, dean of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.
Kaslyn says baptism changes one permanently before the church and God.
"One could refuse the grace offered by God, the grace offered by the sacrament, refuse to participate," he says, "but we would believe the individual has still been marked for God through the sacrament, and that individual at any point could return to the church."
French law states that citizens have the right to leave organizations if they wish. Loup Desmond, who has followed the case for the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, says he thinks it could set a legal precedent and open the way for more demands for de-baptism.
"If the justice confirms that the name Rene LeBouvier has to disappear from the books, if it is confirmed, it can be a kind of jurisprudence in France," he says.
Up to now, observers say the de-baptism trend has been marginal, but it’s growing. In neighboring Belgium, the Brussels Federation of Friends of Secular Morality reports that 2,000 people asked to be de-baptized in 2010. The newspaper Le Monde estimated that about 1,000 French people a year ask to have their baptisms annulled.
There is much anger across the continent by the recent pedophile scandals. In September, Germans marched to protest the pope’s visit.
Christian Weisner, who is with the German branch of the grassroots movement We Are Church, says Europeans still want religion, and they want to believe, but it has become very difficult within the Catholic Church.
"It’s the way that the Roman Catholic Church has not followed the new approach of democracy, the new approach of the women’s issue," he says, "and there is really a big gap between the Roman Catholic Church and modern times."
Back at the church in Fleury, LeBouvier stands by his parents’ grave. When asked if the case has ruined his chances of being buried in the family plot, he says he doesn’t have to worry about that. He’s donating his body to science.

I’m loving Rene. I’m gonna start my own petition to get nullify my baptism.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Italy: Government Plans To Tax Vatican’s Commercial Properties