Pope Benedict continues to oversee the Catholic Church’s attacks on LGBT people and others that it disagrees with trying to push religious freedom for his faith and few others. While lighting the traditional Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Benedict references past ‘atheist’ regimes which banned such religious displays. It should be noted that the Christmas tree, along with most Christmas celebrations, were banned in Massachusetts and England under Puritanical Christian rule due to their pagan origins.
Benedict stated “And when in the past they tried to stamp out the light of God to instead turn on illusory and misleading glows, there were seasons of tragic violence against man. And this is because when they tried to cancel God’s name from the pages of history, the result was a distortion, where even the most noble and beautiful words, like `freedom,’ `common good’ and `justice’ … lost their true meaning.”
Benedict, of course, used his “World Day of Peace Message 2013″ to attack gays, marriage equality and women’s rights stating:
“Those who insufficiently value human life and, in consequence, support among other things the liberalization of abortion, perhaps do not realize that in this way they are proposing the pursuit of a false peace. The flight from responsibility, which degrades human persons, and even more so the killing of a defenceless (sic) and innocent being, will never be able to produce happiness or peace. Indeed how could one claim to bring about peace, the integral development of peoples or even the protection of the environment without defending the life of those who are weakest, beginning with the unborn. Every offence (sic) against life, especially at its beginning, inevitably causes irreparable damage to development, peace and the environment.
“Neither is it just to introduce surreptitiously into legislation false rights or freedoms which, on the basis of a reductive and relativistic view of human beings and the clever use of ambiguous expressions aimed at promoting a supposed right to abortion and euthanasia, pose a threat to the fundamental right to life.
“There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society. These principles are not truths of faith, nor are they simply a corollary of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, accessible to reason and thus common to all humanity. The Church’s efforts to promote them are not therefore confessional in character, but addressed to all people, whatever their religious affiliation. Efforts of this kind are all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, since this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.
The Roman Catholic Church continues to pursue its Counter-Reformation efforts that it began back towards the end of the 1500′s after King Henry VIII broke with the Church over the issue of divorce.
EveryOne Group and Gays Without Borders have called upon the United Nations and the Council of Europe to publically condemn what Pope Benedict has said and called upon the Catholic Church to reform how it treats and views lesbians and gays. They stated:
Rome, 15 December 2012. In the Church’s message on the occasion of the World Day of Peace, Pope Benedict XVI used intolerant words against the gay community, stating that “There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union… …since this constitutes an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.”
A few days before, the pontiff had received with full honours at St. Peter’s, the President of the Ugandan Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, the promoter of the law against homosexuality in Uganda, which provides for the repression of homosexuality and penalties ranging from heavy prison sentences up to life imprisonment, and even capital punishment for gays. This is an attitude marked by hatred and contrary to the Holy Gospel, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. EveryOne Group, Gays Without Borders and civil society are now launching a complaint against this incitement to discrimination and hatred. It is also important to ask the bishops to dissociate themselves from this discriminatory position.
The Catholic Church has returned to the Middle Ages. Below is a brief history, with some incidents of homophobic persecution. The Emperor Justinian, the protector of the Catholic Church, established the death penalty for homosexuals and pursued them alongside the Gentiles and the Jews. The Monk Pier Damiani led a crusade against homosexuality, the foundations of which are contained in the Liber Gomorrhianus, written in 1049. One of the statutes of Bologna in 1257, on the Societas Sancte Marie, established the death penalty, by burning at the stake, for homosexuals and for those who hosted them in their homes. There were more fires in Switzerland for the vicium sogdomiticum, in the thirteenth century. At Clermont, in France, gays and heretics both perished on the stake. In the 14th Century the city of Rome burned homosexuals, while Florence preferred to castrate them. Gays and lesbians were burned in Padua from 1329 and later all over Italy, where people watched the torture of innocent people as though it were public entertainment. Punishment was no different in Rimini under the “enlightened” Malatestas. Identical persecution occurred wherever the authorities and the papal guards discovered relations between persons of the same sex. The Florence of the Medici was a little less severe: authorities issued fines for the first three homosexual relationships discovered, while for the fourth, they decreed the death of the “reprobate”. Francesco Sforza in Milan rewarded with a cash prize the citizens who denounced gays and lesbians, who were then burnt at the stake. It has been a terrible persecution that has stained civilization and influenced culture, traditions and religious worship throughout the centuries, preventing artists, poets and thinkers representing homosexuality as a natural expression of passion and love, and countless human beings from living their natural inclinations in peace, without fear of public humiliation, torture and death. The history books that children read in schools fail to mention this persecution of homosexuals throughout history: this too is homophobia. The Church’s hands are stained with the blood of so many innocent homosexuals and it is unacceptable that it still aims to be the champion of one of the most horrific atrocities in human history.