And you can cut and paste my mail to her if you wish:
“Dear Ms Claridge
It was with absolute horror that I read that Cardinal Murphy O’Connor has defended the pope’s recent, facist statements about homosexuality
Does the cardinal actually believe that homosexuality is as dangerous to humanity as the destruction of the rainforest? Does he believe that “blurring” genders through acceptance of transgender people would kill off the human race?
If so then he is a dangerous bigot and facist.
We all know that Pope Ratzinger was a member of Hitler Youth and that he has simply transferred the hatred of jewish people that he was taught onto gay people.
Are we also to assume that Murphy-O’Connor holds similar Nazi views about gay people?
“The cardinal went on to say that the pope was only trying to emphasise the importance of the family, and the responsibility on humans to procreate.”
Yes, breed even more kids into this world like rabbits do. 6bn is not enough.
Of course, he couldn’t have said “The family is very important, and every person straight or gay should have a family, and those who are unable to procreate should adopt kids that have been left to fend for themselves by their breeder parents.”
Funny. I don’t recall any “homophobic” comments made by Pope Benedict. His remarks were truly misrepresented by those who insist that intercourse between persons of the same sex is somehow “normal,” and even “healthy.” As long as we don’t tow that line we Catholics, along with the Pope, we’ll always be called “homophobic.” It is pretty specious reasoning if you ask me but that’s the nature of the thing.
i tried to send an email to susan claridge but i keep on getting an invalid email message. Any ideas? The more people that
write to her the better!
Great idea and email Simon
Quote “He also said that Pope Benedict’s comments were “quite difficult to interpret” and as a result of this that he had been “very much” misrepresented in the media”.
Gosh, in that case, so were the comments and actions of the third reich, the nazi holocaust & the pope’s prior master, Adolf H difficult to interpret.
Lets not forget that this pope was a volunteer member of the Nazi Hitler youth…and it still shows.
The email address worked for me
M-O’C has a very difficult job. How does one effectively defend the indefensible? There must’ve been a lot of eye-rolling among the progressive members of the RC hierarchy and theologians (an oxymoron if there ever were one) and groaning when the Vatican released this “statement.”
Susan Claridge is Public Affairs Asistant – there is no such position as ‘Secretary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster’.
The words ‘homosexuality’ and ‘transsexual’ do not appear anywhere in the text of the Pope’s end-of-year address to Vatican staff. Rather, it looks like certain right-wing elements amongst Italian journalists and Vatican staff have ‘spun’ the story, implying that the Pope was specifically referring to LGBT issues, to provoke just the kind of ill-informed reactions seen over recent days. Most LGBT media and individuals seemed to have fallen right into the trap and reacted to press headlines rather than the text itself which was only available in English about two days later!
The Pope’s personal views about gender theory are no more binding on Catholics than his views on Mozart’s music. While it is possible to read anything as implicit in his comments, I’d suggest that they are much more a pre-emptive attack on those countries which are introducing progressive reproductive health legislation, or liberalising abortion laws.
The Vatican has been using this kind of language, based on its own version of what it understands by ‘gender theory’, since the 1995 UN Beijing Women’s Conference. The Vatican’s position on women’s and reproductive health matters is rejected by vast numbers of Catholics, all over the world, just as is its views on homosexuality.
Given the presence now in the Vatican of some very conservative American Cardinals who came out in criticism of Obama during the US election campaign, I’d suggest that the substance of the Pope’s address is as more an attack on the in-coming US Administration as it is on LGBT issues, given Obama’s commitment to sign of the Freedom of Choice Act and his sympathy with other matters such as stem-cell research.
‘…the responsibility on humans to procreate’ – the Pope thinks there’s some danger of humans becoming extinct in the near future? And that threat comes from gay and/or transgender people? It doesn’t seem a particularly balanced view.
As a childless celibate, how does he feel justified in his view that ‘behaviour beyond traditional heterosexual relations is “a destruction of God’s work”‘? Double standards, hm?
Whats “damage limitation” in Latin ?
I think the present pope is weak and is just a puppet, a sort of spokesman, for a more sinister inner core that drives and controls the Roman Catholic Church
“The cardinal went on to say that the pope was only trying to emphasise the importance of the family, and the responsibility on humans to procreate.”
Coming from a celibate this is indeed a little too rich!!!
Not just one stupid old fart spouting hateful rubbish, but now another trying to ‘explain’ it all away!!!
Susan Claridge is the name listed as the contact on the website of the catholic cult in Westminster. Her email address is listed as the contact so she welcomes communications about her cult.
This sort of support by UK religious leaders for such bigoted and downright idiotic remarks by an antique iconoclast like the Pope just adds weight to the growing view that the established religions are an increasing irrelevance in a much-needed secular society
Having read the speech, I have to agree that there appears to be nothing explicitly homo- or trans-phobic in it – in fact its hard to work out what he’s getting at (perhaps he compiled it using an Enigma machine brought with him from Germany?)But if it is an attack on any behaviour that limits human reproduction, it makes his parallel demands that we should consume less to save the planet even more onerous: even if we do, then any savings will be compensated for by an increased population. More people consuming less and less. How grim is that?
Responsibility to procreate? What, like nuns and priests, and, well, the pope? He’s better off talking to his imaginary friend and leaving actual people alone. Idiot.
The trouble is that Murphy-O’Connor, like the Pope himself, is treated with great respect and reverence by the media as whole.The BBC have even handed over the editorial reins of its flagship Radio 4 Today Programme to this Catholic fright.
when are we going to ban teh religions from spreading lies
they lie that there is a god
they lied for 2000 years this is enoght
i am at war with religions and have taken then to court
still waiting for the outcome .
“He also said that Pope Benedict’s comments were “quite difficult to interpret” and as a result of this that he had been “very much” misrepresented in the media.”
So, the arrogant old man not only hates us gays, but he also seems to think we lack intellect. Most people, gay or straight, are not fools and can see straight through his words.
All Catholic heads are as full of crap as the Pope is! They stick together like glue. None of these assholes even EVER condemdemed any of the Homohobic Popes, Cardinals Priests what ever for their aid to Hitler during the Holocoust and priest pediphiles (Gay and straight) HOW in the hell would they ever see what they’re doing when they say hateful stupid words like this Pope is saying about Gays NOW? Gays are a creation of GOD & those fucking assholes don’t even see it or comprehend it! AND in this 21st Century we no longer need a man and woman to copulate to create all we need is their Sperm and their Eggs!! Fucking ignorant jerks!!!
Hopefully catholics arent so naive as to take this nonsense seriously.
I mean the last person I would go to for advice on matters of sex would be a ghastly, 81 year old virgin
Could someone in the Catholic religion please explain to me who decides what constitutes being Catholic? More than one religionist on this list has confessed the faith of the Pope, yet said they disagree with everything he says on matters moral/ethical.
In some ways, I believe the REAL danger of the Xtian “faith” is from those who swell the numbers on Census forms and in pulpits, even though they are ethically quite sound: don’t they realise that Ratzinger justifies his rantings by doing it in the name of these millions of so-called followers who legitimise him by calling themselves Catholic?
This “believe what you want to” Catholicism is more sinister and gives more credence to the bigots than does the hateful spoutings of people like O’Connor.
Let’s call this Pope’s inference what it is: a clear blessing of genocide on homosexuality.
The Pope is a cold blooded killer of gays, lesbians and bis, as well as transgendered, who are killed, beat up and attacked, by insane religious terrorists, or governments, who act in the deaely way this creep is putting into doctrine, by his viper words.
This man is a threat to g/l/b/t people everywhere; those who go along with this man’s evil blasphemy, are as guilty as he is.
We now have a evil Pope; that wants to start a genocide sweep around the world. This man is dangerous; he needs to be replaced, by someone who isn’t a human killer addict in disguise.
Gearge Broadhead hit the nail on the head – yes it is sickening the way journalists fawn over religious people. O’Connor was fawned over and given an easy ride by the softest of journalists, fellow catholic Edward Stourton, on the programme.
What about all the child abuse cases? He almost certainly knew about highly dangerous child abusing priests in his diocese and reportedly kept moving them about – instead of reporting them to the authorities. He should be interviewed by the police, not boot-licking radio 4 journalists.
I was born in a Catholic maternity hospital, delivered by nuns. I was baptised within a few hours of birth. I was brought up as a Catholic – I attended a Catholic school and went to Mass regularly. In my teens, I realised I was gay. Did the Church no longer consider me to be appropriate at this time? By the way, I haven’t been to church in years and no longer consider myself to be a practising Catholic, but it still really gets to me that the Catholic Church is so discriminatory towards LGBT people. Where is the condemnation of heterosexual Catholics with few or no children – they must use contraception. The Church was happy for Myra Hindley to convert. There is something far wrong when a child-murderer is considered to be better than me just because I’m gay.
Franky, I think a lot of the hoo-hah going on in and around the Churches regarding women bishops and LGBT people (Ratzinger’s recent, disingenuously provocative comments included) is a lot of deckchairs-on-the-Titanic, smoke-and-mirrors stuff to deflect attention from the fact that the cat is now out of the academic bag that the very foundations of Christian belief are as stable as the proverbial “House built upon sand”!
Anyone with an adequate theological education knows that the 1st century, Apostolic generation of Christians – including the Apostles themselves – erroneously believed that ‘this world’ would end apocalyptically within their own lifetimes, ushering in the Kingdom of God…
It didn’t happen. They were wrong.
If they were wrong about THAT, what else were they wrong about?
HAIL CESAER BENDICT!! EMPEROR OF ROME!
as a catholic i would pay good money if that damn nazi pope would just shut the hell up. my ultra religious catholic father says he isn’t even a legit pope (something to do with how he rose in the ranks and the rules).
Why not attack the funding for the churches that insist on trying to intervene in the political processes? Take away their tax advantages. Make them pay their ‘fair share’ of property taxes? Refuse government funding for social programs that discriminate against lbgt people? Hit them where it hurts most, in the pocketbook.
It is idiotic to claim more people are needed on this earth. Look at the poverty and depression in some of the world’s overpopulated regions. I think many of the so called men of God delight in saying insulting shameful things and then apologize pretending they made a mistake. It is getting tiresome folks.
The RC heirachy are just trying to divert attention away from the abuse scandals.
Many people, including entire communities, especially in the British Isles, do not like the catholic church and it has nothing to do with their stance on homosexuality.
The RC heirachy is just adding another group to a long list of people who dislike the catholic church.
Many catholics themselves no longer like their church.
The founder members of the Nazi party were gay (history has revealed), they, then turned homophobic and carried out the atrocities that they did. Some of the worst bigots are, at heart, are gay, themselves.
I can’t help but wonder if the Pope is the same same. This would make him a complete hypocrite!
Could many of you just stop with your factual errors about this Pope? He never was “a volunteer” Hitler Jugend as a young boy! He and his family were as anti-nazi as you could get. And has anyone really studied his own words in the annual address to the Curia? A gay-basher? Don’t make me laugh.I have lost my respect for the gay community,sorry to say.
You are correct to say that a number of the comments posted here are factually inaccurate about Joseph Ratzinger’s early life.
As also, is YOUR statement:
“He and his family were as anti-nazi as you could get”
Not according to some witnesses from his hometown, who testified to the Independent newspaper:
“…in Traunstein [Ratzinger's hometown], some of the town’s older residents feel that questions about the Pope’s early years remain unanswered. Herta Kaiser, an 83-year-old pensioner recalled that several people in the town hid Jews from the Nazis and helped them to escape to neutral Switzerland. “Traunstein was not all Nazi, it was also a Catholic stronghold,” she said.
There is no evidence that the Ratzinger family felt inclined to help the town’s few remaining Jews, or the smattering of anti-Nazi resistance fighters who dared to oppose the regime.
Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau concentration camp for being a conscientious objector, recalled: “It was possible to resist and those people set an example for others.” She added: “The Ratzingers were young and made different choices.”
In 1937, another Traunstein family hid a local anti-Nazi resistance fighter, named Hans Braxenthaler. He had been tortured in Dachau for his opposition to the regime. Frieda Meyer, 82, one of the Ratzinger family’s neighbours at the time, said: “When Braxenthaler was betrayed and the Nazis came for him, he shot himself rather than give himself up.”
And some information about Ratzinger’s religious mentor:
Ratzinger’s election will also raise questions about the dubious role played by the Catholic Church during the Nazi era. The extent to which leading Catholics felt obliged to reach compromises with the regime is outlined by the stance taken by Ratzinger’s mentor, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, one of the Pope’s most important early influences.
Documented evidence shows that the cardinal visited Hitler’s mountain retreat during the 1930s and was entertained to lunch by the Führer in person. During their meeting, Von Faulhaber is on record as telling Hitler that the Church saw him as an “authority chosen by God, to whom we owe respect”.
Not impressive at all is it?
And we haven’t even touched here on his insupportable behaviour relating to the paedophile priests scandals…
I must say I disagree entirely with Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor. The Pope’s remarks were reported by BBC News, Reuters and other news agencies 10 days ago. If there was a genuine misunderstanding the Vatican, using it’s website, radios etc would have issued a statement apologising for the mis-understanding and offence caused to gay people and that this was never the Pope’s intention. Since there is no such statement, then the original interpretation of the Pope’s comments must be accurate.
So Anne, am I to believe that if you think because he may not be anti-nazi his words are NOT homophobic either and that they don’t incite homophobes to injur and maime or worse, gay people?
That pope person in Rome and ALL his adherents around the globe are simply IGNORANT people. As we start the New Year, 2009, let’s remember that there are MILLIONS and MILLIONS of human beings on this planet whose heads are FILLED with absolute nonsense – and dangerous nonsense too, because the nonsense in their heads threatens OUR well-being and happiness.
I suggest a New Year’s Resolution for all of us. The religions of this world are continually “at it”, putting out their messages of ignorant rubbish and nonsense. THERE HAS TO BE A COUNTER FORCE! From now on let’s all put time and energy into loudly refuting the nonsense of all religions and let us do it in the public arena. Agreeing with each other in our private circles, like Pink News, will never clear the garbage from their brains.
I used to be believe in all the Catholic nonsense. It took a non-believer to really insult me and kick me in the teeth, so to speak, to upset my world and make me THINK about the crap that was in my brain. This is what we all have to do, on a massive scale. Shake them up and make them start thinking clearly!
The vatican seems to me to have ‘a problem’ with language.
I feel that journalists either interpreted the message very accurately, thus clearly stating what the vatican ambigiously and unclearly hinted at, or yes they might have interpreted it very wrongly….
my question is: if the interpretation was very wrong, what is the correct CLEAR interpretation of those words? Why does the vatican has to speak to us; ‘common’, ‘ignorant’, ‘lay people’ in such a complicated, ambigious and unclear manner?
Dear friends, I do agree that the message to the curia was indeed troubling, however it also troubles me to read so many angry reactions to Pope Benedict. Actually he does write beautiful theology, and I would highly encourage you to grab one of his books. What personally confuses me further is that the same theologian who writes so beautifully, then writes so ambigiously and almost violently towards us LGBT. However I really feel that dialogue is a better option then being absorbed in this kind of ‘violence’….
If the Popes words were inclusive for everybody they would be beautiful BUT they are NOT! They are only for those who are not from the GLBT family. That makes his words a hypocricy, his theology a hypocrisy He’s a fraud to GOD and to the very people he preaches to! Grabbing one of his books is no different than grabbing the book by Rick Warren. They are both Hypocrits and extremely dangerous to the GLBT group of folks!
Uhm….Let me just get this “staight”, the pope wants to lecture us on the importance of family, yet priests themselfs are not allowed to marry, they have NO experience of relationships and when they do, god forbid, do the unthinkable like faling in love they are expected to suppress their feelings. It is beyond my grasp of how priests and cardinals can be the authority on issues like family life, ad being a good father when they themselfs have not a day’s experience of any of that whatsoever. What does the pope know about being a father if the only thing he can rely on is what he observe, read or studied? and dont get me started on pro-creation, i mean do they think that we are complete idiots? How is it possible that couples can go for marraige counseling with their priest if they are not or will ever be in any relationship? Is that not a bit “unnatural”, let alone daft. What exactly make them experts on any issues on being a good father, pro-creation or relationships. The wanker is so coward and bland as not even to give a proper speech in user language which everyone can understand or which he must have known have a strong possibility of being misinterpreted. “Behaviour beyond traditional hetrosexual relations”….whatever comes from the popes mouth most of the time makes me feel so violent i want to run myself against a wall!
Yes, Jason, I agree entirely with what you are saying. With respect, this has been said many times before. Likewise with many of the other contributors to this thread.
From my own viewpoint, what I don’t understand is why this nutter is given such news coverage in the first place. And aren’t there some difficulties with freedom of speech? I ask this question because the BBC wouldn’t dare give news coverage to racist organisations like the BNP.
I ask this: We can’t make the Pope support our cause, but the BBC could refuse to report on such hateful speeches. Maybe what we should be doing is demanding of the BBC the same probity in censoring material directed against sexual minorities as exists for other issues like race, gender, etc.
Let me wade in on your remark Ursus262 if I may. The reason is there is no censorship is because GAYS are not protected against what is considered Hate speech even here in the States. Oh it would be nice if some newspaper or some TV station would step up to the plate and say enough is enough BUT when it comes to denigrating Gays it falls under Freedom of Speech! Isn’t that a bitch!!!
Well, it should not be up to the media to come forward and set the principle of good reporting practice. Something like this needs to be put in place through clear policies and through legal frameworks. You have to understand that, in the UK, the BBC is the main public broadcaster. It is not exactly state owned. It is independent, but it is governed according to statute (Act of Parliament) and is licenced to broadcast by the British government. What is actually needed here is political leadership and only campaigning can bring about a situation where politicians will demand protection for GLBT sensibilities in media reporting.
Of course, there are those who will argue that “freedom of speech” is being curtailed. Yes, there is no doubt about that! But here, anyone broadcasting race hate material, through any medium, would be prosecuted of a criminal offence under the Race Relations Act. What is really needed here is for politicians to have the courage to say: “tough – get over it!”
I think we’er saying the same thing. There needs to be laws protecting Gays, on the books, the same way as there are laws protecting other minorites from verbal and physical harresment.
We finally have hate crimes on the books BUT we don’t have anything that will keep someone from saying ugly and slanderous things. Once those are in place then Freedom of Speech will not count especially when the words are defamatory or will incite mob rule. Gays are not protected Completely by these laws, causing religious leaders to spout their ugly words and anyone else for that matter.
Of historical interest: Below are excerpts from the “LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS” Given at Rome, 1 October 1986.
by JOSEPH CARDINAL RATZINGER (now known as Pope Benedict) This is pure hatred. In Canada, this man could go to jail for these comments:
“the particular inclination of the homosexual person…is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”
“…when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.
“…attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.”
“…the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered….when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.
As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one’s own fulfillment and happiness.
Dear ccbeach, I agree with you that those words are violent words. They are words which have and still harm us. We all know that too well! They still harm our LGBT brothers and sisters, families and friends around the world. Also, people who want to further harm us feel empowered by those words to do so!
They are also words which do not speak to us, nor are they words of Truth, they are not speaking truthfully about us/to us. Again we know that too well, from our own life experiences, joys, hurts, loves…also from research.
What I am attempting to point out is that in light of Ratzi’s OWN other writings and theology, those words appear to be more confusing and more flawed.
In this sense I personally feel [and this is only personal opinion] that familiarising ourselves with ratzi’s other writings could help us in our dialogue with the church/churches.
But of course thank God for our democratic countries, respect for Human Rights and Freedom of Speech. Wish you all a Happy New Year!
Regarding Ratzinger’s “beautiful” theology, what our friend Mario doesn’t appear to realize is that the whole POINT of traditionalist theology (done by those familiar with modern biblical scholarship, like Ratzinger) is to OBFUSCATE the truth about the historical origins of Christianity.
At risk of becoming tediously repetitive, I will again draw attention to the fact that the majority of academic scholars of the Historical Jesus believe that Jesus of Nazareth was an apocalyptic preacher whose proclamation of the imminent arrival of God’s Kingdom was mistaken.
A former minister put it this way: “Jesus’ kingdom preaching was predicated on a mistake. His fervent belief that a magnificent kingdom, primarily for Jews, would appear on Earth within his listeners’ lifetime was an error, an illusion, an unfulfilled hope.”
The “Apostles of Christ” were mistaken, wrong, deluded about the imminent, 1st century arrival of the Kingdom of God.
Just as wrong as any 19th century End-of-Days crackpot sect or cult who wrongly predicted the Apocalypse back then too.
The very foundations of Christianity are unstable!
Baroque Basilica or Shaker Shack – it doesn’t really matter how pretty or plain the superstructure is…
if the foundations are rotten…
Is there really any point in asking nicely for ‘dialogue’ from a man, or men, who have made a career out of KNOWINGLY peddling falsehoods to vulnerable, credulous people?
He along with all their kind are hateful, hurtful imbicilles and those who find them intellegent are simply challenged! I would love to see and hear a conversation between them and a person of great knowledge such as Spong, or Dominic Crossan, Dr. Robert Funk or any one at the Jesus Seminar.
Religious institutions are businesses. They bank gold. This is the background to all statements.
What did Christ say, that we cannot serve 2 masters, Mammon and God. Thank goodness we have the power of free speech. Just imagine if only the Church were allowed to read and interpret the Bible.
If the pope is so hard to understand and so easy to misrepresent then maybe he should keep his mouth shut and then the rest of us wouldn’t get the wrong idea.
Today 21 May. More reports of rape, torture and mental abuse comming out from Ireland, involving instutions for children operated by the Roman Catholic Church. I can believe that, I was bashed on several occasions by Dominican brothers whilst in their Priory. My best friend witnessed a Christian Brother molesting young boys at night at St. Brendans boarding school in his youth.
I name Colonel Ratzinger, ‘Pope Punching Bag’. and as far as his so called ‘beautiful theology’ goes, it’s nothing more than Popcorn Theology.
I read through these comments and I have to say, I really don’t appreciate how certain people are lumping all Catholics together. We’re NOT ALL bigots! Please remember that it’s the unfortunately-vocal bigots who get the media’s attention. Just like with every other religion, the adherents to the Catholic faith don’t all agree with every thing that the Church teaches. And we certainly don’t agree with everything that comes out of Pope Benedict’s mouth. He’s managed to alienate so many people in a short time and I personally think this is a red herring, meant to take the focus away from the horrifying abuse scandal. When the Catholic Church wants to hide something, they usually just get people pissed off at them for something else.
Thankfully, though, not all of us Catholics give a damn about what they teach about homosexuality. Please keep that in mind when lumping us together under the label of “bigot.”