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Gay Catholic Mass organisers: We’re stopping services because we’re victims of our own success

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  1. Yeah, right…

  2. PeterinSydney 3 Jan 2013, 7:16pm

    The disgusting campaign against all gay people initiated by Pope Nazty Ratzi 16th continues with vehemence. They should be labelled a hate organisation.

  3. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Jan 2013, 7:18pm

    The most bizarre statement I’ve heard coming from gay catholics. Obviously suffering from an acute case of Stockholm Syndrome.

    1. Indeed. And very sad even if it is a statement without the mean spiritedness of the Archbishop.

  4. GulliverUK 3 Jan 2013, 8:25pm

    Nichols wants them to go to normal mass so they can be properly abused from the pulpit – I’m assuming that the homophobic letter didn’t get read out in their Soho mass.

    This comes from;

    I wish them well, but the timing is pure spite and revenge – they shouldn’t be naive about that.

  5. “people with same-sex attractions”
    Is that what we’re called now. They would love to say “same-sex afflictions” wouldn’t they?

  6. I have to say once again that I feel deeply sorry for gay Roman Catholics. They must be totally masochistic.
    But that is what that cult specialises in.

    1. de Villiers 3 Jan 2013, 10:12pm

      You are wrong – you just don’t understand those of us who are believing Catholics. In the same way, many just don’t understand gay people. I am for mutual acceptance and respect.

      1. Swordoftruth 3 Jan 2013, 10:45pm

        Increasingly I am beginning to wonder how any self respecting gay person could remain in communion with and giving tacit support to these antigay fanatics, surely there are other churches you could go to that do not consider you to be an “intrinsically disordered” sub human.

      2. GulliverUK 4 Jan 2013, 12:05am

        I think I’d ask why you are a Catholic rather than a member of another congregation which is affirming. I understand the some a literally born Catholics because their parents indoctrinate them from birth and they don’t really give their beliefs the justified scrutiny required.

        You are no more Catholic than your will, although I understand you may have built up relationships and there will be a sense of repetitiveness about your attendance at church, which is more akin to Pavlov’s dog. You can leave the Catholic church (despite the fact they’ve abolished the Act of Defection) and go elsewhere. You just choose not to make that change.

        But, if you are happy, then I’m happy for you too. But these are the things any rational person will say to you. I personally don’t see any issue with being gay and the scriptures, but the Catechisms and all the other made-up stuff, adding on to the teachings of Jesus, do present a profound problem. Bes if you ignore them like other Catholics.

      3. I don’t think it is wise to compare being Catholic with being Gay. One can’t help ones sexuality. Your faith is a choice, though it may not feel like that because you obey orders not to question it. I come from an Irish Catholic family, many of whom are extremely devout. I understand very well indeed.

        1. GulliverUK 4 Jan 2013, 7:44am

          Poor expressed by me. Sexuality = innate / biological. Faith = chosen. If a child’s parents have made the choice of religion for a child, and if that child has been going to church since day 1, then for some it must feel almost as much a part of them as their innate sexuality – since you didn’t have a hand in choosing either, your sexuality was biologically fixed by epigenetics, and your parents chose your faith so early it felt like it had always been a part of you from birth. I’ve seen people on forums saying they wanted to leave their church and move to another but they’ve been going a long time and built up many friends there, and they’d be potentially leaving all those friends behind. It’s a big step. If the church has given this particular group another space, and if it turns out to be worthy of their support, then it should be fine, but if not they’ll have to leave for an affirming church. Christianity = Christianity. The label doesn’t really matter.

          1. GulliverUK 4 Jan 2013, 7:51am

            Sorry, forget to add, we should always remember that for Anglicans and Catholics, here in the UK and in the US, poll data shows clearly that a majority feel strongly about social justice and fairness and support equal rights — it’s just not going to feel like that when some dick is shouting homophobic abuse at you from the pulpit. My answer would be either a) drag the fecker from the pulpit and give him a piece of your mind so he doesn’t do it again, or b) find somewhere more welcoming :D Can you perhaps see another reason I don’t go to church! :) Not all congregations are going to be welcoming, and even in a congregation of mostly moderates I’m sure you’ll get dirty looks from some, but the space belongs to everybody — we, the taxpayer, pay hundreds of millions to keep the churches going, through tax-exceptions, etc — we fund them, all of us, not just the people who put money in the collection plate.

          2. “…built up many friends there”
            Real friends would not support a priest who bullied and and denigrated their friend from the pulpit. As a rule, Roman Catholics do not challenge the hierarchy.
            That is why I feel sorry for Gay Catholics. They feel trapped – but this is not the same as actually being trapped.

      4. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 9:27am

        It is disappointing that people have marked down my comment because I spoke in my post at welcoming mutual acceptance and respect of that which we did not necessarily understand. Sadly, some see respect as not being mutual – that it is only for them.

        I am Catholic because I was born French and, as a result, was born Catholic.

        As for the observance, it is always odd to hear that religion is a “choice” as if choice in a democracy is wrong or less deserving of respect of protection. I am sure that people in non-democractic states would argue that the protection of personal choice, whether of religion or boyfriend, and which is a right to personal conscience, is fundamental. Choice is liberty.

        Even so, I did not “choose” religion any more than I “chose” my partner. I felt driven to it and experienced meaning through it. I do not accept much of what Pope Benoit says. There is, however, a broad range of thinking and the church does not belong to Pope Benoit or the conservatives.

        1. GulliverUK 4 Jan 2013, 9:40am

          I just gave it a one-up. You should be free to speak your mind and everyone should feel welcome here (unless they’re homophobic). We all friends here, surely.

        2. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 9:44am

          Yes, I would hope so.

        3. i respect you as an individuality human being but that doesn’t detract from the danger that people with your attitudes pose to the gay community.

          First as to choice. You are being willfully obtuse. If you were talking about being a Christian I might agree with you (although I agree with Dawkins that religious belief is a mild form of mental derangement) But you every right to cease observance of the rituals of the Roman Church if you want. use your intellect to analyse whether being “driven” isn’t just an emotional reaction. Therefore your continued exercise of your undoubted legal right to practise the RC religion is an act of choice. And another aspect of a liberal democracy is the right of others to criticise people’s choices. Your choice, in my opinion and that of many others, is the choice to adhere to an institution which fundamentally condemns and campaigns against your and my own fundamental rights. it’s like going to a BNP meeting and saying you’re not a racist.


          1. (there were some syntactical errors in the above for which I apologise – I was distracted during proof reading it :-))


            The only thing space did not allow me to add was that you were not born a catholic. You were born with no religion. Your parents indoctrinated you into the religion. With some reservations I also agree with Dawkins’ s classification of the religious indoctrination of children as abuse.

            In short, you have the same respect as an individual human as anyone else. That does not give your opinions (and that is all religion is, opinions) a free pass. I urge people to continue to mark your views down.

          2. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 1:15pm


            Your use of the word “wilful” admits no disagreement – it means you must be correct and not only must I be wrong but that I know that I must be wrong. That cannot be an understandable consequence of your view that religious belief is a form of mental derangement – if that were so then surely my position is not wilful but deranged.

            As I am neither deranged nor deliberately being obtuse, there must be some other answer to which you have not opened your mind.

            — To your points however, I do have the “right” to cease Catholic practice. I also have the right to leave my partner. Having a right to something is not synonymous with “choice”. I continue in my religious practice because I consider it correct and truthful. I do not choose so to find it – I am driven to that.

            It is, properly, an emotional reaction. Religion properly understood is emotion and ekstasis – leaving the norm through feeling and action. It is a practical rather than theoretical exercise.

          3. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 1:21pm

            Further, the Catholic church is not synonymous with a BNP meeting. The practice of the religion through the Catholic Church does not seek, of itself, the destruction of rights of others.

            Friar Timothy Radcliffe acknowledges his opposition to gay marriage but admits, “This is not to denigrate committed love of people of the same sex. This too should be cherished and supported, which is why church leaders are slowly coming to support same sex civil unions. The God of love can be present in every true love.”

            You have accepted Dawkins’ arguments but have not deeply challenged it. It is easy to agree with something one has read but harder to evaluate it honestly without having read the contrary work.

            Finally, I do not doubt your right to attack my faith. But I find the lack of mutual respect and equality disappointing. Look at what you have asked to be marked down – a request for understanding and tolerance and for mutual freedom for all.

          4. @devilliers

            Briefly, whether your choice is “driven” by “emotion” or not, it is still a choice. And that choice has consequences.

          5. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 3:30pm

            Well, Harry, I do not agree that it is a choice.

            It is odd – straight people say that we are not born gay but choose it. We reply that we know they are wrong because of what we “feel”. It is our “feeling” that tells us that we have not chosen our sexuality. We cannot prove this scientifically or point to a gene that shows it. But we know it is not chosen because of our feelings and emotions.

            And here we are with you – telling me that I am choosing something when I can state with conviction that it is my feelings and emotions that have driven me to my belief. I have not just decided to choose to believe any more than you have chosen not to believe – or rather, you would say that you could not just choose to believe tomorrow even if you wanted to. Your view of the evidence drives you to your position.

            But even if it were a choice, choice is at the centre of liberty, equality and fraternity. The liberty of one’s own conscience is precious in a democracy and deserves equal protection.

          6. I am afraid, de Viliers (I would address you more informally if I knew how to) that we are not going to agree on this. let’s take my own view. I have an emotional attachment to religion, to its ritual and even to some of its practices, the subsuming of the self in a greater whole for example. But what I have above all other things and distinguishes me both from the brute beast and from my fellow humans not so endowed, is a brain capable of reason. At an early age in life I worked out that whatever my personal emotions there was no evidence for the fundamentals of Christian belief (virgin births, risings from the dead, in your case transubstantiation and all the rest of it); and later in life I worked out that the political views espoused by the principal churches were anathema to me. You may reason differently. But you are not entitled, I assert, to say that the outcome of your reasoning was not a choice and thereby to avoid the consequences of your choice.

          7. de Villiers 5 Jan 2013, 9:49am

            We seem to disagree on the meaning of choice which is a subject in itself and the protections that attract to choice in a liberal democracy. But there we are. I’m not sure that we are going to persuade each other; however sometimes discussion helps one to learn more rather than just to persuade.

            Interestingly, you talk about unchosen characteristics deserving protection – that would apply also to age, intelligence, athletic ability or inability, hair colour. I am not sure that the fact they are unchosen automatically makes it appropriate to protect persons with such characteristics from discrimination on those grounds.

            I have also found that people would be very quick to attack me for the family into which I was born, or for the present or (very) historic activities of some family members despite that being beyond my control and unchosen.

            — Julien

      5. The only question that should be of interest to non-believers, unless de Villiers is up for a debate about evidence and so on, is what is he doing about challenging his priest, Bishop and other congregants on matter of Natural Law, sexuality, etc?

        1. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 3:16pm

          Religion is not evidence based. That was a hole into which fell Newton and other scientists who tried to produce rational justifications for god. When the proofs evaporated, as they had to, nothing was left. There are artistic proofs but not scientific or rational truths that can be measured.

          As to what I am doing, I do challenge others in the church on the issue of sexuality, Priests and other Catholics. I support gay Catholic organisations and the broad strand of more liberal Catholic learning. Much of this takes place but one only sees it by reading the relevant publications or being involved in the relevant organisations. Theological discussion is not really covered in the ordinary newspapers or television programmes.

          1. Religion is not evidence based. Exactly.

  7. Whilst I think religious acceptance of gay people is the lesser of two evils, it is nevertheless still a load of rubbish. Belief in this sky fairy and the continuation of this archaic and quite clearly barbaric cult is still just as ridiculous irrespective of WHO believes or how liberal said believers are.

    Religion needs to be stamped out of the entire world only partly because it’s the main cultivator of homophobes, but mainly because it’s just ridiculous and has no place in modern society.

    1. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 9:42am

      That comment is what makes Christians fight gays – they believe that gay people want to eradicate their way of life, which you do.

      The only way something can be “stamped out” is, ultimately, through the use of the force by a baton or a gun. In a non-democracy, that it is easy to do. In a democracy, that requires the use of laws and police. Think about what that means for a democracy – to stamp out the free choice, belief and way of life of an otherwise lawful, abiding citizen. No liberty or fraternity for them.

      Even the consideration of god as a “sky fairy” is a misunderstanding of modern, or even ancient, theology. The belief of god as a ‘sky god’, also known as ‘El Elyon’, ‘Dyaeus Pitr’, ‘Tian’, is no longer the basis of understanding – a being cannot be responsible for the existence of being. Only those with very basic belief continue to believe that god is a sky god, a prime mover, first creator of all.

      1. The verb was perhaps a bit hasty, I didn’t mean to imply force of any kind should be used other than the forceful application of intelligence.

        I would suggest that there are a lot of people who believe that God is the first creator of all. If you’re suggesting that the majority of religious people nowadays interpret the idea of God in a more spiritual way than in a literal sense, I think you’re wrong.

        I would also suggest the attitude displayed in my comment isn’t the reason Christians “fight gays”, it’s because their religion dictates that gay sex is sinful and, as is more likely the more prevalent reason, they are raised to be homophobic after generations of state sanctioned discrimination.

        I would like to point out that I’m not so ridiculing of religion because I’m gay (this assumption really irritates me), but rather because I have a brain, and nobody has ever been able to show me an even remote possibility that any aspect of God’s existence is true.

    2. Religion can’t ‘be stamped out’ simply because, thankfully, the human mind is capable of coming to its own opinions through its ability to think. To stamp out a belief implies to tell people what to think, and that is only possible with brainwashing.

      I certainly want to see a Darwinian struggle of the fittest ideas. Religions, as memes, have mimicked evolutionary theory perfectly, adapting over time to the changing landscape of thought. Religions are, themselves, products of nature, just as an extended phenotype of the human mind, like a nest is to colony of wasps. The ideas climate has undergone a cataclysmic shift because of Science and Enlitenment. Personally, i think, religions are adapting, to be accommodated in the minds of their human hosts by becoming either a new-age mist, or returning to fundamentalist roots.
      If religion gives those minds lots of happiness, which is a good thing, then so long as they don’t harm others, they are entitled to all the joy that brings.

    3. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 1:28pm

      I am not sure that I understand entirely that which you have written but I agree that religion should always adapt and develop. A problem is that people have tried to freeze a particular meaning of old texts rather than reinterpreting them to the present day.

      In literature, works by famous authors are continually reinterpreted either in words or in plays and seek to show truths or meanings of that newer time that were not necessarily known at the time of the original text. The same is necessary with religion – which is a major reason why I depart with much of that which Pope Benoit currently states.

  8. Paul Clevett 4 Jan 2013, 7:36am

    I’m sorry but someone here is lying. How can both things be true. EITHER the bishop has shut it down or the CHURCH has.

    Thou shalt not bear false witness!

    1. Bishop does something mean.
      Bishop gets bad publicity.
      Bishop telephones Gay Catholics.
      Gay Catholics make statement about “needing more space”.
      Bishop gets off the hook.

      Is that how it works?

  9. What an arsehole Nichols is! Luckily you can be a member of the Church without having any respect at all for its leaders. The Church is us, the believers, gay and straight. And we are answerable to Christ, not some bigoted bishop. On the issue of gay marriage the Church is far in advance of that small group of weirdos who were prepared to give up sex in order to become priests and later (if they were creepy enough) bishops.

    1. That is fundamentally a Protestant statement. Catholics are bound by the magisterium and not freely entitled to exercise their own conscience and remain in communion with the church.

      1. Well, Harry, I certainly didn’t know that. I was brought up a Catholic, went to a Catholic school, etc., but don’t ever remember being told (or feeling) that I had to submit my conscience to the teaching authority of the Church (the magisterium) – anymore than I had to submit my conscience to the authority of my parents or the school or the army or the state. All these institutions were so demonstrably wrong on so many occasions about so many things that it would have been ridiculous to be asked to follow them blindly. – Perhaps I was (am) a Protestant without realising it.

  10. Religion is a choice. Tony Blair anyone?

    1. With so many weasel-words contained in it, the press release must have been written by him….

  11. You wonder why a gay person would continue to support the Catholic Church but then I wonder why some people remain in destructive relationships or abusive marriages or a horrible job. I think the psychology is much the same. People fear change. They are comfortable in what is familiar to them regardless of how unpleasant it might be. The Catholic Church certainly exploits that fear and artfully adds to the fear with guilt manipulation.
    Very similar to the psychological hold a cult has in spite of someone knowing it is irrational.

    1. de Villiers 4 Jan 2013, 3:23pm

      One can be a part of the Catholic Church and not support the incumbent Pope. The Church does not belong to Pope Benoit. I do not consider remaining within the church to be abusive. That might be felt by those who otherwise fail to understand the benefit of being part of it, thereby seeing only the negatives.

      Nothing in life is perfect – or very little is. Life is a series of trade-offs. If one is unable to understand or appreciate how another’s values of the trade-off are different to theirs and refuses to consider that this can still be honest then that shows a certain closed-mindedness.

      Look at it here on this board – there are many people who fail to understand my belief and so seek to extinguish or terminate it. A lack of understanding leading to repression and domination. Often people see only the negative elements and then refuse to understand anything further.

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