“Unjust” Discrimination of Homosexuals Should Be Avoided, Vatican Says

Posted by Censor Librorum on Jan 9, 2009 | Categories: Lesbians & Gays, Politics

After opposing a United Nations declaration that called for the decriminalization of homosexuality last month, the Vatican issued its own call to eliminate criminal penalties for homosexuality.

“The Holy See appreciates the attempts made in (the declaration) to condemn all forms of violence against homosexual persons as well as urge states to take necessary measures to put an end to all criminal penalties against them,” the statement said.

“The Holy See continues to advocate that every sign of unjust discrimination towards homosexual persons should be avoided,” said Vatican spokesman Fr. Frederico Lombardi.

An explanatory note published in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said that if the resolution on sexual orientation aimed simply at ensuring no country treated homosexuality as a crime, “there would have been no reason for (the Vatican) to criticize that document.”

“The Catholic church maintains that free sexual acts between adult persons must not be treated as crimes to be punished by civil authorities,” said the newspaper. no-vat-2.jpg

The Vatican specifically objected to the declaration’s use of the terms, “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” According to L’Osservatore Romano, these terms “imply that sexual identity is defined only by culture,” and their use in the declaration is part of an attempt to “equate same-sex unions with marriage and give homosexual couples the change to adopt or ‘procreate’ children.”

The paper argued that the declaration would endanger “other human rights,” such as “liberty of expression…thought, conscience and religion,” since it might limit religions in their freedom to teach that homosexual behavior is morally wrong.  

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the U.N., warned the European-backed text could “create new and implacable discriminations.” “For example,” he said, “states that do not recognize same-sex unions as ‘matrimony’ will be pilloried and made an object of pressure.”

The Declaration on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity was presented to the U.N. General Assembly on December 18, 2008.  This non-binding declaraton, which was sponsored by France and backed by the 27-member European Union, received 66 votes in the 192-member U.N. General Assembly. Aside from the Holy See, opponents included China, Russia, the United States and the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Sponsors of the European text point out that homosexuality is still punishable by law in  93 countries and by death in seven of them, including Iran, Saudi Arabia,  United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and  Nigeria.

An opposing Arab-backed statement, read out at the United Nations by Syria, said the European text could lead to “the social normalisation, and possibly the legitimisation, of many deplorable acts including paedophilia.”

Fr. Lombardi told Reuters that the Vatican did not support the Arab-backed statement, either.

The Vatican’s tilt toward leniency didn’t rub off on the Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez. cardenal.JPG

The cardinal  fumed that “killing children (abortion) or promoting marriages between all kinds of people, men with men, women with women,” leads to nowhere. The countries that choose to experiment with these things “will sink morally,” he added.

“I don’t thank the U.N. for anything, nothing, since today it is making such a great effort to spread this immortality throughout the entire world,” Cardinal Lopez Rodriguez continued. Calling on Domincans to “defend our country,” the cardinal exclaimed, “To those who want to come and bring that immorality here, get out! We are not interested.”

Those comments weren’t the cardinal’s first anti-gay press foray.

According to El Nacional, back in November 2007, the Cardinal, arguing that fidelity should be at the core of education efforts to stem pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases “explained that for those reasons the Catholic church was opposed to promiscuity between ‘heterosexuals and maricones’ because sex had to be of the moment and between a man and a woman.”While discussing gays coming to Santa Domingo, Rodríguez remarked, “They should stay in Europe or the United States, we don’t need that social trash, we don’t need it.”

I wonder if the maricones Cardinal Rodríguez has met among his clergy and in the Vatican appreciated being called “social trash.” I doubt it.

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3 Responses to ““Unjust” Discrimination of Homosexuals Should Be Avoided, Vatican Says”

  1. Terry Weldon Says:

    I have resisted responding up to now, because I simply cannot fathom the Vatican on this one. The more I think about their stand on ‘homosexuality’, the more I think of them as ‘Fog City’.

    They are against ‘criminal sanctions’ – but don’t like to say so.
    They are opposed to ‘unjust discrimination’ – but apply their own discrimination, which must therefore be read as ‘just’ discrimination.

    If the motion had stopped at ‘simply opposing decriminalisation, there would have been no reason to oppose it’ – but there was no suggestion that the motion went any further, except for the Vatican’s own speculation on what it ‘might’ lead to.

    I give up.

  2. Benny the Bridgebuilder Says:


    Well said but don’t give up.

  3. Benny the Bridgebuilder Says:

    You might be interested in this comment I have just posted on my own blog, where a well known Irish RC theologian is refusing even to debate the question of same sex couples adoption in one of the foremost college debating societies in Ireland.

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