Vatican hates #UnHate
God is love, I dare say.
But what a mischievous devil love is.
- Samuel Butler (1835-1902)
The image (don’t worry, interfaith dialogue-ophobes, it’s digitally manipulated) depicts ex-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger/current Pope Benedict XVI locking his Roman Catholic lips with Muslim cleric, the grand sheikh, Mohammed Ahmed al-Tayeb, of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo.
But don’t worry, here you can see the image in all its glory:
Maybe the image coincides a little too much with the news of a gathering of Egypt’s LGBT community at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Let’s not forget that Pope Benedict (the artist formally known as Ratzinger) is the author of the 1986 “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexuals”, which included:
It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the church’s pastors wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of a healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and 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 (No. 10).
What is at all costs to be avoided is the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behavior of homosexual persons is always and totally compulsive and therefore inculpable. What is essential is that the fundamental liberty which characterizes the human person and gives him his dignity be recognized as belonging to the homosexual person as well (No. 11)
So if love – or, UnHate – is so terribly objectionable, I suppose this is what we’re left with. How very Christian.