The Pope undermines sexual and gender justice…

16 Jul published a news story, ‘World Youth Day Pilgrims: “Gays Will Burn In Hell” ‘ in which Catholics invited to a gay catholic Australian couple’s home, blatantly told the latter that they will burn in hell.

While the story merely attributed the blame to ignorance and bigotry, one need only to look at the Catholic church teachings to realise how such ill-informed opinions are formed. The Vatican has always been adversorial towards gays, painting sexual minorities as a bunch of evil-doers who will be punished for ‘deviating from the norm’.

Central magazine has also reported that the mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, will have a face to face meeting with the pontiff on Friday at the Cathedral House.

Given that Ms Moore enjoys the support of the LGBTQ community and is herself, a supporter of gay rights, she should publicly express her opinions during her address to the Pope.  At the very least, she needs to tell His Highness that it is unacceptable for the Catholic Church to preach hatred and bigotry against gays and lesbians. Moreover, Sydney is renowned as a city for being welcoming to people of all backgrounds, including gays and lesbians. If the Pope  expects to be treated as a dignified guest, the least he could do, is to embrace that diversity.

While there have been reports that the Pope will apologise for sexual abuse cases by its priests , critics have charged that mere words are not enough. Argues Melbourne lawyer, Vivian Waller, ‘ The Catholic Church routinely takes every technical objection in the book to prevent sexual assault victims suing successfully in the courts’. She also added that the church ‘used its technical court defences to force many victims into using its internal Towards Healing compensation process’, which ‘ was “flawed” and led to small settlement payments’.

In addition, The Vatican has stuck to its line and denounced the use of contraceptives, ‘telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass – potentially exposing thousands of people to risk’.

As the representative of  the Catholic Church, the Pope has constantly undermined sexual and gender justice by undercutting the legal process filed against clergy sexual abuse; promoting hatred against the sexual minority community; and spreading disinformation against condom use thereby contributing to unwanted pregnancies and the spread of HIV and AIDs.

While the mainstream media focused on the sexual assault apologies, brandishing it as groundbreaking news, it is clear the Catholic Church has refused to right the wrongs.

The Pope needs to stop and allow legal redress to those sexually harassed by Catholic priests. He  needs to apologise to the sexual minority community for promoting hate propaganda against them. Last but not least, the pontiff needs to retract its official stance against abortion and the use of condoms.


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