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Babylon, P.Q.: This Cardinal should be red

This Cardinal should be red

Ouellet: No more Mr. Nice Guy

On July 13, prior to the Senate passing Bill C-38, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec, expressed his fear – to a Senate committee hearing arguments both for and against same-sex marriage – that those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds might find themselves open to charges of homophobia and may ultimately face prosecution under Canadian hate crime legislation.

Though many in Canada’s legal academic circles immediately dismissed his concerns as far-fetched and, as The Globe and Mail reported, "rhetorical hysteria," I for one would like to express support for Ouellet’s position. Frankly, I hope his fears, despite falling far short of passing the smell test for genuineness, are well founded. I really do, because I would love nothing more this Pride Week than to see the Archbishop and his buddies brought up on charges relating to the incitement of hate crimes.

We as a species have put up with more than enough hateful, divisive, intolerant and self-serving ideologies parading around cloaked in the holy robes of religion, sanctioned by the inviolability of scriptural, doctrinal teaching, and I’d give my left testicle to see some of these folks called to account for it.

Church teaching, not limited to the Roman Catholic Church (though it certainly goes out of its way to claim its fair share), has a direct role in the perpetuation of discrimination and thus persecution of homosexual individuals. You cannot preach difference and then not accept the consequences of that teaching. Unless, of course, you are the Roman Catholic Church. But it gets even better when the Church hierarchy threatens to extend its bias to those who are, technically, not even members of the Church yet…

"If I take the example of the ceremony of baptism, according to our canon law, we cannot accept the signatures of two fathers or two mothers as parents of an infant," Ouellet also threatened before the Senate committee. Until such time as they get up off their ass and change the law, that is. And that won’t happen any time soon, and realistically not at all. So in the interim we have in its place an expanded interpretation of the concept of original sin, which the Catholic catechism instructs is inherent in all from the point of birth, only this time employed against the offspring of gay and lesbian couples, who would be effectively cut out of the Church through no fault of their own. (A blessing in disguise, I could say.)

Essentially, according to Church teaching, we are all guilty of Adam’s original sin in the Garden of Eden, having been born accessories after the fact. (Yeah, the Church is a real party.) "Thus," says the always succinct wikipedia.org, which I will quote here tempted as I am to pass it off as my own genius, "original sin has been interpreted as essentially an attack on God’s sovereignty: Adam’s prideful attempt to decide for himself what is good and what is evil, something that God reserves for himself alone."

Which should sound very familiar to all those Adams who have bravely, and this time fruitlessly, attempted to confront the Church on its deeply held hypocrisies when it comes to gay tolerance.

So again we are witness to the Catholic Church indulging in the terrorizing of its worshippers. How unusual. Really, nobody should be tempted to give a shit about the largely inconsequential, scaremongering ramblings of the Catholic clergy were it not for the fact that Quebec is home to some six million Catholics comprising 83 per cent of the province’s total population, though slightly smaller at 74 per cent for Montreal residents. Then you begin to appreciate the level of irresponsibility inherent in the remarks of Cardinal Ouellet.

Ouellet’s artlessness has precedent.

In defence of the chronic doctrinal pigheadedness of newly elected pontiff Benedict XVI – a.k.a. Bavaria’s Joseph Ratzinger, a.k.a. The Lederhosen Pope – our Cardinal Ouellet noted incredibly, but without irony, hyperbole or even crossed fingers, "If there needs to be change, it needs to be in the world, not in the doctrine."

Well, that’s saying something: The Church doesn’t have to change a thing – the whole world does.

Ratzinger, and apologists like Ouellet, attempt to elevate the rhetoric by dismissing societal evolution as mere relativism, the belief that there are no absolute truths. Said Ratzinger immediately before being voted pope, "We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires."

In 2004, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then-Cardinal Ratzinger told American bishops he felt it was perfectly okay to deny the sacrament of Communion to those who support abortion and euthanasia. In fact, NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) was recently denied communion at St. Patrick’s Church for his stand on same-sex marriage. Bad Catholic! No body and blood of Christ for you! So it’s not such a stretch, in that context, to understand Ouellet’s position on the baptism of the children of homosexual couples.

In a nutshell, until He Himself comes down out of the clouds and offers a few biblical text edits, or mumbles a few long overdue mea culpas, the Church is right and you are wrong, and that’s all there is to it. And while your average eight-year-old has already begun to discover the limits of such a defence, the Roman Catholic Church sees no reason to turn back the clock on 2,000 years of spiritual bullying.

Anyway, though Catholic Church rhetoric is an easy and appropriate whipping post for flaying its deserving higher clergy – hey, they used to do it themselves, albeit in a much less allegorical fashion – the heads of the Church of England should also probably ready themselves for a figurative lashing following some equally deep rendings of Church doctrine this week.

The Church of England (or Anglican Church) this week accepted a proposal that said civil unions among gay clergy were okay – but not marriages – provided they abstained from sex, which went over about as well as you’d think it would among aspiring gay laity, while over on the Lutheran side of things, their governing General Assembly votes August 8-14 on whether to allow gay ordination and same-sex marriage, a vote that is threatening to split the Lutheran Church in two.

Also this week, the Roman Catholic Church will doubtless move, as threatened, to excommunicate nine women who unilaterally had themselves ordained Catholic priests and deacons near Gananoque, July 25, in direct violation of centuries of Church doctrine. Who knows, maybe their kids too.

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  • by Stephen Talko - July 28, 2005, 7:09 am

    Children who are the result of incest or forceable rape are totally innocent victims and have every right to baptism within the Catholic Church. However children born to loving unmarried couples are stigmatized as illegitimate by the Church and carry this label all their lives. Through no fault of their own these children become lower class Christians. I believe all children are deserving of baptism which can be performed even when they are adults. If the parents or the ground-up child are willing to renounce Satan and accept God as saviour the sacrement of baptism should not be refused.

  • by Giovanni Paquin - July 28, 2005, 9:56 am

    Being born Catholic, but not practicing (The only time you would ever find me in church is at weddings and funerals), I have to say, however, that it might be time to lay off those who follow the church. I accept those who follow the church like I would accept any other person’s right to religion. You cannot attack intolerance with intolerance.
    Yes, you should not be taking communion if you support Euthanasia, Abortion or Capital Punishment. That’s something most Catholics are willing to live with. If you can’t, then stop being a Catholic, as many have and continue to do.
    Everyone’s entitled to their views in a democracy, but in the case of the church, there has never been any confusion. Its the church’s way or the highway. I and many others have taken the highway….and although I’d like to say that I am not a devout Catholic out of some deep moral conviction, the truth is, Church is boring.

  • by Damion Rowan - July 28, 2005, 10:09 am

    As much as many of the writings and discussions I have heard and read on gay marriage have infuriated me, the bottom line is that we finally got what we wanted. Canada is now truly the land of the free, where all citizens are treated equally, regardless of sexual preference…or religious preference. So the religious leaders and brainless political figures like Stephen Harper and Ralph Klein might as well just shut up and deal with it. We’re here, we’re queer, and yep, we’re going to the chapel…
    In this day and age, I don’t understand why anyone would want to associate with most religions, as they seem to be the root of all evil, ironically. All they do is cause hatred instead of preaching love, and the world would be better off without ‘em.
    But the fact that marriage is now legal for all citizens of Canada, all what has been said by any of the ignorants means nothing. Canada has shown that they are smart and advanced enough to understand that the year is 2005, and marriage should be a union based on LOVE, and no other factors, especially religion, should have anything to do with it, unless the parties involved choose to. I have been to a number of weddings these past years, between men and women, and 95% of them did not have the word “God” or any mention of anything even remotely religious involved in the ceremony, because their union was certainly not a religious one, it was a legal one. And I have the highest respect for that.
    In a time when religion has brought about continued hatred and hipocrisy, the death of thousands and continued terrorist attacks, if I ever have a child, I would never baptise them into a realm so filled with negativity when the bible supposedly preaches love. Religion, especially Catholicism, has lost the point completely, and if anything, I would try to shield my child from such reckless uses of power.
    Luckily, in this day and age, religion just is not important to most people any more.
    And I thank God for that!

  • by Nicolas Gendron - July 28, 2005, 10:34 am

    I just cannot stand all the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. (and most other religions) The Vatican is speaking so loud against homosexuality (consenting adults!) but at the same time they do all they can to hide the pedophilia of priests.
    After hearing so much stupid comments from Ouellet and the pope, I just feel ashamed to consider myself Catholic. So the day after the appointment of Benedick XVI, I sent my request for apostasy.
    I just cannot stand anymore to witness so much hate and discrimination in the name of religion. I might not please a lot of people but I sincerely believe the world would be a better place without religion.

  • by Rob Postuma - July 28, 2005, 12:48 pm

    the irony of everything- whatever other interpretations of the Bible – the one thing that does stand out ( at least in the New testament ) was Jesus’ teaching of tolerance and acceptance- which almost seems to counter the CHurch’s stance on anything deviating from the (accepted) norm.
    I don’t think it’s wrong for the Cardinal to “wonder out loud” whether or not questioning whether or not something should be accepted by a faith. In terms of whether or not a “church” accepts something within their faith ( ie- whether or not they recognize gay marraiges ) is in my opinion- a matter of personal faith since you have a choice whether or not to accept their doctrine and it is not indeed law. In terms of law though- in my opinion, that’s a whole different matter- it’s a right as far as I’m concerned- and should apply to any consenting adults- gay, straight, whatever.

  • by Gary Womac - July 28, 2005, 1:04 pm

    The very powerful message of jesus christ, that no one remains outside of the all-mighty’s eternal love, has been subverted to serve the powerbrokers of state and of the current church-state allegiance. this subversion of christ’s powerful message can be traced to two events:
    The first council of nicaea in 325 a.d. and the first council of constantinople of 381 a.d.
    In essence, what these two events managed was to create a unifying theme that effectively laid the groundwork for the manipulation and the control over the message that was set forth from the life and deeds of jesus christ. when christ becomes stripped from his distractions as superimposed by eager minds wanting to control and manipulate the faithful, his life and his teachings were threats to the roman empire then and therefore became tamed and changed to suit the ‘concerns’ of early church fathers who wanted a religion that was suitable under the aegis of the roman empire. when the ramifications of the first council of nicaea and the first council of constantinople are closely studied, the understanding of what the early church father had achieved shouldn’t surprise anyone in the 21st century.
    Dogmatic religion has never been about saving souls. a personal reading of the new testament and reading the gnostic texts courtesy of the nag hammadi library as edited by james m. robinson, reveals a very deeper jesus christ than the jesus ‘trinket’ christ used by the church-state to control and manipulate. in essence, early christianity was deeply mystical and by contemporary standards would be considered pagan, if not occultic.
    All dogmatic religion thriving in the double-play of jesus. at once denying his truly mystical aspects in favor of upholding him as ‘lord and saviour’ as a means to keep the sheep blind and well-controlled. all are under the creator’s law of infalliable love, and the creator doesn’t require man-created institutions of ignorance to seed the bitter soils of hatred.

  • by Marc Charette - July 28, 2005, 2:22 pm

    Ouellet was one of the candidates mentionned to replace John Paul II. And it seems that you have to be as narrow-minded as possible in order to become pope. So Ouellet is on the right track.
    I’m always amazed when people know they could be illegal but want to be protected under some magical law. It’s a bit like George W. Bush wanting to be spared by the International Tribunal regarding his own country’s actions to fight “war”. If you know you could be prosecuted, doensn’t il tell you that maybe there is something wrong with what you’re doing. Isn’t it kinda funny that religious groups believe they should be allowed to keep discrimating.
    Why don’t we have a special clause for KuKluxKlan to keep discriminating against blacks? It’s part of their belief that blacks are a lower form of human beings. Why is it OK to allow the church to keep discriminating based on some distorsion of the bible but not for other groups. Why do they get a special status? It is hate speech and hate speech is not tolerated in the country in which I live. Or so I thought!

  • by Alberto Olivera - July 28, 2005, 6:07 pm

    why is jamie`s article only on the catholic church and doesn`t deal with other religions negative views on homosexuality?
    is he to scared to tackle the muslim extremists views on homosexuality? not to long ago 2 teenagers were hanged in iran for sleeping together…where is jamie? bashing a religious institution who`s hierarchy is powerless , whereas religions like islam who has a stranglehold in countries like iran and make it illegal to be homosexual….we dont hear from writers like jamie..maybe he is too scared and prefers to go after the weak!!!
    enough with the catholic bashing…go after the real menace.

  • by Alexander Yu - July 28, 2005, 10:20 pm

    “If I take the example of the ceremony of baptism, according to our canon law, we cannot accept the signatures of two fathers or two mothers as parents of an infant,”
    This quote was taken directly from our Catholic servant Cardinal Ouellet. So according to him a child should always have a mother and a father. That’s all good in a loving family, but what happens when one of the parents is abusive? What happens if one of the parents is a raging alcoholic and the child will be born into an unloving family? According to church laws, that is still alright as long as there is one mother and one father.
    Now let’s say a gay, catholic couple wishes to adopt a child. They are a loving duo that have a good income and can provide a home for the child. I don’t believe they’ll try to turn the kid into a second image of themselves and when the child grows up he will decide whether he’s straight or not. So let’s say the kid grows up straight, probably well adjusted and happy because he had a good life. He grows up having a good heart.
    But despite all those positives, because the kid had two “fathers” or “mothers”, he can never be baptized and as a catholic he’s doomed to Hell. Somehow I think God has more important things then to care whether or not a kid has two fathers of mothers. If he did I’m sure we would’ve seen some wrath now from the heavens for our passing of the gay marriage bill. I think God is more concerned about whether we live good, honorable lives.
    So what does it take to be a good parent? In the eyes of the church it’s having a mom, a dad and many kids. It doesn’t matter if they can provide for the children of if they are good parents, as long as more and more kids are made. But everyone else knows what makes a good parent is more than just creating children; it involves a love and care for the child. And last time I looked Gay people are more than capable then giving that.

  • by Daniel Hall - July 29, 2005, 12:08 am

    I wonder how much “weight” Marc Cardinal Ouellet carries with Quebec Catholics, despite what the statistics intimate about the “faithful” in la belle province. It occurs to me that not long ago, Catholic churches in Quebec were emptying at a rate faster than the negative birthrate, with youths and young adults leading the 20th Century exodus. Short of a
    miracle, I suspect that this trend hasn’t abated.
    Did the cardinal, his bishops and priests poll the faithful remnant who attend church in Quebec parishes? I know that most MPs in the House of Commons were well-informed about their constituents’ views on same-sex marriage, and weighed those opinions very carefully before voting on the bill after each of the three readings. The non-Catholic Christian right in Canada, with backing from fundamentalist American Christians, mounted a well- orchestrated, heavily-financed campaign against same-sex marriage. The Catholic church, still mired in litigations from decades of residential school abuse by priests and brothers, was in no position to up the ante.
    The Canadian Catholic hierarchy, siding with Pope John Paul II’s dictum against the evils of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, brought the ages-old strictures such as forbidding masturbation, pre-marital sex, contraception, sex without reproduction to the fore. The ultimate irony is that more priests leave the priesthood to marry; I know of only one gay priest who left the priesthood.
    In a recent letter to the editor in the Ottawa Citizen, a Catholic lesbian opined that if all practising Catholic LGBT adherents stopped monetary contributions, some impact would be had on local dioceses. I wonder if the Vatican will consider liquidating some of the church’s vast treasures and real estate? The reality being that this is already happening in
    at least one Newfoundland diocese, where a bishop friend is selling off churches, rectories, schools and fixtures–fallout from abuses at Mount Cachel Orphanage.

  • by Isabelle Gélinas - July 29, 2005, 1:12 am

    I, personnaly, will never give ANY kind of credit to a single men who talks about family, sex, love, children, contraceptives, abvortion etc…
    Would you ask a plumer to teach you Spanish, no you ask a Spanish teacher. Same as you would not ask your Spanish teacher to help you with your pipes!
    It is silly now and has always been!

  • by Maria Jankovics - July 29, 2005, 12:33 pm

    What would it take to get some sense into the Catholic Church as it has been going on much too long so it’s for a really big overdue overhaul. It is time to modernize the Churches as all their doctrines are 2000 years behind the times. These rules and regulations are too vast and iron clad and the Churches are much too stubborn to realize it is the 21st Century and things must change. As a consequence the whole world suffers because of them besides the innocent children. So Ouelet, Quelet let down your hair and join life as it is happening not how it has was on Christ’s Crucifixtion. They’ll have to excommunicate so many people if this continues, they won’t have people in the churches sitting in their pews. Also importantly are those women who were ordained unofficially and now suffer a heavy penalty of excommunication; give me a break, what are their sins. They want to serve God and the multitude; is this a crime? So there is no real justification to what Quelet and the rest of the clergy are saying as they are just dried up old men who are so far behind the times and have stuck their heads in the sand. Amen.

  • by Marie-Joëlle Bertrand - July 29, 2005, 12:55 pm

    What does the sexual orientation or marital status of the parents have to do with the right of a child to be baptised ? Again, the church, by the mouth of one of its representative, proves its lack of compassion and empathy, and the arguments and actions it poses are, at best, contradictory.
    Refusing a service to somebody in function of sexual orientation is illegal, as far as I know. So, it’s true that somebody who does it can be legally prosecuted and that’s how it should be. Why should that be different for the church ?
    It is not to the church to decide what a society wants for itself, it is the society that makes choices. Then the church can accept or reject the choices, as far as they can do it legally, and each person will have its own view of the religion in function of that.
    The church can refuse to perform gay marriages, since it doesn’t correspond to its definition of marriage, but they have nothing to say about the civil gay marriage. That’s something the law must decide, in function of the society choices.
    However, to refuse to baptise an innocent soul because of what the parents do is not, and should not be legal. And the church should have no right to do it.
    Since, will the child really want to become a part of an institution that reject its parent way of life ? I known I wouldn’t.

  • by Shant Noubarian - July 29, 2005, 3:58 pm

    Has anyone ever read the Bible? I have.. it’s long… the writing is very small and there are many characters who interact with eachother in vague and sometimes questionalble circumstances.. The point is that almost everything in any spiritual text is subject to interpretation..Even the text itself is a far cry from what the original was 2000 years ago.. (more or less) it’s been translated over and over again by scholars and monks… who knows if the version we have today is even remotly close to the original.. The point is if you stick to the hard scripture often you will be enforcing not necessarily Gods word but someone else’s idea of maybe what God was thinking about.. What people should do rather is to look into their hearts and do what they feel is right.. because we as HUMANS have this capacity, something that no other living thging can do.. we can act on feeling and not only on instinct. If a church wants to stand for tolerance then it should ..for all people..regardless of petty differences such as sexual preference, age, skin color…ethnicity..etc.. And besides two straight parents can do nothing to stop their child from being born gay.. so its stands to reason that 2 gay parents have equally no control over the sexual orientation of their child..which by the way most probably will be adopted…Which leads me to my point…we need more adopting these days anyway.. the world is becoming severly overpopulated and most afected by this are millions of children who starve to death everyday in third world countries. If the church really wants to save the mankind from damnation it should promote gay marriage, provided these gay couples adopt as many starving kids as they can…how about that for a solution to world hunger.. but ohh.no that would be morally wrong…feeding starving children how terribly sinfull…right.? please give me a break.. Large institutions like a church or even a governmental body must remember to always keep the big picture in mind.

  • by Mel Roach - July 29, 2005, 5:13 pm

    I understand the author’s frustration but Catholicism has long advocated against homosexuality. I think that we shouldn’t condemn the archbishop – he is simply articulating his fear, and also his questioning of his faith. In fact we should encourage this type of discussion. If you are against Catholicism you are not forced to practice it. And this man has chosen this religious path but now is on a crossroads where he is questioning the laws of his Church that have been in place for thousands of years. I do understand why anyone who is capable of making rational descisions should be allowed to marry regardless of their sex. But why do homosexuals want to get married in a church anyway? Is it because it is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye? Why would you want to be married by a rightwing religion doctrine? We live in a free country and that is the beauty of it. The Catholic Church and Ouellet is entitled to their opinion and so are we. We cannot silence discussion – this man wa simply stating he feared being labeled a homophobic, we should encourage open discussion so that men and woman who are ignorant may understand homosexuality better.

  • by Giuliano D'Andrea - July 29, 2005, 8:29 pm

    Funny thing. Pride Week was supposed to be a call for tolerance and acceptance.
    Where is the tolerance for the Church in O’Meara’s rant?
    In a world increasingly ruled by the axiom of, I am ok, you are ok, one would think that those who pushed hard for acceptance and tolerance would be the first to embrace freedom of speech, expression and belief.
    What are we witnessing here instead? Calls for the Church to be ashamed of its teachings, calls for the state to bring Chuch leaders up on Charges for Hate Crimes, a long winded list of “terrible things” the Church does which makes them, according to O’Meara, “spiritual bullies”.
    The issue is a simple one. If you do not like what the Church teaches, well, you can move on and join some other Church or even not be part of one at all. The Church has its beliefs and we are given the choice of either accepting them or rejecting them.
    And if we do not agree with them, well, the last thing we should do is become bombastic and tell them what they should be doing, like…. who they can or cannot baptize or who can or can not become a priest.
    Bottom line, we have the freedom to do and be almost anything we want to be, and that is our right, every bit as much as it is the right of Church members to believe that which they do.
    As for O’Meara suggesting he would give up his left testicle for the Church to be brought up on charges …. remember the old Catholic proverb … do not pray for something too hard or you might just get it.

  • by Michael Fein - July 30, 2005, 2:19 am

    When I read a week or so ago, how Cardinal Ouellet was concerned that priests and other clergy persons might feel uncomfortable teaching the evils of homosexuality from the pulpit if the same-sex marriage legislation were to pass, my first reaction was “It’s about time.”
    I could not truly comprehend the amount of unmitigated gall, or chutzpah as people from my parish would refer to it, it takes to imply that a law granting equal rights to the gay and lesbian minority should be witheld to prevent religious homophobes from feeling uncomfortable imparting their hateful rhetoric. It seems to me just the fact that they feel so uncomfortable speaks volumes. Why would they feel this way, if they really and sincerely believed what they were teaching about homosexuality and homosexuals was right?
    It seems to me, that if more people who have been espousing negativity towards homosexuals were made to feel uncomfortable about it, perhaps they would begin to think about what they’ve been preaching. Perhaps if they got burned a bit by the heat of their rhetoric, they would begin to reach for the fire extinguisher and lower the temperature of the discussion.

  • by Dawn Manhertz - July 30, 2005, 10:08 am

    I mean Really!
    What nerve tha Catholic Church has, to presume to set standards so aristocratic, outdated and even outsmarted by so many, yet they still manage to be in control. I shudder once in a while in confusion simply trying to understand how an entire people can let themselves be lead mindlessly, by a doctrine that has been tampered with and adjusted, only God knows how many times, lead them mindlessly and flounderingly about the world. Such naive concepts just perplex me.
    I’m happy that Cardinal Ouellett feels so comfortable with his position that he can go ahead and speak his mind in such a matter of fact way though. That way, it can serve as a clear warning to the rest of us (non-brainwashed folks) that God-given everyday rights and responsibilities can be disputed, if the (Big Bad) Catholic Church has anything to say about it…right?
    N-E-ways, there’s no easy way to say this, but I’ll try putting this as lightly as I can for all you Catholics out there reading this (probably little to none), but if God so loved the world and all that jazz, why are you complicating it so? Let people be. Continue to try to love all of your fellow man, as tough as this task may be, then maybe, just Maybe, you could leave all the rest of the judging to God. What do you say, how ’bout it?
    A message from your happy pagan with a spiritual core.

  • by Maria Cecillia Silva - July 30, 2005, 5:19 pm

    I believe the issue here is not about religion but about rights. I have nothing aginst gay people wishing to have relationships with each other. Personally I don’t think their relationship unions should be called marriage. It there is a relationship union between a man and a woman called marriage then if you decided to create a new relationship , give it a new name. I don’t understand why anybody has to change all ready existing definitions or religions just to please the gay people. They can also start their own religion. They have there own bars and they have their own clubs , their own styles it should not be a problem to them. This way they could have had their own relationships accepted years ago. They could have come out of the closet years ago and have their own rights respected years ago. They should not force people to change their religion or their views on marriage just because they feel they should have the power.

  • by Tricia Jenkins - August 1, 2005, 11:50 am

    The Catholic Church and their pre-historic closed-minded views have got to stop acting as though they are God and start acting like just what it is- an institution where people- no matter who or what they are can go to and pray to their God in peace and acceptance. Religion, throughout history has lost its original vision and keeps trying to dirty their hands in present day politics. Don’t they know that issues such as gay marriages and adoption doesn’t really pertain to them? What does pertain to them is the fact that these parents want their young children to be a part of such a pretigious and popular religion. But of course they can not see it through their narrow-minded ways: they rather deprive and turn away a perfectly innocent child then to accept a union between two people. Kind of strange when you think about how GREAT and GOOD the Church always tries to appear: as a non-practicing Catholic(non-practicing because I don’t agree with certain issues the Pope keeps trying to dictate such as this one)I can accept the union between same-sex couples. Does that make me a bad person? Am I going to hell now? Better accept everyone, then to discriminate- because we all know where that leads…

  • by Alain Gauthier - August 3, 2005, 5:03 pm

    O’Meara looks like the zelous Catholics in older times when Inquisition (XIIIth-XVIth centuries) was sweeping Europeans countries. He is as motivated in his speech against the Catholics as preachers were in those times against so-called heretics: they too were calling for rejection of the “wrong” ones.
    Today, what should matter is tolerance. If someone thinks the Pope and his followers don’t represent his beliefs, then why bother with resentment and anger againts them? Why blame a Catholic for being a Catholic? Why blame someone for behaving according to his creed? Do they wear guns to defend their opinions? Go your own way and promote your own creed, for God’s sake…!
    But what is amazing in this debate over same-sex marriage is this pitiful outbidding amongst Protestant churches. Lately I have seen a huge sign put out on a Protestant church main entrance that says: “Here, we accept same-sex marriage.” It was looking like those huges signs in public market where sellers promote their products “at the lowest price”. To what extent this outbidding could go???
    If Catholics give the impression to be reactionnary that would deserve real debates; on the other hand some other churches behave like peddlers: they positionned themselves as to attract more followers and then more cash in their bank accounts. This aspect too should be looked at sometimes…

  • by Lisa Gratton - August 3, 2005, 7:50 pm

    Over the past 2,000 years the world has changed incredibly, more things are possible, we have more freedom. The catholic faith started out as a simple way of life, has now become an Empire. And over the centuries, their doctrine was becoming stricter and stricter, rules upon rules, all this based on a book? On god’s words?
    Instead of concentrating on the fact that women with women and men with men, shouldn’t be allowed communion or baptism for their child, is absolutely crazy. There are other most urgent matters in the world at the moment and they’re fussing about this? And by basically segregating the homosexual community from religion, isn’t that a crime, and doesn’t the church abolish such things? And they’re doing this when interest in the faith is shrinking daily?
    It’s not the world that needs to change, it’s the Catholic religion that’s in need of a makeover.

  • by Heather Lee - August 5, 2005, 11:28 am

    The amuptation of left-hand body parts aside, you have a point. In keeping with the constitutional pillar, freedom of religion, perhaps the Roman Catholic Church could re-write its own mandate to reflect current times thereby not isolating a sizeable demographic that could potentially add to the Christian stables of compassion, mercy and infinite love for all mankind. Priests could look to the work of the Protestant United Church for guidance. Not only are many of the United congregants visibly gay couples -sometimes with children, but they also have ordained and openly gay ministers. St James United is a prime downtown example of this situation.
    It is more important now, more than ever, to mend fences and build bridges within our Christian community because the real threat, on religious ground, to Christian and non-Christian gays is growing intolerance, worldwide. A gruesome example is the recent public hanging of two gay teenagers in Iran. In fact, more and more Muslim gays are entering Canada, especially Quebec, to escape from homophobia and gay-based persecution. Let’s not let them down. Canada is an inclusive and gentle society. We are no decadent. Freedom is our right. We cannot afford to back-pedal on this one. We must present a united front to any extremist who has penetrated our feeble security and now lives amongst us and to any home-grown threat to democracy.
    When parliament reconvenes on Sept. 26, it has to ratify an agreement between all parties, including Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, and the Catholic Church to construct a working platform for strengthening our constitution, that would be agreeable and respectful to all groups, leaving no possible loophole that could potentially lead to inciting hatred. In the 21st century, it would be intolerable to let monotheism dictate the way we are entitled to live as citizens in a free and democratic nation. Remember, we fought two world wars for democracy. We must preserve our way of life.

  • by Mitchell Begin - August 5, 2005, 12:17 pm

    It frustrates me to see various religious groups and political parties around the world oppose to my existence as a homosexual. Every time I listen to them preach about the subject I feel terrorised. My opinion is that they are all terrorists that promote hate, fear and divide our societies. They should all be prosecuted under the existing laws that prevent the promotion of hated because in a free world we should not tolerate it.
    According to theses various groups there is only one way to live your life and that is there way. Well you know what; I will not live a miserable life and be kept in fear for the rest of my life. The Catholic Church has made it a specialty of there’s for centuries. How many lives have they destroyed around the world with there radical authority thinking? Too many lives and it needs to stop. With the evolution of humanity in the fast lane they need to get with the program, there churches are empty especially the Catholic churches. But they will continue to prey on the week and less educated people in this world, I feel sorry for the poor people in Africa that are being brainwashed by these dictators.

  • by Robert Bichage - August 10, 2005, 11:14 pm

    The Catholic Church proposes that it has the fullness of the truth, an absolute truth at that. If the truth is changeable, then it cannot be absolute and so the church would be in contradiction with itself. All this being to say that there are certain teachings that the Church will not change simply because it cannot change them without turning into a radically different institution than the one it is today (and, arguably, has been for the past 2000 yrs).

    Among these teachings is that on matters of sexuality. What one must examine is how capable the church is of enforcing its teachings. What comes out is that apart from excommunication with the flock, the church cannot imprison or fine its members for not following the dictates of its system of morality. That job belongs to a state enforcing its laws. In this sense therefore, the church is powerless. Its power lies solely in its ability to influence people (this has not always been the case, but it is now) to live their lives a certain way. It is concerned with the moral life, nothing more nothing less.

    Seeing that this is so, that it is an ideological institution, then so long as it does not advocate discrimination, violence and other criminal activity, then it has as much right in its capacity to outline its vision of the way humans are meant to live their lives as the GBLT alliance does. Can’t follow the rules of the church? Then don’t participate. It is as simple as that. The clamoring to be included in church ritual without having to adhere to church policy seems somewhat immature to me. If you believe premarital sex is good and want to transmit that belief to your children, why in heavens name would you want to be baptised in the church? If you like the rituals so much, start your own church. At least 1 english monarch is on record as having done as much. Bottom line: In todays society you are free to do what you want. Look for someone else to blame – the church is not the source of your worries.

  • by Karen Sollazzo - August 14, 2005, 12:38 am

    I have to say, reading this article, if I’m surprised by anything it’s that anyone could expect the Catholic church to change. The church isn’t a democracy. It’s not under the control of current opinions, but rather ancient texts, and it’s the idea that these texts contain absolute truths that’s the whole point. Asking them to change would defeat the purpose. If you’re opposed to their absolute truths… well, then you’re against the religion, really. And you have as much right to dissapprove of them as they do of homosexuality. There are a lot of things I disagree with the Catholic church about. Does an article like this make the Hour responsible if someone assaults a priest?

  • by Renato Silvestre - August 14, 2005, 10:14 am

    when the original legislation for marriage was passed in the house of common
    it was intended for the marriage of a man and a woman. i have nothing against the
    same sex union but call it something else because marriage was never intended for
    same sex.

  • by Pamela Wright - August 16, 2005, 12:41 pm

    I was born Catholic. I am a true Atheist in my heart. Over the years I have discovered the ultimate ugliness of the Catholic Church. Their overbearing attitude of what they deemed to be right opposed to what us as individuals may consider being right. How is it that they can exempt Catholics from being baptized because they have two same sex parents? Is the love for this child any less? How is it that they can sweep horrible acts of sexual aggression onto young boys under the carpet and still have the audacity to preach to us like we are all sinners and they are above reproach?? So, why not allow gay Priests to marry? And let them have sex? Wouldn’t it lessen the amount of rapes that may take place in the future for young choir boys? Why is the Roman Catholic Church afraid to have woman ordained as Priests or Deacons? Does women’s forward movement throughout the world threaten them? I for one would applaud any person for refusing the sacrament of Communion for the excellent reason of being true to their own beliefs, which may not align along with the unreasonable teachings of the Catholic Church. There are just too many negative projections that arise from the Catholic Church. They really need to look to the people, and to really see the people, all people… that is where the strength of faith comes from, us the people.

  • by Pedro Eggers - October 6, 2005, 6:55 pm

    Ah, the Catholic Church…y’know, for such a pious institution it sure has racked up the sins in the name of good. True, nothing in this universe is perfect but wow, how odd is it that none of the other organized religions of the world have these deeply rooted problems. Most religious orders face problems from without, not within. History doesn’t lie. Look it up. The Church still maintains many of the basic beliefs and notions it always did but unfortunately the people they would once have preached to have moved beyond their sphere of influence. Is that a good thing? That depends if you believe in a heaven or a hell because if you don’t then it’s only this life that matters and in this life you’ve got to ask yourself if being homophobic how you want to define it.

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