The Vatican Speaks

Joseph S. O’Leary gives an overview of comments and opinions from various sources concerning Pope Benedict’s comments made during his Christmas address related to the “ecology of Man” and gay people (a bit of reading between the lines).

Yet Another Vatican Gay Furore

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent for the Times Online (UK), and certainly not a raving liberal, wrote a commentary entitled: “Pope ‘spreading fear’ with claim that Man needs protection from homosexuality
She writes in part:

“The Pope has been condemned by clergy and gay rights campaigners for arguing that mankind needed protection from homosexuality much as the rainforest needed protecting from environmental damage.
“Roman Catholic leaders in England, traditionally a liberal province, sought to distance themselves from the Pope’s remarks, claiming that he had been misrepresented because he never used the word “homosexual”.
“The strength of the reaction against his remarks from bloggers and other online commentators worldwide gave one of the clearest indications to date that the row over gays that has taken the Anglican Church almost to a schism is one that is close to erupting in the more tightly ruled Roman Catholic Church as well.”

Folks, this is just not going away no matter what Christian tradition one belongs to, or whatever faith for that matter.
“All truth passes through 3 stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; Third, it is accepted as self-evident.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
We are in stage 2, and I suspect will be for a while yet.

A playing out of the Culture Wars in the United States

Here is an interesting and brief discussion between two Anglicans commenting on the recent “departure” of four dioceses from The Episcopal Church.
From the New York Times video website:

“Christopher Wells, left, of the Living Church Foundation and Father William Franklin of the American Academy in Rome debate the schism in the Episcopal Church”

While I don’t necessarily disagree with most of what Dr. Wells says, it sounds like just more of the same. I agree that there are legitimate concerns made by conservatives that need to be forthrightly addressed and over the last few decades the liberal leadership has not. (See the quote I presented in my last post about liberals and governance!) At the same time, I absolutely agree with Fr. Franklin that what we have been witnessing has had more to do with the American Culture Wars than with honest theological problems dealt with in a traditionally Anglican way. The fingerprints of the “Institute for Religion and Democracy” way of dealing with these kinds of things are all over this (all one has to do is read the take on our Anglican problems by the conservative American-Evangelical media to understand).
An short excerpt from the New York Times video website
The full 47 minute debate: