Letter to the Editor Re Pope Benedict's Christmas Address to the Curia

Amazing how I said in a blog just the other day that there was nothing controversial in Pope Benedict’s Address to the Curia this year. How wrong could I be? There were no less than four letters to the editor on the subject in this morning’s edition of The Age.

Here is a letter I sent to the editor of The Age this morning. Check tomorrow’s paper to see if it is published.

It is fascinating that there are so many critics of Pope Benedict’s (alleged) “recent diatribe against homosexuality” (Philip Ingamells, “Letters” 27/12) , when the text of the offending address isn’t even available in an official english translation yet. For that matter, anyone who had actually read the text would realise that the Holy Father never even mentioned homosexuality once in the entire address! A word of advice to all critics: read the text before you stick in the boot.

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0 Responses to Letter to the Editor Re Pope Benedict's Christmas Address to the Curia

  1. Tom says:

    David, they wont like that :D

    Of course, being the quality of critics that they are, their criticism is only ever inflamed by such things; for them, moderation is hardly a commendable trait when one is trying to be as anti-intellectual as possible. It simply doesn’t suit the temperament.

    Your are however, (as ever) correct. The comments you linked too have the rather uncomfortable problem of being just a bit insane.

    #1 The Church is concerned only with power, The Pope only wants to protect his authority; yeah yeah, we all read the Da Vinci Code, it was a work of fiction.

    #2 The Natural world is non-conformist. This is perhaps the oddest thing I think I’ve ever read. The natural world is called the natural world, as such, because it is bound by nature, and cannot escape those bonds. It is conformist in the absolute essence of the word. The natural world ALWAYS obeys the rules.

    #3 The Pope is hurting people who are living a homosexual life. Also, priests shouldn’t be celibate. Well, the first one is ridiculous; I’m sorry but if you genuinely think the Pope is wrong, he has no Temporal Authority over you, he cannot control you. Any hurt they feel is the product of a troubled conscience. Secondly, the reason priestly celibacy is such a shock is that people cannot get over the fact that there exists, in hard and physical form, people who put the Kingdom of God before their own pleasure. Well, they’re scandalised by the Gospel, that’s their own business.

    3 Critics who ignore all the issues, speak without thinking. David, I’ve gotta be honest, your comments will not be well received.

  2. matthias says:

    Baptist that i am I think that when any Christian leader speaks out ,there are those just waiting to pounce and parade their bigotries,but especially when the Pope talks,the response is even more bitter.
    Perhaps Rowan Williams should speak out more.Sorry I forgot ,no one can understand him-in speech or theology

  3. Past Elder says:

    1) That the Roman Church and its Pope are only concerned with their power and authority has been clear since the pontifex maximus stopped being the Emperor of Rome and started being the Pope of Rome, and overseers after Christ’s instution started being the other pontifices. Dan Brown had nothing to do with it.

    2) The natural world does not always follow the rules. The “rules” are human constructs from human observation of a divine creation not crafted from human constructs.

    3) “Their own pleasure” is considered a sacrament by the Roman Church. To forgo it is something not mandated but voluntary in Scripture; in fact, Scripture says being able to lead one’s own family well is a prerequisite for leading the family of God. Now who’s scandalised by the Gospel?

    Benedict spoke well of the matter in his address. Too bad the Roman garbage is a scandal to that.

  4. Paul says:

    Good on you, David for sending in a letter, but I won’t be betting my house that it will be published. The Age’s sister paper in Sydney (Sydney Morning Herald) also had 4 letters today criticising Pope Benedict, as well as a bit of a dig by David Marr. I had submitted a letter at 9am yesterday responding to another letter, but my humble dissenting voice was not to be heard. I have sent a mail to the SMH pointing out their bias. I’m not saying my letter is a wonderful piece of work, but I know at least one opposing letter was available to the letters editor well before the publishing deadline. For what it is worth, my letter was:

    “Some people have criticised Pope Benedict’s Christmas speech (Brian Haill, letters Dec 26th). What the Pope actually said was “the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected”. He referred to gender studies, and there are departments of Gender Studies in many Australian universities which have as an article of faith that there is no difference between men and women. I assume the faculty members and graduates of these courses disagree with the Pope, so could anyone of them offer a reason for their disagreement? After all, it is not only the church, but the whole history of our culture that has recognized a difference between men and women, so if someone disagrees with that, they must have some reasons why. That would be more helpful and interesting than making comments that are not based on anything the Pope said.”

  5. Paul says:

    one other (half serious) thought to throw into the mix….

    Why should a homosexual marriage involve only two people? Why not 3 or 4? Muslims have polygamous marriages, why can’t gays have polygayous marriages?

    If we want to bend the idea of marriage from 1 man + 1 woman to 2 men or 2 women, can anyone, in the interests of respecting diversity, explain why there can’t be a marriage involving 5 men or 5 women, or 2 men + 3 women etc etc?

  6. Anonymous says:

    People who have trouble with the idea that homsexuality is not natural have obviously never spent much time on a farm.

    Indeed the primal sin of the Church for gender studies proponents is (pace the overgrown adolescent Dawkins) that it takes biology and our animal and bodily natures seriously. The Pope’s critics are the modern-day gnostics.

    And it is a biadge of honour among our pissant pseudo-intelligentsia that they show a complete unconcern for what the Pope or the Church actually says. We can’t have the facts disturbing their ignorant prejudices!

  7. matthias says:

    I do not know if anyone else has become aware of subtle but now more persistent anti Christian comments and or actions within Australian society.It has always been there ,but I am now finding it more common-even amongst members of my own family
    The first was the Victorian government’s reforms of abortion law and now ASSISTED fertility for single women and lesbian couples,followed up by the Humanist Society in Victoria being given RE access to State schools,but I sense that the media seems to be getting on board in this area.
    Does anyone else feel the same or am i needing to stop drinking Guiness- or perhaps start drinking it!!

  8. Paul says:

    Hi Matthias, I don’t think you have been drinking too much Guiness. Christianity is often singled out for attack. The media is more worried about Nicole Kidman upsetting some aboriginals by playing a didgeridoo than by the many blasphemies against Christ in “art” gallerys. $80million is spent to make a bid for the World Cup soccer in Australia and everyone thinks it is a good idea, but spending $120m on acually staging World Youth Day is called a criminal waste of money.

    However, I would hesitate to criticise the HSV being allowed to give classes. In contrast to abortion and gay IVF, there isn’t really an innocent victim. Provided that Christian RE is available at the same time, I can’t see a problem with HSV classes.

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