Not according to English Anglican Giles Fraser, vicar of Putney, west London, in this piece (reprinted from the Guardian in today’s edition of The Age): entiteld “The Pope has forgotten Christ’s word”.
He finds the Holy Father’s comments in his address to the Curia (still not available in English on the Vatican Website, but provided here on this website from Bishop Michael Campbell, coadjudtor bishop of Lancaster) objectionable for claiming that “gay people threaten the existence of the planet in a way that is comparable to the destruction of the rainforest.” He goes on:
I guess the idea is that if we all were gay, then we wouldn’t be making any babies. Yes, it’s a bit like saying that if we all were to become celibate priests we wouldn’t be making any babies either. Except that would mean the Catholic Church has itself become a threat to the planet. OK, that’s a cheap shot.
Yes, it was, Vicar. Having babies is, in fact, what this Anglican appears to have a problem with. It is not, first and foremost, what the Pope was talking about.
What the Holy Father actually said was:
When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic. It is a question here of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the selfdestruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God. That which is often expressed and understood by the term “gender”, results finally in the self-emancipation of man from creation and from the Creator. Man wishes to act alone and to dispose ever and exclusively of that alone which concerns him. But in this way he is living contrary to the truth, he is living contrary to the Spirit Creator. The tropical forests are deserving, yes, of our protection, but man merits no less than the creature, in which there is written a message which does not mean a contradiction of our liberty, but its condition.
Vicar Fraser might have a problem with that, but one could safely say it is his problem, not Pope Benedict’s.
But the good Vicar believes Pope Benedict’s message is “anti-biblical”, despite the fact that he rails against those who would take the bible “if it were a reference book” of Christian doctrine. He quotes (in part) Isaiah 56:4-5:
4For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
This, he claims, applies “by direct analogy” to “people who are gay”. Note that (as he quotes this passage in his article) the Vicar leaves out the bit about “who choose the things that please me”. Anyone who has even bothered to get inside the thinking of the Catholic Church toward homosexual persons will understand that the Church in no way turns her back upon such of her sons and daughters as these, but cannot and will not condone doing the things that DO NOT please God. It has nothing to do directly with having babies (although of course this is a part of the picture), but with acting in accordance with the Creator’s loving will for all human beings.
Here, by the way, is the Holy Father’s Christmas eve homily. I haven’t read it yet(and I missed the Midnight Mass on the ABC yesterday morning) but look forward to his usual high standardard of teaching and inspiration.