There is an answer to my letter to the editor in today’s edition of The Age. Someone at least was annoyed enough by what I wrote to go to the bother of finding an English translation of the Pope’s address and READING it!
Pope’s message between the lines
DAVID Schutz (Letters, 29/12) is either trying to deceive people or needs to brush up on his reading comprehension skills. While there is no official English translation of the Pope’s address to the Curia, there are English translations available. The one I found while searching for a translation was on Schutz’s own blog.
In this translation, the Pope clearly refers to homosexuality even though the word itself is never used. If anything, it is the reference to climate change that was taken out of context.
Nevertheless, the media reports and subsequent commentaries got the underlying meaning correct. Before telling people to check their facts, maybe we should learn to read between the lines.
Alex Carnie, Brunswick West
“Trying to deceive people”? Nooo… not exactly. By pointing out that there was not even an official english translation available yet, I was simply trying to draw attention to the fact that the critics were generally relying on journalist reports of the speech rather than reading the primary source document. If Alex was able to find an English translation via my blog as he said he was, that means that a) he at least now has a copy of the source document, b) my blog has served a useful purpose!
Need “to brush up on [my] reading comprehension skills”? Nooo… I don’t think I have a problem there either. I wasn’t, of course, denying that the Pope “clearly refers to homosexuality [inter alia] even though the word itself is never used”. I was pointing out that to describe the Pope’s address as a “diatribe against homosexuality” was clearly inaccurate, since such a “diatribe” would at least have required the use of the word “homosexuality”. “Diatribes” do not usually require “reading between the lines”.
In fact, no deception exists nor is reading between the lines necessary. His meaning was plain enough to all who read the text as it stands. And anyone who does so will realise that it was NOT a “diatribe” against homosexuality.