OK, I am impressed. On the one hand, a Catholic cardinal saying effectively, "Gays! Ick ick yucko phooey!" is kind of a "dog bites man" headline. It's not remotely surprising, the usual suspects will get themselves all a twitter (which is also not remotely surprising) and it's not even a ten-seconds' wonder.
The rest of it, however, is really quite an impressive fulmination.
Cardinal says gays are perverts but brothels are OK - www.theage.com.au: A Belgian cardinal who is a personal protege of Pope John Paul II has denounced gays and lesbians as "sexual perverts" and appeared to ridicule the principle of one man, one vote, causing deep embarrassment to the Catholic Church. "I am prepared to sign here in my blood that of all those who say they are lesbian or gay, at most five to 10 per cent are effectively lesbian or gay. All the rest are sexual perverts," said Cardinal Gustaaf Joos on Wednesday. "I demand you write this down. If they come to protest on my doorstep, I don't care. I'm just speaking out on what thousands of people are thinking but never get a chance to say," he told the Belgian soft-porn P-Magazine. "Real homosexuals don't wander in the streets in colourful suits. Those are people who have a serious problem and have to live with that. And if they err, they will be forgiven," he said.
Well. We'll be forgiven. How very special of him.
I'm also baffled as to what, precisely, the difference between the 5-10% of "effectively lesbian or gay" people and the "sexual perverts" is. I'm guessing -- just guessing, mind -- that the 5-10% he's talking about are only people who are ashamed of being what they are and would change it if they could, but they can't. Otherwise, frankly, I have no clue what on earth he could mean.
[Joos] expressed contempt for Belgian politicians who had pushed through some of the world's most avant-garde laws on gay marriages, euthanasia and abortion. "Politics, democracy. Don't make me laugh. The right to vote, what is that all about? I find it strange that a snot-nosed 18-year-old has the same vote as a father of seven. One has no responsibilities whatsoever, the other provides tomorrow's citizens," he said. It is the first time a leading cleric has appeared to endorse calls by right-wing Catholics for an end to the principle of one person, one vote.
OK, that is impressive. A cardinal in a democratic country who believes that democracy is wrongheaded. One wonders whom he feels should be making the decisions in society. The Church, no doubt.
The cardinal also appeared to endorse visits to a brothel, in extremis. "If a man thinks he needs sex or is going to explode, it is better to find a prostitute than seduce or rape a girl. At least there are no innocent victims involved," he said.
Leaving aside the rather benighted opinion of men generally that this particular view would seem to involve, it would seem to be a mite peculiar. I mean, isn't the official view of the Church that nonmarital sex is not to be condoned in any way, shape or form? It also seems to conflate both consensual sex and rape in a truly bizarre way; most men who desire sex really don't think in terms of, "Hey, let's go out and rape us some women!" His view also seems to discount the idea that women might actually desire sex themselves -- one would hope that said "girl" would be an eager and willing participant in her own seduction -- but again: Catholic cardinal, bizarre views of women, and we're back into "dog bites man" territory.Posted by iain at January 22, 2004 12:50 PM