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CFFC in the News - 2003

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Catholic Leader Condemns US Ruling

Christopher Curtis

20 November 2003

A top Catholic theologian criticised the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's ruling on same-sex marriage yesterday, saying it sanctioned a "moral disorder against God's creative plan."

Gino Concetti, a theologian who writes for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, has advised the pope on issues of human sexuality. Reuters describes his views as reflecting those of Pope John Paul II and predicts Concetti's views will be similar to any forthcoming official statement from the Vatican.

Concetti called Tuesday's ruling, which declared Massachusetts' ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, "grave and presumptuous" and told Reuters it "is a great wound to human dignity that can never be justified".

The Catholic theologian went on to attack homosexuality itself saying, "It contradicts the natural order, which established a union founded on heterosexual relations".

Matthew Gallagher, the executive director of Dignity USA, a GLBT Catholic group, said he wasn't surprised, "Father Concetti is using the same hateful language that the Vatican has continually used against our gay brothers and sisters."

Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic group serving the GLBT community, added Concetti's remarks were "without basis."

"They choose not to approve same-sex marriage; I don't see why they have to do that in the secular world. We don't see Vatican leaders opposing laws about divorce when the church is opposed to divorce," DeBernardo asserted.

When it comes to influencing laws regarding GLBT issues, the Vatican has a global reach, according to Jon O'Brien, the director of communications of Catholics for Free Choice, an advocacy organisation for sexual and reproductive health. According to him, the Catholic hierarchy has tried to shut down progress on gay marriage in places like the United Kingdom.

"I think the most classic example you have is at the centre of the European Union," O'Brien told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network.

"The Vatican is looking for exemptions from the law that would apply within the European Union that would exempt them from discrimination. They want exemptions to fire gay people, for example."

"We believe this is a very obvious example of how the Vatican plans to undermine the human rights that gays and lesbians have won over the year," O'Brien concluded.

On November 12, US Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a statement urging states to withhold recognition for same-sex marriages.

At the time, Sam Sinnett, president of Dignity USA, told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network he believed the bishops were increasing their rhetoric against the GLBT community to distract parishioners from new reports on the sex abuse crisis that are expected at the beginning of the next year.

But on Wednesday, Sinnett admitted, "I'm not sure what the Vatican's real reason is for attacking the gay community".

"I have a theory," he revealed. "Homosexuals are viewed as a challenge to their faith. The science and learning about homosexuality attacks their authority, just like Galileo and Copernicus (who disproved the earth was the center of the universe)".

"They act as if they still believe the sun revolves around the Earth, and the Earth around the Vatican."

This article courtesy of Gay.com.