Getting the story right – the pope on gay marriage

He may well be against marriage equality for LGBT persons, but Pope Benedict XVI wasn’t as vitriolic as he was recently made to seem.

In a speech given Monday to the diplomatic corp at the Vatican, the pope said

It thus represents a task of primary importance in this difficult and demanding time. In addition to a clear goal, that of leading young people to a full knowledge of reality and thus of truth, education needs settings. Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.

This was all he said about marriage in all of the speech’s 2700+ words. He spent the rest of the time pontif(f)icating other matters. Yet Reuters managed to wring the following headline out of it:

Gay marriage a threat to humanity’s future: Pope

…leading us to wonder which precise acrobatics are required to make such leaps in logic.

(News organ Catholic Online made a similar jump, but in the world of being held to account, Reuters would be the larger plum.)

GetReligion notes:

So if he made such “strong” comments against same-sex marriage, why don’t any of the quotes mention same-sex marriage? Isn’t that odd? It is certainly true that he reiterated the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew: marriage, between one and one woman, is important. But I’m pretty sure it’s not news that Pope Benedict XVI agrees with Jesus that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be news for a Vatican reporter. The rest of the article goes somewhat non-sequitur, talking about Archbishop Timothy Dolan and his support of Catholic teaching on marriage.

From Andrew Brown:

Nor was it the main or the most important part of his retrospective. What he said was the most important event of last year was the global economic and financial crisis. So far as I know, he is the most significant European political figure to be saying things such as: “The crisis can and must be an incentive to reflect on human existence and on the importance of its ethical dimension, even before we consider the mechanisms governing economic life: not only in an effort to stem private losses or to shore up national economies, but to give ourselves new rules which ensure that all can lead a dignified life and develop their abilities for the benefit of the community as a whole.”

Not that homophobia isn’t alive and well, El Pais reports.

The Spanish Catholic Church is also concerned about homosexuality. During his Boxing Day sermon, the Bishop of Córdoba, Demetrio Fernández, said there was a conspiracy by the United Nations. “The Minister for Family of the Papal Government, Cardinal Antonelli, told me a few days ago in Zaragoza that UNESCO has a program for the next 20 years to make half the world population homosexual. To do this they have distinct programs, and will continue to implant the ideology that is already present in our schools.”

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