The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace (also a practicing Roman Catholic) is in the news for stating unequivocally that gay people are immoral.
On a tour of his homeland in the late summer of 2006, Pope Benedict XVI, Pace's titular chief of the holy spirit, said that the movement for gay equality is an ephemeral social trend.
Pace is merely doing his pastoral duty, as taught by the example of his Pope, by defaming America's serving gay military men and women who are estimated to be about 65,000 in number by the Servicemember Legal Defense Fund (www.sldn.org
), a support group for gay military members, both currently serving and those seperated from the service.
Pope: Ephemeral social trend
As the modern Catholic Church likes to avail itself of 21st century technology such as jet planes, fax machines, the Internet, modern banking practices, including bankruptcy courts, let's use the jargon of business to describe the moral morass this church as made for itself.
CEO Benedict's referral to gay rights in such demeaning, insulting words indicates again how much the Catholic Church Corporation has its collective Cardinal board members's heads in the proverbial sand. Our gay humanity is dismissed as superfluously as a puff of smoke.
This remark comes from the CEO of a multi-national corporation which tolerates the sexual abuse of children of both genders by its employees while moving those same perpetrators around among the corporation's franchises (diocese, to use the old-fashioned term) like peas in a carnival sideshow shell game. In this game that has no winners, there is more than the loss of money--there is the loss human value.
I find it hard to believe that a religiously educated man such as Benedict hasn't heard of the alleged statement from his company's founder, Jesus, that it is proper to give to Cesar what is Cesar's and to give to the Corporation what is the Corporation's.
This CEO speaks of god's laws trumping men's laws. I wonder if god approves of the harboring from men's laws of his Grace, Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly the franchise manager in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Justice system pursued child rapists, aka priests, employed by the Boston archdiocese and managed by Law. His Grace, Cardinal Law, is currently living incommunicado in a church in Vatican City, which is both a religious and legal hideout, answerable to no one other than the CEO, Benedict, aka Ratzinger, god's own Rottweiler.
Cardinal Law is enjoying, no doubt, the reclusive peace of his cosseted sanctuary, well away from financial and legal worldly cares as he prayerfully considers his close escape from a Massachusetts extradition order.
It was not only the Boston franchise that had its pedophilia ring exposed.
Just google the words "abuse" and "Catholic" and see how many hits you get.
Add the phrase "financial settlement" or "bankruptcy" and see how many more hits are added.
Church Response: Establish a National Review Board that oversees an annual audit of compliance with the Church's sex-abuse policies among Catholic dioceses in the United States. The national board is tasked with examining the broader issues related to clergy sex abuse, including national policy issues, studies and recommendations to the body of bishops.
Result: Since 2003, audits have been conducted every year for the 195 dioceses in the United States, but only on a voluntary basis. In 2005, two dioceses opted out of the audit program with no explanation. In 2006, the only dioceses audited were 11 that requested an audit and the 18 that were found non-compliant in 2005. Church officials say the system is now moving from a primarily on-site audit system to one that relies on more self-audits by individual dioceses.
Don't think for a minute that the unparalleled art work or architecture of Vatican City is at risk: each franchise is financially independent and responsible for its own debts. Big and small, rich and poor, many franchises have been exposed for the immorality of which Benedict has accused gay men. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being paid in settlements arrived at in public courts or behind closed doors. As of March, 2007 five franchises-- San Diego, Portland, Tuscon, Spokane and Davenport--are in bankruptcy proceedings. Parishes (sub-franchises) in Santa Fe, Dallas, and Massachusetts have had to be closed because of court or private settlements.
I find a silver lining in this disgusting misuse of the trust of children and their parents for the twisted, psychopathic venal pleasure of adult religious men who are alleged to be steeped in the holiness of their "one true apostolic church."
No more will we hear from Catholic pulpits of be-robed priests making hortatory, perjured, fulminations about gay men being child molesters--the admonishing stones are falling through their stained--glass houses.
This CEO's moral authority is bogus.
Even if the Catholic CEO could wipe out all gay men and women with one graceful, artful wave of his gold-plated, jeweled crosier we'd be back in a generation. The gay orientation is a force of nature. It is not a prejudice or a weakness as Benedict has been taught and is in turn teaching others. Gay people are not a superstition such as that which prompts Benedict to declare us ephemeral.
Ephemeral are we?
Gay people pay taxes with money gained from employment at jobs across the spectrum of the American economy. We contribute our time and money to social causes that help make America a better place to live for the future. We have created permanent works of art that will be enjoyed for generations. Our history and future sound rather permanent by objective standards.
When the spirit of Benedict is less than the smoke from an extinguished candle, when the body of Benedict is nothing but venerated slime in a marble sarcophagus beseeched by the gullible to cure them of leprosy and bareness, we gay people will still be here--hail, hearty, and healthy.