Dec 10, 2008

Human Rights ALERT: "grotesque" "It's more than a shame — it's unacceptable" Roman Church and Anglican Communion are accomplices in the martyrdom...

¨Journalists and activist groups are blasting the Vatican for what they say is its "grotesque" opposition to a U.N. declaration on gay rights — even though only a small collection of countries has supported the measure.

The Roman Catholic Church is facing a barrage of protests and searing editorials for opposing a French-sponsored decree that calls for an end to discrimination based on sexual or gender identity. The U.N. hopes to abolish summary executions, arbitrary arrests and "the deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights" of gays.

The Church's opposition to the measure has enraged gay-rights activists, who are mobilizing nationwide protests at Catholic sites in Italy. Members of Italy's largest gay-rights group, Arcigay, gathered inside the Vatican on Saturday, hanging nooses around their necks as they accused the Church of being an "accomplice in the martyrdom" of homosexuals.

Click here to see photos from the protests.

At issue for the Church are a few phrases placed in the document by its French drafters and readily approved of by the European Union, which has unanimously sponsored it. Nations may add their signatures, but they cannot vote against it. There is no debate and no rewriting of the declaration.

Related Photo Essays

Vatican Protests The Vatican worries that provisions in the document — the emphasis on "social and cultural rights" — could be used to pressure countries to embrace gay marriage, which the Catholic Church rejects.

The Vatican's permanent observer at the U.N., Archbishop Celestino Migliore, announced the Holy See's opposition in an interview with a French Catholic news service. "[S]tates which do not recognize same-sex unions as 'matrimony' will be pilloried and made an object of pressure," he said.

The Vatican is hardly alone in opposing the declaration — as of Tuesday, 54 nations had signed it, which means the Holy See is currently keeping company with close to three-quarters of the 192 member-states in the General Assembly who have not signed on. France expects more countries to join when the declaration is formally put before the assembly on Dec. 18.

But critics have seized upon the Church, assailing it for not taking a stronger stance on rights for gay men and women. "I find it very disturbing that the Vatican ... is not willing to speak out about LGBT people being jailed or being tortured," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Rights program at Human Rights Watch.

An editorial in the Italian daily La Stampa called the Vatican's reasoning "grotesque," while La Repubblica said the Vatican's stance "leaves one dumbstruck." Before its protest at the Vatican, Arcigay told that it hopes to pressure the 2,000-year-old body to change its doctrine on homosexuality.

"We hope the demonstration ... changes a bit the stance of the Church and the question of homosexuals," said Fabrizio Marazzo, president of the Rome chapter of Arcigay.

Catholic groups say the protests and editorials are part of a campaign to silence the Church on issues where it is considered politically incorrect.

"The fact that there are people who want to silence the Church is disturbing. If people want to disagree with the Church it's one thing, but when you start this kind of name-calling it is intended to have a chilling effect," said Susan Fani, a spokeswoman for the Catholic League.

The Vatican won't have an official say inside the U.N., where it lacks an official seat — though it is signatory to some human rights treaties and its influence is widely felt.

"[Vatican opposition] does have an effect — you can see this across Latin America, where the Vatican is enormously influential with governments and within society," said Long. "That silence without violence has an effect: it makes people feel that they can go on doing what they want."

France, the sponsoring nation, has been much quieter on the dustup.

"We're not surprised by [Vatican opposition]," said Axel Cruau, spokesman for the French delegation to the U.N. "We don't want to engage in some sort of fight with the [Vatican office]," he said, noting that the declaration "will not itself create new rights … it will empower people to do things.

"We thought it was important to launch [the declaration] because homosexuality is still a crime in quite a few countries," he told "It's more than a shame — it's unacceptable."

To anyone sitting in jail for the crime of homosexuality, the U.N. declaration is worth about as much as the paper it's printed on. It's a non-binding and toothless statement that lacks the force of international law, though human rights groups hope it will be a step toward binding laws.

Dozens of member-states at the U.N. do not grant even basic human rights to homosexuals, and rights watchers estimate that between 80 and 90 nations have laws against homosexual conduct.

Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, which will sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2009, both prescribe the death penalty for gays. And Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh and Burkina Faso, which will get seats on the council in the next three years, all punish homosexuals with jail.

"It's kind of a general issue with the Human Rights Council that a lot of human rights violators still get to sit in its seats," Long told "That's a running problem."

Courtney Walsh contributed to this report from Rome.

Vatican Under Fire for Opposing ADOPTION of the France Resolution, click here, read it all

Fox News, click here

IRQR Urges the UN General Assembly to Adopt the France Resolution on December 10, 2008, click here

MEANWHILE, The demonizing of LGBT Christians at a few PROVINCES at The Anglican Communion continues:

Bishop Henri Orombi of Uganda, instigating a ¨witchhunt¨ at all levels of society.

Bishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, supporting the jailing of LGBT people, their ¨hooligan children¨ their extended families and their supporters ¨who gather in public¨ or attempt to openly worship together at Church.

Bishop Greg Venables of Argentina, illegal Provincial border crosser (according to his own Provincial Canons) and supports and promotes the EXCLUSION of LGBT Episcopalians/Anglicans, Brazilians and Canadians who are ¨called¨ to participate at all levels of Churchlife.

DEPOSED/RESIGNED and irresponsible FORMER Episcopal Church Bishop LGBT EXCLUDERS, Shofield/San Joaquin, Iker/Fr.Worth and Duncan/Pittsburgh.

DANGEROUS BISHOPS ALERT: Instruments of promoting/exporting and the preaching of Injustice, Discrimination, Persecution, Outcasting and HATE at The Anglican Communion and in their HOME COUNTRIES: Akinola/Nigeria, Orombi/Uganda, Bul/Sudan, Nzimbi/Kenya, Gomez/Jamaica, Venables/Argentina, Kolini/Rwanda, Jensen/Sydney, Anis/Egypt and their accomplices in North America.

Thanks to La Repubblica
Thanks to La Stampa
Thanks to Gay Religion (at the right sidebar)
Thanks to Arci Gay/Italy
Thanks to Human Rights Watch.
Thanks to Fox fotoessasys
Thanks to Flickr Photosharing
Thanks to Father Christian Troll (at the right sidebar/GAFCON)


Doorman-Priest said...

A disturbing read: thanks.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Preach it brother!

Bonnie said...

Hi Leonardo--And I wonder if "the church party" the brothers in the post below were at was at a RC church. I wonder if the pope gets the connection between his stupid and intractable dogma and this and other senseless hate crimes. I wonder if he has read this story. I wonder at the insane hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic Church and thank God that some of us have managed to escape. I wonder if he ever considers that the treasures of this earth are God's creation to be treated with love, respect and caring. I wonder what would happen if we put all of these marginaling, bigoted nut cases together on a desert island somewhere. I wonder what would happen if we sent Akinola to Rome to tell the pope that by not allowing priests to marry he is "depriving women of husbands."

IT said...

Catholic dogma: "better dead than wed"


Cany said...

Fine comments, all! Well consider that until very recently, church dogma kept the RCs from concluding that the earth revolves around the sun.

THAT didn't hurt anyone, really, but this does.

Thank heavens I don't have to include the faces you have here, Leonardo, in my list of TEC folks anymore or in the communion, period. At least for now...

Fred Schwartz said...

This is a great bookend for the recent Preludium Post. It is an odd lot that finds joy in hurting folks yet out of the core of Anglicanism springs bishops who thrive on hate. What an odd way to preach the teachings of Christ.

Lynn said...

Leonardo, that photo of the "mock hanging" is haunting. I was also touched by another of the photos in your link, the unidentified onlookers (one man staring out at the crowd, the other with head buried into his shoulder).

Alas, we know that the Vatican requires at least 50 years to admit wrong-thinking, and a lapse of centuries is more the norm.

And thanks for the continuing updates on Anglican-land. I don't know that we can consider ourselves much better in the Anglican Communion, because we won't stand up to the anti-LGBT cancer in our own midst.
I'm glad you like that prayer, and I like the idea of naming it after Lee. In a strange twist of this human sadness, he has been one of the greatest supporters of my sobriety, and always loved seeing me look healthier every time I popped into check on the old gang. There's a happier story from this recent turn of events, I'll try to write it. It's a celebration of recovery, the kind of tale we both love.

Hugs from Virginia. I'm ending this little break by hanging a wreath on the front door, enough days have lapsed since Thanksgiving to meet my sense of propriety about Christmas decorations (I don't where white shoes after Labor day, either :-)

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Thinks for being dressed appropriately for your visit to the Foot of The Volcano...truly, you´ve gotta visit someday, it´s lovely here and there are many of us who survived, ¨staying too long at the fair¨ even´d be amazed the beautiful and supportive fellowship can be found in even tiny villages in Latin America.

Abrazos for Lee.