on Sun 30 Dec 2007 09:03 PM EST | Permanent Link
From the PG's Forum section comes this reflection on the pontifical peace perspective.
On World Peace Day, Jan. 1, most of the world's citizens will be too poor, too hungry, too surrounded by violence or too worried by this century's other basic challenges to pay attention. Those who do pay attention likely will think first of war in places like Iraq and Eastern Congo, genocide in Sudan, a looming crisis in nuclear Pakistan and widespread poverty all over.
The spiritual leader of more than a billion of the world's people will be thinking about homosexuality.
Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI issued his message for World Peace Day. Entitled "The Human Family, A Community of Peace," the message argues that peace begins with the family. That's a reasonable point. But then the pope writes, "Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and woman ... constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace."
Having implicitly named homosexuality as an obstacle to world peace in his fifth paragraph, the pope then waits until the seventh paragraph to mention the environment, the ninth to mention poverty and the second-to-last to mention war and violence.
Thankfully, Pope Benedict is wise to the ways of the Pink Menace.
By using World Peace Day to promote an anti-homosexual agenda and to demote the importance of poverty, the environment and war, Pope Benedict XVI is behaving scarily like his predecessor of 100 years ago. It is easy to imagine in the coming years the arrival of more explicitly anti-gay encyclicals, oaths against homosexual-friendly scholarship and perhaps even secret informers.
The predecessor was Piux X who was more concerned with modernity and mixed (Catholic/non-Catholic) marriages than any mere trivialities such as looming war or natural disasters. Pius even set up his own secret leauge of informers. Cool. Cause that never goes badly.
At this point in history, Pope Benedict XVI must choose his path. He can follow the paranoid, intolerant and inward-looking path of Pope Pius X. Or he can focus on the real problems of the day.
Pope John Paul II, no friend to homosexuals, focused most of his energy on building bridges across the Berlin Wall and then helping to prevent the Cold War from turning into World War III.
On World Peace Day 2008, our pope should imagine the place he might gain in history if he chooses to focus on poverty, the environment and war -- and while he's at it, on accepting the hundreds of millions of homosexuals inside and outside his flock. He may never condone their behavior -- sadly, such progress may have to wait for a future pope -- but he can at least treat them with peace and humanity.
Excellent point. Until someone ponies up a real heterosexual marriage that has been negatively impacted by a gay relationship, how about we focus on the myriad of social problems that have been demonstrated to prevent world peace? Or just one! Pick one problem and then attempt one solution. Like Bono. Minus the cool, but add a gajillion dollars of weekly tithes.