In his annual peace message released by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI made strong statements against gay marriage, calling it a threat to peace. Ironically, he made the declaration on the World Day of Peace. He also said that the attempts by proponents of marriage equality constitute “an offence against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace.”
His statements garnered a protest in Vatican City, with thousands of Catholics packed in St. Peter’s Square. In past addresses, the Pope called gay marriage a threat to the future of humanity.
And a Merry Christmas to you, too.
There are a lot of things that can be considered threats to humanity (guns come to mind, considering the tragic event in Connecticut last Friday), but a bunch of dudes (or dudettes) who want to hold hands in public and adopt babies and be nice to them isn’t one of them.
The Pope’s statements are little more than a foolish overreaction to a non-problem, but he has a lot more power than your frantic neighbour who actually does think the end of the world is nigh.
The gutting part of the Pope’s declaration is how easy it is for him to get away with it. We get up in arms over bullying in schools, and we’re trying to do what we can to prevent petty name-calling amongst children—even going so far as implementing laws against it, like they’ve done in Hanna, Alberta. But the Pope, because he is the Pope and gets to wear a very big hat and is older than the sun, gets a free pass to call gay kids across the world unnatural and threats to the natural progression of man.
You can’t chirp a classmate for being gay, because that’s unfair and cruel, but you can if you happen to be an international leader of a major religion with a public platform that speaks to more than a billion people. No one will give you detention for it, and no one will blame you for a rash of gay teen suicides. Indeed, you’ll just be doing your job.
Maybe the best way to handle the Vatican’s statements on gay marriage is also the best way to handle schoolyard bullies and high school jerks: ignore it and hopefully it’ll go away.
Image credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini