Got your attention? Sounds implausible that Pope Benedict XVI would ever say this, right? Well, The following headlines were found in the Daily Telegraph, a British Newspaper, when reporting on the Pope’s annual Curia: “Pope Says Humanity needs ‘saving’ from homosexuality: The Pope has said that “saving” humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rain forests.”
“[The church] must defend not only the earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to all. It must also defend the human person against its own destruction. What’s needed is something like a ‘human ecology,’ understood in the right sense. It’s not simply an outdated metaphysics if the church speaks of the nature of the human person as man and woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected.
“Here it’s a question of faith in creation, in listening to the language of creation, disregard of which would mean self-destruction of the human person and hence destruction of the very work of God. That which is often expressed and understood by the term ‘gender’ in the end amounts to the self-emancipation of the human person from creation and from the Creator. Human beings want to do everything by themselves, and to control exclusively everything that regards them. But in this way, the human person lives against the truth, against the Creator Spirit. Yes, the tropical forests merit our protection, but the human being as a creature merits no less protection – a creature in which a message is written which does not imply a contradiction of our liberty, but the condition for it.”
Now, yes, implicitly one could infer the Pope is talking about homosexuality. He does later affirm the church’s position of marriage as a sacrament between one man and one woman. But is he really saying what the British Tabloids stated? Couldn’t he also be speaking about violence that we perpetrate on each other through wars and domestic violence? Couldn’t he also be talking about various addictions that destroy the human persona? These could also be implicit in his talk about developing ‘a human ecology’.
At the very least it is a distortion of the Pope’s intent. The Pope and the Roman Catholic church has said and taught many things that are contrary to Protestants and others’ sensibilities, we do not need to be adding words to him that are not there. To do so only increases the suffering of the people within the Roman Catholic Church who are sexual minorities.
Now I can argue about his use of the word ‘gender.’ Science is revealing to us that gender is not merely male and female. One in every 1000 births are born as inter-sex beings. Their chromosomes are not strictly XX or XY but some other combination resulting sometimes in undefined genitalia at birth or missing aspects of genitalia such as no ovaries or no testes. Gender is no longer an either / or male and female. The Creator Spirit, as the Pope refers to god, made sure of that for some mysterious reason. To purposely limit our understanding of gender is also to “live against the truth, against the Creator Spirit.”