I'm not gay. Never been even a flicker of interest in that direction. When I was young I thought there was something wrong with gays - men in particular. I think most of my contemporaries thought the same in those days. When I became an adult and thought about these things, I accepted that some people are just made that way - and so what. So like most people I was quite shocked to hear it reported today that the Pope has declared homosexuality to be a greater threat to humanity than destruction of the rain forests.
One reason this interested me is that my regard for the Catholic Church has risen over recent years. In particular, I think that the Church of Rome takes the sanctity of human life rather more seriously than other religions. This sense within me grew during passage of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill through the House of Commons earlier this year. And one of our sons has recently married a Catholic girl as well - so there's now a family interest in the Catholic Church.
Which brings me to the point I want to post on tonight. Not surprisingly, fellow blogger, Iain Dale, (and many others) has taken great exception to what the Pope is reported to have said. I read some of the comments on his blog post, which included some from Greg, who sought to defend the Pope. The gist of Greg's interpretation of the Holy Father's words were that they were about the sanctity of the human body, and that sex should be an act of creation within marriage - an aspiration which is beyond most human beings, who are, of course, imperfect. In the interests of balance, I thought it was worth repeating the only part of the Pope's speech which referred to rain forests.
"But in so doing, (abusing the sanctity of the human body) the human being lives against the truth, and against the Spirit creator. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection, but the human being - as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom, but is the condition of his freedom, does not deserve it less"
Its still out of touch with the way many humans choose to live their lives today. It may be very idealistic, and divorced from reality, but it does not appear to be as blatantly homophobic as has been generally interpreted.