Monday, May 29, 2006

Pope Remembers Jews Forgets Gays

There is no doubt that one of the most moving scenes of the recent papal visit to Poland was the presence of Pope Benedict at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz

However we have yet to hear a Papal lament for the Gay men and, to a lesser extent, lesbians, targeted by Nazis during the Holocaust. When will we see the Pope at any of the Gay Holocaust Memorials?

The story of our brothers and sisters holocuast is well documented and yet rarely told.

The European Parliament marked the anniversary of the Holocaust in 2005 with a minute of silence and the passage of this resolution:

"the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where hundreds of thousands of Jews, Roma, homosexuals, Poles and other prisoners of various nationalities were murdered, is not only a major occasion for European citizens to remember and condemn the enormous horror and tragedy of the Holocaust, but also for addressing the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism, and especially anti-Semitic incidents, in Europe, and for learning anew the wider lessons about the dangers of victimizing people on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, politics, or sexual orientation."

A memorial, to be built in Vienna in 2007, will feature a large basin filled with pink water and will be built at Morzinplatz, the former Gestapo headquarters, according to the Associated Press.

It is not the first public memorial to represent the large number of gay people killed at the concentration camps.

A similar sculpture was unveiled in the United States in 2003, while Germany finally approved its own monument to recognize gay victims later that year, despite ongoing arguments between gay rights groups and their opponents.

Germany also gave a formal pardon to the 50,000 gay people convicted under Nazi rule in 2002, and acknowledged that the total number of gay people sent to concentration camps could well have been 20,000.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Social Analysis and Faith

Spent a really inspiring morning at a Peter Henriot Workshop – Bringing Justice Alive From A Christian Perspective. Introduced us to a "must see" web: The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection in Zambia. Some of the really useful documents available on the site address the issue of HIV AIDS.

Fr Henriot, has lived for nearly 20 years in Zambia - one of the poorest countries in the world. He argues that to respond effectively to social issues, Christians and people of good will need to move from a model of charity to a model of justice at the core of their living and acting.

The ‘pastoral cycle’ has been developed by base-level Christian communities across the developing world, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It has been used as a tool for evangelization in the liberation theology mode.

Also participated intheBrisbane Social Forum which I have been supporting since it's beginnings five years ago.

Back here on the home front, a group of Christian leaders has issued
a radical ‘confession’ looking at what it means to follow Jesus Christ in today’s world of deception, division and violence.

They argue that the Gospel is a message of both personal and social transformation, and their document’s signatories include people from the Anabaptist, Anglican, Catholic, Weslyan and Baptist traditions

This is the sort of material that needs to be published in Church newspapers like the Catholic Leader and the Catholic Weekly. However, I won't be holding my breath waiting for their editors to bite this bullet.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

International Day Against Homophobia

Today, May 17 we celebrate 2nd International Day Against Homophobia. This initiative encourages communities to do three things:

1 Take action to raise awareness of homophbia in the community.

2 Engage in a global awareness raising campaign.

3 Have this day included in national and international calendars.

Last year I wrote to the Catholic Bishops of Australia requesting that they include this day in their diocesan calendars.

This year I am posting this reminder to discussion forums and individuals with the request that more Australians endorse the "For an International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) Petition to UNO (United Nations Organization) and all States, Governments and Parliaments My passion for this campaign comes out of personal experience of the malice of individuals and groups who have misrepresented me in publications from the Lepanto League of Australia and the Festival of Light.
“I believe in getting into hot water - it helps keep you clean.”G K Chesterton

Poscript May 18
I published this item on a Catholic Discussion Forum where it was ignored by most participants, but managed to attract enough attention to justify its presence!! here are some typical good catholic responses to my post.

Do You think we could have a day against hetrophobia......NT
Posted by Herman on May 17, 2006, 3:46 pm, in reply to "International Day Against Homophobia"

Oh Hear, hear ! Re: Do You think we could have a day against hetrophobia......NT
Posted by Eve on May 18, 2006, 3:46 pm, in reply to "Do You think we could have a day against hetrophobia......NT"
Peace be with you Herman !
I'm so sick of the obssession that the homosexual posters have with that is dipicted in almost all of their messages posted on this board !!!
Get a life homosexual posters and while you're at it, strive to make it Eternal

Tony, don't assume pwople are homophobic, you deny them their right to hate what is evil i.e.
Posted by Moses on May 18, 2006, 3:41 pm, in reply to "International Day Against Homophobia"
homosexuality AND NOT homosexuals per se.
After all, God tells us in the Holy Bible to "hate what is evil". "No man can serve two masters" Tony and you shouldn't emotionally blackmail people into doing so either !!
We have the Right to Religious Freedom; the Truth is Tony, very few people actually fear homosexuals; only some men fear being raped or as homos. call it, being converted to your filthy way of life !!
People simply hate the Devil in homosexuals and also what homos. do which God says is evil !
It's in the Holy Bible Tony, read it for your self !!
Digest that, if you can !

Update May 24 Here we are, a week after the International Day Against Homophobia and our Prime Minister again voices his prejudice:

The Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) has denounced comments made by John Howard in Ireland overnight that the campaign for relationship equality and gay marriage in Australia amounts to “minority fundamentalism”, calling the PM’s remarks offensive and out of touch with real Australian values.

A Newspoll conducted by the Australian Secular Party showed that most Australians support the recognition of same-sex relationships, and the removal of the widespread financial and non-financial discrimination against gays and lesbians”.

David Scamell added, “There is growing support within Howard’s Government for the recognition of same-sex relationships. When he returns from overseas, the PM must show leadership and start to properly remedy the discrimination that exists against same-sex couples”.

More comments from the Cath News Discussion Forum

Monday, May 08, 2006

Science and Religion

Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno says believing God created the universe in six days is a form of "pagan superstition."

Consolmagno told the Scotsman the idea that religion and science are competing principles is a "destructive myth."

Consolmagno works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy.

He is keenly aware of the renewed interest in creationism taking hold in America – particularly among evangelical Christians who take the Bible – including the Genesis account of creation -- literally.

Consolmagno described creationism as a "kind of paganism" because it is similar to the idea of "nature gods" who pagans believed to be responsible for natural events.

"Knowledge is dangerous, but so is ignorance," he said. "That's why science and religion need to talk to each other."

Consolmagno stated that the Christian God is a supernatural god. In the past, the belief in God being supernatural led the clergy to become involved in science to find natural explanations for things like thunder and lightning. Pagans often attribute thunder and lightning to vengeful gods.

"Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism — it's turning God into a nature god," he said. "And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do."

Read this "Guy's" stuff!!

Saints and Sanctity

The Church's veneration of the saints is a necessary part of its life and work. Otherwise there would be a danger of looking upon sanctity as an abstraction. The saints help us to see how the Gospel can be incarnated and lived in many different ways and under many different social and historical circumstances. The basic mystery of Christianity after all, is not that God has created a world different from God, and in which God must be served and glorified, but rather that grace, which is identical with God has permeated the world with God's own presence. - Karl Rahner.

A few years ago the relics of Therese of Lisieux toured Brisbane. She's no rock icon and she hasn't made the cover of New Idea, but this girl just keeps popping up in Catholic Culture as regular as celibate clergy. Is it macabre to cart around the remains of our sister? I know families who hold onto the ashes of loved ones and keep them in the family home. This whole tour is a bit like taking the ashes of a loved family member around to the "rellies" for a good old family get together.

The relics are carried in a pretty cool looking chest which gives quite a bit of dignity to the reality of human remains.

Only Catholics could do this and get away with it!! It has all the hallmarks of a religious circus with expectations of miracles, guest appearances by famous and "wanna be" Catholics and great sponsorship deals with Funeral Companies!! All in all, it's a harmless bit of Catholic eccentricity that brings people together, reminds us that there is another realm to our lives and proves that everything that comes out of France doesn't have to be edible or sexy.