|The Vatican's representative to the UN Archbishop Tomasi demonstrating the logic in claiming human rights abuses against those who perpetrate human rights abuses.|
Here's the full address of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi to the UN Human Rights Commission concerning the rights of homosexuals. It's beyond pathetic in it's reasoning. No wonder 64% of practicing Catholics support gay rights.
"Mr. President, the Holy See takes this opportunity to affirm the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings, and to condemn all violence that is targeted against people because of their sexual feelings and thoughts, or sexual behaviours.
We would also like to make several observations about the debates regarding “sexual orientation”.
First, there has been some unnecessary confusion about the meaning of the term “sexual orientation,” as found in resolutions and other texts adopted within the UN human rights system. The confusion is unnecessary because, in international law, a term must be interpreted in accordance with its ordinary meaning, unless the document has given it a different meaning. The ordinary meaning of “sexual orientation” refers to feelings and thoughts, not to behaviour. (That's a new one on me. I'm pretty sure the American Psychiatric and Psychological Associations have a more inclusive definition that includes behavior.)
Second, for the purposes of human rights law, there is a critical difference between feelings and thoughts, on the one hand, and behaviour, on the other. A state should never punish a person, or deprive a person of the enjoyment of any human right, based just on the person’s feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings. But states can, and must, regulate behaviours, including various sexual behaviours. Throughout the world, there is a consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviours must be forbidden by law. Paedophilia and incest are two examples. (What a clever way to equate gay sex with incest and pedophilia. There is no bar too low for the Vatican when it comes to gay sex. I'm surprised he left out bestiality.)
Third, the Holy See wishes to affirm its deeply held belief that human sexuality is a gift that is genuinely expressed in the complete and lifelong mutual devotion of a man and a woman in marriage. Human sexuality, like any voluntary activity, possesses a moral dimension : it is an activity which puts the individual will at the service of a finality; it is not an “identity”. In other words, it comes from the action and not from the being, even though some tendencies or “sexual orientations” may have deep roots in the personality. Denying the moral dimension of sexuality leads to denying the freedom of the person in this matter, and undermines ultimately his/her ontological dignity. This belief about human nature is also shared by many other faith communities, and by other persons of conscience. (Uhmm, I guess this means there is no such thing as a heterosexual orientation or identity. Just a moral use of our biological apparatus, and in the case of women no choice about pregnancy, ontological dignity be damned.)
And finally, Mr. President, we wish to call attention to a disturbing trend in some of these social debates: People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behaviour between people of the same sex. When they express their moral beliefs or beliefs about human nature, which may also be expressions of religious convictions, or state opinions about scientific claims, they are stigmatised, and worse -- they are vilified, and prosecuted. These attacks contradict the fundamental principles announced in three of the Council’s resolutions of this session. The truth is, these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances.
(Unless they are aimed at gays and then it's just too bad because those gays could have stayed in their closets like us priests.)
So there we have another dose of Vatican logic and even a spoonful of sugar won't make that go down. But there is another intriguing aspect to this story. It involves the US State Department and Latin American countries blaming the US for misrepresenting the Vatican position. They voted yes on the gay rights declaration because they thought the Vatican now approved it. Say What?
Somehow the US State Department convinced twenty more countries to vote for the declaration on gay rights because some of these countries say the US misrepresented the Vatican's position. It strains my imagine to believe any Latin American diplomat would believe the Vatican changed it's homophobic mind, but it doesn't strain my imagination to believe they might blame the US for misleading them into voting for this declaration rather than admitting it was the right and just thing to do in spite of the fact it wasn't the Catholic thing to do.
No wonder, given the pathetic logic of the Vatican, that 64% of practicing Catholics in the US now support gay unions or marriage. It may not be the Vatican's Catholic thing to do, but it's the right Catholic thing to do.