Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The changing face of the Roman Catholic Church? Kentucky and U.S. Catholics support gay rights?

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican official has told a United Nations body that people who openly object to homosexual behavior are at risk of losing their human rights when they are prosecuted or stigmatized for their beliefs.

"People are being attacked for taking positions that do not support sexual behavior between people of the same sex," said Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Vatican's representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The latest research that finds many U.S. Catholics out of sync with their church's teachings on personal morality is out. This time it's a look at Catholics' support for gay rights, in particular marriage and civil unions.

The Public Religion Research Institute report, based on surveys of 3,000 people, finds:
  • 43% of Catholic favor allowing gay and lesbian people to marry
  • 31% would allow them to form civil unions
  • 22% say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship.

The Catholic church teaches that all persons deserve dignity but that homosexual behavior is "disordered." But the laity isn't buying that. According to the report:

A majority of Catholics (56%) believe that sexual relations between two adults of the same gender is not a sin. Among the general population, less than half (46%) believe it is not a sin. 60% of Catholics favored adoption rights for same-sex couples, 49% percent think gays should be allowed to be ordained as clergy, and 73% percent believe they should have legal protections in the workplace – all higher percentages than found in the general population, the Public Religion Research Institute said.

"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 stigmatized, and worse — they are vilified, and prosecuted," Tomasi said on Tuesday.

TM & (C) Kentucky Equality Federation
"The truth is, these attacks are violations of fundamental human rights, and cannot be justified under any circumstances."

In his statement, Tomasi said the Vatican "condemn(ed) all violence that is targeted against people because of their sexual feelings and thoughts, or sexual behaviors." The Vatican also rejects all legal discrimination "based just on the person's feelings and thoughts, including sexual thoughts and feelings."

But the Vatican envoy said that there is an international "consensus between societies that certain kinds of sexual behaviors must be forbidden by law," citing pedophilia and incest as examples.

The conclusions fit with a strong pattern of liberalism among Catholics that stands in opposition to the church hierarchy, said Michele Dillon, a sociologist at the University of New Hampshire asked by researchers to comment. There has been a gulf on social issues between church teachings and the American laity since the mid-1970s on subjects such as abortion, divorce without an annulment, premarital sex and artificial contraception.

“Catholics make up their own minds about these moral issues irrespective – or almost in spite of – what the bishops and official church teachings say,” Dillon said.

Catholics tend not to like or even may resent having politics in church, Dillon said. The survey found about one-quarter of church-going Catholics reported hearing about homosexuality in church – a much lower proportion than in Protestant churches. Two-thirds of the messages about homosexuality in church were negative.

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Nick said...

you know the family foundation of kentucky is going to have seizures when they read this.

Anonymous said...

The harsh reality is that most Catholics are not faithful.

This includes the clergy. This is not simple weakness. It
is due to deliberate choices based upon loss of faith. The
consequences will be devastating to society as they play

Western culture is dying due to its hedonistic love of self.