Last week, I wrote:
As each story [about anti-gay actions from the Catholic church] breaks, many of us wonder if there’s any depth to which the Catholic hierarchy won’t sink in order to bully LGBT people. Sadly, these days we don’t have to wait very long before the next appalling story emerges and the cycle repeats itself.
And now, right on cue, we have two of the latest episodes in the Catholic church’s ongoing war on LGBT people, courtesy of the hardworking folks at Pink News.
First, out of France: the [Catholic] Bishops’ Conference of France has decided to revive the tradition of praying for the nation’s government on August 15. A decree from King Louis XIII inaugurated the practice in 1638, but by World War II it had fallen out of use. The bishops are resurrecting it in 2012, and what are they praying for? The defeat of adoption rights for same-sex couples. From Pink News’ report:
Celebrating the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Church prays for those whose decisions affect the economy in a time of hardship. It then asks God that those who have been elected to govern the country have a “sense of common good of society” which “outweighs special requests” they receive. Lawmakers, it hopes, will follow the “guidance of their conscience”. In opposition to the intended legalisation of gay adoption, the prayer entreaties God that children “cease to be objects of desires and conflicts of adults to fully benefit from the love of a father and a mother”. The Church also asks for “the courage to make hard choices and a better quality of life for all”.
This ugly “prayer” comes in response to a statement made last month by France’s new prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in an address to the nation’s parliament in which he confirmed President François Hollande’s pledge that the French government will allow all couples to marry and adopt children in 2013, without discrimination.
Second, out of Scotland: a senior Catholic bishop has escalated the already toxic anti-gay rhetoric in that country by suggesting that if the Scottish government legalizes marriage equality — as it plans to do — it might as well legalize incest and polygamy, too:
Hugh Gilbert, the Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen who said he ‘loved’ gay people told the Scottish Catholic Observer: “Why is it alright for a man to marry another man, but not alright for him to marry two women? If we really want equality, why does that equality not extend to nieces who genuinely, truly love their uncles?”
Reprehensible? Yes. Surprising? No. Important to call out and vociferously condemn? Absolutely.