Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Tablet: Catholic Church Needs to Change on Homosexuality

Smeaton said, "For a parish priest to take the Tablet in bulk for sale to his parishioners is like a psychiatrist ordering cyanide capsules in bulk for sale to his depressed patients.

LONDON, February 11, 2010 ( – Britain’s left-leaning Catholic magazine, the Tablet, has called for the Catholic Church to “if not doctrinally, at least pastorally” change its teaching on homosexuality. The Catholic Church, said an unsigned editorial titled, “The Deepest Human Desire,” should “move on with confidence,” to facilitate greater acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, or risk losing public approval.

Referring to the media uproar following comments made to the English bishops by Pope Benedict XVI opposing the Labour government’s proposed Equality Bill, the Tablet said, “The Church must take seriously, and ponder deeply, the underlying reasons for this week’s furore.”

The problem, the editorial said, is the “Catholic attitude to homosexuality.”

“What gay Catholics say is that it is not so much the Church’s disapproval of their sexual activity that hurts and damages them, as its inability to comprehend and value their emotional lives, their relationships. The deepest human desire of all is to love and be loved.” The Tablet asserts that many have found this love in same-sex relationships.

But this rosy view of the homosexual lifestyle is distinctly at odds with the findings of many studies, as well as abundant anecdotal evidence, that show homosexual activities to be mentally and physically damaging.

In a hard-hitting television documentary in 2008, homosexual activist and journalist Simon Fanshawe described the “gay scene” in London and elsewhere in Britain as a “sewer” of casual, degrading sex, drug abuse and misery.

Fanshawe pulled no punches in his investigation of bath houses, gay clubs and gay “beauty pageants” where sex, obsession with looking young and “chasing the ultimate sexual high” form the centre of life for many homosexuals.

Gay men, he said, are so "hardwired" towards finding casual sexual encounters, some going as far as plastic implants to enhance their appearance, that finding genuine intimacy is "practically impossible.” Gay men, he said, have “organise[d] our identity around sex. And that is corrosive. And to make things worse, promiscuity has become the norm.”

While Fanshawe ended his documentary with a plug for homosexual “marriage” as a solution to the shallowness and unfulfilling promiscuity of the gay lifestyle, a soon-to-be released study has, according to the New York Times, found that gay “marriages” themselves are highly polygamous, with frequent extra-‘marital’ liasons being the norm for these unions.

Available evidence of the harms of the gay lifestyle notwithstanding, the Tablet insists that the Catholic Church needs to change. In the face of growing public “tolerance” for homosexuals, the Church should "move beyond a sterile state of disapproval," lest it "lose the sympathy of wide sections of the public."

"Is the Church able to move beyond a sterile state of dis­approval that is in danger of becoming part of its public profile?" the Tablet asks, blasting the Church for its "inability to comprehend and value [homosexual persons'] emotional lives [and] their relationships."

The Tablet implied the support of none other than Pope Benedict XVI for this position, saying that his encyclical Deus Caritas Est supplies a "context" for understanding that homosexual relationships should be "treasured and respected."

John Smeaton, the head of the U.K.'s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said the editorial, "goes beyond mere opinion, and is in fact a manifesto for homosexual equality."

Smeaton wrote, "It is part of a softening-up and consciousness-raising exercise within the Church. It is clear that The Tablet intends to use the months leading up to the Pope's visit as part of a media campaign to entrench an anti-life and anti-family agenda within official Catholic circles."

Catholics in the U.K. who adhere to and wish to promote the Church's teaching on sexuality have complained for years that the Tablet is one of their greatest foes. Sold in most U.K. Catholic parishes, taken by most of its religious orders, and quoted freely as an authoritative voice for the Catholic Church by the secular media, the Tablet has come to represent the Catholic Church in Britain.

Smeaton said, "For a parish priest to take the Tablet in bulk for sale to his parishioners is like a psychiatrist ordering cyanide capsules in bulk for sale to his depressed patients.

"The Tablet isn't known as 'The Bitter Pill' for nothing."

In August last year, the Tablet was blasted by Denver bishop Charles Chaput for an editorial in which the magazine urged the U.S. Bishops to support Barack Obama's healthcare reforms. The U.S. bishops, the magazine said, "have so far concentrated on a specifically Catholic issue - making sure state-funded health care does not include abortion - rather than the more general principle of the common good."

Bishop Chaput, in a letter published on the Denver diocese website, said that the editorial was the result of "ignorance and cynicism."

"It proves once again that people don't need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues," the bishop wrote.

"Abortion is not, and has never been, a 'specifically Catholic issue,' and the editors know it."

Founded in 1840, the Tablet was sold to a group of laity by Cardinal Hinsley in 1935, and taken on by "The Tablet Trust" in 1976. It made its first public break with Catholic sexual teaching in August 1968 over the issuance of Pope Paul VI's encyclical on contraception, Humanae Vitae.

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