‘Pell hath no
The Age Newspaper, Melbourne, 24th March, 2000
by Sue-Ann Post (Please visit her website!)
Sue-Ann, responds to Archbishop Pell's lack of apology towards Lesbian and Gay people.
(Sue-Ann is not a member Rainbow Sash)
Now. About this Vatican apology. I swear to God I wasn't going to touch this. I was going to leave well enough alone. I figured I'd poked enough pointy sticks at religion lately, and I can tell by your letters and e-mails that some of you really, really hate it when I wield the pointy stick. And let's face it, the Catholic Church is such a big, juicy, slow-moving target; it's almost too easy to take pot-shots. And growing up, as I did, in such a conservative fundamentalist religion means I've already got some anti-Catholic form on the board.
Although it was never explicitly stated, from certain hints and allusions, I gained the definite impression that if I were looking for the Great Whore of Babylon, I could do worse than look in the general direction of Rome. And as for my World War II obsessed, Commando Comix-reading brothers (who knew the name and silhouette of all the major war planes of that conflict), if they spotted a nun while we were driving along, they'd break into "Zeroes at two o'clock! Zeroes at two o'clock! Break off and pursue! At-tat-tat-tat-tat! BOOM." Rude and violent imagery I know, but you have to award a few points for the word play.
So like I said, I was going to leave this topic alone, even though I thought the apology was a bit mealy-mouthed and short of the mark. I knew that gays and lesbians would never crack a specific reference in the apology, but I figured that we could be included under the umbrella of the apology as victims of the Inquisition. Small comfort, but better than nothing. I was ready to move on, I was ready to bemusedly award a few points to the Vatican and go on to other things, but then Archbishop George Pell had to go and open his mouth.
"Dr George Pell refused to include gays and lesbians in recent apologies by the Vatican. Dr Pell said the church could not condone homosexual activity or gay marriages. 'We apologised for not living up to Christian ideals. We did not, and will never, apologise for essential Christian teachings and Catholic teachings'." The Age, 20 March.
Gee, thanks George. You are such a beautiful kind man. Thank you for reminding me that I can never be a real, proper human being. Thank you for ensuring that (in some eyes) my human rights will
always be slightly discounted. And don't come the raw prawn with me and argue in that petty legalistic way that it's only homosexual activity that is frowned upon, not homosexuals themselves, because I really hate that crap. "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Oh really? And how, pray tell, do you separate them? I don't see how it's possible. And in fact, every time I hear that moronic expression, I have a vision of a scary Teutonic doctor tinkering inside my cracked open skull, saying, "Ah, yes, I believe I haff located ze dirty perverted Homosexual Control Centre Parasite. Ach, vat an ugly thing. Pass me my scalpel please. (Crunch, rip, plop.) Zat's better. Now she vill be wanting the husband and babies."
And while I'm at it, let us not forget the reason gay men have been called "faggots" over the centuries. Some of you may be already aware that originally a "faggot" was a bundle of firewood. According to one of my encyclopedias, during the witch-burning times of the Inquisition, gay men were thrown on to the bonfire before the witch was, so that they could make the flames "dirty" enough to burn a witch. Evidently, wood by itself couldn't do the job because wood is natural and good and godly. You need a goddamned pervert to burn those witch-bitches.
Charming, eh? And maybe worth one tiny little apology. Even as a footnote would have done. But it was not to be. So in answer to the Pope, who has requested forgiveness for some things, but not all, I personally say, no. No I do not forgive you. I am deeply unimpressed.
Words are so cheap and getting cheaper every day. If you really wish to show contrition and make some amends, I have a few suggestions. For starters, you could loosen up some of them Vatican millions and
build an AIDS hospital and a women's hospital in every diocese. Then, to make up for all the books you've banned and burnt over the centuries (I still weep when I read of the destruction of the Great
Library at Alexandria), you can
a.) open up the Vatican Library to genuine scholars, and
b.) lodge copies of all of the above at every major library in the world.
That might be a start. Put your money where your mouth is, or just shut up.