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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Three days before Christmas Pope Benedict addressed senior Vatican staff. Some of his remarks, reproduced below, were very prominently reported in Britain - not because he said them, he said many other profound, beautiful things over the holiday period that did not hit the headlines - but because respected “gay activists” called them “offensive”. Here are the remarks, towards the end of his reflection upon 2008. They were made, let us remember, on the occasion of celebrating God becoming a man, born of the womb of a Woman, in order to be the Bridegroom to his bride, the Church - rich gender-filled themes indeed, but perhaps increasingly subversive of modern values.

What is needed is something like a human ecology, correctly understood. If the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman, and demands that this order of creation be respected, this is not some antiquated metaphysics.
What is involved here is faith in the Creator and a readiness to listen to the “language” of creation. To disregard this would be the self-destruction of man himself, and hence the destruction of God’s own work.
What is often expressed and understood by the term “gender” ultimately ends up being man’s attempt at self-emancipation from creation and the Creator. Man wants to be his own master, and alone – always and exclusively – to determine everything that concerns him. Yet in this way he lives in opposition to the truth, in opposition to the Creator Spirit.
Rain forests deserve indeed to be protected, but no less so does man, as a creature having an innate “message” which does not contradict our freedom, but is instead its very premise.

These comments were "irresponsible and unacceptable", the UK's Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said. Vladimir Luxuria, a transgender former Italian MP, called his words "hurtful". In modern Britain it is worth remembering, lest we forget, that Christianity sees gender as a much deeper, richer reality than simply the biological, and is convinced that it is profoundly “irresponsible” and causes deep, long-lasting “hurt” to ignore it.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 11:09 am