Gay Activist Peter Tatchell Accuses Vatican of ‘Moral Vandalism’

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has accused the Vatican of “moral vandalism” for moving the body of Victorian British Cardinal John Henry Newman out of a grave beside his “close friend” Father Ambrose St John.

NewmanSaid Tatchell: “Newman repeatedly made it clear that he wanted to be buried next to his life-long partner, Ambrose St John. No one gave the Pope permission to defy Newman’s wishes. The re-burial has only one aim in mind: to cover up Newman’s homosexuality and to disavow his love for another man. It is an act of shameless dishonesty and personal betrayal by the gay-hating Catholic Church.”

The Times reports: “Arguably the most famous convert to Catholicism in Victorian England, Newman was originally an Anglican clergyman who spearheaded the Oxford movement which attempted bring the Church of England back to what he viewed as its Catholic origins. After a prolonged bout of self-questioning, Newman converted to the Catholic Church in 1845. Upon his death in 1890, Newman was buried alongside his close friend, former companion and fellow convert, Father Ambrose St John. Previously, they had shared a house.”

The Catholic Church called Tatchell’s suggestion that the two were romantically involved a “trick of homosexual activists,” saying “Now Cardinal Newman’s great friendship with Ambrose St John is being slyly suggested as evidence of his being subject to a disordered sexuality. The utter absurdity of this idea speaks for itself.”


  1. Dallascracker says

    Did I miss something? Why did the church move Cardinal Newman’s body? If not to try and erase a relationship with Ambrose St John, what was the reason?

  2. says

    So sick of the phrase “disordered sexuality” coming from a church that demands celibacy (unnatural!) and then covers up the sexual perversions that result.

    I’ve never understood why celibate priests are charged with marriage counseling- the very least experienced men who have never had a real relationship telling couples how to make their marriage work. Insanity.

  3. MAJeff says

    “Bill Donohoe’s gonna have a cow over your printing thins, Andy!”

    Bill was fucked and impregnated by a bull? I would have thought bestiality was a no-no for him.

  4. k says

    The church is still trying to hold on to some semblance of ancient Rome. They’re so 17 centuries ago.

  5. says

    A bunch of people who take vows never to HAVE sex (and then go have it illicitly anyway) talk about a “disordered sexuality”? Please.

    And men, even then, just always *happened* to live together and share houses. Even though they weren’t gay.

  6. Jeanne says

    “The church is still trying to hold on to some semblance of ancient Rome. They’re so 17 centuries ago.”

    Well, some periods of Ancient Rome were probably more open than the one we live in. The church is more trying to hold on to something that resembles the middle age – a huge uneducated population, that is fearing God, believing everything the priest says – a few nice punishments like being burnt alive…

    The first few centuries of the Roman-Christian empire were quite open I guess, there were still the influences of Ancient Greece, Byzantium, the Arab world.

  7. JerzeeMike says

    So the persecution of a gay Catholic goes on over a century after his death and the Catholic Church is fine with that? I glad I left that “disordered” bunch of bigoted reprobates long ago. Disgusting!

  8. says

    It’s British soil, and a British decision. Move Newman to allow Catholics their weird grave-worship, but move St. John to the new location as well to respect Newman’s unequivocal wishes. Seems like a no-brainer for me.

    The other no-brainer would be to tell the Vatican to fuck off. I kinda like that one.

  9. AggieCowboy says

    If I’m reading things correctly, Cardinal Newman’s body was moved for security reasons in anticipation of making him a saint. I would hope that it was found to be impossible to adequately protect his original resting place. However, I’m not holding my breath.

  10. says

    So the Catholic Church is moving Newman away from the man he lived with and wanted to be buried with and at the same time claiming the two weren’t lovers?

    “The utter absurdity of this idea speaks for itself.””

  11. says

    As to the cause of the move, Wikipedia says: “The Vatican decided to move his remains from The Lickey Hills, near Rednal, Worcestershire to the Oratory in Birmingham city centre in anticipation of his being made a saint in due course; the move required permission from the U.K. Ministry of Justice.”


  12. says

    If the church hadn’t just spent two millenia demonizing and in some cases killing homosexuals, they wouldn’t need to ‘defend’ the honor of Cardinal Newman.

    The truth doesn’t need to be defended. It only needs to be told. But I doubt the Catholic church will learn this lesson as it regards homosexuality for several more hundred years.

  13. says

    This may not be the most homophobic or hypocritical thing the Catholic church has ever done.

    But … it sure must be in the top 5 for sheer pettiness and venality.

  14. Bosie says

    NOT SURPRISED…the church is the only reason why we have hate in the world…they are the true demons and the gates to HELL….The Pope = Hitler, plain and simple….after all the Vatican was part of the reason why thousands died in the holocust, yet no one mentions it.*******

  15. Danmac says

    Wow Andy, you’ve really declared WAR on the Catholic Church!! And all I can say is YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!! Sock it to ’em, bunch of kiddie fiddling hypocrites!

  16. says

    The roman catholic church and the Pope are irrelevant to modern day life and they are trying to fight that by hiding their own past. May God have mercy upon their souls.