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Vatican Still Thinks It Can Turn Back Marriage Equality

PopereadingLast week's historic LGBT wins made clear that the United States has turned a corner in terms of marriage equality, finally coming out victorious against conservative religious powers that want to maintain institutionalized discrimination.

But some American anti-gay activists still think they can turn back time -- and so too does the Vatican, which used its semi-official newspaper to claim it's going to come out on top.

...According to an article in L’Osservatore Romano by historian Lucetta Scaraffia, the church has emerged in recent years as the only institution on the global stage that’s capable of resisting the forces that threaten to "break up ... human society."


"You could say that the church, on this level, is bound to lose,” writes Scaraffia. “But this is not the case.”

According to the historian, the church’s fight on moral issues such as gay marriage and abortion has drawn support and “admiration” from many non-Catholics.

Scaraffia went on to argue that political battles over gay adoption, abortion and other policies the Vatican deems sinful aren't about "progress," but about "the loss of one of the founding freedoms of the modern State, religious liberty."

Today that same paper ran another piece that "sought to frame itself as the lone voice of courage in opposing initiatives to give same-sex couples legal recognition," says the Washington Post.

And the Vatican's editors even worked their quixotic belief into a report on President Obama's re-election: "If Obama wants to be the president of all American people, he must eventually acknowledge the requests that are rising with strength from the religious communities  — the Catholic Church being the first in line  — in favour of the family, life and religious liberty."

Meanwhile, the aforementioned article on America's waning religious right noted, "Solid majorities of Catholics supported same-sex marriage, said Dr. Jones, the pollster."

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  1. "You could say that the church, on this level, is bound to lose,” writes Scaraffia. “But this is not the case.”

    According to the historian, the church’s fight on moral issues such as gay marriage and abortion has drawn support and “admiration” from many non-Catholics."

    It's precisely this sort of blind, divorced-from-reality hubris that caused Romney and the Republicans to lose this election...

    Posted by: Len | Nov 10, 2012 10:34:18 AM

  2. Laughable.

    The Church long ago gave up its right to dictate morals to the world. They were too busy hiding rapists

    They are no longer relevant

    Posted by: jtramon | Nov 10, 2012 10:37:46 AM

  3. The Holy See has always believed in fairy tales-they wrote the book on that subject and as they continue the express elevator to irrelevance-they continue to spout their hate, ignorance, and fear coupled with threats- it is the only thing that they do well.

    Posted by: nick | Nov 10, 2012 10:42:58 AM

  4. As a wise commentator said on Joe My God, the religious radicals screamed to put the issue up for a vote of the people. And when it WAS put to a vote of the people, the people voted for equality.

    Indeed "The Church" can no longer take the moral high road, they left that path decades ago.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Nov 10, 2012 10:43:04 AM

  5. Religious freedom = the freedom to impose theocracy on everyone

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 10, 2012 10:49:41 AM

  6. The entire Roman Catholic church, like the political right, is in its own alternate reality. I seriously doubt either group will leave their Garden of Eden any time soon.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Nov 10, 2012 10:58:17 AM

  7. I used to favor "religious freedom," but now I don't. They have twisted the meaning to trample my right to be free from their religious beliefs.

    Posted by: Joe in CT | Nov 10, 2012 11:02:41 AM

  8. The Church also said years ago the Earth is the center of the Solar system and Galileo was wrong. The pope and the Church finally woke up and ate their words in 2000.

    Posted by: simon | Nov 10, 2012 11:02:48 AM

  9. It may have won the support of non Catholics like the extreme religious right but it does not have the support of the Catholics in the pews.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Nov 10, 2012 11:07:23 AM

  10. Himility and objective thinking not really their strong suit and have been proved wrong time and again.

    Posted by: simon | Nov 10, 2012 11:09:20 AM

  11. Or even the support of all it's priests.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Nov 10, 2012 11:14:10 AM

  12. Never, ever underestimate the power of the forces of reaction. Never.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Nov 10, 2012 11:16:35 AM

  13. As usual, Mark Twain commented on this phenomenon a century ago:

    "Our own conversion came at last. We began to stir against slavery. Hearts grew soft, here, there, and yonder. There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one - the pulpit. It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession - at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all."

    --from Europe and Elsewhere
    and A Pen Warmed Up In Hell

    Posted by: Dave in NYC | Nov 10, 2012 11:29:18 AM

  14. "blah, blah, blah ... same impotent arguments that have been part and parcel of their "litany" for centuries ... blah, blah, blah ... same ineffective theses we have suffered for millenia ... blah, blah, blah ... desperation, desperation, desperation - in the face of ever present and muturing cultural, sociological, and intellectual evolution.

    Posted by: dave02657 | Nov 10, 2012 11:36:21 AM

  15. Time for them to mind their own business, or loose their tax exempt status. Remember these people that do not even want you to use birth control!

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Nov 10, 2012 11:46:00 AM

  16. Great quote, Dave in NYC. It puts an historical perspective to the rigidity of most religious institutions. The final part, " joined the procession - at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all." It is important to remember. Most of them have not yet reached that point, and some never will. The fight continues despite our recent successes.

    Posted by: Dave C. in SF | Nov 10, 2012 12:00:16 PM

  17. Sad.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 10, 2012 12:19:58 PM

  18. I'm more sure that many gay marrieds will wish "they could turn back time" when they realize who they married.

    Posted by: Gary | Nov 10, 2012 12:31:25 PM

  19. @Simon: Some right-wing catholics try to spin the Galileo fiasco as claiming that the church did support his scientific work but opposed his philosophical errors. Since the RC philosophy is as immutable as its theology, I'm not sure they've truly embraced him. At least J2P2 was sympathetic to evolution - but I'm not sure about Benny.


    I remember when J2P2 finally realized there was a PR problem in the US about pedophile priests, the first thing he did was to call the bishops to Rome. As if that would do anything, because everyone just doubled down on not believing the facts. Although progress has been made, we're not out of the woods yet. I'm just waiting for Benny to do the same.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Nov 10, 2012 12:40:27 PM

  20. OK, but they can still turn wine into blood, right? Even though it still has the appearance of wine it really is blood, right?

    Ask any Catholic. They know EVERYTHING!

    Posted by: Seriously, no joking | Nov 10, 2012 12:42:25 PM

  21. The pope is a super wealthy member of the 1%, a tiresome king, a Medieval leftover whose major concern is keeping adherents and stifling opposition to his personal views. He is a major buttinski. He needs to learn how to live and let live.

    Posted by: trees | Nov 10, 2012 12:45:22 PM

  22. @Diogenes Arktos
    Galileo was actually friends with the Pope. There is an argument to be made that he brought some of it on himself when he wrote a piece that had a thinly veiled stand-in for the Pope cast as an idiot and generally in a bad light. Don't get me wrong. They would still have forced him to recant his findings, but they might not have put him on trial or sentenced him to house arrest.

    Posted by: Steve | Nov 10, 2012 3:54:49 PM

  23. I agree with Len above. The kind of hubris that had Romney thinking he was going to win the presidency despite the polls, and that left him and many of his party shocked when he lost.

    Posted by: john patrick | Nov 10, 2012 4:30:05 PM

  24. @ TREES :

    Ratzinger is an ex-Hitler Youth saying repeatedly that we gays are "intrinsically defective" we really need to hear any more ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 10, 2012 5:05:14 PM

  25. The Catholic church once again found themselves on the wrong side of history. As the French Socialist party spokesman put it succinctly:
    it was not the Church’s role “to oppose the will of the legislature, especially concerning civil marriage in a secular republic”

    Posted by: simon | Nov 10, 2012 5:28:27 PM

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