Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Bishop Tobin has outraged a lot of people by saying Catholics should not celebrate 'LGBT Pride'

"Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals" 
You might think Bishop Tobin's tweet an uncontroversial statement of the obvious, but it turned out that the opposite was the case.

It provoked a huge outcry on Twitter, including from famous moral theologians like Mia Farrow. 

The Boston Globe likened him to Donald Trump, which it did not intend as a compliment. 

The Guardian reported that the Bishop apologised, which he did not. He politely said he was sorry to have caused offence, which is a different matter. He retracted nothing and said: 
"As a Catholic Bishop, however, my obligation before God is to lead the faithful entrusted to my care and to teach the faith, clearly and compassionately, even on very difficult and sensitive issues."
On the other hand, he did say
"I hope that the event will be a safe, positive and productive experience for all."
This is hard to understand and mealy-mouthed. How can he think it could be positive, given that he says it promotes a culture and encourages activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals? 

The Bishop is also called 'homophobic' in the press, but this neologism means bearing malice to homosexuals whereas - obviously - the Bishop is inspired by love for them and wants to save them.

This might be false outrage but it actually seems genuine. Yet everyone knows what the Catholic Church teaches on the subject of sex, so why outrage?  

Because, I suppose, as it was bound to be, homosexuality is the place where traditional Christianity and the new quasi-religion of human rights conflict. Other conflicts, over feminism or abortion for example, are less clear.

What would Jesus have thought? Some years ago I finally got round to reading historian Robin Lane Fox's Pagans and Christians, a good account of religion in the Roman empire,

which I'd wanted to read when it came out in 1986. He is an atheist, by the way. In it in passing he explains how male homosexuality and bisexuality were taken for granted by pagans, and goes on to say:
"As for homosexuality, Paul and the early epistles agreed with the accepted Jewish view that it was a deadly sin that provoked God's wrath. It led to earthquakes and natural disasters, which were evident in the fate of Sodom. The absence of Gospel teaching on the subject did not amount to tacit approval. All orthodox Christians knew that homosexuals went to hell, until a modern minority tried to make them forget it."
The Catholic Penny Catechism, that was the only one available in England until the mid-1980s, says the sin of Sodom is one of the four sins crying out to heaven for vengeance. This is faithful to the first century teaching. 

David Goldman, who writes as Spengler in Asia Times and is an Orthodox Jew, was right when he said that the crisis in the Catholic Church is a crisis of European civilisation. It is part of a wider crisis, involving feminism, contraception and falling birth rates, the idea that there are many genders and an invasion of developed countries around the world, except Japan,  by migrants. 

A good Pope is needed now.


  1. "The group says they've adopted Brad Pitt – "a hero to straight men all around the world" – as their mascot."

    If I had been asked, I would have proposed John Wayne or Clint Eastwood :).


    1. My ideal of masculinity is Steed in the Avengers but certainly not James Bond.