• My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

    By Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Aug. 14, 2014 Haaretz


    The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

    If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

    A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens ... as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.

    I asked the crowd to chant with me: “We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews.”

    Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa.

    Subscribe to Haaretz for the latest on Israel, the Mideast and the Jewish World

    I appealed to Israeli sisters and brothers present at the conference to actively disassociate themselves and their profession from the design and construction of infrastructure related to perpetuating injustice, including the separation barrier, the security terminals and checkpoints, and the settlements built on occupied Palestinian land.

    “I implore you to take this message home: Please turn the tide against violence and hatred by joining the nonviolent movement for justice for all people of the region,” I said.

    Over the past few weeks, more than 1.6 million people across the world have signed onto this movement by joining an Avaaz campaign calling on corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation and/or implicated in the abuse and repression of Palestinians to pull out. The campaign specifically targets Dutch pension fund ABP; Barclays Bank; security systems supplier G4S; French transport company Veolia; computer company Hewlett-Packard; and bulldozer supplier Caterpillar.

    Last month, 17 EU governments urged their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements.

    We have also recently witnessed the withdrawal by Dutch pension fund PGGM of tens of millions of euros from Israeli banks; the divestment from G4S by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and the U.S. Presbyterian Church divested an estimated $21 million from HP, Motorola Solutions and Caterpillar.

    It is a movement that is gathering pace.

    Violence begets violence and hatred, that only begets more violence and hatred.

    We South Africans know about violence and hatred. We understand the pain of being the polecat of the world; when it seems nobody understands or is even willing to listen to our perspective. It is where we come from.

    We also know the benefits that dialogue between our leaders eventually brought us; when organizations labeled “terrorist” were unbanned and their leaders, including Nelson Mandela, were released from imprisonment, banishment and exile.

    We know that when our leaders began to speak to each other, the rationale for the violence that had wracked our society dissipated and disappeared. Acts of terrorism perpetrated after the talks began – such as attacks on a church and a pub – were almost universally condemned, and the party held responsible snubbed at the ballot box.

    The exhilaration that followed our voting together for the first time was not the preserve of black South Africans alone. The real triumph of our peaceful settlement was that all felt included. And later, when we unveiled a constitution so tolerant, compassionate and inclusive that it would make God proud, we all felt liberated.

    Of course, it helped that we had a cadre of extraordinary leaders.

    But what ultimately forced these leaders together around the negotiating table was the cocktail of persuasive, nonviolent tools that had been developed to isolate South Africa, economically, academically, culturally and psychologically.

    At a certain point – the tipping point – the then-government realized that the cost of attempting to preserve apartheid outweighed the benefits.

    The withdrawal of trade with South Africa by multinational corporations with a conscience in the 1980s was ultimately one of the key levers that brought the apartheid state – bloodlessly – to its knees. Those corporations understood that by contributing to South Africa’s economy, they were contributing to the retention of an unjust status quo.

    Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.

    Those who contribute to Israel’s temporary isolation are saying that Israelis and Palestinians are equally entitled to dignity and peace.

    Ultimately, events in Gaza over the past month or so are going to test who believes in the worth of human beings.

    It is becoming more and more clear that politicians and diplomats are failing to come up with answers, and that responsibility for brokering a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land rests with civil society and the people of Israel and Palestine themselves.

    Besides the recent devastation of Gaza, decent human beings everywhere – including many in Israel – are profoundly disturbed by the daily violations of human dignity and freedom of movement Palestinians are subjected to at checkpoints and roadblocks. And Israel’s policies of illegal occupation and the construction of buffer-zone settlements on occupied land compound the difficulty of achieving an agreementsettlement in the future that is acceptable for all.

    The State of Israel is behaving as if there is no tomorrow. Its people will not live the peaceful and secure lives they crave – and are entitled to – as long as their leaders perpetuate conditions that sustain the conflict.

    I have condemned those in Palestine responsible for firing missiles and rockets at Israel. They are fanning the flames of hatred. I am opposed to all manifestations of violence.

    But we must be very clear that the people of Palestine have every right to struggle for their dignity and freedom. It is a struggle that has the support of many around the world.

    No human-made problems are intractable when humans put their heads together with the earnest desire to overcome them. No peace is impossible when people are determined to achieve it.

    Peace requires the people of Israel and Palestine to recognize the human being in themselves and each other; to understand their interdependence.

    Missiles, bombs and crude invective are not part of the solution. There is no military solution.

    The solution is more likely to come from that nonviolent toolbox we developed in South Africa in the 1980s, to persuade the government of the necessity of altering its policies.

    The reason these tools – boycott, sanctions and divestment – ultimately proved effective was because they had a critical mass of support, both inside and outside the country. The kind of support we have witnessed across the world in recent weeks, in respect of Palestine.

    My plea to the people of Israel is to see beyond the moment, to see beyond the anger at feeling perpetually under siege, to see a world in which Israel and Palestine can coexist – a world in which mutual dignity and respect reign.

    It requires a mind-set shift. A mind-set shift that recognizes that attempting to perpetuate the current status quo is to damn future generations to violence and insecurity. A mind-set shift that stops regarding legitimate criticism of a state’s policies as an attack on Judaism. A mind-set shift that begins at home and ripples out across communities and nations and regions – to the Diaspora scattered across the world we share. The only world we share.

    People united in pursuit of a righteous cause are unstoppable. God does not interfere in the affairs of people, hoping we will grow and learn through resolving our difficulties and differences ourselves. But God is not asleep. The Jewish scriptures tell us that God is biased on the side of the weak, the dispossessed, the widow, the orphan, the alien who set slaves free on an exodus to a Promised Land. It was the prophet Amos who said we should let righteousness flow like a river.

    Goodness prevails in the end. The pursuit of freedom for the people of Palestine from humiliation and persecution by the policies of Israel is a righteous cause. It is a cause that the people of Israel should support.

    Nelson Mandela famously said that South Africans would not feel free until Palestinians were free.

    He might have added that the liberation of Palestine will liberate Israel, too.

  • On the brink of genocide: Understanding what’s happening in the Central African Republic | Groundup


    via @fil

    “The Central African Republic stands on the brink of genocide; some would say it has already commenced,” said Archbishop Desmond Tutu in April.


    He warned that over the past year, the country’s struggles for power and control over its resources, predominantly diamonds, had “degenerated into anarchy, hatred and ethnic cleansing.”

    The minority Muslim population have increasingly been targeted by Christian militias since the forced resignation of Michel Djotodia, the country’s first Muslim president, in January. Tens of thousands of Muslims have been forced to flee their homes, into neighbouring Cameroon and Chad.

    #centrafrique #génocide (peut-être en cours #massacre

  • Ghanaian preachers say the darndest things

    Ghanaian preachers are attracting international press for peculiar reasons. It is not uncommon the world over for religious figures to wade in on political issues and find themselves considered as a respected authority on a given matter. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, often gave his opinion on social and political affairs and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s disdain for the current incarnation of South Africa’s ruling ANC party is well known. Ghanaian preachers are no different. And now, after years of finding (read advertising) themselves in the pages of national newspapers they too have reached the global stage. Albeit for less noble (...)

    #JOURNALISM #Cardinal_Peter_Turkson #Cedi #Ghana #Isaac_Owusu-Bempah #John_Atta-Mills #John_Dramani_Mahama #Nicholas_Duncan-Williams #Uganda

  • The Day #Jacob_Zuma Lost Control of the Party?

    One way of looking at Anglican Archbishop #Desmond_Tutu’s words at the end of the farcical #Nelson_Mandela’s memorial service is that of an angry patriarch embarrassed by the actions of errant adolescents. The other is that the archbishop was stepping into a void that used to be filled by the larger-than-life figure of Nelson Mandela. In the absence of the towering Madiba, and the presence of little mutinies that wouldn’t be doused by the drizzle, the diminutive clergyman showed that South Africans are not a rowdy bunch, misbehaving apropos of nothing.

    #POLITICS #African_National_Congress #South_Africa

  • Mayor Boris & police endorse event with extremist clerics | Peter Tatchell Foundation

    Mayor Boris & police endorse event with extremist clerics
    posted by Peter Tatchell ... on Fri, 22/11/2013 - 15:26

    Speakers say blasphemers, adulterers & apostates should be killed

    MPs, City of London police & top BBC official support GPU

    London, UK - 22 November 2013

    “People who have sex outside of marriage, blasphemers and Muslims who leave the faith should be killed, according to some speakers at this weekend’s Islamic Global Peace & Unity (GPU) conference in London. The conference website says the event is backed by the Mayor of London, the City of London police commissioner, MPs, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and a senior BBC official,” reports Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

    On the assumption that the GPU website is accurate:

    “It is appalling that the Mayor, City of London police and prominent public figures are endorsing an event that promotes at least seven speakers with bigoted, violent views. It’s the equivalent of supporting an event with BNP and EDL hate speakers.

    “How can the mayor and police justify giving their approval to a conference that hosts speakers who advocate discrimination and violence?

    “On the GPU website there are messages of support from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Labour MP Stephen Timms and Labour peer Lord Parekh. Noam Chomsky is also listed and quoted under “Supporters.”

    “Speakers named on the GPU website include the Commissioner of the City of London Police Adrian Leppard and his Assistant Commissioner Wayne Chance, Tory MP Rehman Chishti, BBC commissioning editor Aqil Ahmed and Muslim Council of Britain leader Farooq Murad.

    “I have written letters of protest to the Mayor of London and the Commissioner and Assistant Commission of the City of London police, urging them to withdraw their support for the conference.

    “The seven extremist preachers have variously expressed opinions such as:

    “In their view, homophobia is praiseworthy, women should stay in the home and blasphemers and apostates should be killed.

    “They stir anti-Semitism and say that people who have pre-marital or extra-marital sex deserve flogging and stoning to death.

    “Opposing social integration and community cohesion, some clerics advocate a form of religious apartheid: Muslims should not associate with non-Muslims and Muslim parents should not send their children to non-Muslim schools.

    “Freedom of religion is condemned as a blasphemous ideal and Ahmadiyya Muslims are said to deserve persecution.

    “There are at least seven extremist preachers listed to speak at the GPU on 23 and 24 November at ExCel London.

    “They are: Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ya’qoubi, Sheikh Shady Al-Suleiman, Iman Abdul Wahid Pedersen, Sheikh Said Rageah, Sheikh Muhammad Al Shareef, and Sheikh Yasir Qadhi,” said Mr Tatchell.
    Quotes from the seven extremist GPU speakers (with links to sources):

    Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri

    He has defended Pakistan laws that impose the death penalty for blasphemy and are used to persecute Ahmadiyya Muslims.


    Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ya’qoubi

    He believes: Freedom of religion and freedom of expression are blasphemous and “false ideals.” The Grand Mufti of Syria was wrong to oppose violence against Jewish settlers in the Palestinian terrorities.

    “....these wrong and false ideals like ‘freedom of religion’ or ‘freedom of expression’. In Islam I do not allow under the banner of ‘freedom of expression’ someone to come and curse or insult a Prophet of Allah... it is blasphemy, it is not freedom of speech at all.”


    Sheikh Shady Al-Suleiman

    The Sheikh says adulterers should be stoned to death:

    “Remember that if there is an Islamic state the punishment of zina, the punishment of those who commit zina, if they have never been married before, they will be lashed 100 lashes. If they are married while they committed zina, or previously been married and divorced, and they committed zina, then their punishment is stoning to death.”



    Iman Abdul Wahid Pedersen

    He admits that the stoning of adulterers is cruel, but he has defended the cruel punishment:

    “I agree that stoning is a cruel punishment, but it doesn’t change the fact that according to Islam the practise has been ordained by our Creator. We are not in a position to change this. Things that are stated unambigiously in the Koran or by the Prophet Mohammed are not open to debate among Muslims.”


    Sheikh Said Rageah

    He says Muslims should disassociate themselves from non-Muslims. Blasphemers who don’t repent should be killed. Women should stay at home and never leave the house without necessity:

    “You will see a lot of them going to the kuffar (non-Muslims) , taking them as supporters and helpers and friends and allies…(Arabic) If they were true believers in Allah and the messenger (Arabic) they would never take them as allies.”

    “…it could also, y’know, be to the point as far as killing that person (who commits blasphemy) if he doesn’t repent what he’s saying…Muslims do not tolerate anyone to insult Muhammad, Isa or Jesus, Moses, any of the prophets of God. If you’re in a Muslim country and you insult Muhammad or Jesus, you will receive the same punishment because both of them are the messengers of God.”

    “Islam and Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is telling us in the Quran: stay home because otherwise you’re gonna cause fitnah to a lot of people…Allah created women for beauty…so women are like this they must understand. They should stay at home and not come out of the house unless it’s a necessity, otherwise Shaytan will take advantage of that and leave the people being tested and tried.”


    Sheikh Muhammad Al Shareef

    The Sheikh believes the social integration of Muslims is wrong. Muslims should not associate with non-Muslims, and Muslims should not send their children to non-Islamic schools:

    “The horror story begins when the child is entrusted to a non-Muslim…”

    ”If a parent has chosen public school for his son, in the final year when he looks over the school yearbook and sees a picture of his son standing hand in hand dancing with a kafir woman, at that time it will be too late to question his upbringing. Now is the time to question it, now, before it’s too late.“


    He also states that Jews control the media and Muslims should not ally with them, imitate them or marry them:

    “Who owns the press? Well, you can believe me when I say that it is not the god fearing beloved of Allâh.
    “It would be profitable for us to reflect on the implementation of our Wala’ and Bara’ in regards to the Jews:
    “Firstly: We should not take them as our close allies. Secondly: We should not imitate them. Thirdly: A Muslimah may never marry a Jewish or Christian man that remains in his beliefs.”


    Sheikh Al Shareef says homophobia is praiseworthy:

    “Alhamdulillah [praise to God] that you’re homophobic. Alhamdulillah we have a fear of homosexuality. And then they will say it as if it is a derogatory term, but in fact it is a praiseworthy term.”


    He argues sex outside of marriage deserves 80 lashes:

    “One of them is a married person committing zina and the other is an unmarried person committing zina. So a married person committing zina is actually much, much more serious in Islam. They’re both serious and they’re both major sins but it is much more serious…if somebody’s married the punishment for that would be eighty lashes.”



    Sheikh Yasir Qadhi

    The Sheikh claims the toleration of homosexuality is a sign of social regression:

    “For those who have been around for a little bit longer than those who are eighteen or nineteen, look at how this own society and culture has evolved in the way it looks at homosexuals. In our own time, I remember as a kid in the eighties, which gives you an idea how old I was, growing up in the eighties I grew up, OK? I remember how homosexuals were looked down upon and the names that were given to these people, and how disgusted the average masses were with that segment of society. Now look, now look at how we have regressed, not progressed.”


    He says Jews control Islamic studies and want to destroy Muslims:

    “You go to America, you find that 95% of the Islamic Studies professors are Jews, you know that? 95% of Islamic Studies [sic] are Jews. And 0% of Judaic Studies [sic] are Muslims. I am not advising any Muslim to waste his time studying Judaism but I’m saying, why are Jews studying Islam? There is a reason, not that they want to help us, they want to destroy us [...] they want to bring about doubts, look at the doubts that exist, look at the divisions, the discord, look at the disunity, look at all these ideologies that are being spread (4). Know that the Yahood [Jews] and the Kuffar [Infidels] like this type of thing.”


  • From Antelias to Bzoummar

    Sur la communauté libanaise d’origine arménienne. Via @bintbattuta

    Yet, despite the evident decline in numbers, the Armenians of Lebanon are by no means a dying community. Archbishop Nareg shared his impression with me that emigration of Armenians has slowed since 2008, for the simple reason that previously attractive destinations such as the United States or France are no longer seen as attractive alternatives to escaping Lebanon’s economic malaise. Both the archbishop and Reverend Haidostian pointed out to me that there has actually been a fairly significant influx of Armenians into Lebanon from neighboring Syria since the start of that country’s brutal civil war.

    The assimilation process may also not be as inevitable as it seems. After all, the political security the Armenians enjoy in Lebanon is predicated precisely on their identification as Armenian—being a member of the community means having guaranteed representation in Parliament, as well as a quota of government jobs, among other privileges. The continued existence of Armenian schools and especially of Haigazian University still partially counteracts the trend.

    Finally, the fact that Lebanon is the site of spiritual centers of great importance for all three Armenian denominations scattered through the Diaspora suggests that the Armenian Christians here will survive in one form or another for a long time to come. As long as Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical Armenians view the country as a hub of pilgrimage and theological education that benefits the Diaspora as a whole the community, even if reduced in size from its glory days, will remain vital.

  • Uefa accused of ignoring anti-Palestinian bias | Football | The Guardian

    European football’s governing body, Uefa, has been accused of showing “total insensitivity” to the “blatant and entrenched discrimination” of Israel against Palestinian sportspeople.

    A group led by Nobel peace prize laureate, former archbishop Desmond Tutu, and footballer Frédéric Kanouté have accused the body of “rewarding Israel’s cruel and lawless behaviour” against Palestinians by allowing Israel to host the European Under-21 Championship next month.

    In a letter in today’s Guardian, they call on Uefa “to reverse the choice of Israel as a venue”.

    Signatories of the letter include the actor Roger Lloyd Pack, film-maker Ken Loach, comic Alexei Sayle, Michael Mansfield QC and the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.

  • Nobel Laureates Salute Bradley Manning – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

    We Nobel Peace Prize laureates condemn the persecution Bradley Manning has suffered, including imprisonment in conditions declared “cruel, inhuman and degrading” by the United Nations, and call upon Americans to stand up in support of this whistleblower who defended their democratic rights. In the conflict in Iraq alone, more than 110,000 people have died since 2003, millions have been displaced and nearly 4,500 American soldiers have been killed. If someone needs to be held accountable for endangering Americans and civilians, let’s first take the time to examine the evidence regarding high-level crimes already committed, and what lessons can be learned. If Bradley Manning released the documents, as the prosecution contends, we should express to him our gratitude for his efforts toward accountability in government, informed democracy and peace.

  • Head of Catholic Church in San Francisco decries gay marriage victories | Gay Star News

    Head of Catholic Church in San Francisco decries gay marriage victories
    Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone: Marriage is between man and woman ’or it is nothing at all’
    09 November 2012 | By Greg Hernandez

    It’s already known that Salvatore Cordileone, archbishop of the Catholic Church in San Francisco, is a fervent supporter of Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriage in California.

    So it’s no surprise that following voters approving gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington this week, Cordileone would not be happy.

    ’No matter what policy, law or judicial decision is put into place, marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children born of their union. It is either this, or it is nothing at all,’ he wrote in a letter posted on the Archdiocese website.

    In addition, voters in Minnesota rejected a ballot measure that would have banned gay marriage.

    ’November 6, was a disappointing day for marriage, as the effort to preserve the unique meaning of marriage in the law lost by only a narrow margin in four states, even though vastly outspent by those who promote the redefinition of marriage,’ Cordileone also wrote.

    His appointment to be head of a church in a city with such a large gay population and history of LGBT activism drew protests earlier this year.

    Cordileone was officially installed just last month and was recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

    In 2008, he helped raise funds to get Prop 8 on the ballot box and donated approximately $6,000 of his own funds in support of the referendum.

    • It would be very interesting how this Archbishop would define the marriages between the priests and jesus, or the marriages between the priests and the holy virgin mary, not to speak of all the nuns........

      As far as I know it is not allowed within the RCC to marry a man (as the Archbishop so bigottedly tells us), and msot certainly the RCC does not promotes polygamy.....

      And then... what about the lesbian marriages between the nuns within the RCC and the Virgin Mary?

      |Does the Archbishopp has any definition for those lesbians and the obviously straight mary, mother of jesus, who was pregnant prior to marriage.........

      Seems to me that the RCC has a problem there, and there... and everywhere...

  • UK: New Archbishop signals openness on LGBT issues
    By Scott Robertsfor PinkNews.co.UK
    9 November 2012, 3:02pm

    Dr Welby is replacing Dr Rowan Williams (KJB Photography)

    Dr Welby is replacing Dr Rowan Williams (KJB Photography)

    The Bishop of Durham Justin Welby, who has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, says the Church of England must have “no truck with any form of homophobia”.

    Although Dr Welby has previously stated his opposition to equal marriage and the ordination of gay bishops, in a speech made on Friday at Lambeth Palace, Dr Welby signalled that he was willing to engage on LGBT issues by saying:

    “It is absolutely right for the state to define the rights and status of people cohabiting in different forms of relationships, including civil partnerships.

    “We must have no truck with any form of homophobia in any part of the church”.

    He said that he supported the House of Bishops’ statement in the summer in response to the government’s consultation on same-sex marriage – which opposed the measure.

    “But I also know I need to listen very attentively to the LGBT communities and examine my own thinking carefully and prayerfully,” he added.

    Dr Welby was named on Thursday as the replacement for Dr Rowan Williams, who steps down in December after ten years in the post as Archbishop of Canterbury.

  • NFL’s Kluwe Slams Archbishop’s Anti-Gay Views - masteradrian’s posterous

    NFL’s Kluwe Slams Archbishop’s Anti-Gay Views
    By Jason St. Amand
    Web Producer / Staff Writer
    Thursday Oct 11, 2012Chris Kluwe
    Chris Kluwe

    Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has been making headlines recently for his strong support for marriage equality and gay rights. The football player has called out athletes and politicians and has now criticized the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis for a letter he wrote to a woman pleading for acceptance for her gay child.

    Truth Wins Out and Think Progress have circulated a 2010 letter written by Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt on social networking websites. The two-year-old letter is a response to a woman’s letter where she asks for acceptance for her gay child. But the bishop says that she might go to Hell if she comes to terms with her child’s sexual orientation.

    “I write to inform you that the teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality, as described in paragraphs 2357 and 2358 and 2359 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is rooted in Scripture and based on the Natural Moral Law,” Nienstedt wrote. "It, therefore, shares in God’s revelation to us. Catholics are bound in conscience to believe this teaching. Those who do not cannot consider themselves to be Catholic and ought not to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.

    “Indeed, some might find this is a hard saying but many of Jesus’ teachings were likewise received as such,” he continued. “I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed in your letter. Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic.”

    Nienstedt’s letter sparked Kluew to respond in an op-Ed piece in the Minneapolis-St.Paul Pioneer Press.

    “It fills me with great sadness and regret that a steward of the Catholic Church on this Earth feels the need to take a stance of oppression, intolerance, and fear,” Kluwe wrote.

    “Millions of children grow up raised in the Catholic faith. Some of these children will be gay, through no choice of their own, but because of how God created them,” he continued. "What does it say to those children when the head of their religion in this state, a man who claims to ’explain and defend the teaching of the Church because I have been ordained to do so and I believe those teachings with all my heart,’ a man acting under the direct auspices of the Pope himself, tells them that they can’t be as worthy as everyone else, even though they believe in the teachings of Jesus?

    “What will these children think, as they suffer the barbed insults of their classmates and teachers; I ask you, sir, what will these children think as they are belittled and tormented due to teachings you espouse? What judgment will be passed on your soul when yet another poor child reaches for the knife or the noose to end his or her earthly torment due to your example?”

    Kluwe, who also calls out Pope Benedict XVI, asks why the Catholic leaders don’t practice empathy and uses the Bible’s teachings to make his point for equality.

    “If you strike me, I shall turn the other cheek. If you ask me to walk with you for a mile, I will do so,” the athlete writes. “If you ask me to respect your faith, your beliefs, then all I ask is that you do the same for everyone else. For is that not the most pertinent of Jesus’ teachings, and one that everyone, no matter their religion, can strive to achieve?”

    Nienstedt’s letter may have been from two years ago, but it seems as though the bishop still hasn’t changed his anti-gay marriage views. Last week EDGE reported that Nienstedt sent a letter asking Roman Catholic followers to support a legislation that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

    When the letter was read, many parishioners were so upset that they walked out during church services.

  • Former archbishop of Canterbury attacks gay marriage at Tory conference | Society | The Guardian

    Former archbishop of Canterbury attacks gay marriage at Tory conference

    Lord Carey says plans would cause deep divisions and likens opponents of gay marriage to Jews in Nazi Germany

    Share 323

    Michael White
    The Guardian, Monday 8 October 2012 17.32 BST
    Jump to comments (382)

    As Ann Widdecombe and Lord Carey address a conference fringe rally against same-sex marriage, Michael White hears the views of Tory delegates Link to this video

    The former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has accused David Cameron of “plundering” the institution of heterosexual marriage to promote same-sex marriage rights. Allowing gay marriage would cause deep divisions in society “without giving gays a single right they do not have in civil partnership”, he said.

    At a Coalition for Marriage rally on the fringe of the Conservative conference in Birmingham on Monday, Carey joined David Burrowes, the backbench MP for Enfield Southgate, and former MP Ann Widdecombe in protesting that neither the Lib Dem nor Tory 2010 manifesto included a pledge to legalise gay marriage.

    Carey claimed that in some countries where same-sex marriage had been made legal – including Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands – it had led to unforeseen consequences such as three-person marriages.

    Asked about opponents of gay marriage being described as “bigots” – on one occasion by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister – Carey said: "Let us remember the Jews in Nazi Germany. What started against them was when they started to be called names.

    “And that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state. We have to resist them. We treasure democracy. We treasure our Christian inheritance and we want to debate this in a fair way.”

    Widdecombe said: “This is not an anti-gay rally. It is defending marriage.”

    Outside the town hall rally, attended by about 400 people, gay rights protesters accused the platform of promoting “marriage apartheid” by denying the right to marry on equal terms.

    Cameron has joined the US president, Barack Obama, in endorsing same-sex marriage and is poised to report on the results of a 12-week consultation before proceeding to legislate. All main parties, including the SNP government in Edinburgh, now endorse the change.

    Burrowes urged ministers to stage a referendum on the issue, as has been done in 32 US states with mixed results. He said there had been no pressure for a change to civil partnership before the election – “no letters, emails or tweets” from voters – but MPs’ postbags were now full of the controversy. “If the government can think again about pasties and caravans it can certainly do so about the important issue of marriage,” he said.

    Widdecombe, a former Home Office minister, said such consequences would include the replacement of cherished liturgy and names such as “mother” and “father” with “progenitor A and progenitor B” or “partners to the marriage”. François Hollande, the French president, was proposing to use the word “carers”, she said.

    Carey argued that teachers, doctors and other professionals might be forced out of their jobs if they refused to embrace the proposed change to the law, an intolerant restriction on free speech that Widdecombe said could make the Church of England force disestablishment.

    “I know, David Cameron, that is not the sort of Britain you want,” she said.Carey hinted that the prime minister might have conceded the policy on “pragmatic” grounds to sustain his coalition with the Lib Dems – “the very worst of reasons”.

    Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of gay rights group Stonewall, said: "We’re deeply saddened that Lord Carey seems to be resorting to student union abuse. The reality is that gay people are very well aware of the consequences of the Holocaust, for obvious reasons, and when someone descends to this level of rhetoric it suggests they don’t think they have very powerful arguments to rely on.

    "Lord Carey is perfectly entitled to his view and we respect that. It’s the view of many people of his generation and we accept that, but to compare Cameron to Hitler is just sad as well as being entirely inappropriate.

    "It’s extraordinary that he should resort to this sort of invective and profoundly unchristian. There will be gay people of faith who are very disturbed by what he has said.

    “The argument is lost already but that doesn’t mean the battle won’t be a rough one when the time comes. But it is surprising they couldn’t come up with a more persuasive argument for this, the apex of their campaign for which they have had had plenty of time to marshall their arguments.”

  • Archbishop says ‘support marriage equality? Don’t take Communion’ | Gay Star News

    Archbishop says ‘support marriage equality? Don’t take Communion’
    The Archbishop of Newark has called on Catholic supporters of marriage equality to refrain from taking Communion until they recant their views on the issue
    05 October 2012 | By Andrew Potts
    Archbishop John Myers

    The Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey has told Catholic supporters of marriage equality that they are not welcome to take Communion on Sundays.

    Archbishop John Myers wrote a pastoral letter in which he warned that Catholic supporters of same sex marriage were ‘seriously harm[ing] their communion with Christ and His Church,’

    ‘I urge those not in communion with the Church regarding her teachings on marriage and family ... sincerely to re-examine their consciences,’ wrote the Archbishop.

    ‘If they continue to be unable to assent to or live Christ’s teachings in these matters, that they must and in all humility refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they can do so with integrity.’

    Myers wrote that gays and lesbians could marry people of the opposite sex and lead ‘faithful and even joyous married lives.’

    Myers was criticized by Cornell University Law Professor Steve Shiffrin on Catholic law blog Mirror of Justice, who wrote that Myers would be more likely to succeed in marginalizing himself rather than Catholic dissenters who disagreed with the church’s teaching on this and other issues.

    ‘If Myers is right about this, it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of American Catholics should not be receiving communion,’ Shiffrin wrote.

    ‘To reject the Church’s teaching on contraception is to reject the teaching authority of the Church, and the overwhelming majority of American Catholics do exactly that.

    ‘There is already a crisis in the teaching authority of the bishops. If they follow the lead of Archbishop Myers in being specific about which moral teaching cannot be rejected while continuing to receive communion, Catholics will either leave the Church or contumaciously receive communion anyway.

  • The #Pope's unholy alliance with the dictator | Nick Cohen | Comment is free | The Observer

    So it was with a little hope that opposition leaders asked to meet Archbishop Martin Vidovic, the papal nuncio in #Belarus. They carried a letter to the Pope, which said: “Today Belarus is enshrouded in darkness. Arrests of activists, raids and pogroms at independent websites and newspaper offices, searches of apartments continue. The authorities are blackmailing the political prisoners using their little children. We are seeking your help.” The nuncio refused to meet them. Later he relented, but Ratzinger has not protested against the oppression or promised to break diplomatic relations with the outlaw state.