Pope on heterosexuality and gender (?)
There has been some reporting that the Pope has allegedly pushed for a defence of heterosexuality, equated gender theories with threat to rainforests, and called for an 'ecology of man'. The trouble with the reporting is I can't find the speech itself and so I don't know how accurate the reports are. On the one hand, given the stuff I have read by the Pope (including that truly terrible book on the historical Jesus!) and the views on homosexuality in many churches it wouldn't surprise me if some crazy things were said; on the other hand the Archbishop of Canterbury has been misrepresented enough times (as have numerous other people, religious leaders or otherwise) that I'm not inclined to believe what has been reported about the Pope at face value, especially on such sensationalist topics. Furthermore, there is not much direct quotation so I'm a little suspicious. And would even the Pope think that heterosexuality needs defending?!?
Broadsheets feel confident enough to begin their stories with the following:
Pope Benedict was accused of stoking homophobia today after a speech in which he declared that saving humanity from homosexuality was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction. ([London] Times)
The pope has sparked controversy by saying defending heterosexuality is as important as saving the world's rainforests from destruction. (Guardian)
It certainly seems accurate to say that the speech has provoked a response (newspapers provide such responses) but of course that's different from the Pope actually saying the things attributed to him. It does, though, seem as if the Pope has been critical of certain forms of 'gender theory'. This is reported in the Guardian:
Father Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said today that the pope had not wished specifically to attack homosexuality or sex change operations in his speech. "He was speaking more generally about gender theories which overlook the fundamental difference in creation between men and women and focus instead on the role of cultural conditioning," he said.
As this is a direct quotation it looks like something we can go on. I wonder who is in the firing line here...?
Does anyone know if the Pope's speech is available online?