VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Monday that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behavior was just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
"(The Church) should also protect man from the destruction of himself. A sort of ecology of man is needed," the pontiff said in a holiday address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration.
"The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less."
The Catholic Church teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are. It opposes gay marriage and, in October, a leading Vatican official called homosexuality "a deviation, an irregularity, a wound."
The pope said humanity needed to "listen to the language of creation" to understand the intended roles of man and woman. He compared behavior beyond traditional heterosexual relations as "a destruction of God's work."
He also defended the Church's right to "speak of human nature as man and woman, and ask that this order of creation be respected."
(Reporting by Phil Stewart)
Yes, he did. B16 just compared homosexuality to the destruction of the rainforests. I wonder if he was watching the Discovery Channel while writing his sermon, because, otherwise, this seems like the most bizarre analogy I have ever heard, and I cannot explain it. While Warren's comparisons were just outright distasteful, this one is just mindboggling. "Listen to the language of creation"? That's interesting, since biologists now tell us that there are many many animal species, particularly mammals, that engage in homosexual behavior on a regular basis. Would not this show homosexual relations to be natural, and, indeed, part of the language of creation? Or do all of these other animal species' behavior also indicate "a destruction of God's work"? Or is he just worried about the language of PROcreation?
UPDATE: There are some reactions to the Pope's speech recorded by the Times (London). Here is an interesting snippet from an ex-friar:
Mark Dowd, campaign strategist at Operation Noah, the Christian environmental group, who is a gay man and a former Dominican friar, said that the Pope’s remarks were "understandable but misguided and unfortunate".
He said that he understood the Pope’s vision of creation in which rainforests were protected and men and women "complement one another, reproduce and live happily ever after".
But he said: "The problem is that if you study ecology seriously as any intelligent man would do, and the Pope is a fantastically intelligent man, you realise that ecology is complex, it has all sort of weird interdependencies and it is the same with human sexuality.
"It is not a one-size-fits-all model, there are lots of differences, so therefore I think it is really sad that these comments betray a lack of openess to the complexity of creation."