Monday, November 9, 2009

Gay tourists not welcome at the Vatican

Shocking, I know. It's not a decree from the Pope himself, but it's the attitude of Bishop Janusz Kaleta of Holy See, the Apostolic Administrator of Atyrau. When asked about gay and lesbian tourists visiting the Vatican, this is what he had to say:
“The church teachings are from the Bible. If we change this teaching, we will not be the Catholic Church. Don’t expect the Catholic church to change these issues, because it is our identity.” When asked if the Vatican is open to dialogue about welcoming such homosexual groups of tourists in the future, Bishop Kaleta responded that “such demonstrations are just not ethical.”
Yep, because religion is something that never changes, but homosexuality is totally a choice. Hmm, I feel like I heard that somewhere before... But anyway, so is the Bishop just against a gay pride parade going through St. Peter's Square?

Publisher Steinmetz clarified that what was meant by gay travel was traveling for the purpose of a visit, not as a demonstration. To this the Bishop replied, “I consider if someone is homosexual, it is a provocation and an abuse of this place. Try to go to a mosque if you are not Muslim. It is abuse of our buildings and our religion because the church interprets our religion that it is not ethical. We expect respect of our church as we expect to respect that a person does not have to belong to the Catholic Church. If you have different ideas, go to a different location.”

Nope, simply being gay is provocative, abusive, and disrespectful. Not bears in assless chaps, not rainbow flags, not public make out sessions, not kisses, not holding hands - thought crimes of a homosexual nature are enough. You know how many gays probably go to the Vatican to stare in wonder at the Michelangelos and Berninis (who were probably gay)? Maybe the Vatican would be singing a different tune if they realized how much money they'd lose from banning everyone but upstanding, "moral" Catholics from visiting. Of course, I visited the Vatican when I was already calling myself an atheist, and I somehow didn't manage to get kicked out (I was also 12 at the time...).

As CarnalNation pointed out, the Swiss Guard better start working on their gaydars.


  1. Absolutely nonsensical. "Don't try going to a mosque if you're not Muslim"? This guy sounds like Tommy Davis "Don't ask a Scientologist about his beliefs, that's OFFENSIVE".

    I'm not disrespecting the church by paying their fees to go look at all the art they have in their museums and heading to the top of the cathedral to look at the surrounding city, just because I'm continously thinking "religion is stupid. Christianity is stupid. The way half of these statues have been defaced with fig leaves is stupid." And yes, I've been there multiple times.
    I can't go to a different location to view the stuff in their museums that they've so conveniently hoarded, and if that's all I'm there for why should my lack of belief matter, let alone someone's homosexuality?

  2. "if someone is a pedophile, it is a provocation and an abuse of this place."


  3. His comparison is nonsense anyway. It is perfectly possible to visit a mosque if one isn't Muslim. I've been to many though admittedly not to a service. Now if he had said Mecca that might have made more sense, but, in either case, I wasn't aware that the Vatican was off-limits to non-Christians.

  4. I'm not even gay, and that comment makes me want to go the the Vatican and think homosexual thoughts, just to piss them off.

    Of course, I'd probably have to wear a T-shirt that said "I'm thinking Homosexual thoughts right now" or THEY'D NEVER EVEN KNOW.

  5. I wonder how many of their priests should be thrown out if Kaleta got his way?

  6. Does this mean that my gay friend who just took his vows as a Franciscan would not be welcome there? How very bizarre.

  7. while I agree with your point, I think it is not more than normal that the people in the robes try to stick to their beliefs and convictions.
    It's not like they're outlawing gays in the vatican: they don't believe gays should visit the vatican. (And if I'm honest I don't think they should, either. Nor should anyone else, for that matter)

    "If you have different ideas, go to a different location." Kinda what I'm saying to Jehova's witnesses when they want to talk to me about god and I respond that I don't think there is a god.

  8. Who would want to go to that putrid place anyway?

  9. "If we change this teaching, we would not be the Catholic Church"

    Right, like the Catholic Church has never changed any of it's teachings... Galileo, anyone?

  10. Sigh. It seems that Steinmetz was talking about gay-friendly tourist groups and Kaleta understood them as something like small-scale gay pride parades. Such things happen with people who have only very vague idea about the nature of homosexuality.

    This type of misconception is very common. For example, last Sunday, when the Church of Sweden ordained world's first openly homosexual bishop, many headlines missed the word "openly". People simply have difficulties understanding abstract concepts like sexuality, and end up thinking about sex. Are we apes, or what? :)

  11. "It is abuse of our buildings and our religion because the church interprets our religion that it is not ethical."
    -- Hm, the RCC doesn't consider a whole bunch of other things ethical either, such as invasion, aerial bombing, sweated labour, environmental devastation and so forth. I wonder if Kaleta would let officials of a certain predatory superpower visit the art treasures?

    I used to be a religionist and I never heard that letting the wrong people in to look at the buildings "abused" or damaged them in any way. On the contrary, most European cathedrals make their pitches to tourists. They love it when an atheist wanders in to look at the Gothic vaulting and gets talking to a priest, nun or mere churchwarden. Kaleta needs to be carpeted by the cardinal in charge of outreach or whatever they call it there.

    As for mosques, it's not just Mecca, Erp. We kaffirs can't visit places like the Grand Mosque of Damascus, or (I think) the Moroccan ones either. Probably not Iran. But we are allowed into the No. 3 holy place, the al-Aqsa, and the Dome of the Rock. Turkey, where tourists are encouraged to gawp (Sinan rocks!) is hyper-relaxed, being a more secular state than most 'Western' ones.

  12. Hi There,

    Michelangelo was not probably gay he was gay, a bit of a big dirty brute fella but most definately gay. Leanardo Da Vinci was also gay but a bit more queeny. Florence at the time was a sort of gay capital even though it was illegal. It is funny however that the catholic church will protect gay child abusers but just being a normal homosexual is abhorrent to them.

    D, England

  13. Wow, if this goes into effect the Catholic church is going to have to institute a DRAFT to get more priests after the mass exodus they'll experience. Of course, who knows where they'd draft from. Crap - that isn't going to work is it?? How about an ad the paper: Needed, a few good men to live in a small city-state comprised solely of other men. Must be able to kneel for long periods of time.
    Yeah...that's not going to help much either, is it? *sigh*

  14. Wow! it is refreshing to see someone skip the "I like gay people, I just don't want them to get married" speech, so it seems like they're caring instead of being seen as a complete bigot (which all of them are).

    Always found it so funny that the Catholic Church is against gays and yet soo many of them like little boys. Guess it's a "I'm not the one sucking, so i'm not gay" situation.

  15. Nice bit of fatwa envy there. Hey try just going into a mosque as a non-Muslim, eh?

    Few problems:
    1) Muslims welcome new converts so they'd most likely be happy to accept non-Muslim visitors wanting to check out the religion.
    2) Mosques are free to enter. Last time I checked, there was an entry fee for Vatican buildings.
    3) Since when do the actions of Muslims justify the actions of the Vatican?