Catholic Action Life League
Note from RCF:
The following was taken from the website of the Catholic Action Life League in Cape Town, South Africa. A number of C.A.L.L. members are friends of the Roman Catholic Faithful. This is particularly interesting because the following recent event occurred in the diocese of Bishop Reginald Cawcutt.
(Catholic Action Life League)
Let it be known from the outset that we love our homosexual brothers and sisters !
Protest against Gay Pride "Dignity and Diversity" Interfaith Service
On the 10th of December 2001 after having read the following article in the Tatler community newspaper some of the members of C.A.L.L. decided to join a protest organized by Prolife outside The Church of The Sacred Heart, Somerset Road, Cape Town.
THIS IS THE ARTICLE WHICH APPEARED IN THE "TATLER"
Thursday December 6, 2001. Page 11
Gay Pride Church Service:
An interfaith service organised by In The Pink will be held at Sacred Heart Church on Monday December 10 at 8pm. The church is in Somerset Road opposite 55 and next to Bronx.
For the first time gay and lesbians in Cape Town will be celebrating their sexual identity during a Pride Week which starts on Monday December 10 and ends with a Pride Parade through Green Point on Monday December 17.
Representatives of all major world religions will be joined in a celebration of dignity and diversity.
In The Pink, on Bush Radio, is the only programme for the gay community in Cape Town and can be heard at 8pm each Thursday on 89.5fm. For details call Lorenzo Raynard at 083 303-5287.
We protested in silence and prayer outside The Sacred Heart Church before and during the Interfaith Service
If you are wondering why we thought it fit to protest against this event, the answer is that we were inspired by the teaching of the Catholic Church on the issue. Please read the following extract from "The Pastoral Care of Homosexuals", a Letter to Bishops from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:
All support should be withdrawn from any organization which seek to undermine the teaching of the Church, which are ambiguous about it or which neglect it entirely. Such support or even the semblance of such support can be gravely misinterpreted. Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous.
In assessing proposed legislation, the bishops should keep as their uppermost concern the responsibility to defend and promote family life.
Before you read further we would recommend visiting the following useful links. They may help explain why Catholic teaching and recent developments in the Church, in Cape Town and in the World, challenge us to take a stand.
This is a very important site to visit: www.narth.com We recommend that you spend a while at this site. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to affirming a complementary, male-female model of gender and sexuality. NARTH, founded in 1992, is composed of psychiatrists, psychoanalytically informed psychologists, certified social workers, and other behavioral scientists, as well as laymen in fields such as law, religion, and education.
* From "Stonewallrevisited": The conversion stories of some ex homosexuals - Very helpful and informative.
From Catholic World Report: "The Gay Priest Problem"
On the subject of homosexuality, the March/April 2001 issue of Catholic Dossier makes good reading.
The offical website of Cape Town Gay PRIDE is www.moffie.co.za
Monday, 10th of December 2001, 20h00 - Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Somerset Road
Welcome: Dean Rowan Q. Smith
Song: I am what I am
Dignity and Diversity - a Christian view & prayer: Fr.Stefan Hippler
Koran & GLBT - a Moslem approach & prayer: Islamic Scholar Muhsin Hendricks
Compassion. a Buddhist approach & prayer: Mrs. Anne Norgarb
Diversity in life - a Hindu view & prayer: Guru Divar
Torah and the love of God -Jewish thoughts & prayer: Mr. Marc Feitelberg
The candle of Peace: Dean Rowan Q. Smith
Sending out and Blessings
According to the above programme Fr. Hippler's talk is meant to represent a Christian view. His talk does anything but that. From the outset it is obvious that Fr. Hippler has no interest in presenting a Christian or Catholic perspective. His views are entirely his own and serve to distort the truth and to discredit a truly Christian perspective on homosexuality.
The following is the text of
(Note: words in italics are assumed (but may be incorrect) - our recording was indistinct in these places.)
...In my Church you have a feeling that we have already put our gay brothers and lesbian sisters in a small box, far away, labeled "not suitable for Church Life". Most Christian Churches attack homosexual activities as a disorder. Only so long as one keeps quiet and decent there's mostly a sort of tolerance. They punish priests and bishops coming too close to the GLBTI [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and intersexual] community, or much more cruel, they often simply silence or kick out whoever feels it is called to be a gay person and a religious person and wants simply to live his or her life.
And most of the judgement is based on the scriptures so many church leaders say. They mention the story of Sodom and letters from Paul to underline their opposition against homosexual activities. Interpretation of the Bible has changed in our days and even if most of the new knowledge is not acknowledged yet in our Churches still it's true. Biblical judgements against homosexuality are not relevant in today's (events), not because the Bible is irrelevant, not at all, but simply because the bible does not address the issues (of the modern) in our days.
A second place of judgement is problematic - in terms of sexuality generally. Sexuality is the language of love. Sexuality is the expression of friendship. Sexuality shows me as an entire person in body and spirit. Sexuality is simply so much more than an act in a marriage to produce kids.
Another place of judgement is the idea people have of gay men - the classical "queen" scenario and some aggressive attitudes demanding gay rights and at the same time threatening all good family values. I realised actually when the first protests were coming in against using a Catholic Church [for this event] last Friday, a lot of good Catholics (I'm sure also the people [protesting] outside) feel that everybody would come in drag messing up the Church.
I feel that it's good to see religion coming to the people here in this so called "Gay village." It is good to see representatives of faith celebrating dignity and diversity, and to acknowledge that there's no reason for any Church to condemn the GLBTI [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and intersexual] community simply because God loves you all.
And this unconditional love skips religious teaching which is so narrow minded by reducing relationships to biological acts and failing to acknowledge the depth of feeling and commitment. God's love skips religious teaching which declares the nature of gay and lesbians as immoral and sinful because where there is real love there is no sin. For me, sinful is only not to love your brothers and sisters. Sinful is not to acknowledge the struggle of gay and lesbian people for their human rights, and their rights within Churches and religions. Sinful is not to acknowledge the suffering of gay people and lesbian people - for me as a German especially the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.
Sinful is not to acknowledge the gifts of people everybody has been given in the light of God's loving creation. Sinful is to ignore modern scientific findings about homosexuality and ignorance about homophobia - unfair rejection still in our days.
And last but not least, sinful is not to apologise for the pain our Churches have caused in condemning the sexual identity which is not chosen but God-given.
God's love reaffirms that everybody in his or her diversity is a mirror of the Creator. And this is the source of your dignity in a Christian sense. Live this dignity with pride. Fill this dignity with commitment and love and spirituality and responsibility - commitment to your partners and friends, love to the people around you, spirituality as a source of finding a sense in your life, .... and responsibility in various fields like HIV-AIDS, human rights, equality. And in doing so you don't have to copy the so called "straight" world. Develop your very own way, and contribute so often to a gay and lesbian theology. Show your very own efforts and be an example that God did nothing wrong in creating you the way you are and you feel. Dignity and diversity.
And yes, it is strange for me as a Catholic priest to stand here in this context but I can say for myself "I do it with pride." God Bless you.
Members of Prolife, C.A.L.L. and other lay people protest in silence and prayer outside The Sacred Heart Church before and during the event
Some of the Speakers
Dean Rowan Q. Smith
Dean Rowan Q. Smith
Mrs. Anne Norgarb
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