Friday 3 April 2009

Vatican appoints anti-gay Archbishop to lead England's Catholics.- What a surprise!

But they could hardly do otherwise since any member of the Catholic clergy who expresses even mildly pro-gay sentiments can be certain that his future promotion chances will have vanished. Archbishop Nichols, currently Archbishop of Birmingham, has today been appointed Archbishop of Westminster, the most senior position of the Catholic Church in England. No doubt his credentials in sternly and vociferously opposing civil unions, gay adoption, repeal of gay discriminatory legislation as well as defending the teaching in schools of homosexuality as 'sinful' and telling our Members of Parliament that measures proposed to combat homophobic bullying are unnecessary, all of which would be music to the ears of our 'Beloved' Hol(e)y Father, Pope BeneDICKt . Why should I care? Well, the last 10 years or so has seen in this country a gradual but distinct marginalisation of homophobia, particularly in institutions and public bodies whereas up to then homophobia had been definitely mainstream. Of course anti-gay feelings still exist both in society and certain media organisations (e.g. in Rupert Murdoch's press), but it does seem to me that in this country the tide has turned, and not before time. But the Churches, particularly the conservative strand (majority?) of the Anglican Church, as well as the entire Roman Catholic Church, still hold firmly to their bigotry, which just postpones the inevitable complete marginalisation of homophobia. I won't be satisfied until such prejudices are, if not entirely expunged, then at least reduced to a small gang of 'crankies'. Progress is slow, but it's getting there - though moves like this appointment, further evidence that the Catholic Church is irrelevant, still have the capacity to fill me with despair.

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