Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Is that the tolling of cognitive dissonance?

The Vatican has published guidelines regarding homosexuals and priesthood. I have no idea why anyone who is a homosexual would in this day and age even consider becoming a priest, given the Church’s antediluvian attitude, but what I found interesting was an apparent dissonance in what the Vatican is saying. Thus, quoting from BBC News:

The document, drafted by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education and approved by Pope Benedict on 31 August, describes homosexual acts as "grave sins" that cannot be justified under any circumstances.

So, anyone who is an active homosexual is committing grave sins that cannot be justified under any circumstances. But then, a couple of paragraphs later the same report states:

But the paper also stresses the Church's deep respect for homosexuals, who, it says, should by no means be discriminated against.

So, the Church has deep respect for people who commit grave sins that cannot be justified under any circumstances and thinks that these people should not be discriminated against?!?

What is this supposed to mean? Would the Church say the same thing about multiple murderers? About anyone who, in their view, commits grave sins? Is this just a way of saying “Hate the sin, not the sinner”? Or is the dissonance symptomatic of how homophobia arises from an irrational fear that simply can not be dressed in the cloth of reason?


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