Washington is agog with celebrations of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI this week. I hate to be a pooper at the papal party but...it is worth pointing out a visit by another holy man to the United States last week. Archbishop Desmond Tutu went to San Francisco to address a meeting of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Right Commission.
Compare the statements and actions of these two Christians and tell me which one more accurately reflects the generous and loving teachings of Jesus Christ:
Pope Benedict XVI:
"Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder. Pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living-out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
"It is impossible to keep quiet when people are frequently hounded...vilified, molested and even killed as targets of homophobia...for something they did not choose-their sexual orientation." The Nobel Peace Prize recipient praised LGBT people for being "compassionate, caring, self-sacrificing and refusing to be embittered."
He spoke critically of his Church, apologizing for the way it has ostracized lesbian and gay people, and for making them feel as if God had made a mistake by creating them to be who they are.
In December, after months of being taunted, fifteen year old Lawrence King was killed in Los Angeles by a schoolmate who hated his effeminately gay way.
Two holy men. Same God. Maybe the word of the Holy Father is not the word of God. Maybe someone should tell him.