Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien was named “bigot of the year” by Stonewall, an LGBT charity organization in the United Kingdom, reports MSN.com:
“The charity said the move was voted for by 10,000 supporters and came after the cardinal went ‘well beyond what any normal person would call a decent level of public discourse’ over the last year, which has seen heated debate over plans to introduce gay marriage in Scotland. “
In a Guardian news article, a Catholic spokesperson criticized Stonewall for the decision:
“A church spokesman said the award showed Stonewall was intolerant of its critics. ‘Stonewall and others have promoted terms like “bigot” and “homophobe” relentlessly, in order to intimidate and vilify anyone who dares oppose their agenda,’ he said.”
Stonewall’s director, Colin McFarlane, offered a defense:
“We’ve never called anyone a bigot just because they don’t agree with us. But in just the past 12 months, the cardinal has gone well beyond what any normal person would call a decent level of public discourse.”
“The people that were nominated for bigot of the year have this year called gay people Nazis, they have compared them to bestialists and to paedophiles, and one of the nominees suggested that gay people should be put in front of a firing squad and shot dead.
“So I think what we are doing is highlighting the very cruel, very nasty, very pernicious language that is being used by some people – and in particular by the cardinal, who won.”
The leader of France’s Catholic bishops has vowed to fight a proposed bill which would legalize marriage equality in that nation. According to a news article in Catholic San Francisco, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, addressed a conference of France’s bishops, stating:
“Numerous initiatives are already being taken by citizens, believers or not, to oppose this government bill – many Catholics are engaging with people of other ways of thinking and other religions.
“Let this country’s Catholics know their bishops are encouraging them to speak, write, act and demonstrate. They have a right to testify to what, in the light of faith and the logic of reason and good sense, seems essential to them.”
A high court in England has determined that a Catholic adoption agency must consider same-gender couples as possible placements if it wants to maintain its status as a charity.
The BBC reports that the judge determined that Catholic Care, an agency in the Diocese of Leeds, failed to give convincing reasons why it should be exempt from the nation’s equality laws passed in 2007.
In a statement Catholic Care indicated that it may close down, rather than follow the law:
“Without the constitutional restriction for which it applied, Catholic Care will be forced to close its adoption service.
“The reason for this is that the service permitted by the current constitution is in conflict with the aims of the charity.
“It is Catholic Care’s view that this will reduce the number of adoptive parents available and the number of children left waiting for adoptive parents will continue to increase.
“Catholic Care will now take time to consider the decision in detail and decide on its next steps.”
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry