Mercy, not Sacrifice...

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza were convicted last week in a Malawian court for unnatural acts and gross indecency, the words of the judge, not mine, receiving a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison with hard labour under the country's anti-gay legislation.

The culture in many African nations is vehemently anti-homosexual, since the family is seen as paramount. Imposing Western 'progressive' ideas such as gay liberation movements upon Africa amounts to neo-colonialism, but this verdict goes deeper than human law because the penalisation and State persecution of homosexuals runs contrary to Catholic Church teaching, which proclaims Christ's teaching, on social justice and mercy.

The idea of the State imposing such harsh punishments on homosexuals should horrify us whether we are gay, straight, Catholic or not. Christ commanded that we show mercy to our brothers and sisters, knowing that one Day, we shall all be 'in the dock'. In the case of these two men, some of us can say, 'It could have been me.' Furthermore, the Catholic Church has a good record in condemning the persecution of homosexuals on the African continent while other Protestant denominations acquiesce in an unjust and often violent persecution of men with a same-sex attraction.

According to the website, Daily Monitor...

The titular head of the Catholic Church in Uganda has weighed in on the proposed anti-homosexuality law, saying he rejects it because it is “at odds with the core values” of Christians. But while Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga’s opposition to the 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill is based on compassion, the cleric retains the view that homosexuality is immoral and violates God’s will. “The Bible says homosexuality is strictly forbidden,” Dr Lwanga said in a statement made public yesterday. However, the Church equally teaches the Christian message of respect, compassion, and sensitivity. The Church has always asked its followers to hate the sin but to love the sinner… In our view, the proposed [law] is not necessary considering that acts of sodomy are already condemned in the Penal Code.” 

Meanwhile, this statement by the Ugandan Catholic Church, calling for the protection from persecution of homosexuals is not in isolation. According to the Vatican’s statement, delivered by Father Philip Bene, legal attaché to the Holy See’s UN mission, the Catholic Church made this statement...

“Thank you for convening this panel discussion and for providing the opportunity to hear some very serious concerns raised this afternoon. My comments are more in the form of a statement rather than a question. As stated during the debate of the General Assembly last year, the Holy See continues to oppose all grave violations of human rights against homosexual persons, such as the use of the death penalty, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The Holy See also opposes all forms of violence and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons, including discriminatory penal legislation which undermines the inherent dignity of the human person. As raised by some of the panelists today, the murder and abuse of homosexual persons are to be confronted on all levels, especially when such violence is perpetrated by the State. While the Holy See’s position on the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity remains well known, we continue to call on all States and individuals to respect the rights of all persons and to work to promote their inherent dignity and worth.”

According to The Guardian, at their judgment, the judge is reported to have said...

"To me this case counts as the worst of its kind and carries a sense of shock against the morals of Malawi. Let posterity judge this judgment." Chimbalanga remained composed as armed police officers handcuffed him to Monjeza. "I am not worried," he shouted to reporters. But Monjeza broke down upon hearing the ruling and was still sobbing as he was helped into the van. Hundreds of onlookers shouted "You got what you deserve!", "Fourteen years is not enough, they should get 50!" and "You deserve death!"

African culture is supportive of natural law and the family and that is a moral good. What is a moral evil and a gross injustice is the persecution of men by the society and the State for their sexual orientation and for giving in to their temptation. Our Lord said, 'It is mercy, not sacrifice, that I desire.' Homosexuals should not be sacrificed in order to protect the society, nor should any sinner, since all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Our Lord warned us to resist the yeast of the Pharisees who looked down upon and wanted to stone those they deemed beyond God's love.

In the Person of Jesus Christ, they were surprised and horrified, not by God's desire for vengeance, but His thirst for mercy and His desire to forgive and to heal. God does not desire the death of the sinner, but his repentence so that he may live. Our Lord identified Himself with the outcast, those who are spat upon and derided by those who see themselves as respectable but forget that God sees into every man's heart and sees what is done in secret. Those who dispense civil judgment and those who see these men as evil and worthy of shame should recall that one day a more important and Eternal Judgment shall fall upon them and all of us, at an hour that we do not expect. Our Blessed Lord warned us that only the merciful would obtain mercy.

Comments

sanabituranima said…
Those poor guys. I will pray for them.

Also for the people shouting "you deserve death!".
Umpire said…
You seem to implying that even if gays achieve civil and human rights on earth then they are bound for eternal damnation anyway.
Would that be a correct interpretation of your thesis here?
Umpire said…
You seem to implying that even if gays achieve civil and human rights on earth then they are bound for eternal damnation anyway.
Would that be a correct interpretation of your thesis here?
No, that is a total misinterpretation of what I said.
shadowlands said…
That's not what I read either, I felt Laurence was saying to the Judges, to look at their own shortcomings, which carry maybe even more grave responsibility, than the sins of the people they are seeking to accuse and God would show them the same type of mercy, they have shown these poor men. Pharisees. Can I just send this message while I am at it, Jesus loves homosexuals and to all heterosexuals who keep saying "why do they have to make a big deal of their sexuality?" I say, get real! Most homosexuals, according to the teaching of our Church, face their sexual orientation as a trial. You ever needed to voice out loud pain in your own life, when it manifested in your being, as a trial? I know I have/do. I battle with the booze, day to day, albeit with months and months of release, but it's there, waiting, to offer itself as pseudo relief for trials. And popular Catholic society speaks of people like me, in less than welcoming terms. I need to hear from Jesus directly, 'cos you lot, his followers, don't reach me, alkie that I am. His Mother meets with me though, and I love her so much and feel truly loved, by her. And if there is any soul here feeling abandoned, go to your Mother Mary, she is given to all, sinner, saint, sadist, by Christ Himself, on the Cross. You need proof that she loves you? She let her son die for you, when she said "Be it done unto me, according to your will"

That's real love. Don't miss out on it.

Power to the powerless.
Shakespeare said…
I think the lady dost too much!
scripture scholar said…
''Our Lord identified Himself with the outcast, those who are spat upon and derided by those who see themselves as respectable''

yes, we can be certain that Our Lord walks alongside gay pride marches and is seated next to those catholics of the rainbow sash movement left standing at mass on pentecost sunday.
pastoral priest said…
Most gay catholics don't see their sexuality as a trial to be endured, the only trial to be suffered is the prejudice, discrimination and supposed superiority directed by others.

most gay catholics don't see it as a problem, they are confident and content in their relationships. most have left the church because it will not listen, many still attend even though publically they will only be accepted if they follow the implicit 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. on the local level, clergy generally don't see it as an issue either. there's no reason to assume that same-sex couples are sexually active and in any case it's a private matter for the confessional. the cathecism acknowledges that a committed relationship may be the prefered option for the circumstances of some gay individuals anyway - this is typically the usual advice given be the clergy in private.
response to shadowlands said…
''You ever needed to voice out loud pain in your own life, when it manifested in your being, as a trial? I know I have/do. I battle with the booze, day to day, albeit with months and months of release, but it's there, waiting, to offer itself as pseudo relief for trials.''

homosexuality and/or sexuality is not an addiction. would you say heterosxuality is an addiction? sexuality is an intrinsic part of the self and relationships are fundamental to the human experience. ou can't live your life never mentioning what you do or speaking about your friends and significant others even if you're not flaunting your sexuality. how can you integrate and work with colleagues if they know nothing about you? how can you maintain a bond with your family if you never share your successes or anxieties? to do anything else wound necessitate having clandestine and isolated relationships (like what was necesary before decriminalisation),. insisting gay people never reveal their sexuality is effectively to render them as inferior members of society.
I do not believe that Our Lord blesses Gay Pride marches or the Rainbow Sash Movement.

Gay Pride marches are secular affairs which parade homosexuality in the faces of not just adults but children, as they take place during the daytime. Gay Pride marches are distasteful and terribly vulgar.

There, the 'gay scene' displays its baseness, dressed up as flamboyance. I know families with children who have gone past Preston Park with their kids while men were f***ing in the bushes.

Drugs, hedonism and an open display of sexual perversion - that is what Gay Pride day is in Brighton. It's not colourful, vibrant or diverse - its just sad.

The Rainbow Sash Movement over emphasises its members sexuality and dismisses real Catholic spirituality, something tangibly Universal, which should be grounded in belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Neither do I believe that just because a man is gay that he should feel bound to the gay 'movement', nor do I believe he should fight for some gay 'cause' for liberation.

We are what we are, we all struggle with what we are and who we are. Gays have formed a ghetto - that is all too evident on Gay Pride day and at the Rainbow Sash Movement. Nobody has put them there, but themselves. The way the gay culture operates they might just as well be Freemasons.

Ultimately, Catholic spirituality does not discriminate between sexual orientations. Jesus Christ loves the person and more importantly, the Soul and it is the Soul that implores His mercy and grows to love Him.

Faith in Jesus Christ, the help of the Sacraments, Confession and the Eucharist are gifts given by God to His Church for the Faithful's Eternal Salvation, not for the annual general meeting of the gay community.
Anonymous said…
'homosexuality and/or sexuality is not an addiction.'

I never said it was.

"insisting gay people never reveal their sexuality is effectively to render them as inferior members of society."

That's the point I was making.
shadowlands said…
sorry that last comment was me, I don't know why it showed up as anonymous
sanabituranima said…
"You seem to implying that even if gays achieve civil and human rights on earth then they are bound for eternal damnation anyway."

Where did that come from?

"Most gay catholics don't see their sexuality as a trial to be endured, the only trial to be suffered is the prejudice, discrimination and supposed superiority directed by others."

What do you know about "most gay Catholics?"

I am bi and Catholic. Speaking from a personal perspective, f***ing women and f***ing a man outside marriage ruined my life. I ended up severely mentally ill.

God saved me from myself, through the Church.
catholic park warden said…
''I know families with children who have gone past Preston Park with their kids while men were f***ing in the bushes.''

well, i know families who have walked through parks etc where there were straight couples fucking in the bushes so wat does that prove?

should we deny civil and human rights to straight peoples as a result?
should straight parades or festivals be banned too?
Catholic Social Scientist said…
''What do you know about "most gay Catholics?
''I am bi and Catholic. Speaking from a personal perspective, f***ing women and f***ing a man outside marriage ruined my life. I ended up severely mentally ill.
''God saved me from myself, through the Church.''

I am a gay catholic so therefore i do know a bit about what gay catholics think. If you think the majority (ie most) see eye to eye with the church on this matter then frankly you're barking mad.
I can appreciate that being in a sexually active relationship with both a man and female at the same time would be detrimental to your relatiosnhips (especially if the female was not aware of the nature of your duplicity - the typical scenario). However being gay per se if not a mental illness. Any mental health problems you experienced could be attributable by many other factors eg depression, social isolation, homelessness or stress following your relationship breakdown or other comorbid difficulties. Many people suffer mental health problems following relationship breakdown but that does not mean the nature of the relationship is the causal factor. Remember - correlation or association does not prove causality.
Many heterosexual relationships break-down (frequently following sexual infidelity) leading to later mental health problems, does that mean heterosexuality is pathological? No!
As Cardinal Schoborn has suggested, we should be considering the nature of the relationship - and clearly the quality of your relationship was not good if you were f@*king around behind her back.
Shakespeare said…
I think the lady doth protest too much!
Reply to shadowlands said…
Shadowlands, I appreciate that was not the point you were making but it seemed like you were making it for the wrong reason.
Homosexuality is not an addiction (and you made an indirect comparison) so any trials suffered as a result of your addiction are irrelevant to the 'plight' of being gay.
I too suffer many trials in my life, all of them irrelevant to my sexuality!
reply to lozza said…
''Gay Pride marches are secular affairs which parade homosexuality in the faces of not just adults but children, as they take place during the daytime.''

Of course, gay pride celebrations are secular affairs but Our Lord 'identified Himself with the outcast, those who are spat upon and derided by those who see themselves as respectable' so it is reasonable to deduct that he walks alongside those on gay marches who disproportionately share the burden of these social difficulties. But primarilly Our Lord walks alongside them by virtue of their humanity as he does us all.
Umpire said…
''Gay Pride marches are distasteful and terribly vulgar.''

Many things in life are distasteful and vulgar but that does not render them morally wrong. This is basically a subjective opinion anyway. I'm am at this moment watching eurovision which is widely perceived as distasteful and vulgar but that does not make it morally wrong. I find some pop music or popular expressions of art as distasteful and vulgar but that does not make them morally wrong either.

Would you find gay pride less objectionable if hot pants and feathers were banned? I think not!
Gay Out and Proud said…
Oooh gay pride marches take place during the day, how shocking.

I've never heard of night-time marches or parades for anything and it would seem to defeat the purpose if they were.

The nature of the parade is to demonstrate pride, having them at night would imply that being gay is shameful which it is not.
Umpire said…
''Gay Pride marches are secular affairs which parade homosexuality in the faces of not just adults but children, as they take place during the daytime.''

Our Lord does not only walk alongside the religious, you know.
catholic police woman said…
''well, i know families who have walked through parks etc where there were straight couples fucking in the bushes so wat does that prove?''

Yes, I was at Preston Park for a music festival and there were straight couples having sex in the bushes and even in more visible places too. You only have to walk alongside the beachfront at night or dusk to see straight couples shagging.
bisexual catholic said…
I am bi and Catholic. Speaking from a personal perspective, f***ing women and f***ing a man outside marriage ruined my life. I ended up severely mentally ill.

being bisexual didnt ruin your life, being unfaithful did.
notting hill catholic said…
If you've ever been to the notting hill carnival you'll see many vulgar and distasteful things - that doesn't mean they're morally wrong.
brazillian gay catholic said…
If you've ever been to the holy week processions in latin or spanish countries, you'll see many vulgar and distasteful things - that doesn't mean they're morally wrong.
Pilgrim said…
Laurence, I really admire your efforts to explain what being a Christian is about and the way we should relate to the Lord. No holding on to secular ideologies, no shouting about rights as defined by the state, etc, but coming to Him with an open heart and with humility. But I guess the message of the Gospels doesn't go through when we think we can decide what God is about and that He is made in our image. It has taken me a long time to get rid of such illusions. Prayer is the answer.
Anyway, I enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good work.
sanabituranima said…
"being bisexual didnt ruin your life, being unfaithful did."

You're right that being bisexual didn't ruin my life. I am still bisexual, and my life is ok now.

I was never unfaithful. When I say "outside marriage" I don't mean adutery, I mean fornication. I never had multiple partners at one time.

What ruined my life wasn't my sexual orientation, but my decision to act on every temptation I recieved. Sex was designed to make children, and children need a mum and a dad who are in a stable relationship with each other. The only way to make a romantic relationship between two imperfect humans truly stable is by the grace of God, which comes through the sacraments, including the sacrament of matrimony. Any sex other than sex within marriage, open to theprocreation of children, goes against God's plan for humans and is damaging.

A person can be bi and marry a person of the opposite sex and be faithful. A gay or bi person can be celibate. Thus they will not subvert God's plan, and will have a non-ruined life.

Anyone who acts on temptations to have sex outside marriage (whether it's adultery or fornication, and whether its' woth someone of the same or opposite sex) will hurt their body, mind and soul.

ANyone with any sexual orientation can be chaste and happy. Anyone of any sexual orientation can be unchaste and miserable.
Pilgrim said…
Sanabituranima,
it is good to hear that you have sorted your life out and found peace and stability in God. He really does makes us free in the way that the secular world can't. One has to experience it to fully realise and appreciate it.
God bless!
heretic hunter said…
''The only way to make a romantic relationship between two imperfect humans truly stable is by the grace of God, which comes through the sacraments, including the sacrament of matrimony.''

there are plenty of romantic relationships between couples who are unmarried which are 'truly stable'.
likewise civil marriage and non-christian marriage are not sacraments yet they can also be 'truly stable'.

upon what basis do you make your claim that relaionships can only be 'truly stable' if they are christian marriages? this is not the teaching of the church.
nonsense buster said…
''ANyone with any sexual orientation can be chaste and happy. Anyone of any sexual orientation can be unchaste and miserable.''

you conveniently forgot the other options...
anyone with any sexual orientation can be chaste and miserable.
anyone of any sexual orientation can be unchaste and happy.
bisexual catholic said…
''A person can be bi and marry a person of the opposite sex and be faithful. A gay or bi person can be celibate. Thus they will not subvert God's plan, and will have a non-ruined life.''

A person can be bi(sexual) and have a civil partnership with a person of the same sex and be faithful. A straight person can be celibate. Thus they will not subvert God's plan, and will not have a non-ruined life''
Is Laurence also a closet Mason? said…
''The way the gay culture operates they might just as well be Freemasons.''

What do you mean by this, it's just totally ridiculous. There are no parallels with the masonic movement and gay culture. One is a closed organisation and the other are just individuals who sometimes socialise with like minded persons.
Laurence, out, out, out! said…
Neither do I believe that just because a man is gay that he should feel bound to the gay 'movement', nor do I believe he should fight for some gay 'cause' for liberation.


No gay person is bound by the gay 'movement' but they have the feedom and legal right to support it's causes and aims if they choose. No one is making you support the gay 'movement' but you shouldn't be advocating against the civil liberties and human rights of your own kind. that is hyppocrisy (and homophobia).
Civil liberties and human rights.

By which you mean what exactly? The 'rights' of gays to marry?

Marriage is the indissoluble covenant, union, Sacrament, between man and woman, a bond, bound in Heaven and united, indeed, are these spouses by God. The fruits of Marriage is children.

If gays want marriage they should marry their best female friend and have children.

A man has as much 'right' in the sight of Heaven to marry a goat as he does marry another man.
Dumb and Dumber said…
''By which you mean what exactly? The 'rights' of gays to marry?''

as you know well, we do not have gay marriage in ths country but we do have a system where gays can register their relationships in a CIVIL PARTNERSHIP.

not the same thing and you know it!
Is this really your solution? said…
''If gays want marriage they should marry their best female friend and have children''

But...
a) the female friend might object and/or have plans for her life of her own

b) the female friend may already be married with or without children

c) there would be strong grounds for annulment for any such 'marriage' which would be a sham

d) such an arranement would be extermely unlikely to work. in the not too distant past, people of a gay inclination have done exactly what you suggest but have been unable to sustain the relationship leading to breakdown and divorce.

e) such an arrangement would be inherently unjust towards the female friend

f) a gay person would be obliged to declare their circumstances to the priest who would then be obliged not to proceed with the marriage ceremony due to the serious impediment accordining to canon law

g) to undertake such a course of action would be morally wrong

h) such a suggestion is just plain ridiculous!
I know there are many obstacles.

I'm just saying that's the only 'gay marriage' the Church would recognise and rightly so.
mental manipulation said…
''I know there are many obstacles.
I'm just saying that's the only 'gay marriage' the Church would recognise and rightly so.''

No, as i've already demonstrated in my earlier post, the Church would absolutely NOT recognise such a marriage so wrong again!
There may be exceptions.
sanabituranima said…

anyone of any sexual orientation can be unchaste and happy.


Impurity and happiness are incompatible in the long term.
just say yes said…
what exceptions? Do you just mean, you as some kind of special case?