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The homosexual puzzle deepens
The January 2002 issue of Christianity Today reports
the Cariboo Anglican (Episcopal) Diocese in British Columbia, Canada,
was paying $63,000 a month in legal fees for more than 8,000 cases of
sexual (mostly homosexual) abuse.
The estimated amount of settlement was $1.26 billion.
Bishop James Cruikshank retired and the diocese closed
its doors, shutting down schools and institutions, in essence, bankrupt.
One spokesman said church members will not contribute
offerings to open- ended legal cases. This received little note in U.S.
papers but is close to New Hampshire and New England where the Episcopal
Church has decided to consecrate a homosexual as bishop.
Thomas Bokenkotter's "A Concise History of the Catholic
Church," in de- fending Pope Pius XI as one who tried to curb Hitler
and oppose Nazism, tells on page 350 of a bold condemnation of Nazism
in an encyclical "Mit brenender Sorge," one of the greatest
condemnations ever issued by the Vatican.
It was smuggled into Germany and read from all Catholic
pulpits on Palm Sunday, March 1937. It exposed Nazism and referred to
Hitler as "a mad prophet possessed of repulsive arrogance."
The Nazis were infuriated, sealed all the presses that
printed the message and began a series of "morality trials"
of the Catholic Church.
In Koblenz, 170 Franciscans were arrested and prosecuted
for corruption of the youth and for turning their monastery into a "male
brothel." A Hitler Youth film was circulated featuring immorality
among the priests, causing many to negate any strong witness and authority
of the church.
The side effects clearly weakened the witness of the
church and nullified to a great extent the pope's efforts.
This is not just about Anglicans, Episcopalians and Catholics.
There is enough blame - enough sin and sinners - to go around to all.
Nearly every denomination has a black eye, loss of members, loss of income,
lawsuits and setbacks when leaders were found to be or to condone homosexuality.
How "evil" homosexuality is construed to be
is a puzzle, for some say "to each his own," and others believe
it to be a deadly sin, so deadly they will disassociate from the individual
or institution involved.
The point here is more than half of society considers
it evil, with harmful fallout, which brings us to Paul's high ethics,
"If eating meat (offered to idols) or drinking wine offend my neighbor,
I'll eat no meat" (Romans 14:21).
This outsider's view is that the American Episcopal Church
does horrible damage to itself by consecrating a homosexual bishop and
they should learn the lesson of the Cariboo Diocese and the Catholic experience
in Germany, avoiding controversial choices when far less offensive options
Another part of the puzzle is our obsession with the
cost of health care and prescription drugs today and the enormous cost
of treating AIDS victims.
Quietly approving homosexuality has fallout with drug
and health bills, plus enormous costs for psychiatric and counseling services
I feel as sensitive toward the homosexual or lesbian
as I do toward an alcoholic or drug addict, a kleptomaniac or one who
is obese or a habitual gambler or a perpetual adulterer. The puzzle to
me is why it is not identified completely as a source of heavy problems,
spiritually, socially, psychologically and economically.
Denominations and nations are weakened by homosexuality.
Africa is a continental disaster because of AIDS and the world must sacrifice
to offer healing.
The first step to putting the whole puzzle together is
to identify this clearly as something that does not improve health, happiness
or the quality of living.
Bob Cuttino of Beaufort is a retired minister and a university
instructor of religion.
Full credit for this news article goes to: Carolina