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'Tensions in the Church'

November 21, 1986

The Roman Catholic Church, under its current pontiff, Pope John Paul II, applies a dual and inconsistent moral standard. On one side, it condemns political involvement by Catholic clerics in Latin America who work toward political reform for the temporal good of their people; while at the same time it instructs (i.e., commands) Catholic bishops in the United States to become politically involved for the purpose of supporting continued discrimination against homosexuals. I refer to Don A. Schanche's article (Oct. 31), "Vatican Warning Seen Against Liberal Views on Sexuality."

The Vatican, through Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, spokesman and head of the church's Congregation of the Sacred College for the Doctrine of Faith, is now requiring Catholic clerics to actively campaign against the basic human rights of tens of millions of Americans who choose to love one another.

Cardinal Ratzinger's sweeping blame of homosexuality for the AIDS crisis is astonishingly naive and uninformed, as anyone minutely aware of how this disease is transmitted (i.e., it is also transmitted heterosexually) would agree. It is an irresponsible statement made by someone in a supposedly responsible church position.

However, the cardinal's statements, similar to those of Lyndon LaRouche, are not made to educate or conciliate. Instead, the statements are simply a condemnation of private actions and expressions of love between human beings, for whom Cardinal Ratzinger obviously has no point of reference.

This latest homophobic vendetta by the Catholic Church, motivated by the twin emotions of fear and hate, tell us more about the archaic and repressive nature of the current Vatican regime than anything about human sexuality. It is dismaying that this Pope and his reactionary entourage have absorbed few of the lessons of intolerance with its negative effects on mankind.

I hope that the Vatican's latest morally bankrupt position will go unheeded by most thinking Catholics, for it will never break the spirit nor retard the political and social gains made by the gay minority in America over the last two decades.

KEVIN MELIA

Santa Monica

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