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LETTERS Vatican; World AIDS Day

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Vatican vortex

Dear Editor,

The LGBT community—in its defense of the evolution of marriage, as opposed to the inflexible position of the Church that marriage is only allowed between a man and woman—is dealing with a loss of reason from the Vatican.

The marriage-equality victories visibly shook the Vatican, the epicenter of anti-gay bigotry. Maryland, Maine and Washington state approved same-sex marriage by popular vote. Minnesota pushed back an attempt to write homophobia into the state constitution in the election that returned Barack Obama to the presidency. Also, Spain upheld its gay-marriage law and France pushed ahead with legislation that could see same-sex marriage legalized early next year.

Responding to these big wins in the United States and Europe, the Vatican opened the floodgates of drama in a front-page article in the Nov. 10 issue of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. The Holy See sought to frame itself as the lone voice of courage in opposing initiatives to give same-sex couples legal recognition. In a separate Vatican Radio editorial, the pope's spokesman asked sarcastically why same-sex-marriage proponents don't now push for legal recognition for polygamous couples as well.

"One might say the church, at least on this front, has been defeated," an article stated in L'Osservatore Romano. This was from a Vatican news outlet that promotes propaganda over reason, and refuses to publicly debate the issue with representatives of the Rainbow Sash Movement.

"The church is called to present itself as the lone critic of modernity, the only check ... to the breakup of the anthropological structures on which human society was founded," the article continued. So much for a position of reason—it would appear the Vatican is no longer speaking for worldwide Christianity, and that's a good thing.

Bill O'Connor

Rainbow Sash Movement

World AIDS Day:

A call to remembrance

This year World AIDS Day falls on Saturday, Dec. 1. Many in our community and among our allies have lost loved ones to AIDS. Many have loved ones who live with HIV. This disease robs us of our humanity, because it attempts to define our human dignity in terms of our sexuality solely.

On Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., Alexian Brothers Bonaventure House, the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach, St. Joseph Catholic Church and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church are sponsoring their 20th annual World AIDS Prayer Service at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 1107 N. Orleans St. All are welcome. Parking is available on Hill Street in the church's school parking lot across the street from the church. A reception will follow the prayer service.

Our prayer service is a sacred space to call the community to remembrance. We gather in prayer as an opportunity for people in Chicago to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died of AIDS. Please join us.

Prayer for World AIDS Day

Excerpt from Catholic Relief Services, Candlelight Vigil of Hope

We indeed find hope in the light of Christ. Yet, we cannot remain complacent in this hope. We must not forget that 33 million people in the world are living with HIV and AIDS and 5,700 are dying from AIDS each day. Many of those infected are ostracized by the stigma. They live in silence and suffer alone, afraid to seek the help they need, afraid to go against their culture's norms. HIV and AIDS affect men, women and children of every race and economic level.

Joe Murray


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