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Despite having been raised as a very strict (Tridentine) Roman Catholic I did I admit always find aspects of the Christian faith disturbing and sometimes simply cruel and based more on bigotry than on any ideal of compassion. It was not until my early thirties that I eventually understood that I was and probably always had been Pagan. My faith had always been more centred around Mary than on her son or the great sky God who just always seemed a little overly fond of death and destruction and general intolerance. From the teachings of the Church that animals did not have souls to the idea that sex was abhorrent to a God who had given us sexual urges and genitals and then wanted to punish us for using them. It all just seemed absurd.
There were aspects of my faith I did enjoy, the beauty of the Latin Mass, the candles and rituals and traditions which I still enjoy. Now of course I know that most of those rituals and customs are simply Christianised Pagan rituals. Being Gay of course made my full inclusion into the rituals of the Christian Church impossible. I was unable to receive absolution and of course I could not take communion. Worse when I met someone with whom I wanted to share my life then there was no way I could be married by my priest however sympathetic he may have been.
Recently the Pope has had some fairly harsh things to say about homosexuality, sexual equality and same sex marriage. In a society where it is so easy and convenient to find scape goats and where stigma still exists toward homosexuals (as it does toward trans men and women and sex workers or anyone who does not comply to what the church or conservative society would consider normal ) a voice that does still have some authority encouraging discrimination also validates the drunken violence of yobs looking for an easy target or bigoted politicians of which there are many particularly in Eastern Europe looking for a group within society to attack and to encourage discrimination and violence toward.
The Pope and the Christian churches in general surely have a responsibility for their words and actions. I wonder if Christ who had if I remember my New Testament little or even nothing to say on the subject of homosexuality would really approve of his representative on earth encouraging such hostility. Did Christ not say “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” and did Christ not hang around with societies out casts?
I always remember an old joke that used to go around Catechism class about Jesus
“Anyone who hangs around with prostitutes and picks strange men up on the beach can’t be all bad”…It is a shame his church did not have the laid back approach of its founder or many of its followers.
This artist challenges the Pope to look closely at what he is saying and perhaps to think about the consequences of his words.
Article from Pink News
Irish artist paints Pope conducting a gay marriage
By Jessica Geen • June 17, 2010 – 16:43
‘You May Now Kiss The Groom’ by Kevin Sharkey
32 Comments on Irish artist paints Pope conducting a gay marriage
ShareAn Irish artist is expecting outrage after painting a picture of the Pope conducting a gay marriage.
‘You May Now Kiss The Groom’ by Kevin Sharkey is to go on display in Dublin at the end of this month.
Donegal-born Sharkey, 49, is bisexual and has attracted controversy before over his work, most notably for his 2009 image of Katie Price merged with Moors murderer Myra Hindley.
He said he got the idea for the painting after seeing a news report about the Pope calling gay marriage a “dangerous threat” to the common good.
The Catholic Church’s official stance on homosexuality is that it is “intrinsically disordered” and gay unions can never been considered equal to marriage.
The Pope has launched verbal attacks against gay marriage several times recently and has criticised gay rights provisions in the UK’s Equality Act.
Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, Sharkey called the Pope’s remarks “an outrage and a disgrace”.
He said: “What a load of old bollocks.
“Preaching intolerance is a dangerous thing to do. That comes down onto the streets – drunk thugs kicking the f**k out of ‘queer f**kers’.”
He worked on the painting with acclaimed Italian artist Alessandro Tesi.
“We were passionate about doing this work,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in that if you visualise something for long enough, it’ll come to be true.
“It’s about drawing people’s attention. People will look at that and remember that they saw an image of the Pope marrying two men.”
Sharkey also said he had received dozens of requests from people eager to wear the image as a t-shirt for Pride celebrations.
He said he had mostly had a “really positive response” to the work, although some “crazies” had complained.
“I expect the usual old windbags to crank themselves up and complain,” he said.
“But I don’t mind if I’m the whipping boy. I’m a big boy and can look after myself.
“Intolerance is a horrible thing but gay marriage is something that will happen. The church has no moral authority any more. They may as well pack up, turn the churches into hotels and retire.”