Tag Archives: Pope

Transphobic Christians seize Pope’s remarks

As a Christian myself, I am saddened that somewhat ambiguous remarks by the Pope have been reported as attacks on transsexualism.   For instance Christian Today says ‘In an attack on transsexuals, the Pope said, “It is not man who decides who is a man or woman but God.”’  Actually the Pontiff’s remarks are ambiguous and could be read as supportive of transsexualism because an MTF transsexual person doesn’t choose to be a woman: she was made [by God] as a woman and is obeying her destiny in choosing to live her life that way.  It is illustrative, however, that Christian Today has seized upon the remarks as an ‘attack’ on transsexuals and used them to justify their own transphobic stance.  Whether the Pope’s remarks were transphobic is clouded in doubt: it is certain that the reporting of those remarks by certain elements of the Christian press is transphobic.

However, although he does not specifically mention homosexuality, it is hard to read the address as anything other than homophobic.

I might add that this is a story for which press reporting seems exceptionally sensationalist (in both directions) and, so far as I can discern, a majority of articles repeat mis-quotes from other publications and fail to go back to quote the original text accurately.

POSTSCRIPT
I have now read a Google translation (http://tinyurl.com/7nykdw) of the full address and cannot see anything obviously transphobic in the original text.  It also seems only indirectly homophobic.  Hopefully an authorised translation will appear on the Vatican site in the next few days.  Certainly this reinforces my view that this whole flap has been greatly exaggerated by the press editorialising to get across their own prejudices.

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Filed under Equality, Homophobia, Transphobia