A Maltese priest’s homophobic tirade online has earned him a barrage of criticism from the LGBT+ community.
Earlier today, Times of Malta published an article written by Father Patrick Pullicino titled “Homosexuality and the Church” in which he claimed homosexual acts are wrong and “contrary to natural law”, amongst other things. Pullicino is a trained surgeon living in the UK since the 1970s and is known to have views that verge on the fundamentalist and do not represent the Maltese curia’s.
“Same-sex attraction may be experienced by individuals as an involuntary feeling, especially during puberty. Cardinal Burke says that Catholic tradition has always held, however, that it is homosexual acts that are wrong. They are contrary to natural law, “ he said in his opinion piece.
The highly problematic piece has spurred criticism online from prominent LGBT+ figures and organisations in Malta who pointed out the obvious dangers the article poses.
Most notably, MEP frontrunner Cyrus Engerer condemned the article’s stance that homosexuals are harmful to society.
Outspoken Maltese drag queen/comedian Chucky Bartolo also highlighted the dangers the article posed for the LGBT+ community, calling it “twisted ravings of an old man losing power by the day”.
“Queer lives have existed long before your church and will continue long after it’s gone. To any queer youth (or adults) reading this and feeling scared or hurt: it’s not true. You’re a beautiful individual who is worthy of love,” he said.
LGBT+ NGO Allied Rainbow Community took it a step further and called for businesses to reconsider advertising on the news platform.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, Désirée Attard, a policy-advisor or Malta’s Equality Bill, noted how such an article should be considered as hate speech.
“In my view, this doesn’t need the equality bill, our laws protect against this speech,” she said.
“This should be considered as hate speech and, over and above hate speech, I do believe it could have serious implications and repercussions on the LGBT+ community.”
While Pullicino’s comments reflect a wider belief held by the Catholic Church, the issue is beyond expressing a belief.
“It’s one thing to say what the church says, it’s another to call another community unnatural,” she ended.
Pullicino’s piece comes days after Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions, marking the first time the head of the church has ever done so.
While the Pope has been criticised by members of the Catholic Church, it was widely revered as progressive and a step in the right direction by those outside the ecclesiastic circle.
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