Gay Roman Catholic saints


This music video is called Good King Wenceslas; music by The Irish Rovers.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Gay king Wenceslas comes out…

Sunday 23 December 2012

Despite the Vatican’s rabid homophobia today, with persecution of gay priests and bishops as well as its campaigning against same-sex unions and marriage, the church actually has a rich history of gay players in its colourful history.

As it’s Christmas let’s start with Good King Wenceslas, who as everyone knows went out on the Feast of Stephen when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.

This Czech saint was declared king of Bohemia after a domestic coup.

He didn’t rule for long before he was killed by his jealous brother Boleslas. Wenceslas asked for forgiveness for his murderer as his dying wish. A saintly act indeed.

So what’s the story in the famous carol? The king went out on a frosty night with his page to collect logs.

His page Podiven had no shoes but the saintly king simply commanded him to walk in his royal footprints.

Miraculously the footprints proved hot and the page’s feet stayed warm and toasty “where the saint had treaded.”

Podiven, church history relates, was the most trustworthy and closest of all the king’s many young pages. But it seems he was bit special in the king’s affections.

The earliest accounts of Wenceslas’s life mention this close relationship with the page, who is described as a chamber valet to the king.

Wenceslas, it seems, used to wake his page in the middle of the night to join him in doing “charitable works.”

After the king’s murder Podiven was certainly overcome by grief.

Eventually Wenceslas’s brother had Podiven killed to stop him from spreading stories of the saintly Wenceslas and the page’s undying love for him.

Podiven’s slaughtered body, legend has it, remained incorrupt despite being hung outdoors on a gibbet for over three years.

Both Wenceslas and his beloved Podiven are buried side by side at St Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

Now meet Sergius and Bacchus, one of the best-known gay couples in Christian history.

They were third-century Roman soldiers who are commemorated as martyrs by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Church history tells us the two were officers in Galerius‘s army, and were held high in his favour until they were exposed as secret Christians. They were tortured and beheaded.

The close friendship between the two was legendary in church records, making them one of the best-known examples of paired saints.

This closeness has led many historians to suggest that their relationship was a romantic homosexual one – common and totally acceptable in the Roman army – making Sergius and Bacchus great heroes in today’s gay Christian community.

Lastly let’s look at a more modern and more tragic story.

In 2010 Pope Benedict honoured the 19th-century English theologian cardinal John Henry Newman with beatification – the first step to eventual sainthood.

Newman was a good signing, as they say in the Premier League.

He was a leading Church of England cleric and writer who, in the ferment of discontent with the established church in 1845, jumped the Anglican ship and joined the Church of Rome.

His lifelong partner Ambrose St John went with him.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has made a study of Newman’s homosexual orientation.

“Newman and St John were mentally and spiritually in love, sharing a long-term same-sex relationship.

“They were inseparable. They lived together for over 30 years, like a married husband and wife,” says Tachell.

“Newman wrote in his diary about Ambrose’s love for him: ‘From the first he loved me with an intensity of love, which was unaccountable.’ He later added: ‘As far as this world was concerned, I was his first and last’,” added Tatchell.

Reflecting on St John’s death, Newman stated: “This is the greatest affliction I have had in my life … he was my earthly light.”

Cardinal Newman and Ambrose St John were buried side-by-side in the same grave when Newman died in 1890.

It was what Newman wanted. He wrote to his executors shortly before his death, stating emphatically: “I wish, with all my heart, to be buried in Father Ambrose St John’s grave – and I give this as my last, my imperative will.”

Prior to making Newman a saint and to clean up his image in its eyes, the Vatican sought to suppress knowledge of Newman’s relationship with St John.

In 2011 – against Newman’s direct instructions – it ordered that his grave be dug up to separate the two men and to turn Newman’s bones into holy relics.

However, the grave was empty. His remains had fully decomposed. The Vatican’s heartless plans were defeated by worms and decay.

The Vatican propaganda machine has gone out of its way to rubbish claims that Newman was gay. As a cardinal and deeply devout Catholic, they say he would never have a gay relationship.

This is nonsense. Thousands of Catholics including priests, bishops, cardinals and even saints are or were gay.

The Catholic hierarchy denies Newman’s homosexuality in the same way that it denies the existence of thousands of gay clerics.

The Vatican has form for lying and suppressing the truth. It lied, for example, when it claimed that condoms had tiny holes through which the HIV virus could pass.

Down the ages, lots of clergy have had gay relationships.

Many are in long-term gay relationships. Why should anyone be surprised by the suggestion that Cardinal Newman too was gay?

Perhaps we should look to Newman’s memorial stone at Birmingham Oratory for clues.

It has this Latin inscription.

“Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem” – from shadow and images into truth.

Was this Newman and Ambrose St John finally “coming out”?

Pope abuses Christmas for homophobia


This music video is called Johnny Gill, Give love on Christmas.

Everywhere in the world, millions of Christians, and also millions of non-Christians, see Christmas as a festival of love.

Not so Pope Ratzinger, aka Benedict XVI.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

“Gays threaten human nature”

Friday, December 21, 2012, 20:44

In his Christmas speech the Pope said that homosexuals destroy “the essence of humankind”. Families, according to him are “threatened to the core” by opening marriage to LGBTQ couples. Previously he called gay marriages a threat to world peace.

By Scott Roberts:

21 December 2012

Pope Benedict XVI is getting into the festive spirit by taking his opposition to gay relationships to new heights.

The Catholic leader made his latest homophobic attack on Friday in his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican – one of his most important speeches of the year and one in which he dedicated to opposing equal marriage. …

Last Friday, in a message for World Day of Peace 2013, the Pope described same-sex marriage as a threat to justice and peace, adding that it will spark harm for society.

In January, the Pope warned that introducing equal marriage would risk the future of humanity itself.

So, Pope Ratzinger does not link Christmas to love. Rather, he links it to hatred of people who love each other enough to want to marry.

Accusing gay people of threatening world peace is a grave accusation indeed. People threatening world peace might start World War III, with the most horrible (nuclear) bloodshed ever.

If the pope wants to stop people threatening world peace, then he should not look at LGBTQ people. He should look at NATO generals advocating nuclear war. He should look at arms industry fat cats profiting from wars.

Then, the pope, like Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, should look at politicians like Tony Blair. George W Bush and Tony Blair started the Iraq war, basing themselves on lies. Tony Blair continued with advocating war in Iran.

While criticizing the Vatican and popes, I should also give them credit where credit is due. The present pope’s predecessor condemned the Iraq war; so did Pope Ratzinger, though less strongly so than John Paul II.

Pope Benedict meets Tony Blair during a private audience in 2006 (Photo: AP)

However, Pope Ratzinger granted Tony Blair a private audience. Many pious and peace-loving Roman Catholics lay people can only dream about ever getting a private audience with the pope. While Archbishop Tutu does not want to be on the same stage with war criminal Blair.

So, Pope Ratzinger does not treat Blair like he treats gay people. He did not treat anti-Semitic Holocaust denier Richard Williamson like he treats gay people. Quite the contrary. Williamson had been expelled from the Roman Catholic church. By re-admitting Williamson, the pope not only recognized Williamson as a Roman Catholic; but also as a Roman Catholic bishop in good standing.

The pope is far harsher on people in consensual gay relationships than on priests raping little boys and girls.

What is the source of Pope Ratzinger’s homophobia? Not Jesus Christ’s tradition. Rather the near-universal homophobia of the mid-twentieth century, when Ratzinger was young. Homophobia which killed British anti-nazi code breaker and computer inventor Alan Turing. Homophobia climaxing in nazi Germany which murdered many people in concentration camps for being gay. As a member of the Hitler Youth, young Ratzinger may very well have been indoctrinated in homophobia.

Anti-nazi computer inventor Turing killed by homophobia


This video from Britain is called A brief video biography of the achievements of Alan Turing.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Computers that beat the nazis

Thursday 20 December 2012

Bletchley Park, on the edge of what is now Milton Keynes, was the site of Britain’s main decryption establishment in the second world war where nazi codes were broken.

Most important were the ciphers of the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. The high-level intelligence produced at Bletchley Park played a crucial part in the Allied victory.

Bletchley was also the place that saw the conception and birth of the modern computer.

Given that sort of history you would expect any nation in the world to have turned it into a celebration of national pride. It should be a sparkling, well-funded and well-maintained tribute to its unique place in technological history and the victory over fascism.

Not here. Britain ignored the place for years. It was even threatened with demolition and clearance. Only the dedicated work of countless volunteers and enthusiasts have preserved and saved it for future generations to marvel at.

Today it’s a motley, not to mention scruffy, collection of museums and displays run by a diverse collection of enthusiast groups. It is still an amazing place to visit.

Disgracefully it wasn’t until last year that Bletchley Park finally received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant large enough to finally restore the site and tell its story in the way it deserves.

Even then the volunteers had to raise matching funds. By June this year they had successfully raised the money to unlock the grants.

Alan Mathison Turing worked at Bletchley Park. Mathematician, code-breaker and cryptanalyst Turing was the man who invented the computer.

He is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He was born a century ago in 1912. He was also gay.

At Bletchley Park he was in charge of Hut 8, the key section responsible for breaking German naval codes.

He devised a number of ways of unlocking German ciphers, including electromechanical machines – early computers – that unlocked the codes generated by the famous Enigma machines.

After the war, in 1952, Turing’s homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution. Turing met a 19-year-old called Arnold Murray and invited him to his house. Murray betrayed him.

A friend of Murray burgled Turing’s house, confident that the mathematician, fearful of exposure, would not tell the police.

The two men misjudged Turing. He reported the theft and admitted a sexual relationship with Murray.

To avoid prison, Turing accepted chemical castration with female hormones. The treatment ruined his health and fitness.

Previously he had often run the 40 miles from Bletchley Park to London for meetings. Only an injury had kept him out of the 1948 London Olympic marathon team.

Turing died a broken man in 1954 – he was 41. He bit into an apple dipped in cyanide.

An inquest recorded suicide but his mother believed it was an accident. Some even suspected he may have been murdered.

It took 55 years before British prime minister Gordon Brown, responding to a petition, made an official public apology for the appalling way Turing was treated.

“On behalf of the British government and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work, I am very proud to say ‘we’re sorry – you deserved so much better’,” he said.

Brown wrote: “Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted, as he was, under homophobic laws were treated terribly.”

Shamefully, however, the extraordinary achievements of this British scientific genius have still never been properly recognised and he has yet to be officially pardoned. The present state of Bletchley Park is an outstanding example of this, although Turing does have a statue in Manchester.

Some say Apple computer’s logo – an apple with a bite taken out of it – commemorates Turing’s curious death.

Turing admirer Stephen Fry asked the late Apple founder Steve Jobs if the story was true. “Sadly not,” said Jobs, “but God, I wish it were.”

For more information visit www.bletchleypark.gov.uk

See also here.

You may already be aware Queen Elizabeth out of the goodness of her heart issued a “mercy pardon” for Alan Turing almost 60 years after he committed suicide when the British courts had him neutered for the heinous crime of being a grossly indecent homosexual: here.