A Maltese professor and political candidate, citing his outrage at Pope Benedict XVI’s reported comments on the environment and homosexuality, has excommunicated himself from the Church.
Dr Ing. Patrick Attard, the first openly homosexual candidate for parliament in Malta, also criticized the Holy See’s opposition to a proposed U.N. resolution calling for the decriminalization of homosexual relationships, the Malta Independent reports.
On December 22, Pope Benedict delivered his Christmas address to the Curia. Throughout the course of several paragraphs, he said:
“When the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected, it is not the result of an outdated metaphysic.
“It is a question here of faith in the Creator and of listening to the language of creation, the devaluation of which leads to the self-destruction of man and therefore to the destruction of the same work of God.
“That which is often expressed and understood by the term ‘gender,’ results finally in the self-emancipation of man from creation and from the Creator.”
Though the Pope did not explicitly mention homosexuals or homosexuality, his remarks were seized upon and denounced as an attack on homosexuals, lesbians, and transgendered persons.
His address, more than 3,500 words long, only briefly touched on gender theory and the order of creation.
Following other secular media outlets, the Maltese Times characterized the Pope’s words as calling homosexuality “a destruction of God’s work” and claimed he said the world should be saved from homosexuality just as we should save the rainforests from destruction.
Dr. Attard claimed the Pope made “outrageous comments” that “can only spread intolerance and hatred towards the gay minority.”
“I do not want the government to assume I am part of this hate-preaching organization just because I was baptized… there is no choice but to excommunicate myself publicly from this power and money-hungry institution.”
“[E]xcommunicating myself doesn’t mean I am a Satanist or a selfish person,” he explained, according to the Maltese Times.
Dr. Attard, in remarks on his blog, called on homosexual priests to leave the Church, which he called a “homophobic institution.” He also denounced the “huge hypocrisy” of cohabiting couples being discouraged from receiving Communion in their local church but encouraged to receive in a far-away area.
Attard also protested the Maltese ban on homosexual men as blood donors and characterized his abandonment of the Church as activism against political parties who are “afraid to criticize the Church” because of Malta’s predominantly Catholic population.