March 9th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Pope silent on Uganda’s 'kill the gays' bill?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/09/art.popebenedict.0309.cf.gi.jpg caption =" What’s the message if the Pope remains silent on Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill?"]

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's a deafening silence coming from the Vatican.

When Pope Benedict the 16th recently met with Catholic leaders from Uganda, he made not a single mention of the nation's medieval-sounding anti-gay bill.

Something nicknamed "kill the gays" legislation is making its way through Uganda's parliament. It calls for life imprisonment for homosexuals - and in some cases, even execution.

People around the world have protested the bill, with Western nations and human rights groups expressing outrage. Pres. Obama has called it "odious" and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she's called Uganda's president to express her "strongest concerns."

According to the UN, the law would prohibit sex between people of the same sex and wouldn't recognize homosexual relations as an acceptable lifestyle. It even carries prison sentences of up to three years for anyone who doesn't report a gay person, not to mention life in prison, or potentially the death penalty, for homosexuals.

But the Pope said not a word about any of this, instead calling on Uganda's bishops to encourage catholic’s to "appreciate fully the sacrament of marriage."

It's possible the Pope didn't touch the issue in his wide-ranging speech because the bishops asked him not to, or because of concerns that his weighing in could backfire and lead to the passage of the bill.

Baloney. The Pope is supposed to be the moral authority for Catholics around the world. His counsel is sought and his office respected by people and governments both inside and outside the church. Compassion for human rights and the sanctity of life are supposed to be corner stones of Catholicism.

Even the archbishop of Uganda's capital says the bill "does not pass a test of a Christian caring approach to this issue." There's an understatement.

Here’s my question to you: What’s the message if the Pope remains silent on Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Peggy from Spokane, Washington says:
The same message that came from the Vatican during WWII in regard to the Holocaust and the Jewish people. The same message that came from the Vatican for years after the sex scandals were known. Silence! I was raised and educated for 17 years in Catholic schools and their ability to deny by silence the truths set before them just makes me sick.

Greg from Minneapolis says:
More Catholic bashing, Jack? The pope is right to consider the backlash of speaking out against this bill, and thus end up to some people as "endorsing" homosexuality. As the head of the Catholic Church, Benedict must tread a fine line, reaching out with compassion while at the same time sticking to Church teachings.

Jim from Pennsylvania says:
He doesn't want to make too much of a fuss since it might draw attention to all those priests who take advantage of young boys.

Christina says:
As a German, I would like to remind the pope that he too is a German. He may remember the Holocaust and the fact the Arian laws were applied also to homosexuals. More than 100,000 men were imprisoned under that accusation. Would he want to support a repetition of this heinous part of German history in Uganda?

Ellie says:
The pope should not be silent. It is tacit approval. He could easily put forth the typical Catholic response that homosexuality is not acceptable but that prayer and counseling should be the method for dealing with gays. The pope can still stay on message without condoning genocide.

Hagan says:
It is one thing to oppose gay marriage. It is another to say "kill all those that we do not agree with." It's things like this that make me thankful for our Constitution.

Filed under: Pope Benedict
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    The Catholic faith is a dictatorship.....and one that opposes gays. That means that the pope would likely be in favor of feeding gays to the lions.

    Organized religion is so NOT nice!

    March 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  2. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    It means that the Pope isn't some super power hero, he is just human like the rest of us and his own personal bias is exposed.

    March 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  3. Michael Alexandria, VA

    That he has a homophobic staff who is not informing him of the issue or letting him speak out against it. At least, I hope this is what it means, Jack.

    March 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  4. Michele Braun

    It means he is not a very nice man. Maybe he should have more
    compassion & less condimnation. After all His sect has its own issues. But then they ignored those also.
    Michele KS

    March 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  5. Jane (Minnesota)

    I think the Pope needs to get one of those "What Would Jesus Do" bracelets and actually take a good look at it and comtemplate that very question and speak out against the killings since he is supposed to be God's representative in this world. I don't think that Jesus would condone killing of any kind.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  6. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    Considering the gay behavior of many of the priests, this is one that could come back and bite him on the butt

    March 9, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  7. William Joseph Miller Los Angeles

    I am not surprised.
    During the 30's, both the Catholic and Protestant churches were silent as Hilter conducted his pogroms against socialists, labor unions, homosexuals, and Jews. (There were notable exceptions – but those dissident clergy men did not represent official church policy.)
    Many of the people working in the concetration camps were in fact devout Catholics. So history repreats itself.
    The Catholic church cannot survive without some one to persecute. In the preceding centuries it was Jews. Now it's gays.
    Same old, same old.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  8. Tina Tx

    Business as usual. The catholic church has been blind about homosexuals for centuries. Nothing will change until the people stop giving money to the church.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  9. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    You mean the same pope who told Africans that condoms would worsen the AIDS epidemic? You mean the same pope that insists that birth control is a sin, even in Haiti, where a population of 9 million had 400,000 orphans even before the earthquake? You mean the sme papacy that turned a blind eye for decades while it's priests raped children? The only message they send is that they don't care about anything that doesn't affect their bottom line. The pope is not a religious man, he is a polititian who'se agenda is to increase the size, wealth & power of the Catholic church at all costs, no matter who gets trampled along the way, a church which has become exactly what Jesus rebelled against.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  10. Albert R. K. Los Anegles

    Jack, the vow of celibacy has made the Catholic priesthood an attractive sanctuary for gays to have an unmarried lifestyle while also being recognized on the streets as respected members of the community. Pedophiles also use the vow but with a criminal intent. With ongoing headlines about gays and pedophiles in the Church, and Church dogma about gays, perhaps The Pope feels stuck between a rock and a hard place being unable to speak out against murder.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  11. Simon, Orlando

    The same message they gave when they were silent on all the child molestation by priests in their own ranks. Following the church's doctrine is far more important to them than saving any human lives.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  12. John from Alabama

    Jack: It means Pope Benedict follows the Bible closily when it refers to homosexual life style as an abomination. A person can dislike the sin, but love the sinner. Jesus Christ showed love to tax collectors, horlots, and people with leprosy. When people stay silent about homosexuals it can sometimes turn silence into violence. It depends on who is being silent.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Loren, Chicago

    Does the Pope have to comment on every piece of legislation submitted in every tinpot dictatorship the world over? Does the Pope have any moral currency in Uganda, the land of Idi Amin? This is a perfect instance of something that the UN should be handling. If the Pope chooses to comment on it, it's his choice, but no one should expect him to comment on every piece of legislation, he'd never have a chance to breathe.

    March 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  14. Carla Martin-Wood from Birmingham

    I would say that his silence speaks volumes. Personally, I can't imagine Christ would be silent on the topic - why the Vicar of Christ would be silent, one can only guess.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  15. David from Herndon, VA

    In my opinion, the Pope has no moral authority left. First, the guy was literally a Nazi. Then, sheltering known child abusers in the Vatican to avoid extradition. Now it turns out his brother is tied to a child sex scandal in Germany. I'd say the Doctrine of Papal Infallability has been mightily disproven.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  16. AlphaPoe1

    I can't speak for the Pope, but being a religious person who believes in the Bible, I feel it's not my job to judge others. Leave the gays alone. They are God's people too and should live however they want to live.
    God wants us to love everyone and worry about our own behavior and deal with Him one on one.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  17. Francap

    It means that religious leaders get involved in state matters like abortion rights, and birth control for women, but do very little for the living breathing people already here.

    Does the word phony ring a bell?

    March 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  18. Doug - Dallas, TX

    The message or lack of it could mean a lot of things Jack, but the most glaring thing is relevance. That relevance is that the heads of state committing the atrocities just ignore the pope because to them his statements are meaningless. The only thing people like that understand is force, so until the Vatican builds an army, his statements don't mean much.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  19. Mark

    It means he is smart enough to know ( unlike most U.S. Presidents) not to stick his nose in every unpleasant issue that pops up around the world....no matter how unsettling it may be.

    Oklahoma City

    March 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  20. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    It's a ringing endorsement from the Catholic church that murder is ok.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  21. Charlize O.

    Clearly it would mean the Roman Catholic Church is prejudiced against homosexuality, which is nothing new, being one of the religious groups most prejudiced in the world and sadly, the most influential one in the Western world. I am not gay myself, but I am against prejudice/discrimination and violence against any social group different from "the norm". Let's hope the Pope condemns that very soon. Otherwise, they will win themselves another enemy!

    Lawrence GA

    March 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  22. Joe CE

    The Pope shoould speak out against killing anyone – or has he?

    March 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  23. James (Sierra Vista, AZ)


    I guess the Catholic Church is just like the rest of the society in that they no longer abide by the lessons taught but those who came before. Christ, according to their Bible, brought goodness and enlightenment to those whom he utterly disagreed with. Christ reached out to prostitutes, crooked tax men (one of them was even an apostle), drunks, lepers, and I am willing to bet some homosexuals as well. But now the Catholic Church, who claims to follow Christ, wants to do everything in its power to show its hatred for gays and lesbians. Considering that they endorsed homosexual pedophiles by covering them up, moving them around, and denying their existence, it seems strange that they now will sit back while the black heart of hatred beats in Uganda. But these are the same people who burnt "witches" at the stake... So I guess it is no real surprise after all.

    March 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  24. pat in michigan

    He is the Pope not a politician. What does it say when we dont assasinate the leader of Uganda that came up with this law. We do have the nsa for this kind of crap.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  25. Mr. D

    Selective responses to world affairs seems to be the Vatican's modus operandi. With so much dirty linen to hide themselves, who are they to either offer or withhold commentary concerning the many problems the world faces. Do we really care about what they do or don't say?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  26. Lori - PA


    Huh? Has he no compassion?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  27. Jack in Boynton Beach FL

    Whether he speaks out or not it won't change a thing anywhere at any time on any decision made by any government. Why should he share the blame just because the media neeeds to make up news?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  28. Larraine, from Abingdon, MD

    The message is that we agree. I'm not sure why since so much of the priesthood is comprised of gay males. A lot of self hatred there, I think.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  29. DW Gard

    It means that the churches position is kill off the gays.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  30. Gloria in Colorado Springs

    The Vatican moves further away from the teachings of Christ everyday. It has become a stretch to refer to Roman Catholicism as a religion.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  31. The Broker.

    "How much investments do they have on Nigerian oil? I know Lizzi the so called queen, had millions upon millions, invested in Nigerian oil."

    March 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  32. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    That the Catholic church is still trying to play God and guess what it doesn't work.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  33. Maria

    How relevant is the Pope now? I'm not into God so much, Hail to Chris Hitchens! However, I covered the Pope appearances in the U.S. in 1988-89(???) and watched people screaming and crying, sobbing and fainting as the pope-mobile whizzed by for 3 seconds. I think the Pope is a symbol, but I don't believe for one moment that the younger generations believe in his pronouncements or lack thereof.

    Coversely,I think the internet world should bombard him w/e-mails pointing out the consequences of his silence, shame him into speaking out against Uganda and every int'l leader, starting w/Pres. Obama should publicly issue statements condemning the Pope and his lack of
    leadership, humanity and intelligence. Yeah, that will work!



    March 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  34. Jeannette, Toronto, Canada

    Surprised, are we? Well, Obviously, the Pope and other religious fanatics, are not really "God Fearing" individual.....For as if they believed in the "ONE GOD/CREATOR"- then their silence will be punished by their own CREATOR! The one who teaches and preaches hatred against all others (THE EVIL CREATOR). As a Catholic (in shame at such times) – my GOD/CREATOR has taught me to love everything HE/SHE has made.

    Respect and Love is a much harder attribute than Hatred is to express?

    March 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  35. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think the pope needs to say anything on this issue as it is still a fluid bill and nothing has been decided. It is my humble opinion that the pope does not want to interfere with this legislation because of the seriousness of it and because the media attention needs to remain on the REAL issue in Uganda and not on the popes opinion of the issue. This bill has morphed many times so far.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  36. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, it is odd that you look to the Pope to speak out on a legislative bill that is not supported by the Catholic Church but, rather, by some Ugandan politicians and some Christian fundamentalist and evangelical groups that have lent support for this bill. The Pope, though, did not remain entirely silent because he did mention the need for the Church to continue to minister to those with AIDS, poverty and other diseases. An Archbishop of Kampala spoke that the anti-homosexual bill was contrary to Church teaching as well as the death penalty and imprisonment that targets the sinner and fails to treat homosexuals with love, compassion, care and an attempt at conversion. The Catholic Church is far more tolerant towards homosexuals than any other religious group.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  37. Greg H - Minneapolis

    More Catholic bashing, Jack? The Pope is right to consider the backlash of speaking out against this bill, and thus end up to some people as "endorsing" homosexuality. As the head of the Catholic Church, Benedict XIV must tread a fine line, reaching out with compassion while at the same time sticking to Church teachings. If any Catholic is feeling uncomfortable with the Church, one can either come up with a solid argument based in Scripture to change their teaching, or leave and find a church more "accomodating" to their views. But please, no bashing rather than having a discussion about differences in religious doctrine!

    March 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  38. DJ from Fort Walton Beach, Florida

    He's doing what America should be doing...worry about other things...

    March 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  39. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, the message is, the church believes alternative life styles are a choice made by individuals, and they do not support or condone gays. Want to lead a gay life, find another church, the Catholics aren't sympathetic, by policy, but somehow, fall way short in practice. Can we all say "hypocrisy"???? Or is this just another example of "Don't ask, don't tell?"

    March 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  40. Conor in Chicago

    When someone explains to me why the Pope of the Catholic Church is a moral authority on anything I'll understand why you are asking this quesiton.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  41. Dennis North Carolina

    remember where the pope comes from and how old the pope is which will give you a idea of how he thinks but not for god.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  42. Rick Medina,OH


    You are correct that the Pope is the moral authority for Catholics. Over history, Pope's have had their lapses. PiusXII was equally silent when the stories of atrocities filtered out of eastern Europe. And the Church has sponsored atrocities of its own; think Inquisition and the Crusades, among others. The Pope's silence on Uganda is an atrocity itself.



    March 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  43. Texas Pete

    yeah! cuz he thinks it is a good idea but is to chicken to say it. Live and let live leave the gays alone. They are the only people on the planet that are peaceful and only want love and peace.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  44. Melissa

    The message is that he approves. Its disgusting that anyone would approve of the slaughter of someone and just further proofs that Christians are NOT loving individuals. A loving person wouldn't support execution.

    March 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  45. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    The Pope is a religious leader who also practices politics as most Popes in history have done. His religious stand is that by recognizing gays and gay unions he would be weakening and destabilizing the traditional family and some biblical scholars would say breaking the commandments given to the Jews. On the political side, Africa is one of the fastest growing Christian regions in the world. Many Christian denominations have recognized gays and let them not only participate in communion but allows them to become church leaders even those that are in a committed same sex relationship. The Evangelic Lutheran Church of America recently adopted such a position. The Pope sees an opportunity to differentiate the Catholic Church from those "other" Christian denominations that do not discriminate. All the Pope has to do is simply keep quiet and his churches membership will grow in Uganda but Christ will be weeping.

    e also recognized threats to the traditional family as equal to those against life itself. “Attempts to relativize” marriage, he said, “by giving it the same status as other radically different forms of union… offends and helps to destabilize the family.”

    March 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  46. George H. in Albuquerque NM

    It is basically the same message the pro Nazi Pope Pius XII gave Hitler's regime : tacit approval.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  47. Alex in Gig Harbor

    Sadly, the message is that gays are not worthy of human dignity. Too bad the Pope does not follow the teachings of Christ. Leviticus is part of the old law that also said you could sell your disobedient daughter into slavery and kill a disobedient son. The message of Jesus is love for all. Where is the love in executing gays?

    March 9, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  48. george coleman

    I hope everybody in the world eventually realize that if it were not for organized religion, we'd probably not even be faced with this kind of an issue. Power and corruption is not Congress's friend, it's in religion moreso. That's where our politicians learn how to do their crap. The Pope included as well as all the rest of the world's organized religious leaders/followers.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  49. cy gardner

    He's possibly having flashbacks to his training in the Hitler Youth Organization. If the Ugandans ever start threatening to execute pedophiles, then the Pope will start to sweat. cy from arlington, va.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  50. Robert

    Careful there, Benedict. You're very close to throwing a Nazi salute. I guess old habits die hard.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  51. Sandra, Alabama

    As a practicing Catholic, I am very concerned about the direction the Church leaders are going. This bill is a product of the C Street "Family" inflicting their (im)morality on the people of another country. That the Pope is not speaking out against killing anyone, gay or not, is despicable. But this is just one of the worrysome actions that the Church is taking.

    A preschool child has been kicked out of a Catholic preschool because her parents are gay, thereby punishing the child for the "sin" of the parents. One can only wonder if the pastor of that church issues this same edict about kids whose parents are divorced or never married. Of wait, Catholics aren't divorced anymore, they all get annulments.

    All this while there are so many sex scandals involving priests. Hypocrisy is not just for politicians anymore.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  52. Mike Baremore

    Great Job Jack! Please continue to speak truth to power.
    God Bless! Mike

    March 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  53. Peggy Spokane,WA

    The same message that came from the vatican during WW2 in regard to the holocost and the jewish people. The same message that came from the vatican for years after the sex scandals were known. Silence!!!
    I was raised and educated for 17 years in Catholic schools and their ability to deny by silence the truths set before them that go against all things moral and just makes me sick.
    I have had no part of it for years now!!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  54. Ryan

    Really, what do you expect? This is the same Pope and church that preached against condom use in the most AIDS ravaged region in the world. Why would we ever want to slow or stop the spread of a torturous disease that is wiping out whole generations in Africa? If you can't drop the dogma in the face of AIDS, what chance is there that the church would do the right thing when it comes to genocide of homosexuals?

    March 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  55. thenine9

    Zero respect for the Roman Catholic Church or the Pope. Sexual abuse of children for years and it still goes on, these well educated men didn't understand pedophiles.Roman Catholic Church are against condoms in Africa and do not speak up against laws that would kill Gays.
    Roman Catholic Church have a very active sex life for people that consider themselves celebate bring male prostitutes into Church.. Six year old Child is refused schooling because her parents are same sex by the Catholic Church. Roman Catholics don't agree with abortion and tell their people that they're tax dollars pay for it. Non-Catholic's pay for welfare and no Catholic seems to object to that we do that. The Catholic Church is not a helpful organization and teaches doctrines that they do the talk but not the walk.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  56. Mari, Utah

    Well, Pope Benedict.......... What WOULD JESUS DO????????? Jack, silence is usually a sign of agreement! The Vatican needs to condemn this HORROR!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  57. Matthew Campbell

    By not speaking at all, the Pope is condoning the murder and imprisonment of homosexuals in Uganda – and, by extension, the world. The Bible preaches abstinence for homosexuals, not murder or execution. The idea of homosexuality has never been denied by the Church since it has both knowingly and unknowingly allowed gay priests to hide from themselves behind the guise of chastity vows. The Catholic faith is built on forgiveness and acceptance of diversity – regardless of its stance on representations of that diversity. A Pope who was also a Nazi sympathizer in his youth should be smarter than to let his legacy be one entirely based on hate.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  58. A. Smith, Oregon

    With Pope Ratz's own brother, Georg Ratzinger in the MIDDLE of one of the scene's of the recent expose' of the Vatican Prostitution Ring, silence is apparently being mandated by the Vatican lawyers they are cloustered down with as they huddle together working out their most recent scheme to obstruct European Justice Dept's and avoid paying monetary damages to well over 100 young boys that have reported they were sexually abused and raped during their tenure in the Pope's choir school.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  59. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Slow and steady always win the race!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  60. Lynn, Jefferson City

    Republicans associate (wonder if Sarah Palin picked up on this association?) with individuals who want to kill Ugandian gays , and the Poke remains silent? Please tell me this is not another example of "Christian" values!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  61. Jim of pa

    He doesn't want to make too much of a fuss since it might draw attention to all those priests who take advantage of young boys.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  62. Gary Las Vegas

    This is not surprising from the Vatican. They have a good record of covering things up, or ignoring them completely. What they did with the priests involved in sex scandles is a good example. Child molesters were transferred to another city instead of paying for their crimes. Looking the other way seems to be the easy answer for this group of people.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  63. Banned in Hartwell GA

    Pardon me, but the Catholic church, and thereby the Pope is in no position to preach to anyone about treatment of Homosexuals. They are two-faced about the issue, preaching that it's wrong to the laity and hiding and covering up for their homosexual priests, who have their ways with young Catholic youths.
    Hartwell GA

    March 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  64. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    No Comment!

    March 9, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  65. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Jack, it means that the Pope is comfortable with genocide, can easily look the other way like one of Hitler's henchmen, and therefore the message is: he is the wrong man for the job as leader of a world-wide religion based on compassion.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  66. John DeMartini

    When it comes to discrimination it is very difficult to out do religion

    John – San Antonio

    March 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  67. Bruce - Delaware

    The same message as when he ignores the massive horrific Israeli genocide of the Palestine residents; The church is all about reducing the world's population and suppressing knowledge of advanced technologies that could help the world.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  68. Brian Smith PhD

    Oh come on Jack. Societies in this world are still practicing female castration. And it is not just backward Asian counties either. There is an estimated 50 women or girls circumcised every year in the Netherlands. This does not excuse Uganda, but it does testify that there are many atrocities out there that need to be dealt with. That would include the Pope’s brethren molesting 7 year old alter boys. Before we look for a message from the Pope about gays, lets clean up the other stuff first, (including molesting little boys).

    March 9, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  69. Jan in Washinton state

    It means they are as intolerant as they have always been...

    March 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  70. Bob In Florida

    The FIRST problem the Pope has with the "gay issue" is the number of Catholic priests who are gay, not only gay, but pedifiles. How many priests would be killed under this bill? Those in glass houses.........

    I've have found it ironic that it seems MANY who vehemently defend the sanctity of man/woman marriage and the "sins" of homosexuality in public end up being homosexual themselves. We have seen it in an FBI director, Senators, Cogressmen, actors, many of the rich and famous.

    Although "Thou Shalt Not Kill," would be a nice "end-around" for the Pope to take an off-handed approach to the gay murder bill in Uganada. That could help protect his sanctity of marriage and obtusely protect gays too.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  71. Mabley

    It means he would rather let Uganda do the dirty work.

    March 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  72. Jay in Ortonville, Michigan

    It means that the pope is not a strong, competent Christian leader. He is either a coward for not speaking against this bill or he supports it and therefore is not a true Christian. It is time that popes have limited terms in office and females be allowed into that all-male clubhouse.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  73. Homeless D in Atlanta

    The message is the same as in ALL religious puuges and inquisitions. and the Catholic Church has always been pretty good at that.

    And it means the same thing as the Catholic charities in DC now refusing to cover partners in same-sex marriages.

    It means that for some reason that i cannot understand, religious people (and probably not only the Catholic church) just simply HATE gay people. It means hate.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  74. Sharon M

    The stance of the Catholic Church on homosexuality is known by everyone, no matter who or where they are. The Pope and the Catholic leaders of Uganda all know the position of the Catholic Chuch. There's no need for them to have a discussion about something that was decided thousands of years ago, no need to reiterate anything.

    The Pope is a religious figure for Catholics. He's not a politician. Although, it surely seems like some people are stupid enough to believe he is. Catholics don't need to hear what he has to say about the matter (because we already know the answer) and non-Catholics don't care what he thinks.

    As a Catholic, the legality of abortion causes me great pain. Yet, most of the world today has no problem with murdering unborn children. I consider Uganda's pending legislation equivalent to Rowe vs. Wade.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  75. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Catholic Church Doctrine prohibts homosexual behavior. Despite the number of reported number homsexual Preists in the Catholic Church. Probably not the best source to critize Those in glass houses or something.......

    March 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  76. Meredith

    I can Not begin the number of times it has been said, "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's and give to God what is God's."

    In other words the separation of Church and State.

    It is up to the people and the Government of Uganda to deal with their legislation matters. Not the Church.

    You Can NOT Have It Both Ways.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  77. Ralph Spyer

    If they kill all the gays were is the church going to get the next batch of priest from? In WW2 the Church remain silent when 6 million Jews were killed ,but they had time to cut a deal with Benito Mussolini for vatican city

    March 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm |

    Since when did Catholics ever like the gays? Why would they start now?

    March 9, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
  79. Bev

    I guess it means he can't be hypocritical, after all there are so many Priests that are homosexuals. He needs to clean His Church's problem first. What about the little child that has Gay parents and the Catholic Church will not let the child attend school? They better look at themselves first before they pick on a child or anyone else. They better purge the Gay's in their own house before they condemn anyone else.

    March 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  80. Ken in NC

    I am not Catholic but I feel for the POPE. He has problems in his own back yard. His being silent sends the message that he condones the “Kill The Gay” bill. To speak out against it would be supportive of gays which is against the teachings of the church. He an the church are now in a “Catch 22”.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
  81. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Maybe the Pope is praying in silence for divine intervention which can be far greater than spoken words.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  82. Dr. Ken Buchholz

    Look how the Catholic Church stood by silently during the rise of Hitler. Does the Pope remember the Nazis? Sure he does – first hand! So his latest silence surprises you Jack??

    March 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  83. Hagan

    It is one thing to oppose gay marriage, it is another to say "kill all those that we do not agree with." It's things like this that make me thankful for our Constitution.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  84. Ann

    It means that this pope would be following in the footsteps of the Pope who failed to condemn the Holocaust as it swirled around him.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
  85. Walt

    It means that Benedict XVI is NOT John Paul II. As a Catholic, it underscores how much we miss our compassionate John Paul!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  86. Vicki Kielar

    I am not the least bit surprised as the Catholic church is the ultimate in hypocrisy! They still protect child abusers – I guess if you are catholic – anything goes – if you aren't – they will burn you at the stake!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  87. Jan Hare

    Ha! I guess I'm not surprised, Jack. The Pope doesn't want Uganda to be reminded of the hundreds (thousands?) of boy-groping priests around the world.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  88. Tamara

    I don't approve of the gay lifestyle but that "kill the gay" but this is just outrageous... The pope is silent because... I don't know, he might secretely agree but knows that's it's not safe to say so out loud

    March 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  89. Bill - upper New York state

    There's only one meaning, Jack. The Pope and the whole Catholic hierarchy (is archaic the root of that word?) are homophobic based on centuries of misinterpretation of scripture. What? The Pope misinterpret scripture? Oh, my! What did I say?

    March 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
  90. Ellie

    The pope should not be silent. It is tacit approval. He could easily put forth the typical Catholic response that homosexuality is not acceptable but that prayer and counseling should be the method for dealing with gays. The pope can still stay on message without condoning genocide.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  91. CraigInRI

    The Pontiff is complicit in his silence. Hardly a surprise with his personal history...perhaps he can loan the Ugandans the pattern for the pink triangles of his youth.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  92. James, Florida

    Jack, the day people start electing the Pope is the day I'll start caring what he does or doesn't say.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  93. Vern Bennett

    What do you expect from a Pope that was a member of Hitler's Youth group? He for the bill, and he hates gays. That is why as a Catholic I will not attend Mass until we have a new Pope.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  94. Chris Salzmann

    It is not surprising that the Pope has remained silent on the Ugandan "Kill the Gays" bill for two reasons:

    1. The Catholic Church views homosexuality as an abomination.

    2. The Pope not only was silent once before, but an active participant.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  95. Heath

    If organized religion were never "organized" I think we would have missed the Spanish Inquisition, missed the Crusades, missed out on the Jihad, and well generally hate a bit less, at least not so much in an organized fashion. Perhaps we could refer to a bumper sticker I saw once that said, "Morality is doing the right thing no matter what you're told, Religion is doing what you're told no matter what is right".

    March 9, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  96. RickFromDetroit

    The primary purpose that a church serves is to guide the youth of this or any Country in the right direction.

    Exploiting "Gay Rights" is going to steer the youth in the wrong direction. Young kids are easily influenced and if you tell them it is OK to be gay they will try it.

    My policy is and always has been: An individuals sexual preference is their business and they should keep it their business.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  97. ME

    THANK YOU, it is about time somebody says what American Liberals are to weak to say or not say. I'm a Conversative Democratic male, who loves woman that votes along party lines. I agree with Uganda. I'm sick and tried of hearing about two men or two women having sex. Way to go Pope. You go boy.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  98. Ben

    I find it disturbing, immoral, but totally predictable that the 'pope' remains silent on human abuse in Uganda. For a church that has been rabid with homosexuality and pedophilia for almost 1000 years and has taken every step possible to hide and thereby tolerate this behavior, it is not surprising that that same church chooses to hide and thereby tolerate the abuse of homosexuals elsewhere. In essence, the church fails to acknowledge both homosexual behavior and the abuse of homosexuals...as though neither exists. Go figure.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  99. Kevie

    I'm not at all surprised by this. After all the pope is a former nazi.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  100. Christina

    As a German i would like to remind the Pope that he too is a German. He may remember the Holocaust and the fact the the Arian laws were applied also to Homosexuals. More than 100.000 men were imprisoned under that accusation. Would he want to support a repitition of this heinous part of German history in Uganda? Does he not have a even greater moral and theological oblication to speak out and take a stance against that kind of discrimination?

    March 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  101. Mark Brian

    This is really not a big deal. I say this b/c being 'gay' is not right and It should be illegal b/c marriage is between adam and eve, not adam and steve. Uganda passing this law is on point on some things, but I do not condone killing someone b/c they are gay, no matter how wrong, and immoral it is. The pope can have all the power he wants but he has no right to tell a country what do, and after all religion is just religion. Ugandans don't care...they are still living in the 17th century.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  102. Ron

    He is silent on this issue because he is in agreement. The Catholic Church has always been centuries behind the times. Witch burning, inquisitions and other horrors perpetrated in the name of the Holy Roman Catholic Church go well with the Dark Age mentality of the government in Uganda.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  103. Steve Carpenteri

    Hmmmm . . . . we're holding the Catholic church to a "higher moral standard?" Reminds me of Pope Pius XII who, during WWII, skirted the Nazis by not "interfering" with the Holocaust. Funny how NOTHING related to the Catholic church was destroyed during WWII after Hitler made his deal with Pius. Which one was the devil? You decide!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  104. Brian

    I am not surprised at all. In fact, if there was a secret vote held in the United States for a similar bill in this country, I have little doubt that there are jurisdictions - perhaps entire states - that would support a similar law. Just observe all of the anti-gay votes in the United States where American gays and lesbians are told that they are to pay taxes, yet receive not a whit of legal recognition. Hatred is hatred around the world.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  105. Stephen Jones

    The church makes the decision to comment on internal policies of countries based on what outcome it would create. The church made no comment to avoid backlash resulting in the passage of the bill. Developing countries take offense to the church directing their policies. You, Jack Cafferty, claims that its baloney. So all I have to do in a debate is exclaim "BALONEY!" and then I'll be right? Is this from the Fox News playbook where yelling loudest makes you right also? Why don't you explain to me how its baloney next time Jack...

    March 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  106. Sid (from Alabama)

    What do you expect the Pope to do? All he wants is that the Catholic church and the Vatican becomes more powerful and widespread. If the Pope is against the law, then he will be portrayed as pro gay and that will not be good for the Vatican.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  107. Gary Wagher

    Jack, this hypocritical cowardice by this pope is no different than the cowardice and hypocritical cowardice displayed by the Catholic church during WWII when the church turned over documents to the Nazis with the name of Jewish Germans. This inaction by this pope just reinforces the irrelevancy of theocracy in an educated enlightened world.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  108. Keith Moore

    Bill, do you seek the truth? Do you fall in with the media that pays you so well? I am so ashamed of your attack of the Pope regarding the "gay" issue in Uganda. You took from the reports, out of context, just enough to sound like everyone else who attacks the Catholic Church. Come on Bill! You are better than this. You know this Pope is a Godly, humble, caring, and loving man. He is not perfect, but he is much more than you have made him out to be. You are better than this Bill. Search your heart and speak the truth.

    Keith Moore

    March 9, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  109. Cathy

    Jack, the Pope was silent because if he speaks out, he would be considered a hypocrite regarding the HCR abortion issue in the states. I am pro-choice and will be until the day I die. God and I have an agreement and he still loves me for my pro-choice views. The church is wrong and we need HCR bill passed, even as bad as it is. This is just an excuse to take a women’s right to choice away. Next, my right to vote will be at stake.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  110. Claudine (West Washington DC)

    Hi Jack,

    Why is it a tough call for the pope? He should go back to the Ten Commandments since it's written black on white... better yet, in stone.

    – You should not kill
    – Love your neighbor as you love yourself ...
    God did not mention "unless they are gays..."

    Why is it so difficult to speak out... We'll never be able to please everyone. Better be in ok terms with God and hated by some "politicians" from Uganda than the other way around. The pope can still advocate that he does not condone the gay lifestyle.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  111. Edwin Okong'o

    The pope's silence is clearly malicious. I do think, however, that his inaction might backfire. Considering the Catholic church's history of pedophilia and gay sex scandals, his priests could become among the first to be persecuted in Uganda.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  112. Zubedah Nanfuka, Illinois

    It is clear that the Pope's silence speaks volumes about what he thinks regarding the issue. As a Ugandan living in the US right now, I can perhaps express a certain amount of freedom of speech while commenting on a topic as controversial as homosexuality in my country.
    The truth is, the practice is despised by many mainly because of rigid cultural roots in Uganda. However, the practice still happens and the Pope's comment at this point will only fuel gaps between cultural obligations and religious beliefs. I am strongly not in favor of the pending Bill and hope that the government of Uganda will find alternative ways of dealing with the issue.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  113. Rossie

    As a life long Catholic I would expect nothing different concerning the "Kill the gays" bill of Uganda, from a man who wants to give Sainthood to a Pope who refused to speak out against the atrocities of the Holocaust.

    The world should understand the "Uber-Pope" and his silence does not eminate from all Catholics; some yes, all no. The sanctity of life is supported by all Catholics; ask those who support the "Right to Life."

    March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  114. The Broker.

    "Boy did I get that one wrong Jack! But I do have a lot to say about Aids in Africa. There is enough sickness in that continent, without more additions to aids. They cohabit so much in Africa, there is no distinction between males and females, in most of the villages. Either you wake up to what aids is doing to Africa, or you look forward to one of the most human ignorance of child executions, you have never experienced. As that is the only way to stop it if you continue to ignore it."

    March 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  115. Catherine

    Jack the message is the same this time as it was when the paedophilia scandal rocked the church. Back then Pope JP2 was slow to address the right of children to be protected from pedophile priests. Now, Benedict winks his approval of Uganda's Taleban style anti gay bill - silence = "it's ok". As an African Catholic, I am enraged!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  116. Bill

    His silence is saying what he should declare out loud. God says that sodomy is a sin. To say otherwise is to mock God, and God will not be mocked. As the church leader, it is his responsibility to lead his flock to righteousness....not destruction. Jesus told the prostitute "Go, and sin no more"....the Pope should be saying the same.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  117. Sean from Maine

    The Catholic church didn't say much when the Nazi's were murdering Jews by the millions. Why would they care about a few gay Africans?

    March 9, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  118. Elijah Boston

    Jack, they brought a woman caught in Adultery to Jesus, and the Mob was shputing and hoping Jesus to like them condemn her by stoning according to law, He answered (jesus)them "He who is without sin, let him throw the first stone.'..All in Shock, left one by one, without word...." As the head of the house, Pope), Doesn't HAVE WHAT TO SAY about issue,. by the way iam Ugandan.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  119. Ron Dallyn

    This bill in Uganda could be a double edged sword for catholics there. Will the gov't execute or imprison clergy which practice (albeit in secrecy) gay lifestyles? Or imperil the "sexual deviant" clergy? (i.e. molesters.) Pope Benedict is treading on thin ice and putting the basis of christian belief in danger by not saying anything about this bill in Uganda.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  120. LEOPREZ

    Catholics are not the only Christians than disapprove Homosexuality., and many US allies still have medieval punishments for certain crimes. Not so long ago US Military dissapproved Homosexuals to come out of the closet due to its impact in troop morale.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  121. Jonathan O - Davenport, FL

    The Pope not making any comment on this bill is absolutely unacceptable.

    I'm a devout Christian, and after reading the Bible for about 3 years I can tell you without a doubt that Jesus didn't persecute anyone. He didn't kill adulterors, he didn't condemn the unclean, or anything like that. And if the Pope is supposed to be the moral authority, why isn't he saying anything? Is the Vatican holding anti-gay feelings? Because the point of a Christian isn't to shun and persecute the non-believer. It's to reach out to everyone with love. And if the Pope won't show love to homosexuals, than that just adds to what non-believers say about Christian hypocrisy.

    That bill needs to die. Now.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  122. Daniel Quintero

    Such strong hate and ignorance spewing out in the blog comments. Yes, what Uganda is doing goes against the very notion of social justice. Yes, it must be condemned. The Catholic Church has always called for universal love of all people, including homosexuals. And yes, If the Pope is not speaking out loudly enough, it is a mistake. It is not a mistake however of his character. Pope Benedict the 16 has always fought for the inherent dignity of the human person. Perhaps it is a failure of planning or maybe he is determining the best way to approach this situation. After all, when Pope Benedict talked to Obama, he didn't condemn his abortion policy, which could be seen as another attack on social justice. But all in all, I do hope Pope Benedict the 16 speaks up soon.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  123. RickFromDetroit

    Don't Ask - Don't Tell.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  124. Susan

    The bible itself says silence is agreement, so I think his own holy word answers your question, Jack.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  125. Tim, Danbury, CT

    I am Ugandan and strongly oppose any activity that discriminates against gay people but Jack you have it all wrong. The Bill going through Uganda’s parliament does not call for killing of gay Ugandans just because they are gay. It only extends the maximum capital punishment to a gay person if is convicted of raping a minor. That is all. A similar law that would punish heterosexuals with capital punishment has existed in Uganda's penal code for about 15 years now. The Pope was well advised to keep out of Uganda’s legal issues.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  126. Frank

    Hey Jack,
    It's amazing how so called "enlightened" folk claim to be so "tolerant" until someone disagrees with them. Maybe Ugandan gov't officials have read what homosexuality has done to empire after empire, nation after nation throughout history. The killing of Gays is wrong. But why does the Pope have to agree with misguided, arrogant Westerners? Maybe the Pope, the Ugandans and other nations actually value the institution of family and marriage between a man and a woman. At least the Ugandans and the Pope have backbone. Something we Americans lost a long time ago...

    March 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  127. Adrian in NJ

    It says the Pope and the Catholic church in general are out of touch with reality. They have a moral obligation to speak out. People are being murdered because of their sexual orientation. The church may not be able to change Uganda's policy but it can at least shine a light and bring attention to this dark reality by speaking out.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  128. m.osman

    the problem is the vatican wants to play both politics and relegion at the same time,but unfortunatelly sometimes it doesn't work, so now you are trapped what you gonna do.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  129. Caitlin Noah

    It would prove to the world that the West and its so thought superior way of life does not care what happens to those in the 3rd world countries when it comes to human rights. Send food and blankets: sure! Adopt their children to "save them": sure! But do something that would actually help like stopping terrorist forces, and keeping bills like this from even getting to the politicians desks: no way!!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  130. Jim

    You can't have it both ways, for years the ACLU has been pushing to get God and the church out of government and the American people have let it happen.... Now when the chips are down and people are hurting you want to know why you are not hearing from the church. Well, which way do you want it, include the church in moral political matters or exlcude them? You seem to want to pick when they speak, it doesn't work that way.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  131. john

    What a predicament... The Catholic Church will have to decide what it hates more, the gays or the death penalty. And with their silence, I think we know which.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  132. Carol in MD

    It's so much easier to find fault with others than with ourselves, all in the name of God. I hope and feel that the younger generation is learning to become more tolerant of others. I hope they will get it right once all the power hungry men of my generation are too old and demented (like the Pope) to make decisions that effect so many others. For god's sake, give peace a chance!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  133. Bob Pendleton

    If the Pope had come out against the "Kill the Gays" law wouldn't it be seen as a self serving attempt to prevent prosecution and possible execution of Catholic Priests in Uganda? If he came out against a law like that in Uganda wouldn't he be seen as hypocritical for not coming out against US laws against having sex with children?

    March 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  134. wendy

    I believe this shows with no question that the Vatican has lost all credibility on all issues. If the Vatican cannot even follow the teachings of Jesus what good is it at all. Sell the art and buildings, feed and cloth th children and impoverished, and lock up the predators. Jeesh

    March 9, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  135. Jodiah

    Is it such a surprise that a man who has essentially condemned thousands, perhaps millions, to die of AIDS in Africa and around the world by telling them not to use condoms would not open his mouth to stop the deaths of gay people in Uganda? Yet, he won't shut up about abortion. Make up your mind! Either all human life is sacred or it isn't.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  136. Marcel

    Maybe The German Sheppard should learn a little American wisdom, even if America itself still needs to work on fully honor all there fellow citizens rights (the right to marry, to serve in the military, etc.)

    “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    March 9, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  137. Linda Abram

    The pope seems to forget that many jews died during WW2 because the Vatican ingnored their plight. Those that don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Will he continue to ignore these poor people? I am not a catholic or a homosexual but this makes me sad.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  138. George Hutter

    Clearly, there is no moral leadership from this pope. He has already scapegoated the church pedophilia scandal onto gay priests, expunging so many from active ministry, leaving many parishes without a priest, instead of accepting responsibility for the cover-ups. . What would Jesus do? Well... He did it already. He gave his life for ALL..

    March 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  139. Bari Syed

    Religions are the root cause of all the problems in our world, from inquisition, russification, haulocost of jews, Heroshima, Nagasaki etc. Why not, all the religions be banned from taking any part in politics. Particularly Christian religion which has a worst record of abuse of women and children and genocide of humanity (In terms of Numbers) in the history of man kind.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  140. Annie, Atlanta

    Not very Christian-like of him, is it. He's a hypocrite, to put it politely. What do you expect from the head of a “religion” that hates on gays while protecting pedophiles.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  141. BOB ASH


    The Pope works for God. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Gays shouldn't be killed but neither should the Pope carry a banner for gays. God is God.

    Bob Ash
    Glassboro, NJ

    March 9, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  142. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    I guess it means he still carries within himself some very sad part of his german history that must not allow to be repeated on any people and in this case on homosexual people! I think this is a very bad sign that we have representatives that are simply less and less living according to our real values of our humanity!

    March 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  143. Pat Thalman

    I wonder why you did not mention the leaders of other religions. Sounds like you are bashing Catholics.
    Pat T

    March 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
  144. Cheryl

    It means the Catholic Church is all about the money and has no regards for human life.

    March 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm |