[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.
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?
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.
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.