Another reason to ignore these "Holier Than Thou" religious leaders:
Pope criticizes Canada on gay marriage and abortion
Roman Catholic politicians are urged not to sacrifice their personal beliefs to back legislation contrary to their faith
BY ALLISON HANES - National Post
TORONTO — In a toughly worded statement, Pope Benedict XVI Friday singled out Roman Catholic politicians in Canada who voted for gay marriage, urging them not to sacrifice their personal beliefs for the sake of opinion polls and social trends.
The Pope repeated his opposition to abortion and gay marriage after a week of meetings with Ontario Catholic bishops.
The group, including Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic of Toronto, are wrapping up an ad limina visit to the Vatican — a once-everyfive-years courtesy call where they provide the Pope with a state-of-the-union report on their diocese.
“In the name of tolerance, your country has had to endure the folly of the redef inition of spouse, and in the name of freedom of choice it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children,” the Pope said.
The pontiff touched on the highly sensitive issue of whether Catholic politicians can back legislation allowing practices such as gay marriage and abortion even if they are personally opposed to them.
He condemned such behaviour as “false dichotomies.”
Same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada after a series of provincial court decisions and the passage last year of a bill in Parliament by a 164-137 margin.
But during last winter’s federal election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to reopen the debate, which in many cases has pitted MPs against the positions of their parties.
A vote on whether to revisit the law is scheduled to take place this fall.
Gilles Marchildon, executive director of EGALE Canada, a same-sex rights group that pushed hard for the marriage law, said Friday he was not overly surprised by the Pope’s latest comment, since he has expressed his opposition before.
It is hard to tell, Marchildon said, how his remarks might influence the next round of the parliamentary debate.
“Most politicians are able to be objective and while being informed by their faith, are not shackled by it,” he said.
Before his death, Pope Jean Paul II vociferously denounced Canada for its drive to legalize same-sex marriage.
Archdiocese of Toronto public relations director Neil McCarthy explained Friday that the Pope’s latest foray into the gay marriage debate came directly in response to issues the visiting Ontario bishops would have raised.
He said Catholic bishops from Quebec and the Atlantic provinces also made an ad limina visit to the Vatican earlier this year, eliciting a response from the Pope on other matters of concern in Canada, like unemployment and declining church attendance among young people.