Cardinal Shamed In Palm Sunday Protest
Cardinal protects paedophile priests, but condemns gay people.
Vatican blocks gay human rights vote at the UN.
Catechism reviles gays as "debased", disordered" and a "grave depravity".
LONDON - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was confronted by gay rights protesters this morning (Sunday 4 April 2004) as the Palm Sunday procession entered Westminster Cathedral in London. The main doors of the Cathedral were picketed by six campaigners from the gay human rights group OutRage!.
Peter Tatchell remonstrated with the Cardinal on the Cathedral steps: "Your church protects paedophile priests, while persecuting gay people in loving relationships. You support legal discrimination against gay people and oppose gay equality and human rights".
The Cardinal remained impassive and indifferent, as he and his aides pushed through the peaceful protesters.
The protesters were violently manhandled by clergy and congregants, with some being punched and knocked to the ground. Several congregants taunted the gay campaigners as "sick", and "unnatural", as they tore placards from their hands.
The placards read: "Vatican blocks gay human rights at UN", "Catholics! Stop crucifying queers!", and "Gays are not 'intrinsically disordered' - Shame on Catholic Catechism!".
"We were protesting against the Vatican's blocking of a UN vote last week which would have condemned homophobic discrimination and the imprisonment, torture, murder of gay people", said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
"In over 70 countries homosexuality is still totally illegal, and in seven Islamic states homosexuals face the death penalty".
"The Vatican opposed the UN resolution condemning the persecution of lesbians and gay men. It mobilised the Islamic countries to block the vote in the UN Human Rights Commission. By stopping this vote, the Catholic Church is colluding with the persecution of gay people worldwide", said Mr Tatchell.
"In Britain, the Catholic Church has protected paedophile priests while denouncing loving gay relationships and supporting legal discrimination against homosexuals", added Brett Lock of OutRage!.
"The Catholic Catechism denounces gay relationships as'debased','disordered' and a'grave depravity'. In February, the Vatican backed a Catholic theologian who urged that gay children should be'commanded' to undergo psychiatric treatment".
"The Pope last year attacked gay marriages as'evil' and vilified supporters of gay equality as'gravely immoral'. He also denounced homosexual equality as a'deviant trend' and condemned same-sex relationships as being'without any social value'", said Mr Lock.
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