When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Pope Slams Gay Marriage. Where's The Tweet?

So far Benedict XVI's new @Pontifex on Twitter has avoided controversial topics.

LA STAMPA, LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), AFP

Worldcrunch

VATICAN CITY - The Pope's regular Christmas season schedule is underway, with Friday featuring the lighting of the Christmas tree in St Peter's Square and the release of the text of Benedict XVI's message for the World Day of Peace.

The pontiff's annual message covered familiar ground: human dignity, religious tolerance, economic justice and, of course, peace itself.

But there were other ideas that not all "people of good will" necessarily share, including some notably strong language on gay marriage, as a debate rages on legalizing same-sex unions in traditionally Catholic countries like France and Uruguay.

Laws granting legal status for gay unions, he said, "actually harm and help destabilize marriage" by obscuring its specific nature as a union between man and woman that forms the basis of society, La Stampa reports. "These principles are not truths of faith, or a derivation of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, identifiable with reason and are therefore common to all mankind."

Strong stuff, though hardly surprising. Still, this combative "message of peace" raises a question from the real BIG papal news of the week: His Holiness' hopping (and hoping) on Twitter.

Though it has since topped one million followers, Benedict's @Pontifex account has been quiet since firing off his first seven tweets on Wednesday with plenty of 140-character eloquence, but little edginess:

Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you

— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012

Amidst all the online giddiness about a tweeting Pope, no one asked when or if he will cover more controversial ground on the network. A former professor of theology, Benedict is known for his sharp prose.

His message Friday said that gay marriage, abortion and assisted suicide are an "offense against the truth of the human person, with serious harm to justice and peace." Wow, that would work as a tweet, and is well within Twitter's 140-character limit; and anyone with any experience tweeting knows: such provocative messages are the way to get lots of followers, which is after all what Popes are about. The problem is that such clarity is how you lose them too...

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How Western Sanctions Are Quietly Undermining Russia's Fighting Power

Despite what the Kremlin claims, Western sanctions against Russia are working. Perhaps most important is the embargo on electronic component exports, which prevents the Russian army from rebuilding tanks and missiles severely depleted in the war.

Russian tanks roll down Moscow's Red Square during a Victory Day military parade

Yves Bourdillon

-Analysis-

PARIS Europe is shooting itself in the foot.

That was the narrative that spread among both the public and economists: the European Union sanctions against Russia were bound to backfire, without ever really taking a toll on Moscow — power shortages this winter in the West, while Russia "bathes in cash" thanks to soaring energy prices and a rising ruble. All the while, the received wisdom told us, Moscow will be able to skirt any EU export embargoes via the black market or thanks to its Chinese ally.

The ever masochistic European Union was blindly following the U.S, rather than truly defending our interests by advocating a rapid diplomatic solution, a formula that ultimately means "just let Putin take Ukraine".

The only problem is that this narrative is that it's a myth. It is a line of rhetoric based on a lack of understanding of the real objectives and functioning of sanctions.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ