Canada's own history with the church is speckled and mixed - hardly filled with the acts of a Church that is universally, and always, good. Whether it is the Church's operation of Mount Cashel Orphanage, participation in the Indian Residental Schools, or the numerous and seemingly repeating scandals of pedophile priests being caught out time and again, it seems as though the church has a pretty good legacy of lecturing people on the evils of their sexuality, while quietly covering up their own indiscretions.
Talk to the survivors of sexual abuse, and ask them how toxic it has been in their lives. Talk to the survivors of the residential schools about how well that little exercise worked, or the horrors they lived through. It's some of the darkest parts of Canada's history which have the Catholic Church right smack in the middle of it all.
I think particularly appalling has been the fact that the Church hierarchy had active policies in place in the 1960s which basically concealed any of the clergy who were known to be up to no good by moving them around to other parishes ... often one step ahead of the law it seems. In the most recent case, the Church was fully aware of what was happening, and did nothing about it.
So, it is with some askance that I regard statements like this from the Vatican:
"For example," the cardinal explained, "equality of people no longer just means equal dignity and access to fundamental human rights; but also the irrelevance of the natural differences between men and women, the uniformity of all individuals, as though they were sexually undifferentiated, and therefore the equality of all sexual orientations and behavior: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, polymorphous. Each individual has the right to freely practice -- and change, should they wish -- their choices in line with their drives, desires and preferences."
Goodness - the idea that we might treat people with respect and dignity - even when they are different from one another just seems so shockingly toxic compared to child abuse and actively facilitating it.
Really, coming from an organization that continues to advocate for the subjugation of women (preferably relegating them to the role of pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen under the current Pope it seems), enables pedophiles and shelters them from the law, and has participated actively in some of the most egregious moments in history, it's hard to take any of these utterances seriously. In fact, the first thought that springs to mind is "and just what is this Cardinal trying to hide?".
It has taken the better part of the last half century for Canada to begin confronting some of the darker chapters in its own short history. I can only imagine what is really going on behind closed doors in various African "missions" - no matter how noble their cause may sound - and in the silence of the moral shadows they cast, just how many innocent tears are being shed as a result of the "moral toxicity" of the church's own "Spiritual Toxic Waste".