Even the Holy See is hard up for tourism dollars. While Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t have an official tourism bureau, at least one of his minions is acting as the default travel cheerleader for the Vatican. And he’d love to show you around the place, so long as you only have intercourse with the opposite sex.
As you would expect, visiting Vatican City is often the priority of Catholic pilgrimages. But the layperson is welcome too. Well, laypersons of a certain persuasion.
The Vatican’s Bishop Janusz Kaleta (he holds the title of Apostolic Administrator of Atyrau, Kazakhstan) says he’s a big fan of religious pilgrimages — because “they are mostly connected not with the most rich of society; most are of average to the lower incomes” — but if you’re looking to cruise at a discotheque, go elsewhere.
“The church teachings are from the Bible,” he says. “If we change this teaching, we will not be the Catholic Church. Don’t expect the Catholic church to change these issues, because it is our identity. … I consider if someone is homosexual, it is a provocation and an abuse of this place. Try to go to a mosque if you are not Muslim. It is abuse of our buildings and our religion because the church interprets our religion that it is not ethical. We expect respect of our church as we expect to respect that a person does not have to belong to the Catholic Church. If you have different ideas, go to a different location.”
Fine, but might the future hold a place when the gays will be welcome? “Such demonstrations are just not ethical.”
So much for Holy Pride.