Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan Wins the Second Annual Coughie Award!
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:17:48 PM EST
Well, it's that time of the year when this column hands out its annual Coughlin Award to a co-religionist of mine who best exemplifies an exclusionary, strident interpretation of the Catholic faith. This year's field of finalists was thick with deserving recipients. There was Deal Hudson was notable for his efforts to sabotage universal health care; Archbishop Charles Chaput also caught our panelist's eye for his knack for rendering religiously supremacist proclamations, also in relation to health care reform legislation. And the there was of course, perennial favorite Bill Donohue.

But none of these could match our 2009 prize winner Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan who declared that homosexuality is "an insult to God" and "transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.""

As you may recall, last year's winner was Bishop Rene H. Gracida for, as we then put it, for "...[his] vital role in keeping the culture wars going while others of your faith attempt to seek common ground and coexistence." Bishop Gracida's award-winning act was to do a radio ad with anti-abortion militant Randall Terry that exploited then-presidential candidate Obama's Arabic middle name for political gain.

It was difficult to top that performance, but this year's winner, out did the Texas bishop with his not-so-subtle effort to instill damnation anxiety in our LGBT brothers and sisters.

But before we shine the spotlight on Cardinal Barragan's award winning feat, let's remind:   ourselves about the namesake of the Coughlin Award.  

The Coughlin (or as I affectionately refer to them, "the Coughies") is named after the infamous 1930s radio priest and noted anti-Semite, Rev. Charles Coughlin whose media diatribes against FDR and Judaism while being openly sympathetic to the racist policies of Adolph Hitler made him a role model for today's TV and radio preachers and "conservative" media personalities. Such advocacy was clearly antithetical the very definition of the word "catholic," which, according to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary means:

Catholic Cath"o*lic\ (k[a^]th"[-o]*[i^]k), a. [L. catholicus, Gr. kaqoliko`s, universal, general; kata` down, wholly + "o`los whole, probably akin to E. solid: cf. F. catholique.]

1. Universal or general; as, the catholic faith.

Men of other countries [came] to bear their part in so great and catholic a war. --Southey.

Note: This epithet, which is applicable to the whole Christian church, or its faith, is claimed by Roman Catholics to belong especially to their church, and in popular usage is so limited.


*Not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted; liberal; as, catholic tastes.

*Of or pertaining to, or affecting the Roman Catholics; as, the Catholic emancipation act.

This year's award winner, Cardinal Barragan, is no stranger to  verbal bomb throwing. Until last April the Mexican prelate served as the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers. It is the council's job to explain the Church's view on health care issues.  During his tenure, he distinguished himself by injecting himself into the Teri Schiavo matter, saying that, "Let's stop with the euphemisms-they killed her." For good measure, Cardinal Barragan, placed himself well withing the Coughlin tradition of religious bigotry,  adding: "A doctor who is not a believer is always a frustrated doctor."

But it was his recent pronouncement  LGBT people that catapulted Barragan into the winner's circle.  Agence France Press reported:

(AFP) - Dec 2, 2009

VATICAN CITY - Homosexuals and transsexuals "will never enter the kingdom of heaven", a leading Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday.

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan said that while the Church regarded homosexuality as an "insult to God", this did not justify discrimination against gay and transsexual people.

"Transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter the kingdom of heaven and it is not me who says this, but Saint Paul," the cardinal said, in comments reported by the Ansa news agency.

"People are not born homosexual, they become homosexual, for different reasons: education issues or because they did not develop their own identity during adolescence. It may not be their fault, but acting against nature and the dignity of the human body is an insult to God," he said.

Barragan, the retired head of the Vatican's Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, quoted a passage from Paul's epistle to the Romans which speaks of "men committing indecent acts with other men".

"Homosexuality is therefore a sin, but this does not justify any form of discrimination. God alone has the right to judge," the cardinal said.

"We on earth cannot condemn, and as human beings we all have the same rights."

(Cardinal Barragan's statement was so volatile that the Vatican immediately went into spin cycle, saying that the Cardinal was either misquoted or misunderstood.)

The Cardinal's achievement is rooted in his deft capacity to have it both ways: When he declares that,  "Transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter the kingdom of heaven" and then claims that "God alone has the right to judge"  either Cardinal Barragan has substituted his judgment for that of the Divine Lord's, or he is in fact, God.

Even Bill Donohue couldn't  top that, and the 2009 Coughie goes to Barragan!




Display:
I recommend this post from the web site Enlightened Catholicism.

When Catholicism follows the Golden Rule, she does great things. When she lets herself be held hostage to tired old dogmas based upon erroneous science, only bad things can happen. It's a rationalization for age-old prejudices.

Just take a look at what's going on in Uganda.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:37:42 PM EST


I agree, there were a number of worthy contenders for the Coughie this year. I could see Tim Dolan and Ray Burke as future candidates.


by khughes1963 on Mon Dec 21, 2009 at 11:10:45 AM EST


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