Wednesday, 25 July 2012

New Archbishop hops straight into innuendo and ignorance on LGBT health

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted Matthew 5:4

Though not necessarily from Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the newly appointed Catholic Archbishop for the Diocese of Glasgow.

I first encountered acute pancreatitis, the disease which struck down David Cairns MP, during my running days, when it struck down one of the men I knew from the long distance road racing circuit. You see on of the less common causes is repeated marathon running and back in the early 90s that was even more of a craze for people. That particular man was in his mid thirties and left a wife and two young children behind when he too died of the disease. He was in very good health you would assume judging by the times he was able to run. Yet his body also succumbed at a young age.

The new Archbishop in his statement says:

"If what I have heard is true about the relationship between physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true, then society has been very quiet about it.

"Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so and nobody said anything and why his body should just shut down at that age, obviously he could have had a disease which would have killed anyone, but you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing.

"But society won't address it."

So firstly yes Your Eminence it is a disease that could have killed anyone. So well done on upsetting that man's family, also other sufferers of acute pancreatitis and a great many other people who have family that die young. Medicine is great, but not 100% guaranteed to help up all live to Cardinal retirement age.

As for the mental health problems in gay men. Yes there is a higher prevalence of it. But it is societal issues that cause it. It is churches denying that there are young gay men and women in their midst which leave each individual to struggle on alone until they realise differently. It is the pressure from society, from peers at school, in the workplace, on the sports field to fit in with the heterosexual experience that is freely talked about, when your own experience is often hushed up by society.

So to make his first proclamation again attacking the gay community including those within his church he has carried on adding to that anxiety, mental anguish and worry of many of his flock. Well done.

Maybe we should ask him and other church leaders to help address that.

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