Top billing: the pope’s Christmas speech

Because of its importance, remaining at the top of the blog for now: what the pope really said in his Christmas address to the Curia.

Read the official English text here, and the Dutch translation I made here.

In the Dutch media today, the first reports came in that the pope didn’t actually say anything about homosexuals or gay marriage. This after gay rights association COC asked the government to take steps against the Holy See, a number of Catholics quite loudly announced they were now ‘de-baptised’ and some even suggested we should stop sending flowers to the Vatican for Easter…

Much damage has been done, not least in the hearts of people, faithful and others, who assumed they could take media reports seriously… Sadly this was not so, as preconceptions and agendas took precedence over factual reporting. As the issue remains current (strikingly enough, mostly in the Netherlands), this post will remain at the top of my blog, in order to easily access the text of Pope Benedict’s address.

Edit [3 January]:  Although most of the initial debate and outrage has died down, it is clear that much ignorance about what the pope actually said, coupled with unawareness of the meaning of what he did say, still exists. In part, this is due to people, unavoidably, forming opinions which they have no reason to change, but a significant cause is also the failure of the Church herself to be clear or to clarify, or, if necessary, to protest strongly. I don’t think the Holy See should have come out with any fo the kind since the outrage is quite exclusive to the Netherlands. But the authorities within the Netherlands should have done more than a single five-line statement with links to the English text and the Dutch translation available at While availability of the texts is important (hence my own translation linked above), it is not enough to explain and clarify the lies and faulty assumptions in media reports.

I found that many people still act surprised when informed that the media reports were, in fact, completely incorrect. A sure sign that not only we, as Catholic faithful, must enter into debate and conversation about these topics, but that the institutional Church as a whole should do likewise. I think the latter dropped the ball here.


One thought on “Top billing: the pope’s Christmas speech”

  1. You have a very useful blog and it is interesting to know the problems faced by the Dutch church . The situation regarding reporting of the pope’s comments is the same in the UK . The media focus only on sexual teaching and even then , they distort and change the message to cast the church in the role of antediluvian obscurantist monster! Keep up the good work . Anthony

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