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May 8, 2013

Holy See and Anglican Church views on homosexuality in court

And while that was the case submitted by Orozco’s lead counsel in a nutshell, Christopher Hamel-Smith spent quite a bit of time dealing with the fourth to sixth interested parties in the trial, the Churches. He spoke on the diversity of views allowed and supported by the Constitution of Belize, and likened that to the diversity of views found within the Church. In particular, keen attention was focused on the definite views expressed by the Holy See and the International Anglican Church on the issue of homosexuality. Mike Rudon was at Court today and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

In the courtroom on both the first and second days of the trial lead counsel for Caleb Orozco made repeated reference to a formal statement from the Vatican opposing the criminalization of homosexuality, which goes directly against the position advanced by the Catholic Church in Belize.


Christopher Hamel Smith, Attorney for Caleb Orozco

Christopher Hamel Smith

“One of the things we drew to the attention of the court is that while we respect the moral principles that Christians and other people may hold, even within the Christian community, there are very diverse views as to whether it is appropriate to use the criminal law to impose penalties for homosexual conduct. And we drew the court’s attention to a very clear statement from the Vatican, the Holy Sea itself, which was maintaining the church’s position as to the morality of homosexual conduct as a sin. Made it clear that they are against using the criminal law to punish people for their homosexual nature or their conduct.”


But there is some issue with that statement from the Vatican, according to Catholic priest Ian Taylor.


Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor, Catholic Priest, Trinidad

“That first of all is not the Vatican’s position. In fact, I think you can go online and see that the Holy See corrected that statement. That statement was made by the head of a department in the Vatican, but it does not represent the position of the church. The Vatican has corrected the statement by that official. In fact the official tried to correct his own statement, but he did not clarify it sufficiently. So the Holy See has now issued a formal statement correcting it. The official position of the church is with regard to that is that homosexuality is a disorder under the Catholic Church and this is from the holistic side. In no way had it had said that this should be decriminalized. In other words, what’s on the law books; it did not make a statement that it should be decriminalized except that that official spoke, but not representing the Holy See.”


Christopher Hamel Smith

“This is a case before the Belize court. That was an official statement issued under the letterhead of the Vatican. It was put into evidence months ago and the catholic church joined as an interested party; had every opportunity if there is a statement that they say is different to that to put that statement in response before the court. It seems to me extraordinary that if a statement is made in a case to which you have been asked to become a party and you do not think that that statement is true, you don’t tell the court. I do believe that it is rather odd that he should be telling that to the media rather than allowing the judge to know about it. That’s all I can say.”


Hamel-Smith also made reference to comments from leaders in the wider Anglican Church who oppose the criminalization of homosexuality. Bishop Phillip Wright does not dispute that, but says their views are different.


Phillip Wright

Phillip Wright, Anglican Bishop

“We’ve never hidden the fact that even in our own Anglican Communion there have been diverse views. If you take the church in the United States, they have gone well ahead in terms of accepting homosexuals and that lifestyle. But there are many other parts of the Anglican Communion that have not and we are among those that have still not gone that far in terms of our reception.”


Mike Rudon

“So a homosexual person would be welcomed in the Anglican Church?”


Phillip Wright

“Of course but they must understand that the church cannot accept the act, the actual behavior. But as a person, as an individual, you are welcomed and we want to send that message as well.”


So notwithstanding the arguments from Christopher Hamel-Smith, the position of the Churches stays the same. They will stand against any change to Section 53. Mike Rudon for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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19 Responses for “Holy See and Anglican Church views on homosexuality in court”

  1. Joshua says:

    What’s the problem with homosexuality? Is there one. Just cus some book says so people should forfeit their lives and loves and led what is to them an unnatural life. Some people are just gay and no god that I’ve come across can change what is.

    And !@#$ yes I support decriminalizing sodomy!!!

  2. Belizean says:

    I believe the pushing of this agenda is a global conspiracy for depopulation! What if all our daughters become gay? All our sons become gay? What future will there be? In a very short time there will be a 1/4 of the population left. Where do these people intend to go with this thing? They cannot foresee the damages and severe suffering they are causing a lot of innocent people

  3. Young Gial says:

    The problem with HomoSEXuality is that the act that makes a person a homosexual is against the order of nature and against the laws of God. Against the order of nature, because a homoSEXual act cannot produce an offspring and in fact, going a bit further as to why the HomoSEXual act is against the order of nature, is that it can actually rupture the anus over time and may require surgery for repair. Is that not sufficient enough to know that it is in fact not healthy.

  4. Alice says:

    Rupture the anus??? Really.. What happens when we have kids? People you really need to stop pretending to be so religious mein. The Bible is a chosen set of books…there were hundreds and only a few were chosen to be the Bible and it was chosen by people…NOT GOD! You really need to do your homework! So many women and men enjoy having anal sex…it is no longer an unnatural act! WAKE UP!!!



  6. Phillipa says:

    Not because men and woman enjoy it that makes it right . Come on people think

  7. ceo says:

    How can any priest stant in public and make the statements Ian Taylor just made and the church has been condoning the abuse of children in its care ofr the centuries? The Catholic church has never yes NEVER defrocked any of there prests for what they have done to the children in their trust! They are and will be for years to come in court and paying multimillion dollar finds for their “approval” of sex crimes against children. Let me hear someone from the church comment about this fact. If the reporters what to do justice why not ask them about this hard fact on camera?

  8. OWtoBoston says:

    I am ashamed to call myself Belizean sometimes when there is such bigotry and backwardness in the minds of the people. Stop listening to illogical preachings and educate yourself. Expose yourself to a global insight. Removing this archaic law would be a great step forward for Belize, and put in on track to be one with the world, not behind it. You can believe all that you like, but it stops there. Do not impose your own religious beliefs on anybody else.

  9. twosweetinez says:

    @OWtBoston:This is not about Religion,It’s about what is right.the words of God is not a religion.

  10. twosweetinez says:

    @Jashua:You sound like wah real Caleb Unibam.

  11. John Boy,Carson,Ca says:

    Thank God I do not live in Belize.Ignorance is abundant in my native land.

  12. yvonne says:

    Very well explained Mr Wade and Mr Taylor…and evidence is necessary here…we have never to my knowledge have any such violence threatened against UNIBAM or any other geys in Belize…except what came out from among their own…check out the history of those incidents…and now the foreign gey community is transposing their fears and experiences with violence where they cohabit…but we do not want that here…I believe this to be crying wolf…and acts of mischief by UNIBAM themselves to add some teeth to their arguments…I read a comment that said similar…”this will be good for our case…” something to that effect…why would there be violence suddenly after all these years? The posed the challenge like Mr Wade rightly said…would you think there would be no one to take up the challenge? My God who is the Supreme God of our constitution is being challenged…and I certainly arise to that challenge…who dares deny me my God given rights, not man given…but God given…the future of our children are at stake…we need to salvage those already caught in this web while securing the future for the others…love and peace

  13. OriginalWoman says:

    Cudos to you @ twosweetinez!!! Short and so, to the point….I totally agree!!!

  14. OriginalWoman says:

    Some people say, well people commit adultery, they lie, they steal, they kill and all this are against our Creator’s laws. And they are correct. Homosexuality and bi-sexuality are said to be frowned upon by the Creator, yet more and more people are doing. Yes, we are ALL sinners but I do not know of ANY SINS (whether it be, stealing, killing, lying, etc.) FORBIDDEN IN THE BIBLE, KORAN, TORAH, ETC. that have been made legal by man. People choose and have the power and right to choose the way they want to live. But to make a forbidden sin a recognized way of life, I say no way!!!! Morals are already on the low, and immorality on the high. I would be truly dissapointed to see Belize legalize same sex marriages. If it means staying behind the times, by saying no to gay-marriages….we should proudly do so and watch the rest of the world keep up with the “corrupted Modern day Societies”!!!

  15. anonymousBelizean says:

    if you havent notice, we are copying the US. US leagalized same sex marriage, now they want it to legalize it in Belize.

    I respect everyone, regardless of their sexuality but i stand firm against same sex marriage. ever since we were able to comprehend things, we have been taught that marriage is sacred, and its between a man and a woman, its blessed by God.

    if they change section 53, society will turn upside down, violence will increase even more and the government wont be able to handle it.

  16. Initiate says:

    @ ceo, it sounds like all you are doing is confessing that homosexuality is just as wrong as the priest molesting young children, and you are dead on right, they are both outright wrong! And should be punished just about equally I think.

  17. KINGSKID says:

    Brava, Original Woman! Succinct and sensible.

  18. Vivg1972 says:

    If all ‘immoral’ acts should be criminal offences, then perhaps adultery, which can be committed by heterosexual married couples only, should be made a criminal offence in Belize? I think half the population would then be in jail! There is a difference between what you consider immoral and what should be a criminal offence, and sexual behaviour between consenting adults should not result in jail sentences, or even the theoretical threat of it.

  19. OriginalWoman says:

    Vivg 1972, if two consenting adults have “straight or gay sex” it is there business and choice, I agree. But leagalizing same sex marriages is WRONG…..That is what I am saying. That people still choose to be gay, bi, or transexuals is their business. But it is against the Creator’s Laws, and just because America and Europe are todays modern day “SODOM &,GOMORAH” does not make it RIGHT!!!!! I personally feel proud that most Belizeans are not buying into the corruption, we have enough to worry about, ie: the murders, government corruption, children being abused, neglected, etc. We need ut more efforts to erradicate these problems. The way the world is going, there will be no limits, to anyone’s democracy or freedom to express who they are. Get ready for those who have sex,with children, animals, etc. to one day say, it it their right because they love whomever even if it a child or animal, and they want the right to do it publicly.

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