Catholic Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis who now serves on the Vatican's highest court, said the "homosexual condition" is an "abnormal condition," and that there is no reason for the Catholic Church to "ask forgiveness for teaching the truth about sex and sexuality."
In a Dec. 21 interview with the Macau diocesan newspaper O Clarim, the editors asked Cardinal Burke, "In an in-flight interview, after the umpteenth question about homosexuals, the Holy Father [Pope Francis] said that we obviously must not discriminate and we have to ask forgiveness from these people for the way they are treated."
Cardinal Burke said, "I haven’t read the Pope’s text. What I can say is that this year I turned 69, and I have spent my whole life in the Catholic Church. I have never encountered discrimination against people who suffer from the homosexual condition."
"We know that we are dealing with an abnormal condition: God has not created us to have sexual relations with people of the same sex," said Burke. "This is not a discrimination against persons. It is to affirm the truth of Christ, the truth of our faith."
He continued, "I must say sincerely, even though I haven’t read the words of the Pope, that I don’t see why the Church ought to ask forgiveness for teaching the truth about sex and sexuality."
"Rather, during my priesthood of more than 42 years, I have always found priests very compassionate in meetings with people who have had this difficulty and have suffered from this condition," said the cardinal.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. (2357)
"The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided....(2358)
"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (2359)"
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