The Roman Catholic Church still regards homosexuality as an “insult to God” and homosexuals and transsexuals will never go to Heaven, a leading cardinal said on Wednesday, prompting a rebuke from the Vatican.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the retired head of the Vatican’s Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, made the comments Wednesday to a conservative Web site, the British newspaper The Telegraph reports.
In remarks which outraged gay rights groups, he claimed that people were not born gay, but chose to embrace homosexuality of their own free will.
“People are not born homosexual, they become homosexual, for different reasons: education issues or because they did not develop their own identity during adolescence.
“Perhaps they aren’t guilty but by acting against the dignity of the body they will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The comments prompted a response from Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who said the Web site to which Barragan spoke should not be considered an authority on Catholic thinking “on complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality.”
Current Catholic teaching acknowledges that some people have innate homosexual tendencies but that homosexual acts are “disordered.”
Full story at the Telegraph.