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Vatican condemns claim by priest that Italian earthquakes caused by civil unions

Vatican condemns claim by priest that Italian earthquakes caused by civil unions
Pope Francis attends a morning session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014.Photo: Gregorio Borgia, AP

The Vatican is distancing themselves from inflammatory remarks made by a Catholic friar on fundamentalist radio station Radio Maria. Dominican friar Giovanni Cavalcoli said on the program that the recent devastating earthquake to hit Italy was caused by acceptance of civil unions for same-sex couples.

“From a theological point of view, these disasters are the result of original sin,” Cavalcoli said. “We are in the presence of a divine punishment. The earthquake was a punishment for the sins of man […] and two men together represent a sin against nature.”

Monsignor Angelo Becciu, deputy secretary of state for the Vatican, however called the remarks pagan in nature and offensive.

“Comments like this are offensive for believers, and scandalous for non-believers,” Becciu said. “Christ has revealed to us a God of love, not a capricious vindictive face. That is a pagan vision, not a Christian vision. May the earthquake victims forgive us.”

Becciu also chastised the radio station, saying it needed to “moderate the tone of its language” and conform to the Church’s message of mercy. The station has previously come under fire for anti-Semitic comments from guests.

The friar, for his part, isn’t backing down from his statement.

“Just read the catechism,” Father Cavalcoli said.

 

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