Thursday, December 03, 2009

Vatican Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. - Apparently on spin cycle.


Rebukes Mexican Cardinal Javier Barragan?  I don't think so.
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As you know from my earlier post, yesterday Cardinal Barragan, referencing the words of St. Paul, stated publicly, "Transsexuals and homosexuals will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it's not me who says it but St. Paul."  The Cardinal's comments were posted on a conservative Catholic website called http://www.pontifex.roma/
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After protests from gay activist groups, some in the media are reporting that "the Vatican has rebuked the Cardinal" for his statement.  No it hasn't.  Actually, Fr. Lombardi is doing all the talking right now, and to my knowledge he seems to be working on damage control - and not rebuking anyone:
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The Vatican distanced itself from the comments in a statement that was highly unusual because it indirectly criticized a top Church official.
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Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the website should not be considered an authority on Catholic thinking "on complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality".
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Lombardi quoted from the official Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, which says homosexual acts are a "disorder" but acknowledges that many people have "innate homosexual tendencies" and should be treated with respect and not be subject to discrimination.  The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are sinful but homosexuality in itself is not. - Source
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Anyone who follows Vatican news knows that Lombardi has not always been on top of his game when it comes to the press releases issued from his office.
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Father Lombardi viewed his role at the press office differently from his predecessor. He explained that he does not want to be called the papal "spokesman": "I don't think my role is to explain the pope's thinking or explain the things that he already states in an extraordinarily clear and rich way." But, ironically, Lombardi's stumbles began in 2007 when he began to do exactly what he said he would not: interpret.

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It is surprising that Father Lombardi, given his experience, would have allowed such high-profile blunders. He worked for the influential Jesuit-run magazine La Civiltà Cattolica and served as superior of the Jesuits' Italian province. In 1991, he was named program director, and later general director, of Vatican Radio, and was also made general director of the Vatican Television Centre in 2001. He continues to hold all three directorships (though he does not manage L'Osservatore Romano). - Deal Hudson for LifeSiteNews, 5/25/09
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I am certain that Cardinal Barragan, given the time and platform, would qualify his comments with greater theological clarity, as it was, he stated matter of fact the traditional interpretation of St. Paul's teaching regarding homosexual acts which must be judged "in the larger context of the biblical teaching on human sexuality and marriage.  In the classical texts, homosexual acts is always condemned." - Fr. John Harvey, The Truth About Homosexuality: The value of argument from specific biblical texts, p.138-141
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Gay activists and historical revisionists take the scriptural prohibitions out of context using a process often disparaged as "reductionist manipulation".  These are offered as a basis for dialog by gay activist theologians, and may well influence a great number of Catholic Church clerics and professionals, which affects the careful approach by Church spokesman to such "complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality".
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The fact media gives greater coverage and support to reductionist theories creates doubt in the minds of the faithful who adhere to traditional teaching.  That said - The Cardinal was not rebuked. 
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I think the subject is so dire and the heresies so pervasive, an Apostolic Letter or Exhortation directly from the Pope is called for.
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UPDATE:  Analyst says 'homosexuals will go to hell' likely a misquote of Vatican cardinal - CNA

6 comments:

  1. I think so too. Where is the Inquisition when you need it? Really, I'm serious. This heretical disease will spread even worse, if not brought under control -- immediately.

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  2. michael r.4:27 PM

    I'm very skeptical of this story. Has the press quoted this Cardinal correctly, or gotten any part of this story correct? If, in fact, he says that homosexuals can't be saved, he's crazy. But I don't believe that's the case. Look at the source that you referenced, Terry. Whatever that publication is, they put a header which claims he says that 'gays' can't be saved. When you read the article, he says what you've used, that 'homosexuals' can't be saved, because St. Paul says it's so. But then he further states that we cannot judge, only God can judge. So, what in the world is the man attempting to say?

    I'd love it if the Holy Father would offer clarification - clear language - but I'm not holding my breath.

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  3. I wish the Holy Father would address the issue as well. Michael, I may be wrong but I believe the Cardinal's comments should be taken within the context of Church teaching which Fr. Harvey writes on in the book I cited with the quote I used.

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  4. I just read the CNA report and the Pontifex source does appear to be unreliable - once again however, Fr. Harvey's book presents clear Catholic teaching on the subject, in accord with what the catechism teaches:

    “the number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

    The acts are condemned.

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  5. Anonymous7:27 PM

    Terry, I am glad you seem to be feelinng better. Straight from the Cathechism. The homosexual is to unite his sufferings with the Cross. The answer that no one ever wants to hear. I got into an involved debate over at America about this.

    I read a translated version of the original Italian article and it was nearly indecipherable. I think that there is literally, a failure in translation. I thought that Lombardi SJ responded correctly though. He appeared to support the Catechism. Maybe I missed something.
    Maria

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  6. My Mexican brother laid it on the line.

    Some were perturbed. Many went running for cover.

    Such is life.

    May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.

    Viva Cristo Rey!

    Viva la Virgin Guadalupana!

    Santa María de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.

    *

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