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Homophobic cardinal, exiled by the Pope for opposing condoms to prevent HIV, wants Catholics to keep going to church

Lily Wakefield March 23, 2020
Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke

Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke. (Stefano Montesi - Corbis/Getty)

An Italian homophobic Catholic cardinal, who blamed the church’s child sex abuse scandal on the “moral depravity” of gays and was exiled by the Pope for opposing condoms to prevent HIV, wants Catholics to keep going to church.

Cardinal Raymond Burke is known as one of the most extreme anti-gay figures in the Catholic church, and was officially removed from the Vatican committee by the Pope in 2014. 

Burke was one of two prominent cardinals who criticised the Catholic Church for spreading the “plague of the homosexual agenda”, as the Pope was preparing for an extraordinary conference to address the clerical sex abuse scandal in 2019. He added that homosexuality was a “tendency that is disordered” and needed to be “purified at the root”.

He has also called homosexuality “evil” and “wrong”, and endorsed homophobia saying that it was “simply announcing the truth, helping people to discriminate right from wrong in terms of their own activities”.

In a message to Italian Catholics on March 21, Burke said that they should still be able to attend church services, despite Italy’s nationwide lockdown.

He wrote: “Just as we are able to purchase food and medicine, while taking care not to spread the coronavirus in the process, so also we must be able to pray in our churches and chapels, receive the Sacraments, and engage in acts of public prayer and devotion.”

Of course, the Catholic cardinal also managed to squeeze some homophobia and transphobia into his message.

Burke added: “A person of faith cannot consider the present calamity in which we find ourselves without considering also how distant our popular culture is from God… We need only to think of the pervasive attack upon the integrity of human sexuality, of our identity as man or woman, with the pretence of defining for ourselves, often employing violent means, a sexual identity other than that given to us by God.

“With ever greater concern, we witness the devastating effect on individuals and families of the so-called ‘gender theory’.”

In 2014, the Catholic cardinal said that parents should keep their children away from LGBT+ relatives. 

He said: “If homosexual relations are intrinsically disordered, which indeed they are as reason teaches us and also our faith, then what would it mean to grandchildren to have present at a family gathering a family member who is living [in] a disordered relationship with another person?

“If it were another kind of relationship, something that was profoundly disordered and harmful, we wouldn’t expose our children to that relationship… and neither should we do it in the context of a family member who not only suffers from same-sex attraction, but who has chosen to live out that attraction, to act upon it, committing acts which are always and everywhere wrong, evil.”

More: Catholic cardinal, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Italy, Pope, Raymond Burke

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