By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, at the World Meeting of Families in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY, January 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family has issued a clarification of remarks by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, reiterating the Catholic Church’s condemnation of homosexual sexual acts.

The clarification followed Antonelli’s statement to the media, made yesterday during a press conference at the World Meeting of Families in Mexico City, that "the homosexual experience must stay within the confines of a private relation, a relation between friends."  The quote was picked up by the French Press Agency in its reporting on the meeting. 

Seeking to avoid a misunderstanding over the Church’s teaching on homosexual behavior, Subsecretary Carlos Simon Vazquez held a second press conference, stating that "affirming that homosexuality is something private, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family did not intend to justify it."

"The cardinal simply emphasized that homosexuality does not contribute favorably to the structuring of people and society," said Vazquez. "The exercise of homosexuality does not reflect the truth about friendship.  Friendship is inherent to the human condition in which there are relations of closeness, support, and cooperation, in a polite and friendly climate.  Friendship should be lived in chastity."

In reiterating the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexual behavior, Vazquez also took pains to emphasize that the Church’s condemnation of unnatural sexual behavior does not extend to people afflicted with homosexual tendencies who live a chaste life.

"The Church continues to seek to receive and accompany homosexual people," said Vazquez. "Every person who has difficulties living their sexuality in a proper manner is called to find Christ and to live, in consequence, in accordance with the demands of freedom and responsibility, of faith and charity."

"In contrast, it is contrary to the truth of human identity and the design of God to live a homosexual experience, a relationship of this type, much less to seek to vindicate marriage between people of the same sex,” continued Vazquez.  “They are contrary to the true interests of people and the needs of society.  They constitute a transgression against the sense of love as God has revealed it to us through the message of Christ, of which the Church is a servant, as an expression of charity towards the men and women of our time."

Related Links:

Full Translation of Statement of Fr. Carlos Simon Vazquez of the Pontifical Council of the Family on the immorality of homosexual behavior
http://www.zenit.org/article-24800?l=english