ROME, March 27, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Cardinal Carlo Martini, who at the conclave of 2005 was a favorite of ‘social justice’ Catholics to be elected Pope, has penned a book wherein he supports homosexual relationships.  The powerful Cardinal who was Archbishop of Milan until his retirement in 2002 at age 75, now lives in Jerusalem and suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

Given Cardinal Martini’s prominence in the Catholic Church (some sources suggest that he had quite a few votes to become Pope in the 2005 conclave) his statements on homosexuality point to a powerful counter-ideology that has made significant inroads into the Church’s teaching on the matter of homosexuality.  It is an ideology or theology that was warned about already in 1986 by Martini’s contemporary Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

In his newly released book, Credere e conoscere (Faith and Understanding), Cardinal Martini posits his disagreement with the Catholic teaching against homosexual civil unions.  “I disagree with the positions of those in the Church, that take issue with civil unions,” he wrote. “It is not bad, instead of casual sex between men, that two people have a certain stability” and that the “state could recognize them.”

Cardinal Martini says that he can even understand (but not necessarily approve) gay pride parades.  He says he agrees with the Catholic Church’s promotion of traditional marriage for the stability of the human species, however he adds, it is “not right to express any discrimination on other types of unions.”

In his 1986 ‘Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,’ then-Cardinal Ratzinger outlined the “causes of confusion regarding the Church’s teaching” on homosexuality.  He described a false “new exegesis of Sacred Scripture which claims variously that Scripture has nothing to say on the subject of homosexuality, or that it somehow tacitly approves of it, or that all of its moral injunctions are so culture-bound that they are no longer applicable to contemporary life.”

Cardinal Ratzinger laid out the false theology and counters it with a true Biblical exegesis which seeks, he says, to “speak the truth in love.”

He warned that “increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity.”

“The movement within the Church,” he explained, is made up of “those who either ignore the teaching of the Church or seek somehow to undermine it. … One tactic used is to protest that any and all criticism of or reservations about homosexual people, their activity and lifestyle, are simply diverse forms of unjust discrimination.”

Most importantly he said, “No authentic pastoral programme will include organizations in which homosexual persons associate with each other without clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral. A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to avoid the near occasions of sin.”

He added: “But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.”