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South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier discusses the Synod on the Family's interim report at a Vatican press conference on October 14, 2014. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
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African cardinal rebukes Cardinal Marx’s call for apology to homosexuals

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

June 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In a pithy tweet on Saturday, a prominent South African cardinal rebuked German Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s claim that the Church should “apologize” to homosexuals.

“God help us! Next we'll have to apologise for teaching that adultery is a sin! Political Correctness (PC) is today's major heresy!” Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier tweeted.

Napier posted his tweet in response to African pro-life and pro-family activist Obianuju Ekeocha, the founder of Culture of Life Africa, who tweeted an Irish Times article about Marx’s comments. Marx, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, said that up until “very recently” the Catholic Church had been “very negative about gay people,” and that “it was a scandal and terrible.”

Marx suggested that the Church begin to look favorably on same-sex relationships, although not recognize them as marriages.

“You cannot say that a relationship between a man and a man, and they are faithful, [that] that is nothing, that has no worth,” he said.

The Catholic Church teaches that same-sex attractions are “objectively disordered,” but those who experience them “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (CCC 2358).

The Catholic Church also teaches that “under no circumstances” can homosexual actions be approved. Such actions “are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity” (CCC 2357).

Marx also commented on government recognition of same-sex relationships, saying it’s up to the state “to make regulations for homosexuals so they have equal rights or nearly equal . . . but marriage is another point,” and that the state “has to regulate these partnerships and to bring them into a just position, and we as church cannot be against it.”

In a 2003 document titled Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope St. John Paul II wrote that “clear and emphatic opposition” to legalized same-sex “marriage” is a duty for Catholics:

In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

On Sunday, Pope Francis echoed Marx’s statement that Christians should apologize to homosexuals.

Update, June 29:

In a series of subsequent Twitter exchanges, Napier clarified that he was not criticizing Pope Francis. 

“I said: political correctness is THE major heresy! I didn't in any way define what is PC or not!” he wrote.

He wrote that Pope Francis’s call for an apology referred also to others “who are marginalised, and who should be included in the Church's apology for not intervening on their behalf.”

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