ROME, May 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The family is a sanctuary of God’s “spiritual treasure” currently being “plundered” by Satan through the acceptance of abortion and homosexual “marriage,” Cardinal Jānis Pujats told participants via video at the Rome Life Forum in Rome today (read full talk below).
Cardinal Pujats, the archbishop emeritus of Riga, Latvia, was initially named a cardinal in pectore, or secretly, to avoid state persecution, by Pope John Paul II in 1998. While speaking at the Voice of the Family’s Rome Life Forum Friday by pre-recorded message, Pujats gave a short address true to the saint’s interest in the family.
“When God created human beings, He said to them: ‘Increase and multiply, and fill the earth,’” the cardinal recalled.
“Moreover, God dedicated three out of the Ten Commandments to the protection of family: That is: ‘Honor thy father and thy mother,’ ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ and ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.’ These laws reflect God’s care for the family.”
Pujats said that the family is a “sanctuary or repository of spiritual treasure” that must be guarded from theft by Satan, “the Great Robber.” Families provide children with life, language, faith, and “the basic skills for existence.” They also provide homes for older children as they complete their schooling.
The cardinal sees the activity of “the Great Robber” in the recognition of same-sex “marriage.” Recognition of such unions in the Church, he said, is impossible because “this kind of cohabitation is an empty parody of marriage, in which partners seek sexual gratification in a perverse way.”
“In case of abortion, doctors become executioners, and such a way leads to nowhere,” he said.
In pondering Christian values, above all God’s commandments, Pujats reflected on the original vision for the European Union proposed by the Luxembourg-born French Catholic Robert Schuman. It was meant to be “a community of nations deeply rooted in Christian values.” The cardinal said we should not abandon or stray from this vision.
The fact that we must keep God’s commandments to enter the Kingdom of Heaven shows that God and His justice are at the center of Christian values, Pujats said. He characterized Christians as those on pilgrimage to “a heavenly home” who also believe that Divine Providence governs the present life. This faith in God gives “profound meaning” to human life, and the cardinal believes that every state education system should respect and guarantee belief in God “so that people can have a worthy and consistent purpose in life.”
Regarding laws, Pujats declared that they should protect only “positive values.” The cardinal finds it strange that states justify the legalization of same-sex “marriage” by the concept of “orientation.” Pujats believes that homosexuality is not an orientation, but a vice. Meanwhile, although votes can change laws, they cannot change the concept of virtue, he argued, and he said it is “important” that every new generation defend family values.
In contrast to human laws, God’s commandments require us to love Him more than anything else, the cardinal said and praised the divine laws for protecting “the inner freedom of the person.” Pujats stated that God’s commandments give independence from enslaving sinful habits. To obey God’s will, we are given strength through prayer.
Pujats concluded his remarks by reflecting that God also chose to help us obey Him, while at the same time allowing us free will, by coming to Earth and taking on our humanity: “God Himself came on this earth and lived among men for thirty-three years so that people could see him as a child, a teenager, a young man, and adult man, who sacrifices His own life as a martyr for the salvation of mankind.
“And, once his mission was accomplished, he went back to the Kingdom of Heaven. And his mission is being continued by all Christians acting and contributing to the common effort.”
Cardinal Pujats was the archbishop of Riga from June 1, 1991 until June 19, 2010. Once a target of the Soviet Union, he has more recently been a target of homosexual activists angered by his opposition to LGBT Pride events in Latvia.
In January 2018, Pujats joined three Kazakh bishops and two Italian archbishops in signing the “Profession of Immutable Truths about Sacramental Marriage,” a statement in response to Pope Francis’s and some bishops’ interpretation to allow some divorced and “remarried” Catholics who have neither received annulments nor are living in sexual continence access to the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Communion.
Talk by Cardinal Pujats
Delivered May 17, 2019 at the Rome Life Forum in Rome
My address today is about topical issues concerning society and the family. When God created human beings, He said to them: ‘Increase and multiply, and fill the earth’. Moreover, God dedicated three out of the ten Commandments to the protection of family: That is: ‘Honour thy father and thy mother’, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’, and ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’. These laws reflect God’s care for the family.
What does a child receive in his family? First of all, in the family, he receives life from his parents. He grows up in his parents’ love and care. Secondly, in his family, the child learns the language; he does it easily and in a fundamental way. From the time of our own childhood, we know that without any special grammar studies we learn to speak our mother tongue. Thirdly, in the family, the child gets acquainted with faith in God. He sees his parents pray in front of sacred images. He hears the words of prayer. And he himself gets the idea about God. Fourthly, while living in a family, the person learns all the basic skills necessary for human existence. When a child goes to school or even learns some vocational skills, he lives with his family. College students also tend to stay with their families. Therefore, they get a complete necessary education for the rest of their lives. As we see, the initial period of a person’s life is very closely connected with the family.
Indeed, one might say that family is a sanctuary or a repository of spiritual treasure, which has to be guarded and defended, because it can be destroyed and plundered by the great Robber whom we know as Satan. We know from the Bible that Satan robbed the first human beings, Adam and Eve. After having talked to Satan, they discovered that they had become completely naked. And, overcome with shame, they hid in the bushes of the Garden. But the Paradise was lost.
And it seems that the same great Robber is actively at work today, because the States are legalising “same-sex marriage” one after another. People most often get lost because of sexual sins. In case of abortion, doctors become executioners, and such a way leads to nowhere. Why can’t two people of the same sex get married in church? Firstly, because this kind of cohabitation is an empty parody of marriage, in which partners seek sexual gratification in a perverse way. Secondly, the Bible tells us that for such behaviour God punished the people of Sodom with fire. This means that we are talking about a grave sin.
In 1950, the French minister of Foreign Affairs, Robert Schumann, came forward with the idea of a European Union as a community of nations deeply rooted in the Christian values. We should not abandon this idea or stray away from it. Indeed, every individual and the society at large need an ideal, a purpose that could inspire them in their lives. Christ has said: ‘Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.’
Christ also tells us how to achieve this goal. If you want to enter the Kingdom of God and inherit eternal life, you must keep the Commandments. So, God and His justice are at the centre of Christian values. Unbelievers and the indifferent live with the conviction that after death, nothingness awaits them in the grave. Therefore, they are tempted to make the most of today’s life without any responsibility. However, at all times there are signals coming either from Heaven or from Hell; but there has never been any signal coming out of nothingness. So, an unbeliever has nowhere to hide from responsibility. But those who believe and follow God’s Commandments, consider life as a service to God, which is a normal way of life and behaviour in this world. Confronted with difficulties, believers feel like pilgrims on the way to a new and never-ending life in a heavenly Home. At the same time, they believe that the present life is governed by Divine Providence. Christ has said that ‘The very hairs of your head are all numbered’. ‘Therefore, do not be afraid’, He says. We see that faith in God gives a profound meaning to human life. This should be respected and guaranteed by the educational system of every State: belief in God, so that people can have a worthy and consistent purpose in life.
God’s Commandments tell us what we shall and shall not do. Thus, God strictly separates good from evil. Human lawsuits also seek to strike the right balance in order not to convict an innocent man. This means that, in the public sphere, laws should only protect positive values. It is scandalous and strange that in many countries, the legalisation of “same-sex marriages” is justified by referring to so-called “sexual orientation”. It seems that in reality this “orientation” is most often acquired in practice, just like an alcoholic acquires the habit of drinking. Just like every other vice acquired by practice, it is not an orientation but simply a vice. The same is true in the sexual life. However, the concept of “virtue” does not change as a result of voting in Parliament. It is important that every new generation does not change its position and that it defends family values.
The Holy Scripture says that every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. This is the difference between God’s requirements and human laws. God’s Commandments first require us to love God more than anything else in our life and each and every person as ourselves. This is the ideal. Therefore, God’s Commandments protect the inner freedom of the person. They give him independence from sinful habits that enslave him. There are many people who are spiritually and materially devastated because they serve their vices like slaves. This clearly shows the consequences that await people who choose to ignore God’s law. But where can we find the force to live according to God’s will? Christ gives us an answer: ‘Ask, and it shall be given to you’. It is important to seek contact with God in prayer as often as possible. This is possible without any aids. The only thing you need is a living faith and the openness of the heart before God. According to the Gospel of Christ, man has flesh and an immortal soul. Concerning human flesh, science and medicine have sufficiently explored it. It does not contain any special secrets. But as far as the human soul and his spiritual life are concerned, it is unique to every man, and everyone keeps it secret. No one can look into another man’s soul. Even the most sophisticated technical devices are unable to hear and to determine a man’s thoughts. The inner life is real, very secret and very rich. A person’s reason and will, his plans and good intentions, his skills and talents, faith and virtues, his relationships with God and men, the unfathomable treasury of his memory – all that is a very rich reality hidden in the depth of every man’s soul.
This reality is unique to every person and inimitable. It is a witness to the existence of the human soul. With this spiritual treasure, the person will stand before God at the end of his life. He can also end up in the claws of Satan, depending on how he lived his life. In His mercy, God deemed it necessary to help us, human beings, on our earthly way, in a very delicate manner, leaving us the freedom to choose our own destiny, – God Himself came on this earth and lived among men for 33 years. So that people could see him as a child, a teenager, a young man, and adult man, who sacrifices His own life as a martyr for the salvation of mankind. And, once his mission accomplished, he went back to the Kingdom of Heaven. And his mission is being continued by all Christians acting and contributing to the common effort. So, this is what I have to say today. Thank you for your attention.