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Bp. Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Philippines.Ateneo de Manila University / YouTube

KALOOKAN, Philippines, October 27, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The acting president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has issued a letter praising Pope Francis for comments he made in support of same-sex civil unions.

Bishop Pablo David, the Jesuit-trained bishop of Kalookan and acting president of the CBCP, wrote a letter entitled “Where is the Pope coming from” in which he defends and praises the Pope’s comments in support of same-sex civil unions. The letter was published by the CBCP’s official media arm, CBCPNews.

The bishop mentions that in calling for civil unions, the Pope was speaking “as a shepherd who is willing to leave behind the ninety-nine (99) in search of the one lost sheep.” He continues, “This Pope has been consistent with the radicality of Jesus of Nazareth whom he calls the human face of the Merciful God.”

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Remarks attributed to Pope Francis (and, not denied by the Vatican) in support of homosexual civil unions have caused grave scandal to the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify these heterodox and scandalous remarks on homosexual civil unions, and which will be delivered both to the Vatican and to the Papal Nuncio of the United States (the Pope's official representative in the U.S.).

As the last guarantor of the Faith, the Pope should clarify and rectify these remarks, which go against the perennial teaching of the Church, even including the teaching of his living predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

"What we have to create is a law of civil coexistence [meaning civil union law, for homosexuals]...," Pope Francis is reported to have remarked, in what is arguably his clearest statement of public support for a practice morally prohibited by official Catholic Church teaching.

In fact, the Church has been crystal clear in Her opposition to homosexual unions.

Just in 2003, Pope Saint John Paul II approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, titled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons' and written by Cardinal Ratzinger (now, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI), which concludes with the following:

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

It could not be more clear: the Church is calling people to repentance, not to be left to indulge in grave sin.

Since becoming public, several senior prelates as well as other notable Catholic figures have voiced their opposition to these remarks attributed to the Pontiff.

Cardinal Raymond Burke stated: "It is a source of deepest sadness and pressing pastoral concern that the private opinions reported with so much emphasis by the press and attributed to Pope Francis do not correspond to the constant teaching of the Church, as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Cardinal Gerhard Müller commented: "Where there is tension between the plain and obvious Word of God and the infallible interpretation on the one hand, and private expressions of opinion even by the highest church authorities on the other, the principle always applies: in dubio pro DEO [When in doubt, be in favor of God]."

And, Catholic theologian and apologist Scott Hahn, without directly quoting Pope Francis, shared on Facebook the 'Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,' published by the CDF in 1986, with the statement: "Holy Father, respectfully and humbly, I beg to differ... if that is indeed what you said. In any case, please clarify and rectify your statement, especially in view of the official teaching of our Lord through the magisterium of His Church."

But, the silence from the Vatican has been deafening, with no clarification forthcoming.

We must, therefore, ask the Pope for clarification in this serious matter.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks Pope Francis to clarify and rectify remarks attributed to him in support of homosexual civil unions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Cdl. Burke: Pope’s homosexual civil union remarks ‘contrary’ to Scripture, Tradition' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/cardinal-burke-on-popes-homosexual-civil-union-remarks-contrary-to-the-teaching-of-sacred-scripture-and-sacred-tradition

'Cardinal says Catholics ‘can and should’ disagree with Pope’s ‘opinion’ on gay civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/cdl.mueller-popes-words-on-gay-civil-unions-purely-private-expression-of-opinion-which-every-catholic-can-and-should-freely-contradict

'Archbishop Vigano, Bishops Tobin and Strickland respond to Pope’s approval of homosexual civil unions' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/archbishop-vigano-and-bishops-tobin-strickland-respond-to-popes-approval-of-homosexual-civil-unions

'Pope’s comments on gay civil unions cause shockwaves around the world' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/deepest-sadness-cardinal-burke-condemns-pope-franciss-remarks-supporting-civil-unions

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David equates the response the Pope has faced from faithful Catholics and members of the hierarchy with the public persecution Christ suffered: “Jesus was misunderstood and judged by people because he associated with people of questionable reputation[.] … He did not avoid them.”

David continues, referring to Christ: “He also did not tell them that what they were doing was right. He did not openly approve of prostitution[.] … He just treated them with the same kindness and compassion that he extended to any human being.”

Many have interpreted the Pope’s recent remarks as openly approving of sexual relationships between members of the same sex.

In a passage downplaying the importance of imparting doctrine and morals, David writes: “[Christ] also did not approve of the manner in which the guardians of morality and orthodoxy in his time conducted themselves. He did not think building the kingdom of God was a matter of teaching people proper doctrine and morals.”

 Yet, the bishop states, the Pope “is not out to destroy our morals and orthodoxy. He just wants to do as Jesus himself did. He valued being kind and compassionate more than being right and righteous.”

Bishop David notes how the Pope puts this principle into effect in the documentary Francesco, where his remarks on civil unions appeared, regarding advice he gave to a same-sex couple with three children in their care: “Pope Francis said, ‘Go and join the parish anyway.’ He did not say ‘Follow the Church laws first before you join the parish community.’”

Among other cardinals and bishops who have defended traditional Catholic teaching on homosexuality, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan recently pointed out how this approach is no act of kindness toward persons with same-sex attraction; rather, it is an act of cruelty. Schneider explained: “[B]ecause these persons will be confirmed in mortal sin, they will be solidified in their interior psychological dichotomy, since their reason tells them, that homosexual acts are against reason and against the explicit will of God, the Creator and Redeemer of men.”

Bishop David also claims that the Pope’s support for same-sex civil unions is due to his role “as a pastor,” by which the Pope can make such comments “without compromising anything about the Church’s understanding of marriage and family.”

The bishop quotes from Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, to justify the Pope’s support for same-sex unions by appealing to “our innate sense of fraternity,” urging people “to be Good Samaritans who bear the pain of other people’s troubles rather than fomenting greater hatred and resentment.”

The letter is a stark contrast to recent statements of Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Bishop Schneider, and other prelates and priests. They referred back to Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality, noting that the Catechism teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and that the “Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

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