‘I completely agree’: Mexico cardinal backs Pope’s support for homosexual civil unions

Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes said that if LGBT people 'decide as a matter of free choice to be with another person, to be in a union, that's freedom.'
Fri Dec 11, 2020 - 12:48 pm EST
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Pope Francis appoints new cardinal Archbishop of Tlalnepantla Carlos Aguiar Retes during the Ordinary Public Consistory at St. Peter's Basilica on November 19, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. Franco Origlia/Getty Images

December 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Francis-appointed cardinal in Mexico says he agrees with the Pope’s recent coming out in support of homosexual civil unions, despite such support contradicting the Bible along with Catholic perennial teaching.

Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, Archbishop of Mexico City, told Reuters that he “completely” agrees with the Pope’s support for homosexual civil unions.

Pope Francis made his comments about civil unions in the film “Francesco,” which was created by homosexual film director Evgeny Afineevsky. The film premiered on Oct. 21, 2020 on the occasion of the Rome Film Festival. While the Pope’s comments were first aired in the new documentary, they were originally part of a May 2019 interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa. However, these particular comments were not aired at that time.

Speaking of homosexual civil unions, the Pope said, “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

Just like the Pope’s 2013 “Who am I to judge?” statement, these comments sent shockwaves around the world, with mainstream media declaring that the Pope had endorsed homosexual civil unions.

“I completely agree,” said Cardinal Aguiar Retes when asked by Reuters about the Pope’s comments. Aguiar was created a Cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016.

“If they decide as a matter of free choice to be with another person, to be in a union, that’s freedom,” he added.

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Following the Bible (Genesis 19:1–11, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10), the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and are “intrinsically disordered” since they are “contrary to the natural law” by “clos[ing] the sexual act to the gift of life.”

“Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In a 1986 letter to bishops about how to care for persons with same-sex attraction, the Church stated that “special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.” 

Moreover, in a 2003 teaching from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about whether same-sex civil unions were supportable, the Church clarified that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

This teaching, put forward by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and approved and ordered published by Pope St. John Paul II, adds that “all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

St. Peter Damian, an 11th century Italian Catholic reformer and Doctor of the Church, described homosexuality in his famous Book of Gomorrah as a “diabolical” corruption of God’s plan for sexuality between a man and a woman and as a cancer of the soul.

“This vice is the death of bodies, the destruction of souls, pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the intellect, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, introduces the diabolical inciter of lust, throws into confusion, and removes the truth completely from the deceived mind … It opens up hell and closes the door of paradise … It cuts off a member of the Church and casts him into the voracious conflagration of raging Gehenna,” he wrote. 

Cardinal Raymond Burke called the Pope’s support for homosexual civil unions “contrary to the teaching of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and of the recent Magisterium.”

“Such declarations generate great bewilderment and cause confusion and error among Catholic faithful,” he said.

Burke pointed out that the Pope’s support for homosexual civil unions has no magisterial weight, given that such support was given in an interview, and is in no way binding on the faithful.

The Cardinal said that the “context and the occasion of such declarations make them devoid of any magisterial weight. They are rightly interpreted as simple private opinions of the person who made them. These declarations do not bind, in any manner, the consciences of the faithful who are rather obliged to adhere with religious submission to what Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and the ordinary Magisterium of the Church teach on the matter in question.”

It comes as no surprise that Cardinal Aguiar Retes would back Francis’ support for homosexual civil unions. In 2011, two years before the election of Pope Francis, then Archbishop Aguiar Retes, who was head of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, issued a positive statement about a “human rights” amendment to the nation’s constitution by the Mexican Senate that declared “sexual preference” to be a “human right.” Aguiar Retes said at that time that the Bishops’ Conference “celebrates” the constitutional reform because it “recognizes the human rights of all Mexicans.”

Pope Francis invited Aguiar Retes in October 2014 and then also in October 2015 to the two respective assemblies of the Synod of Bishops on the family. He was among the 41 delegates chosen by Pope Francis to attend the Youth Synod in 2018. He was also one of the prelates who was responsible for drafting the final document at the Vatican Youth Synod, a document that emphasized that young people have an “explicit desire” to discuss questions concerning “homosexuality” while it praised those who provide “journeys of accompaniment in faith for homosexual persons.”

During the October 2019 Amazon Synod, Aguiar Retes stated during a panel discussion in Rome that the Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris (working document) was a response in “integral ecology,” adding that such a response was essential to changing a “culture of waste” that was moving humanity toward an “apocalyptic disaster.”

  carlos aguiar retes, catholic, civil unions, gay civil unions, homosexuality, pope francis

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