Top Vatican cardinal receives LGBT activists working to decriminalize homosexual sex acts
ROME, April 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin today met with a group of 51 “LGBT” activists, politicians, and judges working to decriminalize homosexual acts, the Holy See has confirmed.
In a statement released this afternoon, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti, responding to repeated inquiries from journalists about the alleged meeting, said:
Today in the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin received a group of approximately 50 persons working in various ways against the criminalization of homosexuality.
During the meeting research on the criminalization of homosexual relationships in the Caribbean was presented to the Vatican Secretary of State.
Cardinal Parolin extended a brief greeting to those present, repeating the Catholic Church’s position in defence of the dignity of every human person and against every form of violence.
After having listened to the presentations of some of the participants at the meeting, Cardinal Parolin then assured that he would inform the Holy Father of the contents of the research.
A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes.
News of today’s meeting first emerged in late March, when French sociologist and author Dr. Frédéric Martel, who is an open homosexual, reported on the event, referencing a letter of invitation addressed to an LGBT activist.
As LifeSite reported on Mar. 29, the letter (see below), dated March 4 and signed by Professor Raúl Zaffaroni and Dr. Leonardo Raznovich – was sent on behalf of a coordinating committee for a research project regarding “criminalization of sexual relations between persons of same sex in the Caribbean.”
Organizers invite addressees (in this case, a pro-LGBT activist at the U.N.) to join a “private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis to be held on 5 April 2019 at the Vatican City at 12.00 noon.”
The letter stated that during the audience, “the Chair of the Coordinating Committee, Professor Raúl Zaffaroni, Justice of the Inter American Court of Human Rights, will present to His Holiness the Pope the preliminary results of the research.”
It added that “Professor Zaffaroni’s words will be followed by a historical speech by His Holiness relevant to the subject matter.”
With speculation of the Pope’s impending speech swirling on social media, on April 4 Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti “categorically” denied that the Holy Father would “deliver a ‘historical speech’ on the topic of homosexuality,” but he did not deny that the meeting would occur.
After today’s meeting, respected Vatican journalist Edward Pentin, tweeted out:
#Vatican sources say the delegates want the Church to support them on the common basis of respect for the dignity of every human being. They had expected to be received by the #Pope (as @martelf had said a few weeks ago) but they were informed a few days ago he could not attend.— Edward Pentin (@EdwardPentin) April 5, 2019
A Catholic mother responded, tweeting out:
There’s no human dignity in sodomy. Those who freely choose to engage in that lifestyle, lower human dignity beneath the level of animals.— Geska Lima (@Geskalima) April 5, 2019
The Catechism of the Catholic Church — based on natural law, scripture and tradition — teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” (n. 2357), and that the inclination is “objectively disordered” (n. 2358).
The Catechism also states that “persons who experience these tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” and that “every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” However, it makes clear that “under no circumstances can [homosexual acts] be approved” (n. 2357, n. 2358).
Post-meeting press conference
At a press conference following today’s meeting at the Vatican, one of the participants — Baroness Helena Ann Kennedy, a British barrister, broadcaster, and Labour member of the House of Lords — told reporters the group of “LGBT” activists were respectfully welcomed.
“We have begun a dialogue, and Cardinal Parolin said that this dialogue will continue,” she said.
According to Italian media reports, the study on the criminalization of homosexual relationships in the Caribbean presented to Cardinal Parolin at today’s meeting highlights “the link between laws that still criminalize homosexuality in ten Caribbean counties and discriminatory attitudes that spread throughout society to the point of violence.”
Organizers argue that the Catholic Church bears some responsibility in the matter and are petitioning the Holy See to issue a statement opposing the criminalization of homosexual acts.
Leonardo Raznovich told journalists at today’s press gathering that when the research began, the Supreme Court in Belize declared the criminalization of homosexuality unconstitutional but the Catholic Church challenged the decision. Raznovich claimed that Pope Francis “intervened” — leading the local Church to remove their appeal.
“Thanks to the intervention of Pope Francis,” he said Belize is no longer numbered among the countries that criminalize homosexual acts.
Raznovich, who is an open homosexual, said the group then decided to petition the Holy See for a meeting, in order to determine the Vatican’s “position” on the matter.
While one “LGBT” site blamed the Pope’s absence on pressure following Martel’s announcement of the Pope’s “historic speech,” participants at today’s press conference sought to downplay the controversy.
“We had hoped to see the Pope himself, but in the end, he wasn’t available,” Kennedy said. “We can only imagine that he had state issues that required his presence.”
“Until a few days ago we thought we’d see him, then we learned he wasn’t available. We were sad that we couldn't see him, but maybe we’ll see him next time,” she added.
According to reports, at today’s press conference Raznovich publicly thanked Pope Francis, who he said “to some extent is responsible for this meeting. After intervening on the Church in Belize he wanted to know more about this research, and that is why we are here today.”
The Associated Press reported that the group had issued a statement urging the Catholic Church to declare its opposition to “conversion” therapies, which are aimed at bringing healing to persons who suffer with same-sex tendencies.
Deutsche Bank, which operates in 60 countries worldwide, also issued a statement on their participation in the private meeting at the with Cardinal Parolin, which they said was aimed at discussing “LGBTIQ discrimination.”
According to the statement, Management Board Member Karl von Rohr represented Deutsche Bank “as part of a delegation from Open for Business, a coalition of global companies that presents and promotes the business and economic case for LGBTQI rights.”
The Deutsche Bank statement continues:
After the press conference, Karl von Rohr, President and Member of the Management Board said: “We have a responsibility to both business and society to work with influential platforms that advocate a more inclusive and just world. Deutsche Bank is committed to advancing LGBTIQ rights around the world. We are grateful for the Vatican hosting us to discuss this topic and look forward to continue partnering with other companies, civil society organizations and governments to advance this important human rights issue.
The German bank praised Cardinal Pietro Parolin for signaling his willingness “to collectively move forward with the conversation.”
“This represents an important new level of dialogue with the Vatican across a broad base of stakeholders, which consisted of parliamentarians, judges, human right advocates and business leaders,” the bank said.
Along with Deutsche Bank, Open for Business members Accenture, Brunswick Group, EY, IBM, Microsoft, Linklaters and Virgin Atlantic all took part in the private audience with Cardinal Parolin.
The statement also highlighted that the initiative is supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and “includes a global call for companies to implement the UN standards of Conduct to tackle LGBTIQ discrimination in the workplace by 2020.”
Threat to the Church’s moral proclamation
In comments to LifeSite, a senior Vatican official said that today’s meeting threatens to “paralyze the Church in her moral proclamation.”
“Criminality is conduct from the perspective of civil justice,” the senior official explained.
“In the Church, it is about God’s Commandments whose violation is a mortal sin. The public, however, will not make that precise distinction. This is exactly the intended effect,” he said.
Observers also wonder what repercussions the Vatican’s dialogue with LGBT activist, politicians and judges will have on the more than 30 African nations where homosexual activity between adults is still outlawed, and which live under growing threat of ideological colonization from the “LGBT” lobby in the West.
In a February 2019 report, Open for Business targeted Kenya as a nation where “LGBT+ inclusion” is a “key ingredient for economic growth.”
Maike Hickson contributed to this report.
[This article was updated at 6:20pm EST.]