A Maltese bishop said that in a private conversation with Pope Francis about same-sex marriage and adoption of children, the pontiff affirmed to him that same-sex marriage is “an anthropological regression.”
According to the National Catholic Register, Auxiliary Bishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta said in an interview in Avvenire, the Italian bishops’ newspaper, that he had expressed to the pope his concern about proposed legislation in his country to permit same-sex couples the right to adopt children.
“The Pope showed his sadness at this development, especially on the question of adoption,” said Scicluna.
I told him that the promoters [of the bill] quote his words: “If a person is gay and seek the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge?” but they don’t quote his words from 2010 when he was still Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pope repeated the phrase of his letter of 2010: “It’s an anthropological regression.”
In 2010, when Pope Francis was archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio referred to same-sex marriage as an “anti-value and an anthropological regression.”
Similarly, in a conversation with Rabbi Abraham Skorka published in the book On Heaven and Earth, Francis said same-sex marriage is a weakening of the institution of marriage – that has existed for thousands of years – and is “forged according to nature and anthropology.”
Scicluna, who acted as a justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the new Maltese socialist government, elected last March, vowed to advance the causes of gay activists, including same-sex unions.
The bishops of Malta have responded to the proposed legislation by affirming Catholic doctrine which states that while homosexual activity itself is sinful, “pastoral closeness to everyone, including homosexual people,” is required.
Similar to the report given by Scicluna regarding use of Pope Francis’ words to support the same-sex lobby in his country, the Chicago Tribune reported in November that two Catholic Illinois state representatives, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, cited the pontiff’s words to justify their decision to vote in support of same-sex marriage in their state.
Despite Pope Francis’ continued affirmation of Catholic doctrine regarding same-sex marriage as “anti-value and an anthropological regression,” in December, gay magazine The Advocate named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year.”
As Breitbart News reported, The Advocate cited the pope’s same words, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?” to justify its decision to depict Pope Francis in sharp contrast to his predecessors, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
The Advocate referred to Pope Francis’ words as a “stark change in rhetoric” that are a sign that “LGBT Catholics who remain in the church now have more reason to hope that change is coming.”