The archbishop of San Francisco has reminded Catholics that, when archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis fought to oppose the redefinition of marriage to accommodate same-sex couples.
According to the National Catholic Register, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who is chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, observed that, prior to his election as pope, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, faced with same-sex marriage legislation in Argentina, said, “The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother and children… At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”
“Pope Francis has forcefully reminded us that we are to show love and respect to all people and to seek their greatest good,” said Cordileone, “and he, therefore, continues to clearly promote and defend marriage and family, recognizing that this is in everyone’s best interest as members of a common society.”
The Pope has also urged Catholics to “propose to all people, with respect and courage, the beauty of marriage and the family illuminated by the Gospel.”
Cordileone criticized lawmakers in Illinois, where same-sex marriage was just approved, who claim to be Catholic and cited Pope Francis’ words in an interview to justify their votes in favor of it.
It is “disgraceful that some legislators would manipulate the words of Pope Francis to suggest that he would support marriage redefinition,” said the archbishop.
Cordileone said the redefinition of marriage is a “serious injustice” and that the law exists to protect “authentic rights, especially the right of children to have a married mother and father.”
Cordileone is the second bishop recently to cite Pope Francis’ words as he fought same-sex marriage legislation in Argentina.
Following the approval of same-sex marriage in his home state, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois performed an exorcism ritual on November 20 as Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law.
Paprocki said that, in conducting the exorcism, he was following the orders of Pope Francis who, while archbishop of Buenos Aires, referred to the country’s legalization of same-sex “marriage” as “a move of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
“The Pope’s reference to ‘father of lies’ comes from the Gospel of John, where Jesus refers to the devil as ‘a liar and father of lies,’ so Pope Francis is saying that same-sex marriage comes from the devil and should be condemned as such,” Paprocki added.
Catholic News Agency also reported earlier this year that, in July of 2010, the future pope sent a letter to the Carmelite nuns of Buenos Aires, when the debate on same-sex marriage was at its peak. Then-Cardinal Bergoglio wrote, “Let’s not be naïve: This is not a simple political struggle, but an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill but a move of the Father of Lies, who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”