Italian Cardinal Cancels Reparation Prayers for ‘Gay Pride’ Parade

People take part in the annual Gay Pride Parade (LGBT), in downtown Rome on June 11, 2016. / AFP / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty

The archbishop of Genoa has cancelled three prayer services organized to expiate the sins of “gay pride” parades, saying that such prayers are “inappropriate.”

Catholics designate June as the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and one of the key elements of this devotion is to do prayer and penance in reparation for sins against the Heart of Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts, which the Pride parades celebrate, are “of grave depravity,” “intrinsically disordered,” and “contrary to the natural law.”

Bishop Nicolo Anselmi, auxiliar bishop of Genoa, called three parish priests by phone on behalf of the archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, to tell them to cancel the events, which the cardinal had deemed “inappropriate.”

Soon after, the webpage of Santo Rosario in Italia, which coordinates prayers of reparation across Italy, informed the faithful of the cancellations.

“We are sorry to have to inform you that the diocesan curia of Genoa has asked priests and Church leaders indicated below to cancel moments of planned public prayer reparation,” said the statement.

“We therefore invite the faithful interested in the prayer of reparation to pray elsewhere in spiritual communion,” it said.

Andrea Zambrano, a Catholic journalist for La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, noted the irony that while the archdiocese of Genoa is canceling expiatory prayers for Pride events, other churches in Genoa have been allowed to hold “anti-homophobia vigils.”

Zambrano said that one parish held an ecumenical prayer service, promoted by an LGBT group, for victims of homophobia, transphobia and other discrimination on May 12, and that Bishop Anselmi himself had presided over a similar vigil in 2017.

By contrast, Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi of Trieste called for prayers of reparation earlier this month after activists staged a “gay pride” parade in his diocese, which contained blasphemous signs among other things.

“The most precious nucleus of our faith in Christ the Lord and our devotion was struck in the heart,” Crepaldi said in a statement.

“Here is the need to repair what has been broken and to clean up what has been sullied, which, from Jesus Christ onwards, constitutes the mission proper to the Church and to us Christians,” he said.

The first time a “gay pride” parade was organized in Rome in the year 2000, Pope John Paul II reacted immediately, qualifying the event as an “affront” to Christian values.

“In the name of the Church of Rome, I cannot refrain from expressing bitterness for the affront to the Grand Jubilee of the year 2000 and for the offense to the Christian values of a city that is so dear to the hearts of Catholics across the world,” the pope told the faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square.

“Homosexual acts go against natural law. The Church cannot silence the truth because it would not live up to its faith in God the creator and would not help discern what is good from what is evil,” the pope said.

Less than two weeks ago, the former Vatican ambassador to the United States told the Washington Post that a gay mafia among Church leadership is blocking attempts to seriously address clerical sexual abuse.

In an extensive interview, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said that the sexual abuse crisis would be “far less severe” if the “problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed.”

“Given the overwhelming evidence, it is mind-boggling that the word ‘homosexuality’ has not appeared once, in any of the recent official documents of the Holy See” dealing with clerical sexual abuse, Viganò told the Post.

Instead, a “gay mafia” among the bishops, seeking to protect themselves, was “sabotaging all efforts at reform,” he said.

In February, Cardinals Raymond Burke and Walter Brandmüller wrote an open letter urging bishops to address the deeper causes of the clerical sex abuse crisis.

The abuse of minors is “only part of a much greater crisis,” the cardinals declared. “The plague of the homosexual agenda has been spread within the Church, promoted by organized networks and protected by a climate of complicity and a conspiracy of silence.”

“Sexual abuse is blamed on clericalism. But the first and primary fault of the clergy does not rest in the abuse of power but in having gone away from the truth of the Gospel,” they said.

This was not the first time these cardinals have pointed to an active “homosexual network” in the Church hierarchy as the root cause of the abuse crisis, 75-80 percent of whose victims have been male.

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