Cardinal: Politicians Who Support Marriage Equality Are No Longer Catholic

Jim Burroway

February 17th, 2010

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna

An Italian Cardinal has warned that politicians supporting same-sex marriage are committing “a publicly and gravely immoral act“:

“It’s impossible to consider oneself a Catholic if that person in one way or another recognizes same-sex marriage as a right,” said Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reprinted a portion of a doctrinal note the cardinal released Feb. 14 concerning “Marriage and Homosexual Unions.” The note, which appeared in full on the archdiocese’s Web site, was aimed at helping enlighten Catholics in public office so that “they would not make choices that would publicly contradict their affiliation with the church,” he wrote.

His restriction would extend even to those who are called to enforce or follow such a law:

If a Catholic official were to ever implement or enforce such a law, “God forbid, we will, at the proper moment, give the necessary directives,” he wrote.

The Cardinal’s statements do not constitute official church teaching, but there has been a growing chorus of voices calling for the excommunication of Catholic politicians over a number of social issues.


February 17th, 2010

At that rate the catholic church might be out of people to keep the pope and all those cardinals rich. They are some of the biggest homophobs around.


February 17th, 2010

I am not catholic. Fact is I no longer go to any church. I will not listen to a preacher preach hate and call themselves better than anyone else.
How can you consider your self a christian and take away the freedoms of a group of people you disagree of their way of living. (I hate that life style thing). When the supposed straight people say their life style is the correct one how do they know for sure.
The catholic life style isn’t what I want.

Richard W. Fitch

February 17th, 2010

More and more it places Roman Catholics who aspire to elected office in a moral dilemma. Since the RCC refuses to acknowledge the civil rights bestowed by political sovereignties and democratic states, their stance of “either – or” revokes the rights of those who have no affiliation with their demagoguery. Politicians, who obey the RCC, are then forced to respond to the mandates of those who have elected them at the peril of their spiritual convictions. Rome is too blind to see that the dwindling of ‘faithful’ is the result of their attempt to remain living in the medieval worldview.


February 17th, 2010

So I guess there’s going to be a lot fewer Catholics in Massachusetts, Spain, and Portugal.

The Church needs to stop having political opinions. Worry about YOUR religion, not MY government.

Scott P.

February 17th, 2010

Evil is as evil does.

Timothy Kincaid

February 17th, 2010

When John F. Kennedy was running for President, many Protestants of all parties were worried. Some feared that he’d preference his faith over all others; some worried that the President of the United States might make his decisions based on the dictates of the head of a foreign country, the Vatican.

On September 12, 1960, Kennedy made a speech to protestant leaders. He said,

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Sadly, that belief no longer holds valid. Now, time after time I hear elected officials vote against decency and equality and preference their remarks with, “As a Catholic…”

I am beginning to believe that there are two types of Catholic elected officials, the Kennedy Catholics who value separation of church and state, and the Santorum Catholics who dream of a time when the Pope dictated law and kings kneeled in the snow begging their favor.

And sadly, I find myself wondering, ‘can I vote for this man or woman knowing they are Catholic’. But unlike Kennedy’s detractors, my hesitation is not based in bigotry or baseless fear; my hesitation is based in the knowledge that there is a growing group of bishops, politicians, and lay political activists who put their church’s dogma over the Constitution and who owe allegiance not to the American people and our nation but to the Pope and the church heirarchy.


February 18th, 2010

In Italy, most people -even non-believers- are willing to follow the Catholic Church in all matters that do not affect them. On issues like gay rights, that have never been big and do not affect the majority, they will take the Church’s stance. But they ignore its doctrines against contraception, as can be seen from the birth rate, and plenty took part in national politics back when the Republic was declared illegitimate. So once the issues gain prominence and everyone knows an openly gay friend, marriage and adoption should not take long.


February 18th, 2010

When they say “politicians” they mean Supreme Court Justices, right? wink wink nudge nudge


February 18th, 2010

The Cardinal of Bologna whishes to withhold not only Holy Care, but also Governmental Benefits, by intimidating Publicly Elected Legislators into acting upon their Religious Tennants rather than upon their Governmental Committments.

In November 2009, the Irish Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse reported its findings in which it concluded that the Church was pre-occupied with:

“the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets.

All Other Considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The Archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the State”.

The Pope publicly condemns other countries for abuses of children whilst his own house isn’t quite finnished cleaning out the dirt of the latest, only months old (2009) Irish abuse court settlement.

Globally-encompassing Abuse, Denial, Coverup, Hypocracy, Self-righteousness, and ignoring the factual history of the Roman Catholic Church: all appropriate descriptors. Widespread abuse that the Vatican continues to treat as a lesser sin than those of others’, seemingly because it is its own. Where does Confession, Repentance, and a dedication to moving in another direction come in here? Zis does not apply to Ze Pope!

The Catholic Church now “bends” its own rules by newly allowing Married Protestant Priests into the RCC Priesthood beacuse of failing growth. Dedication?

Consenting Gays are are still at the end of the pointing finger.

Clean up your own house! and stay out of Secular Government “Cardinal of Bologna”.


February 18th, 2010

Following up on Timothy Kincaid,

Sadly, this now applies to the highest arbiter of American Justice:

The United States Supreme Court


February 18th, 2010

Civil marriage is not a religious statement, so what has that got to do with Catholicism?

The church has often said that the act of gay sex is the sin (of course, there is no justification for that view…), so why would a legal construct that has nothing to do with the number of gay sex acts be considered immoral?

Nevada Blue

February 18th, 2010

That’s rich. The Catholic church is expert at circumnavigating their own rules (hello anullment). They could do it here as well. But then again, doing what is right has never been relevent to them.


February 18th, 2010

I am beginning to believe that there are two types of Catholic elected officials, the Kennedy Catholics who value separation of church and state, and the Santorum Catholics who dream of a time when the Pope dictated law and kings kneeled in the snow begging their favor.

Timothy, as a former Catholic who was raised in a very Irish household, I totally agree. We were taught to venerate Kennedy, not because he was a perfect person, but because he represented the pinnacle of success for Roman Catholics, especially Irish ones.

Anti-Catholic sentiment in this country has been strong enough that, shockingly, Joe Biden is the first Roman Catholic since Kennedy elected nationwide. It pains me to say it, but pronouncements like these, and those of the Rhode Island bishop regarding Representative Patrick Kennedy, are likely to reinflame that anti-Catholic bigotry, but this time from the left. Although most such pronouncements have been regarding abortion and birth control, if they were broadened to all Catholic theology, they could prevent RC Justices of the Peace from officiating at weddings of the previously divorced, for example.

I believe in the separation of church and state, and if these pronouncements continue, I feel we will have to get a commitment to that from all Roman Catholics running for office or important appointments. The question will have to be asked, “if caught between an issue of theology and civil rights for non-Catholics, will you risk excommunication to support the Constitution, or will you resign your office.” Legislating from a specifically RC theological point of view is simply unAmerican.


February 18th, 2010

The Catholic Church made similar comments when Canada was in the process of legalizing same-sex marriage, with some even going so far as to threaten excommunication of any Catholic politition who supported it. And, suprise, suprise, when we legalized it, the Church did nothing.

Rene van Soeren

February 18th, 2010

This is really nothing new, as far as I know. In 2003 the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – headed by then still cardinal Ratzinger – published a document in which it is alreaddy stated that it is the duty of catholic politicians to do anything possible to block legalizing or even to sabotage legal same sex relations. Not doing this was considered a sign that those politicians where questionable catholics. As far as I know excommunicaton of such questionable catholic politicians is mentioned in this document.

That does not make this a part of the official catholic teaching – that is right, but – as far as I can see – it is part of the official Vatican policy.

By the way – almost immediately after the publication of this document a Dutch gay christian-democrat MP married his male partner quiet deliberately as a political sign of protest against this Vatican document. Of course – nothing happened…he was not excommunicated.

Jimmy Mac

February 18th, 2010

Dowager empresses might want to be careful when they bash others. Their backgrounds may not be squeaky clean.


February 18th, 2010

It seems to me the Roman Catholic hierarchy used to be a lot more cautious about using excommunication as a political tool. (At least in recent decades; I’m not talking about the middle ages.)

But for some reason, they appear to have lost a lot of their inhibitions about it in recent years. The optimist in me hopes it’s a sign of desperation; as a pessimist, however, I’m more inclined to think it’s a sign the hard-line traditionalists are becoming bolder.


February 18th, 2010

. . . “God forbid, we will, at the proper moment, give the necessary directives”

. . . .he hissed.

This, coupled with such things as the Manhattan Declaration and the Catholic decision to quit aspects of its charitable activity in Washington, D.C. in response to gay marriage, grants permission to attack us. Physically.

When “spiritual leaders” vow openly to ignore law (and deliberately misstate the law in their vowing), the effect is tacit permission to their followers also to ignore law.

This God-vs.-law tripe is new, cancerous and very worrisome ways.

Edward Miessner

February 21st, 2010

The RCC needs to research its old, old documentsto see if there are any ecclesiastical documents sanctifying same-sex unions. If there are (and there definitely are, HAHAHA) the RCC needs to lead, follow or get out of the way.

But I don’t expect them to do what they need to do. I fully expect them to declare the actual state of being LGBTIQQ (homosexual in RCC lingo) to be an unrepentable and unforgiveable sin.

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