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Vatican Cardinal Criticizes Criminalization of Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

March 5th, 2014

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana has called on Uganda to repeal its Anti-Homosexuality Act:

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said Tuesday that “homosexuals are not criminals” and shouldn’t be sentenced for up to life in prison. Speaking to reporters in Bratislava where he attended a conference on the Catholic Church and human rights, Turkson said the Vatican also calls on the international community to keep providing aid.

Cardinal Turkson’s comments are considered significant in Catholic circles for two reasons: he’s a member of the Roman Curia, and he’s sometimes mentioned as being among the “papabile” or potential candidates to be elected pope in a future conclave.

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FYonug
March 5th, 2014 | LINK

This is a very welcome, though long overdue development.

While he is merely restating the Catholic church’s longstanding official (but stealth) position, this is an exceptionally courageous and principled stand for a cardinal. If he survives, this may encourage other Catholic clergy to speak up to defend the human rights of gays.

I expect it will not go over well in Africa, but if enough Catholic officials repeat this for long enough, and the frothing bigots in the hiearchy are slowly shamed into silence, it may eventually influence the laiety and politicians. It will take a very, very long time for the damage done by the church to be repaired.

jpeckjr
March 5th, 2014 | LINK

Would have been helpful if he had spoken up before the laws in Uganda and Nigeria were passed and signed.

I do think the statement reflects changes in tone about homosexuals since Pope Francis came along. However, there is nothing in this statement that indicates any change in Catholic doctrine.

Perhaps he doesn’t read BTB. If he did, he would have known what was happening in Uganda early enough to say something that might have stopped this bill. Although not sure what influence the Catholic Church would have in a largely Anglican country.

FYoung
March 5th, 2014 | LINK

@jpeckjr

It is impossible for the cardinal not to have known what was happening in Uganda, Nigeria, etc. but he kept quiet publicly. May God have mercy on his soul.

Actually, the Catholic church is the largest church in Uganda, with about 42% of its population; it is much more powerful there than it is in the USA, for example.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Uganda

It was because of the Catholic church that the death penalty was removed. No doubt after he was contacted by the Vatican, the local Archbishop eventually backed down a bit from his initial wholehearted support and had to concede that the church is officially opposed to the death penalty even for homosexuals.

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