“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, Archbishop of Bologna.
Cardinal Caffarra made the comments in a statement on “Marriage and Homosexual Unions,” which he released on his Archdiocesan website on Sunday. Part of that statement has been printed in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper.
Marriage, which he described as “one of the most valuable assets of mankind, is going through perhaps its most serious crisis,” he wrote. According to the Cardinal, the “most obvious sign” of this crisis is the fact that some states have granted, and others are intending to grant, legal recognition to homosexual unions that would equate them with the union of man and woman.
Recognition of such unions, or granting homosexuals such rights as adoption, would constitute a “serious wound to the common good,” he wrote.
The Cardinal explains that the purpose of his doctrinal note is to “enlighten” Catholic public officials so that “they would not make choices that would publicly contradict their affiliation with the church.”
“Catholic politicians have a serious duty to make sure their beliefs, thoughts and proposals concerning the common good are consistent,” he wrote. “It’s impossible for the Catholic faith and support for putting homosexual unions on equal footing with marriage to coexist in one’s conscience — the two contradict each other.”
He added that it would be even worse should a Catholic politician propose or vote in favor of a law that supports same-sex “marriage.” “This is a publicly and gravely immoral act,” he wrote. If it were to happen, he said, “God forbid, we will, at the proper moment, give the necessary directives.”
Further, the Cardinal wrote that the legalization of same-sex “marriage” would be “devastating.” “One of the pillars of our legal order — marriage as a public good — would crumble,” he wrote. “The state’s legal order must not be neutral on marriage and homosexual unions just as it can’t be (neutral) on the common good: society owes its survival to families founded on marriage, not homosexual unions.”
Cardinal Caffarra, a moral theologian and canon lawyer, has been a strong defender of life and family on behalf of the Holy See since the Pontificate of Pope Paul VI. In 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed him to found and lead the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Rome, and he later went on to found the sister institutions in Washington, Mexico, and Spain.
Pope Benedict XVI made Caffarra a Cardinal in the consistory of March 2006. He currently sits as a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Pontifical Council for the Family, and the Pontifical Academy for Life.