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Home / Justice & Peace

Fr. Lombardi Clarifies Holy See's Position on Decriminalisation of Homosexuality


(02 Dec 08 - RV) The Catholic Church never has and never will support the violation of human rights or any form of unjust discrimination against the human person.
That was the message at the heart of a statement released today by Director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi in response to press reports regarding an interview given by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s permanent observer at the United Nations in New York, to a French news agency, following a proposal led by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy to decriminalise homosexuality.
In the statement Fr. Lombardi points out that Archbishop Migliore’s interview, read in it’s entirety, is clear; no-one can or wants to defend the death penalty for homosexuals, as some people aim to insinuate.
The statement continues that the well-known principals of respect for the fundamental rights of the person and the refusal of all forms of unjust discrimination – which are also clearly enshrined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church – not only exclude the death penalty, but all forms of penal legislation that are violent or discriminatory towards homosexual persons.
However Fr Lombardi continues that Archbishop Migliore’s concerns were regarding another issue, not the decriminalisation of homosexuality per say, but the introduction of a declaration of political value, which could result in control mechanisms according to which, norms (not only legal, but also relative to the life of social and religious groups) that do not place each sexual orientation on the same level, would be considered contrary to respect for human rights.
The statement concludes that this clearly could become a means to put pressure on or discriminate against those who – to give a very clear example – consider marriage between a man and a woman the fundamental and original form of social life.
Fr. Lombardi concludes that less then 50 member states of the United Nations have backed the proposal in question, while 150 have abstained. The Holy See is not alone.