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Prosecutor launches probe of Spanish cardinal-designate on hate-crime charges

February 07, 2014

A retired Spanish bishop who was named a cardinal in January is being investigated on charges of “inciting anti-gay hate,” according to Agence France-Presse.

Archbishop Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, the retired Archbishop of Pamplona and Tudela, told the Spanish newspaper Diario Sur in January that “homosexuality is a deficient sexuality that can be normalized with treatment.”

“Many complain and do not tolerate it, but with all due respect I say that homosexuality is a poor way of expressing sexuality, because sexuality has a structure and an end, which is the procreation,” he added. “That's not an insult to anyone. In our body we have many shortcomings. I have high blood pressure, am I going to get angry because you tell me? It is a deficiency that I have to correct as I am able. To point out a homosexual deficiency is not an offense; it is helpful because many cases of homosexuality can recover and normalize with proper treatment … When a person has a defect, the good friend is the one who says it.”

In response to a complaint by a gay and lesbian activist group, the local public prosecutor has launched an investigation “to clarify whether the allegations constitute a criminal offence,” Agence France-Presse reported.

In his wide-ranging interview with Diario Sur, Archbishop Aguilar, who is 84 and thus ineligible to vote in papal elections, revealed that he has met Pope Francis briefly only two or three times and that in 2006 the future Pope told him that he read all of Archbishop Aguilar’s writings and considered himself his student.

During the interview, the cardinal-designate said that “abortion” is more properly called the “termination of life of a human being” in the womb. “Would any sane, normal woman be able to claim the right to end the life of the child she carries inside?”

Archbishop Aguilar added that Pope Francis would not change Catholic teaching on divorce or homosexuality.

The Pope offers “extreme gestures of respect and esteem to all persons, but does not betray or modify the traditional teaching of the Church,” said Archbishop Aguilar. “It is one thing to welcome and express affection for a homosexual person, and another thing to justify morally the exercise of homosexuality.”


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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Feb. 10, 2014 12:02 PM ET USA

    In the realm of tyrannical relativism, the High Priests of Tolerance will not tolerate whatever they unilaterally deem intolerant. They will persecute in the name of ending persecution, marginalize in the name of ending marginalization, stigmatize in the name of ending stigmatization, and declare the aberrant normal in the name of eliminating all norms.

  • Posted by: filioque - Feb. 08, 2014 11:11 AM ET USA

    Thank God Cardinal-designate Aguilar is being investigated for speaking the Catholic faith, instead of the criminal investigations for abuse we have endured these many years. Get ready, there will be a lot more of this if our bishops will answer their calling. Pray for them!

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 07, 2014 11:12 PM ET USA

    Make no mistake; this is calculated attempt by the gay lobby to intimidate ALL Catholic Bishops to silence on homosexuality. It is a time for ALL Bishops to speak up with very clear teaching on these matters.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Feb. 07, 2014 3:40 PM ET USA

    Clearly crime must be a low ebb in Spain these days! What else but boredom on the job would cause a prosecutor to waste time on this ridiculous investigation? Not to worry, though. What I've seen of the cardinal's words to date tells me he can tie any Spanish state prosecutor up in intellectual knots any day and still find time to take his long siesta after dinner.

  • Posted by: Defender - Feb. 07, 2014 1:03 PM ET USA

    The Thought Police are everywhere and the tail continues to wag the dog.

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Feb. 07, 2014 12:51 PM ET USA

    It is the responsibility of the Church to issue guidelines for living a Christian life. This is a world wide issue that is coming to a boil.