Aide Calls for Clarity in Debate on Homosexuals

Again Affirms Vatican’s Opposition to Discrimination

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 11, 2008 ( The position of the Holy See regarding a possible U.N. proposal on the decriminalization of homosexuality is being misrepresented by the press, affirmed a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi again had to clarify the issue when he was asked about it today by a reporter during the presentation of the papal message for the World Day of Peace.

The misinformation was related to press reports on an interview with Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. The archbishop told a news agency that the Holy See would not support an expected French proposal for a U.N. resolution to decriminalize homosexuality. The prelate explained that the Holy See would reject the initiative because it could include at the same time the imposition of homosexual marriage in national law.

Father Lombardi had earlier clarified that refusal to support the proposal does not imply support for discrimination against homosexuals.

«Obviously no one wants to defend the death penalty for homosexuals, as some would insinuate,» he had said.

Today, the spokesman went on to express doubt about whether such a French proposal will even be brought to vote at the next U.N. assembly.

«Therefore, it seems that there is no reason to set off polemics about a text, the contents of which are still not officially known,» he contended.

Archbishop Migliore’s comments, Father Lombardi added, referred to the danger of imposing the recognition of «rights,» such as homosexual marriage and the possibility of same-sex couples adopting children, something which is not even permitted in France.

Nevertheless, the spokesman clarified that regarding a «penal code that criminalizes homosexuals or even foresees the death penalty for them, there is nothing to discuss: The Holy See is totally opposed.»

«It is a position that respects the rights of the human person, in his dignity,» Father Lombardi affirmed. «Archbishop Migliore also spoke out against all discrimination that affects homosexuality.»

The Holy See, therefore, is not in favor of «legislation that penalizes homosexuality,» he said. «At the same time, nevertheless, it opposes the addition of other clauses that imply that all sexual orientations should be put at the same level in all situations and in regard to every norm.»

As an example, the Vatican spokesman cited marriage: «The Church sustains that marriage is between one man and one woman and it does not accept that unions of persons of the same sex are placed at the same level.»

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