A Maltese bishop has said Pope Francis is “saddened” by legislative proposals in Malta to extend equality legislation to homosexual couples and reiterated his view that same-sex marriage is an “anthropological regression.”
In an interview with Avvenire published today, Auxiliary Bishop of Malta Charles J. Scicluna said that when he met Pope Francis on Dec. 12, he expressed his concern to the Pope about the proposed law. “The Pope showed his sadness at this development, especially on the question of adoption.”
He added: “I told him that the promoters [of the bill] quote his words: ‘If a person is gay and seek the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge?’ but they don’t quote his words from 2010 when he was still Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The Pope repeated the phrase of his letter of 2010: ‘It’s an anthropological regression.’”
In 2010, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio called same-sex marriage an “anti-value and an anthropological regression.” In a conversation with Rabbi Abraham Skorka published in the book “On Heaven and Earth”, he said same-sex marriage is a weakening of the institution of marriage, an institution that has existed for thousands of years and is “forged according to nature and anthropology.”
Bishop Scicluna, who worked for 17 years as a promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the new socialist Maltese government which won March 2013 elections promised to facilitate the wishes of the homosexual lobby and to legislate in favour of same-sex unions.
The new bill, inspired by the Danes in 1994, equates in all respects civil unions (both heterosexual and homosexual) and civil marriage, and allows homosexual couples to become adoptive parents.
Bishop Scicluna said Malta’s bishops have “expressed their concern about the bill, referring to Catholic doctrine that itself is clear, while insisting at the same time pastoral closeness to everyone, including homosexual people.”