In his statement that Robert Moynihan circulated, Cardinal Arinze highlights the Church’s teaching on homosexuality as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), saying, “Homosexual persons are called to chastity”.
“By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection,” the Cardinal who is currently living in a Vatican apartment a few steps from St. Peter's Basilica says.
He makes reference to a recent statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Catholic Church’s doctrinal watchdog, which on 15 March 2021, indicated that the Church does not have the power to bless same-sex relationships.
In the CDF statement was issued with the approval of Pope Francis, it was clarified that blessings can be given “to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching.”
“This is what the Flemish Bishops, and indeed all Bishops and priests, should be teaching,” Cardinal Arinze who will turn 90 in November having started his Episcopal Ministry in August 1965 says.
The Catholic Church leader who was named Cardinal in 1985 aged 52, making him one of the highest-ranking African Catholic Clerics at the time adds in reference to the Catholic Bishops in Belgium, “They should be blessing, not homosexual couples, but properly married unions of one man and one woman.”
“The Church is sent by Christ to all people ‘teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you’ (Mt 28:20). This includes calling people to repentance, sacrifice, chastity and perfection,” Cardinal Arinze who, according to some sources, was considered a potential successor to Pope John Paul II before the 2005 papal conclave, which elected Pope Benedict XVI, says in his September 24 statement.
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.
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