An anti-gay activist on Friday suggested Pope Francis was “naïve” to doubt the intentions of what he described as “Satan’s earthly minions” to destroy the Catholic Church by promoting homosexuality.
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, took issue with comments the pope made last week suggesting the church soften its focus on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception.
In a post on his group’s website, LaBarbera said homosexuals had entered the priesthood and sexually molested young boys as part of a “sinister plot” to weaken the church’s moral authority to condemn homosexuality.
“Homosexuals and liberal allies who advocate for acceptance of homosexuality turn around and say Church is now discredited because it harbored ‘pedophiles,’” LaBarbera wrote. “Meanwhile, Church officials resist full disclosure of the scandal, thus perpetuating it.”
LaBarbera insisted the sexual abuse was committed by gay priests, not pedophiles.
Catholic League President William Donohue said the same thing last week, claiming to have statistics to back his assertion.
"When men have sex with adolescent men, it's called homosexuality. It is not pedophilia," Donohue told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Friday. "Less than 5 percent of the priests involved in molestation are pedophiles."
The pope said in July that gay Catholics should not be marginalized, saying that homosexual orientation was not sinful, but homosexual acts were.
Pope Francis expanded on those comments last week in an interview with a Jesuit publication.
"A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality," the pope told La Civiltà Cattolica. "I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy."
LaBarbera said “cunning” gay rights activists had already used the pope’s words to advocate ideas that he’s sure Pope Francis condemns, suggesting the pontiff’s comments could hasten the dissolution of the church.
“Unfortunately the words Pope Francis has chosen (e.g., warning against “obsessing” about Church doctrines, such as Vatican teachings on homosexuality) and stating regarding “gay” priests (“Who am I to judge them?”) are already being manipulated, distorted and exploited by LGBT activists and their allies,” LaBarbera wrote.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]