Italian Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli said this week that the statement, “Homosexuals and transsexuals will never enter the Kingdom of God,” attributed to Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, is “very likely” an “improper synthesis on the part of the interviewer,” Italian journalist Bruno Volpe.
Tornielli explained that “the Church is right to condemn a certain homosexual ideology, but she cannot close the gates of paradise to homosexuals and transsexuals because judgment, thanks be to God, waits for God, and Catholic theology has always taught that the possibility of repentance of one’s sins imploring divine mercy exists until the end.”
For this reason, and considering the fact that Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan “is a theologian,” Tornielli continued, “I cannot believe that he made these statements, which in all likelihood are an improper synthesis on the part of the interviewer,” Italian journalist Bruno Volpe.
Volpe published the statements on his website Pontifex News.
Tornielli remarked that Volpe was, “perhaps ignorant of the fact that the Church has always distinguished between the sin and the sinner.”
Regarding this issue, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See’s Press Office, said Pontifex News “should not be considered an authority on Catholic thinking,” especially “on complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality.”
Father Lombardi pointed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358, which says that “the number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
Pontifex News has previously been involved in controversies regarding the accuracy of their quotes. Last year, Cardinal Juan Sandoval of Guadalajara, Mexico, strongly denied a quote attributed by Pontifex to him, in which he allegedly said that a former Mexican president was responsible for the murder of his predecessor, Cardinal Juan Posadas.
CNA attempted to contact Cardinal Lozano Barragan to verify the claims by Pontifex but he was unavailable due to a minor medical procedure.