.- On Sunday, speaking to tens of thousands of faithful who had turned out for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, Latvian Cardinal Janis Pujats blasted a recent gay pride parade which had taken place in the city of Riga, saying that it was simply a way to âshow offâ¦sin.â âIn Soviet times we faced atheism, which oppressed religion; now we have an era of sexual atheism,â said the cardinal to a packed basilica in the small Baltic town of Aglona. The town is home to a shrine to the Blessed Virgin and the stateâs most visited basilica.
Cardinal Pujats recalled this past Julyâs âPride 2005â parade--the first of its kind in Riga, which brought out some 50 participants and thousands of spectators.
Prior to the parade, marchers took place in an Anglican church ceremony which the cardinal particularly chided.
âThis form of atheism is even more infectious and dangerous, spiritual values disappear in a swamp of sexual irregularity,'' he said. ``Just imagine! Homosexuality is viewed as a value, although it is one of the most serious sins! If gays and lesbians had gone to a church to repent their sins, we would have welcomed it. But this parade was intended to show off their sin. Why did they do it in a church? To show how absurd they are?'' he said.