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MÜNSTER (ChurchMilitant.com) - The head of Pope Francis' Gang of Nine is saying gays are not born that way.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, nicknamed the "Vice Pope" for his position of influence with the Holy Father, addressed the subject of homosexuality in a discussion with students in Münster, Germany recently.
"Everyone is born as a man or woman, to love the other," he explained. "That's God's plan."
According to the cardinal, homosexuality is the result of bad experiences in the early years, whether by abuse, neglect or exposure to pornography.
The possibility of women priests was raised during the discussion, but Maradiaga shut that idea down as well.
"If God had wanted women to be priestesses," he said, "he would have made the Virgin Mary, the holiest of women, the first priestess."
The cardinal also elaborated on the subject of sexuality in general, stating that sex is not to be looked at as a "hobby."
"Sexuality is a gift of God," His Eminence clarified. "It is not a hobby, but an expression of love. ... Nobody should be the slave of his sexual passions, but should learn how to manage them with responsibility and with self-esteem."
He continued, "Whoever wants to be father or mother acts according to God's plan."
This follows news from January when Cdl. Maradiaga confirmed that a gay lobby exists within the Church. When asked whether there had ever been "an infiltration of the gay community" at the Vatican, the cardinal replied, "Not only that, but the Holy Father has said there is a 'lobby' in this sense. The Holy Father is gradually trying to purify it."
Pope Benedict is also confirming in his latest memoirs that he confronted a gay lobby during his pontificate, and did what he could to break it up.