Acceptance of homosexuality rampant among Capuchin Franciscans
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Liberation Theology in Latin America has caused irreparable damage to the Brazilian Catholic Church. Its alignment with the homoheresy, serving as an anchor for the LGBT movement inside the Church, is such a popular position that it practically has official standing in the archdiocese of Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Recently, Capuchin Friar Vanildo Luiz Zugno, from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, wrote an article praising homosexual priesthood while condemning "religious fundamentalists ... who still consider homosexuality a sin."
Friar Zugno is a prolific theology professor at two universities in Rio Grande do Sul and a columnist for Capuchin-run newspaper Correio Riograndense. The well-established publication is one of the oldest newspapers in Brazil and is considered part of the history and tradition of the state. The Catholic periodical claims its goals are "to promote the Faith, encourage education, disseminate culture and moral and ethical values." As Catholic blog Fratresinunum has observed in a piece called "The New Homoheretical Religion of the Capuchins," the culture the Capuchin publication is disseminating is the LGBT culture.
Friar Zugno's article is an answer to the question, "My priest is gay. What do I do?"
This is his reply:
Nothing. Don't do anything. There are many reasons why you shouldn't do anything. Firstly and fundamentally, being gay is normal. … Secondly, a good reason for you not to do anything is that your bishop knows he [the priest] is gay. ... If you realized the priest is gay, it is practically certain that his colleagues know this, and so does his bishop. And more: it’s almost certain — I'd say the contrary is almost impossible — that his bishop knew he was gay before ordaining him.
But you could say, "The problem is that the priest has a boyfriend!" Stay calm. ... Heterosexual priests also have girlfriends. Some have sons and daughters. … [M]ost go unnoticed and life in the parishes remains as if nothing has ever happened. In the worst case scenario the priest is transferred to another parish. So, if it is possible to manage the girlfriends of heterosexual priests, why not manage the boyfriends of homosexual priests?
As a liberation theologian, it's no surprise the friar is also in favor of married priesthood, currently a dear cause to the Brazilian Church.
"[T]here are many priests that are better clerics and shepherds than those who rigidly follow celibacy rules," he wrote. "And parishioners ... peacefully accept a priest in an irregular canonical situation as long as he is someone who serves the faithful with care, courtesy and attention."
He then closes with the attribution of homosexuality to whoever dares to remember what the Church teaches about homosexuals.
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture ... tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law.
"Maybe this disturbs you because there's a chance you would like to be like him," he wrote. "The problem is the difficulty we have, in Christian and Catholic environments, to speak about affectivity and sexuality. This is a grave problem, as salvation isn't only about the soul. It also concerns our bodies, our feelings and our relationships."
As the Church is well aware of the role of our earthly bodies in leading us to eternal salvation, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states on paragraph 2357: "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law."
The Church was also very clear in the documentInstruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders, written by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and approved by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005:
[T]his Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture." Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.
In September 2017, Correio Riograndense had already published similar commentary from Capuchin Friar Gilmar Zampieri, where the author stated there is nothing morally wrong with homosexuality. There are no indications at all that these friars have ever been disciplined, as they continue to discuss this freely in public. Church Militant tried several times to speak to anyone in the archdiocese of Porto Alegre, as well as in the diocese of Caxias do Sul, where the Capuchin Order is based, with no success. Church Militant also tried to reach Friar Zugno and obtained no response.