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Cardinal draws Vatican rebuke for anti-gay talk

A Roman Catholic cardinal has drawn on an unusual rebuke from the Vatican for saying that homosexuality is “an insult to God” and “transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, the retired head of the Vatican’s Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, made the comments Wednesday to a conservative Web site, the British newspaper The Telegraph reports.

“People are not born homosexual, they become homosexual, for different reasons: education issues or because they did not develop their own identity during adolescence.

“Perhaps they aren’t guilty but by acting against the dignity of the body they will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

The comments prompted a response from Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, who said the Web site to which Lozano Barragan spoke should not be considered an authority on Catholic thinking “on complex and delicate issues such as homosexuality.”

Current Catholic teaching acknowledges that some people have innate homosexual tendencies but that homosexual acts are “disordered.”

The Telegraph also quotes a reaction from the Italian rights group Arcigay.

“It’s true, we won’t ever get into your heaven, which is a murky and unjust place.”

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