The archbishop of Mexico and leader of the most conservative sector, Norberto Rivera, exclaimed a “mea culpa”, in an unexpected sign of guilt, and apologized publicly for having used “abusive language” against what he called “men and women with same-sex attraction.”
“I apologize if I didn’t use the right words,” said Rivera publicly.
Meanwhile, during his visit to Mexico, the apostolic nuncio, Franco Coppola, said it is necessary to recognize gay rights as any other citizens’ rights.
“The doctrine of the Church is the doctrine of the Church, but we have to adapt it so we can offer answers to men and women of different times,” the new representative of the Vatican in Mexico told reporters.
Pope Francis has opposed gay marriage and has railed against “gender ideology,” particularly as taught in schools. But he rarely intervenes publicly in national debates, preferring to let local bishops take the lead.
Francis has voiced support for Mexican bishops and citizens opposing the government’s push to legalize same-sex marriage.
On Sunday September 25, Francis said he willingly joined their protest “in favor of family and life, which in these times require special pastoral and cultural attention around the world.”
Tens of thousands of people marched through Mexico City on Saturday September 24, to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto’s proposal on marriage. Wearing white, they held banners warning against same-sex marriage and demanding parents’ right to control sex education in schools.
Francis visited the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Mexico in February.
- Associated Press
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