Pope Francis appointed Brazil’s Leonardo Ulrich Steiner as a cardinal in the Catholic Church last week, and there is already a growing controversy about his theological commitment to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Steiner has insisted that homosexual acts are only sinful for Christians and therefore gay unions should be approved by the Church.
The new cardinal is basing his belief on the idea that the Church should not impose “confessional morals” on non-Christians. He told LifeSiteNews that the Church should not try to make society follow its beliefs.
“How do we say if it is a sin if they do not live the Christian faith?” Steiner asked when focusing on non-Christian gay couples.
“This is not about a fundamentally moral question,” Steiner said. “This is about a life. This is a question about a son of God.”
But this is not only contrary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is against Christian teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts that goes back 2000 years. The logic for all that time has rested on natural law, the Church has believed that such acts are objectively immoral for anyone no matter what their religious affiliation.
The Catholic Church’s Catechism states, “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and are “contrary to the natural law” and therefore under “no circumstances can they be approved.”
This was backed up by the Vatican’s doctrinal office (CDF) in 2003. They issued a document asserting that “marriage exists solely between a man and a woman” and that this truth “is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world.”
The document went further to state that there were “no grounds” for considering homosexual unions to be similar or even “remotely analogous” to the plan that God has for marriage and family.
It stated emphatically that marriage was “holy,” and that homosexual acts go “against the natural moral law.” Any laws in favor of homosexual unions are “country to right reason.”
Cardinal Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, O.F.M., defended his position by saying that civil unions for homosexuals are basically a matter of financial security and not a question of moral theology. He does not believe that Christians should impose their morality on non-Christians.
New Cardinal Opposes Catholic Church Views on Gay Marriage
When pressured on the issue by the media, Steiner doubled down saying that this was not fundamentally a moral question, it was about life.
The cardinal has been challenged on his acceptance of the Church’s teaching by being asked if he accepted the sinfulness of homosexual acts. He responded by saying that Christians cannot declare homosexual acts a sin for those who do not have faith.
He is promoting what he believes the Pope agrees with, that homosexuals should be given “acceptance,” “respect,” “compassion,” and “sensitivity.” And he thinks justifying homosexual unions does this.
Steiner believes that there needs to be a dialog on the rights of shared life between people of the same sex who live together. In a 2014 interview, the cardinal said that these couples need legal support from society.
He has said that the Pope echoes what is said in the Church’s Catechism about gay people, “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” He believes that accepting them with respect, compassion, and sensitivity means walking with them and helping them to understand their status as a son or daughter of God.
But that very truth leads to the major problem with this line of logic. It is the mission of God, through His Church, to win the non-believer to faith in Christ so that they become a Christian.
What will the cardinal do then? Will he advocate for divorce now that they are Christians?
The cardinal has a problem with his theology.