Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, warned that “spiritual toxic waste” is being exported to Africa by the First World.
During his address last week to the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, he said: “The Holy Father, in his homily during the Inaugural Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, pointed out, with a very incisive expression, how the First World ‘is exporting its toxic waste’ to Africa and other developing countries. One of these poisons is the so-called gender theory, which, heavily disguised, is starting to infiltrate associations, governments and even some ecclesial environments on the African continent, judging from what the Pontifical Council for the Family tells us.”
Cardinal Antonelli noted that people working for “various international institutions and organizations” start from real problems that must be “dutifully resolved.” Among these, the cardinal noted injustice and violence against women, infant mortality, malnutrition and famine, and problems of housing and work.
But, he lamented, “They propose solutions based on values of equality, health and liberty: sacrosanct concepts, but rendered ambiguous by the new anthropological meanings that are given to them.”
“For example,” the cardinal explained, “equality of people no longer just means equal dignity and access to fundamental human rights; but also the irrelevance of the natural differences between men and women, the uniformity of all individuals, as though they were sexually undifferentiated, and therefore the equality of all sexual orientations and behavior: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, polymorphous. Each individual has the right to practice–and change, should they wish–their choices in line with their drives, desires and preferences.”
During the January 2009 World Annual Meeting of Families in Mexico City, Cardinal Antonelli did offer an option: “the homosexual experience must stay within the confines of a private relation, a relation between friends.”
In other words, keep things quiet and private. No scandal. Society should not be shaken. This must have been his mantra as bishop of Florence.
Shortly before he became head of Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Antonelli had to deal with an ugly sexual abuse case in his diocese–serious enough (meaning it had hit the newspapers and the city criminal justice department) for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to send a special envoy to investigate.
20 women accused Fr. Lelio Cantini, 82, of having raped them when they were minors, from ages 12 to 17. The alleged victims wrote to the Pope, asking due punishment for the abuser. Confronted by their testimony, church authorities first transferred the priest to another parish, and then, out of the diocese.
Cardinal Antonelli admitted that the Church had settled the matter in secret after the accusations reached the Vatican.
But Fr. Cantini had never been disciplined. The priest admitted he coerced girls and teenagers in his parish to have sex. The rapes occured between 1973 and 1987.
After the investigative process, where the accusations were proved to be true, on April 2, 2007, Cardinal Antonelli issued the punishment for the priest: Fr. Cantini was barred from saying Mass and ordered to contribute a portion of his income to charity for a period of five years. In addition, for the first year, he was ordered to recite a psalm each day for a year begging for pardon over the sins he committed.
In case you are wondering, it’s Psalm 51 – the one that begins, â€œHave mercy upon me, O God â€¦ Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.â€
Growing up in the pre-Vatican II church, I can tell you Cardinal Antonelli would have had a big line in front of his confessional as the “easy penance” guy!
So, all of this is a little confusing as to what “values” the good cardinal is promoting, except for the value of silence.