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Brazilian Bishops Distance Peer who Argues Adolescents are “Spontaneously Homosexual”

Friday, May 7th 2010 - 01:16 UTC
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Archbishop Dadeus Grings: modern society is naturally paedophile Archbishop Dadeus Grings: modern society is naturally paedophile

Brazil’s Catholic bishops rejected statements from their Porto Alegre peer, Monsignor Dadeus Grings who—in the midst of a global scandal over priests’ sexual abuse of minors—argued that modern society is naturally “paedophile”.

Orani João Tempesta, spokesperson for National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) said cardinals are free to express their minds, but underlined that the Catholic Church condemns any sort of sexual abuse.

“It is not Church doctrine this kind of (paedophile) behaviour. All those who have committed crimes must be sent to court according to the legal system of each country, be it Brazil or any other”, said Tempesta during an improvised press conference.

Archbishop Dadeus Grings, a conservative priest who has made controversial statements in the past, told the O Globo newspaper at a Brazilian bishops’ conference that society's woes are being reflected in the sex abuse scandal enveloping the Roman Catholic Church. “Society today is paedophile; that is the problem. So, people easily fall into it. And the fact it is denounced is a good sign,” Grings told O Globo.

Grings is the archbishop of the diocese of Porto Alegre, one of the largest in Brazil—a country with more Catholics than any other nation. He also serves as the chancellor of the Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul. Porto Alegre is the largest Brazilian city to the south of mega-polis São Paulo.

Grings also denounced the abuse within the church, but he said internal punishment of priests guilty of abuse was sufficient and that police should not be involved. “For the church to go and accuse its own sons would be a little strange,” he said.

The archbishop also said it was important to help children avoid homosexuality. “We know that the adolescent is spontaneously homosexual. Boys play with boys, girls play with girls,” he said. “If there is no proper guidance, this sticks. The question is: how are we going to educate our children to use a sexuality that is human and suitable?” Further on Grings warned that the acceptance of homosexuality in society could pave the way for the acceptance of paedophilia.

“When sexuality is trivialized, it's clear that this is going to affect all cases”, he said. “Homosexuality is such a case. Before, the homosexual wasn't spoken of. He was discriminated against [...] When we begin to say they have rights, rights to demonstrate publicly, pretty soon, we'll find the rights of paedophiles,” he added.

This is not the first time Grings has been involved in controversy. In 2003 he argued that only 1 million Jews died in the Holocaust, though a few years later he recanted. Experts say 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust.

Last year, he outraged Jewish groups in Brazil by telling a magazine that “more Catholics than Jews died in the Holocaust, but this isn't known because the Jews control the world's media.”

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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