Since Pope Francis visited in 2016, Mexico has rapidly lost ground to anti-family movements, while the country’s Catholic hierarchy has fallen increasingly into disarray. In 2017, news outlets began to note that the violent, pro-abortion and anti-Catholic International Women’s Day marches, that previously had been confined to Argentina, were now beginning to occur in Mexico City. The marches, which left a trail of graffiti and physical damage on Church buildings, spread quickly, and soon became an annual ritual in major cities throughout the country. Today, they are being openly endorsed by major archdioceses.
In December 2018, only two years after the stunning 2016 defeat of the Institutional Revolutionary Party over its endorsement of homosexual marriage, the ardently pro-abortion and pro-LGBT socialist Morena party swept national and state elections, including the presidency. Following Morena’s victory, new appointees to the Supreme Court began to move the court away from its previous pro-life position. In 2021, the court would reverse its previous rulings affirming the right of the states to prohibit abortion, nullifying all criminal penalties for abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy.
During the same period, approval of homosexual marriage by Mexico’s 31 states steadily increased. Prior to 2016, it existed in only four states. By 2018, five more had been added. Following the accession of the socialist Morena party at the end of 2018, the numbers rose by eight more, to a total of 15 by November 2020, slightly less than half of Mexico’s 32 federal entities.
It was then that new remarks made by Pope Francis caused even more confusion about the Church’s position. In October 2020, a segment from a private interview by Pope Francis with a reporter from the Mexican television network Televisa was broadcast in which the pontiff flatly endorsed homosexual civil union legislation and spoke of the homosexual “family” as a “right.”
“Homosexuals have the right to be in a family,” said Francis. “They are children of God and have the right to a family. What we have to do is create a civil union law. That way they’re covered legally. I support that.”
The pope’s statement was widely quoted in Latin America. In response to questions about it, the Vatican accused the documentary-maker of taking the quotes out of context, but simultaneously agreed that Francis supported protections for same-sex unions.
In December 2020, the Cardinal Primate of Mexico Carlos Aguiar Retes expressed his enthusiastic agreement with Francis’ statements.
“I strongly agree with the Holy Father, strongly agree,” Aguiar Retes told Reuters in a widely-reported interview, adding, “Everyone has a right to their family. If they, by their own decision, in their freedom, decide to be with another person and unite, that is freedom.”
In October of 2021, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, also endorsed homosexual civil unions with a tweet that seemed to discard his earlier condemnation of such unions. “People with same-sex preferences have the right for their unions to be protected by the law,” the cardinal wrote, adding “but it is not just to equate them to marriage.”
The two leading Catholic prelates in the country were now in favor of legal support for homosexual unions, in keeping with Pope Francis own public declarations. However, the statements of all three prelates were directly contrary to the directives of the Holy See issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2003 under the authority of Pope John Paul II.
The CDF document calls laws recognizing homosexual unions “unjust laws”, and instructs that a Catholic politician “must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth.” It also quotes the encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (par. 73), which requires “absolute personal opposition” to laws that endorse “crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize.”
Attempts at nuance distinguishing homosexual civil unions from marriage were lost on public officials and their constituents. Within the space of less than two years following the statements of Pope Francis, Cardinal Aguiar Retes, and Cardinal Robles Ortega, the remaining 15 Mexican states had approved homosexual marriage, in an unprecedented frenzy of legislation and executive orders. Today, it is a recognized right in every federal entity of the union, and includes the right of adoption.From Catholic World Report
For part 1 of this article, click here.