This story from 365gay.com demonstrates that Cardinal Janis Pujats (and most of the rest of the Catholic Church hierarchy) apparently believes that we are still living in the 13th Century, a time when the Pope, bishops and cardinals wielded extreme secular power and could trample on the civil laws that they did not like. I hope the European Union has some back bone and makes it clear to Latvia that it either respects the European Union laws on non-discrimination or else it needs to get out of the European Union and suffer all the economic harm that would entail. Ditto for Poland. I suspect most citizens will then tell the Catholic Church to shut up and stay out of civil law affairs. For background, Cardinal Pujats has previously called homosexuality "total corruption in the sexual arena" and "an unnatural form of prostitution."Here are story highlights:
(Riga) The leader of Latvia's Roman Catholics has called on political parties to ban gays from seeking public office. As the country prepares to go to the polls to elect a new Parliament Cardinal Janis Pujats issued a letter demanding the three major parties pledge not to endorse the candidacy of anyone who is gay and not to appoint anyone gay to non-elected office. The letter tells party leaders they must be "ready to defend the Latvian nation against the invasion of homosexuality in public life," the Baltic News Service reported on Tuesday. Pujats later said that European laws barring discrimination against gays "irrelevant" if they run counter to the morals of Latvia.
As a cardinal, I say this in the name of Latvia's half-million Catholic believers. They are citizens of their country and have rights to express their opinions on all issues of national importance, he said. All three candidates for Prime Minister have distanced themselves from Pujats' remarks.
The issue of LGBT civil rights also led to a showdown between then President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Parliament last year. A labor law passed in 2004 as a condition of European Union membership and as required by the EU contained protections for gays was never implemented. In 2006 Parliament revised it stripped out the LGBT protections and sent it to the president for her signature. (story) Vike-Freiberga vetoed the measure returning it to Parliament with a terse message that she would sign it only when the protections were restored. After a heated battle in Parliament the clause was reinstated and the bill was signed into law.
If one wants a real look inside the corruption of the Catholic Church, they may want to read this document (http://www.usao.edu/~facshaferi/secretarium/crimensollicitationis01.htm) issued by the Vatican in 1962 under John XXIII which addresses sexual abuse by clergy. As you will note, the biggest concerns were (1) secrecy and (2) avoiding scandal. Accusers were sworn to secrecy and as you will see, bishops were authorized to transfer guilt clergy to other dioceses. The lies and cover ups have gone on for at least 45 years with the Vatican's knowledge.