Deputy Secretary of State Archbishop Angelo Becciu described the statement of an Italian priest as being “offensive for believers and scandalous for non-believers” and asked for forgiveness from the victims of the earthquakes that struck central Italy.
The day Italy was struck by a 6.6 magnitude earthquake, as it was the worst to hit the country in more than three decades, Father Giovanni Cavalcoli made a controversial statement on October 30 saying that the seismic shock were “divine punishment” for “the offence to the family and the dignity of marriage, in particular through civil unions.”
In October, Italy had passed legislation to allow civil unions between same sex couples.
Radio Maria — a Catholic radio network — distanced itself from Cavalcoli’s views as the Vatican issued a stinging rebuke saying his statements “have nothing to do with Church teaching and are contrary to the vision of God as offered to us by Christ.”
Cavalcoli were suspended from a radio station Radio Maria, condemning his statement as unacceptable, reports RT. But Cavalcoli refused to back down as he told another radio station that earthquakes are indeed caused by “the sins of man” and told to read their catechism.
Becciu expressed forgiveness to the quake victims and reminded them that Pope Francis offered solidarity and support.
A devastating 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit the ancient city of Norcia in Italy that cracks historic buildings at the Vatican that injured around 20 people, worst recorded for 36 years.