In 1986 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger sent a letter to all Bishops saying that it is understandable that hate-crimes against gays increase if they are awarded more civil rights.
Dr Patrick Attard who was the first openly gay candidate to contest a general election and was later in the news for excommunicating himself from the Catholic Church asked for an audience with the Pope during his visit to Malta. The request was forwarded to the Vatican by the Maltese Curia but was rejected from the Vatican Authorities responsible for the visit to Malta on the grounds that many people had requested to meet the Pope.
The request made by Dr Attard focussed on gay issues and the Catholic Church. Dr Attard wished to talk to the Pope directly without having the message filtered through his assistants that granting civil rights to gay couples e.g. hospital visitation rights and migration rights do not in any way threat a religious marriage as understood by the Catholic Church. Dr Attard wanted to focus on a particular letter written by Pope Benedict XVI, Prefect as Joseph Ratzinger on the 1st October 1986, where he wrote that it is understandable that hate-crimes against gays increase if the State awards more civil rights to gay couples:
"But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase."
In the same letter Joseph Ratzinger called homosexuality an intrinsic moral evil which is objectively disordered.
Dr Attard had last year sent an open-letter to President Dr George Abela to withdraw the invitation to the Pope until an apology to the above letter was issued. To-date, no reply was received from the President's office.
Dr Attard would like Archbishop Mgr Paul Cremona and the Pro-Vicar General Mgr Anton Gouder for taking his request seriously and forwarding the request to the Vatican Authorities.
Dr Attard condemns attempts by the Dean of the College of Cardinals Angelo Sodano to attribute the emerging scandal as part as a hate-campaign against the Church for its opposition to the Gay-Marriage. Such comments are obscene and attempt to deflect the attention from the heinous crimes committed against young children. He also condemns comments made by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's Secretary of State who linked paedophelia to homosexuality during a visit to Chile. These comments have been condemned by the French Foreign Ministry and the Catholic Church of England and Wales rebutted these claims. Father Marcus Stock, General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said: "There is no empirical data which concludes that sexual orientation is connected to child sexual abuse.”