I take an interest in this as I am an ex Catholic. What surprises me is not "well, so and so won't go to heaven"; after all, I actually believe that. IMHO, no one goes to heaven as the very idea of a literal body having a literal afterlife is merely baseless superstition.
Still, this statement took me a bit by surprise:
Homosexuals and transsexuals "will never enter the kingdom of heaven", a leading Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday.
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan said that while the Church regarded homosexuality as an "insult to God", this did not justify discrimination against gay and transsexual people.
"Transsexuals and homosexuals will never enter the kingdom of heaven and it is not me who says this, but Saint Paul," the cardinal said, in comments reported by the Ansa news agency.
"People are not born homosexual, they become homosexual, for different reasons: education issues or because they did not develop their own identity during adolescence. It may not be their fault, but acting against nature and the dignity of the human body is an insult to God," he said.
Note the claim that "people are not born homosexual". What exactly is this claim based on? Where is the evidence to support this?
There is evidence to the contrary; e. g. here.
A study of gay sheep appears to confirm the controversial suggestion that there is a biological basis for sexual preference.
The work shows that rams that prefer male sexual partners had small but distinct differences in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, when compared with rams that preferred to mate with ewes.
Kay Larkin and colleagues from Oregon Health and Science University found the difference was in a particular region of the hypothalamus - the preoptic nucleus. The region is generally almost twice as large in rams as in ewes. But in gay rams its size was almost identical to that in "straight" females.
The hypothalamus is known to control sex hormone release and many types of sexual behaviour. Several other parts of the hypothalamus showed consistent sex differences in size, but only this specific region showed differences that correlated with sexual preference.
Again, my beef isn't with this person's superstition; I take this "enter the kingdom of heaven" as seriously as I'd take someone being "touched by His Noodly Appendage".
But this spreading of pseudo-scientific bunk is intolerable.
Update I am well aware of the pedophilia scandals that the church had. This kind of reminds me a bit of the book The Kite Runner in which the Taliban put forth an ultra pious face to the public while sexually abusing kids in private.
No, I am NOT comparing the current Catholic Church to the Taliban but this "public face" versus "private behavior" issue comes up for me.