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Prosecutor dismisses case against French priest who said homosexual relations are a sin

French authorities determined that “there does not appear that there is any infraction sufficiently characterized to justify any criminal procedure” against Father Matthieu Raffray. / Credit: Father Matthieu Raffray YouTube Channel / Screenshot

ACI Prensa Staff, Apr 29, 2024 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

French priest Matthieu Raffray disclosed that the Paris prosecutor’s office has dismissed a case initiated against him for stating that homosexual relations are a sin and for calling homosexuality a “weakness.”

In a legal document addressed to the priest and shared by him April 26, it stated that “on March 19, the interministerial delegation for the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-LGBT hatred went to the Paris prosecutor’s office” regarding “two posts made on your X (Twitter) and Instagram accounts” in January and March.

The priest of the Institute of the Good Shepherd — created in 2006 in Rome for “the defense and dissemination of Catholic tradition in all its forms,” according to the website of this society of apostolic life — had posted in late January a comment on X about “conversion therapies.”

“The LGBT Corner” had asked in a Jan. 28 mocking post on X whether “a person can get conversion therapy for 10 euros in France. That’s what Father LeCoq implies whom I contacted to help my son suffering from ‘homophile tendencies.’ He directed me to the retreat ‘Be a Man’ to be held again in Annecy.”

In response Raffray wrote: “Every spiritual retreat is conversion therapy. Since the beginnings of Catholicism, Christians have withdrawn from the world to find themselves before the Lord in order to become better” and criticized the “gross ignorance” and modus operandi of the LGBT lobby.

On March 15, the priest posted a video on Instagram in which he encouraged the faithful to fight against their weaknesses.

In a March Instagram video, Raffray encouraged the faithful to fight against their weaknesses, among others homosexuality, and commented that each person has his or her own weapons with which to fight, but the devil convinces people that the fight “is too hard” and therefore it’s useless to resist.

The legal notice stated that “after a careful examination of the comments” of the priest “it does not appear that there is any infraction sufficiently characterized to justify any criminal procedure against him.”

“Therefore,” the document concluded, “this process is being dismissed.”

Raffray pointed out that “the comments I made do not fall within the scope of the law.”

“I pray for my enemies and I thank everyone who has supported me,” he added.

Who is Father Matthieu Raffray?

Raffray is a well-known French priest who has a growing apostolate on the internet and social media aimed especially at young French-speaking people.

He has more than 60,000 followers on Instagram, more than 22,000 on YouTube, and more than 21,000 on X.

He is a pro-life and pro-family advocate and has published French-language books such as “Myths and Lies of Progressivism” (2020) and more recently “The Greatest of Combats,” with which he seeks to answer the fundamental and existential questions of life.

Raffray, 45, was born in 1979 and is one of nine children. He studied mathematics before being ordained a priest in 2009.

He holds a doctorate in philosophy and teaches at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.

According to the publication European Conservative, he rose to fame in 2020 after an interview with French YouTuber Baptiste Marchais in which he defended the return to a “virile Catholicism” and patriotic sentiment among the Catholic faithful. 

What does the Catholic Church teach about homosexuality?

Catholic teaching on homosexuality is summarized in Nos. 2357, 2358, and 2359 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Church teaches that men and women with same-sex attraction “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

The catechism notes that homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered” and constitutes for those who experience it “a trial.”

Based on sacred Scripture, the catechism states that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “they do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.” Consequently, “under no circumstances can they be approved.”

“Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection,” the catechism explains.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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