Vatican supports views of plagiarist French rabbi
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Vatican supports views of plagiarist French rabbi

Pope endorses disgraced French chief rabbi's arguments against same-sex marriage

Gilles Bernheim, the chief rabbi of France, leaving the Elysee Palace in Paris after meeting with then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, March 21, 2012. (photo credit: Franck Prevel/Getty via JTA)
Gilles Bernheim, the chief rabbi of France, leaving the Elysee Palace in Paris after meeting with then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, March 21, 2012. (photo credit: Franck Prevel/Getty via JTA)

JTA – Following the resignation of France’s chief rabbi in a plagiarism scandal, the Vatican has reaffirmed its support for his position against same sex marriage.

Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, 60, stepped down April 11 after admitting he had falsified his academic record and had not authored some of the writings published under his name. These included an essay arguing against same-sex marriage that was praised in December by then-Pope Benedict XVI.

According to Vatican Radio, the Vatican’s chief spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said that this did not change the Vatican’s position regarding the stand expressed in that essay.

“Benedict XVI showed his appreciation of arguments in favor of marriage between a man and a woman, as expressed in the document published by Rabbi Bernheim,” Lombardi was quoted by Vatican Radio as saying. “The recent issues don’t change that.”

Bernheim had published his essay, “Homosexual Marriage, Gay Parenting and Adoption: What We Forgot to Say,” in October as part of debate ahead of a parliamentary vote on gay marriage. The French Senate approved the bill on April 12; it is also expected to be approved by the lower house next month.

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