The Catholic Church has apologized for using a tweet from a former cardinal to say that “sex between consenting adults is always a sin.”
The tweet, from Cardinal Timothy Dolan in June, was quickly deleted, and the tweet was later reinstated.
But the tweet, which is seen as being an attempt to use “purity” to define Catholics as Catholic, was widely shared on social media and was retweeted more than 40,000 times by the time it was removed.
“I do not use the word purity to describe Catholics as a people.
We are all called to live in a world where all people are free to choose,” Dolan wrote in the tweet.
“It is a truth that many have forgotten.”
The Church has long been criticized for its rhetoric on sexuality, and its decision to include references to “poverty” and “sex” in its liturgical calendar.
In June, the Vatican’s doctrinal council on the family voted unanimously to remove “papal purity” from its calendar, saying it does not represent the “true Christian understanding of marriage.”
Pope Francis has also spoken about the importance of “catholic fidelity” and its importance in promoting the church’s teachings.
“For too long, the Church has failed to protect and promote the fidelity of the people,” Francis said in a statement.
“Catholicity, with its unique commitment to love, truth and fidelity, should not be limited by the boundaries of any culture.”
The Catholic church has previously used the word “piety” to describe its position on sexuality.
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said that “pornography, adultery and licentiousness” are “sin” and that “the sin of the heart is the sin of love.”