British cardinal: I can’t remember how I voted on plans to welcome gays

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales claims he’s forgotten how he voted when the Church decided to scrap plans to relax its anti-gay policies.

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, attended the church’s Extraordinary Synod last month, where proposals to become marginally more welcoming to gays were voted down by cardinals.

However, despite it being one of the key issues of the synod, Cardinal Nichols says he doesn’t remember whether he voted to welcome gays or shun them.

The religious leader told Radio 4: “There were three key words as far as I was concerned … ‘respect’, ‘welcome’ and ‘value’.

“I was looking for those words and they weren’t there and so I didn’t think that was a good paragraph.

“I’m not kidding you, I actually can’t remember which way I voted. We had 60 votes in about 40 minutes.”

Cardinal Nichols previously admitted depictions of the plans as making changes to the Church’s teachings were “untrue”, adding: “There was no suggestion that the teaching of the Church might somehow give approval to the notion of ‘same-sex marriage’ or that its teaching on sexual morality is to change.”

The Pope is hosting an interfaith summit on ‘traditional marriage’ next week, bringing together opponents of same-sex marriage from across different faiths.

However, anti-gay activist Tony Perkins – whose group is listed as an active homophobic hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre – has been invited to the Pontiff’s gathering.

Mr Perkins is an extremist figure in the US, and has been condemned by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League for repeatedly comparing gay rights to the holocaust.