Archbishop Emeritus of Riga
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|Appointed||8 May 1991|
|Term ended||19 June 2010|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Priest of Santa Silvia (2001-)|
|Ordination||29 March 1951|
by Antonijs Springovičs
|Consecration||1 June 1991|
by Francesco Colasuonno
|Created cardinal||21 February 1998 (in pectore)|
21 February 2001 (revealed)
by Pope John Paul II
|Birth name||Jānis Pujats|
|Born||14 November 1930|
Nautrēni, Latgale, Latvia
|Previous post||President of the Latvian Bishops' Conference (1998-2010)|
|Motto||Ad Jesum per Mariam|
|Coat of arms|
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Pujats was born in Nautrēni parish in Latgale. He attended the Theological Seminary in Riga until it was closed by the Soviet Union in 1951. Two months later, he was ordained in a secret ceremony by Archbishop Antonijs Springovičs. During the pontificate of Pope Paul VI, he implemented the Pope's liturgical reform and published the first missal in Latvian. Jānis Pujats was made Archbishop of Riga in 1991. On 21 February 1998, he was made a Cardinal in pectore by Pope John Paul II; his cardinalate was made public at the consistory of 21 February 2001. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. He speaks Russian, Polish, Lithuanian, German and Latin, in addition to his native Latvian. He is noted for being the only member of the Synod of Bishops to speak exclusively Latin when at the microphone at both the 2001 and 2005 meetings.
Condemnation of homosexuality
In a May 2007 open letter protesting a gay pride march scheduled for 3 June 2007 as part of the Riga Pride and Friendship Days, Pujāts referred to homosexuality as "absolute depravity in sexual behavior" and an "unnatural form of prostitution". He told the faithful to "be prepared to go out into the streets" to protest the events, "not to create disorder, but to offer a disciplined position in support of the government, because on this very important issue of morals, the government is on the side of Christians."
Declaration of Truths
On June 10, 2019, Pujats, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, and three other bishops published a 40-point "Declaration of Truths" claiming to reaffirm traditional Church teaching. The bishops wrote that such a declaration was necessary in a time of "almost universal doctrinal confusion and disorientation." Specific passages in the declaration implicitly relate to several writings by Pope Francis. The declaration states that "the religion born of faith in Jesus Christ" is the "only religion positively willed by God," seemingly alluding to a document signed by Pope Francis on February 4 called "Human Fraternity" which stated that the "diversity of religions" is "willed by God." Following recent changes to the Catechism to oppose capital punishment, the declaration states that the Church "did not err" in teaching that civil authorities may "lawfully exercise capital punishment" when it is "truly necessary" and to preserve the "just order of societies."
- "Statistics on the Consistory". Vatican Press Office. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Holy See Press Office. Biographical notes
- Cardinals call on Pope to save Latin from last rites, The Times, 24 October 2005
- RINUNCIA DELL’ARCIVESCOVO METROPOLITA DI RIGA (LETTONIA) E NOMINA DEL SUCCESSORE Archived 22 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Vatican Information Service, 19 June 2010
- Interfax: Homosexuality 'unnatural form of prostitution', Latvian Catholic leader says Archived 14 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Interfax/Catholic Online, 10 May 2007
- Gay pride parade to attract international audience, The Baltic Times, 23 May 2007
- Cardinal: homosexuality a form of prostitution, Pink News, 9 May 2007
- Pentin, Edward (10 June 2019). "New 'Declaration of Truths' Affirms Key Church Teachings". June 20, 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
- "Pujats Card. Jānis". Holy See Press Office. Archived from the original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Catholic Hierarchy
- Metropolitan Archdiocese of Riga
- The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
- Araldica Vaticana
- Vatican Information Service