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Death of controversial Belgian cardinal

Cardinal Gustaaf Joos, who gained notoriety when he called homosexuals "sexual perverts" earlier this year, died on Tuesday at age 81 at his parish home after falling ill at a church outside Brussels.

Cardinal Joos, who was appointed to the College of Cardinals last year, studied with Pope John Paul II.

The cardinal shared his controversial remarks about homosexuality in a January interview with the news and entertainment weekly P-Magazine.

"I am prepared to sign here in my blood that of all those who say they are lesbian or gay, at most five to 10 percent are effectively lesbian or gay. All the rest are simply sexual perverts," the cardinal had said.

Other leading Catholic leaders, including Godfried Cardinal Danneels, distanced themselves from his comments, which are believed to have been an emotive reacton to Belgium's legalisation of same-sex marriages last year.

Belgian cardinal dies, had stirred controversy with remarks on homosexuality (Catholic News Agency 3/11/04)

Belgian Cardinal Joos dead at 83 (Catholic World News 3/11/04)
Belgian cardinal, former classmate of pope, dies at 81 (Catholic News Service 2/11/04)
Belgian Cardinal Gustaaf Joos Dies at 81 (Newsday/Associated Press 2/11/04)
Anti-gay cardinal dies (Edmonton Sun 3/11/04)
'Gays Are Perverts' Cardinal Dies ( 2/11/04)

4 Nov 2004