28 May 2014

English Bishops' Conference Weighs in on Same-sex Civil Unions

Readers, the above headline is taken, word-for-word, from the article over at Catholic Culture.

Note it doesn't say: English Bishops' Conference Opposes Same-sex Civil Unions

The bishops spoke about a governmental proposal to automatically convert all 'civil unions' (foisted earlier on the public) into 'marriages'. I mean, if the government can decide by fiat who is the King, or whether the Pope is the head of the Church, then redefining marriage seems a small thing.

The question you may be asking, "Who are they to judge?" is perhaps apropos, in that if this indeed is the judgment of the bishops in England, perhaps they oughtn't weigh in on the subject. From the story:

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, chairman of the conference’s Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, expressed opposition to the proposal.

“Some lesbian and gay Catholics do not wish to enter into civil same-sex marriage because of their deeply held belief that marriage is between a man and a woman only, but still wish to have the legal rights that are contained in a civil partnership,” he said. “The removal of the option for same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships could cause great harm to those Catholics and others.”

“It is important that those who share the protected characteristics of sexuality and religion continue to be able to manifest their religious beliefs whilst not being denied the legal protections that are offered by a civil partnership,” he added.

But don't worry. The Archbishop issued this further 'clarifying' statement:

My recent comment on civil partnerships was solely in response to a specific government consultation on whether to abolish civil partnerships or convert them all into marriages in law. My comment should not be misunderstood … I was dealing solely with this issue of conscience which has now arisen given the current law, and my response should not be misinterpreted as a wider commentary on civil partnerships in general.

Not exactly Regnans in Excelsis.

Perhaps this kind of slippery slope trajectory is why "civil union" legislation and policies should continue to be opposed vigorously by Catholics and their shepherds. It is so unfair, after all, that the people who have merely taken advantage of an unjust law weakening the institution of marriage should be forced to violate their delicate consciences by calling their situations 'marriage'.

No comments: