The other day I posted a new PODCAzT about the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's 2003 document Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons.
That CDF document, addressed to bishops, states in terms that cannot be misunderstood what the Catholic Church, and right reason, says about legal recognition of same-sex unions as if they were "marriages" and about doing all that is possible to stop the shift from toleration of homosexuality to legitimization.
Now I read this on the Telegraph blog of Damian Thompson. My emphases and comments..
Catholic bishops mount ferocious attack on gay weddings. So why don't they want to talk to the press about it?
By Damian Thompson Religion Last updated: February 23rd, 2011
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has unequivocally condemned the Government’s plans to allow gay weddings in church. Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark has really torn into the Coalition on this one, even though Catholic churches wouldn’t be forced to hold gay weddings – or allowed to do so by the bishops. Here’s what the Archbishop said in a statement:
No authority – civil or religious – has the power to modify the fundamental nature of marriage. [OOH-RAH! WDTPRS KUDOS to Archbp. Smith.]
The Equality Act was amended to permit civil partnerships on religious premises, which unhelpfully blurs the distinction previously upheld by parliament and the courts between marriage and civil partnerships.
A consenting minister is perfectly free to hold a religious ceremony either before or after a civil partnership. That is a matter of religious freedom, but it requires no legislation by the state. [That's the point. And that is what the CDF document addressed.] We do not believe it is either necessary or desirable to allow the registration of civil partnerships on religious premises. These will not take place in Catholic churches.
As Riazat Butt notes in the Guardian, Archbishop Smith is implicitly condemning not just politicians but other religions who solemnise gay partnerships in church, synagogues or wherever. Strong stuff, particularly compared to the bishops’ earlier evasiveness over civil partnerships.
Then Damian gets into media coverage/reaction/availability, etc.
He does have an interesting aside:
It’s a myth, incidentally, that the Catholic Communications Network played a significant part in the success of the papal visit: much of the work of keeping journalists informed was done by the Catholic Herald.
Remember that there is still time to get the discount on the digital version of the Catholic Herald.