Wednesday, November 30, 2011
THE CULTURE WARS AND CATHOLIC COMMON SENSE
Archbishop Nichols of Westminster said the following concerning same sex civil unions:
'We would want to emphasize that civil partnerships actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship [and] a lifelong partnership can find their place and protection and legal provision,
'As a Church we are very committed to the notion of equality so that people are treated the same across all the activities of life. The Church holds great store by the value of commitment in relationships and undertakings that people give. Stability in society depends upon the reliability of commitments that people give. That might be in offering to do a job but especially in their relationships with one another. Equality and commitment are both very important and we fully support them.'
My Comments: I am all in favor of the good fight to preserve the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman in civil law. However, I don't know of too many Catholics who would want civil law to outlaw civil divorce although the Catholic Church does not recognize civil divorce as it pertains to our understanding of a marriage that is a Sacrament. Nor do we fight the government in providing benefits for those who are in a second, third or more marriage after a civil divorce.
I think we have to recognize that many same sex people have powerfully loving partnerships. As they grow older, this friendship/partnership is very healthy and supportive. I would have to endorse that there should be a way for them to have rights under the law and various benefits. This should all be a part of civil law. At the same time, religious liberty must be respected and Churches and other religious groups should not be forced to act against their teachings. For example, the Church should not have to provide insurance for people who work for the Church who want birth control or abortions to be a part of their coverage.
Many same sex partnerships provide stability for those involved in them and are a path to a higher form of sexual morality that avoids promiscuity.
The Church can still call all couples to chastity. But we don't have to police what is going on behind closed doors, whether it is illicit forms of sex, the use of birth control and the like.