Thursday, March 6, 2014
REALLY, CATHOLICS ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT THE POPE'S INTERVIEW?
This is what the Pope said about true marriage and civil unions yestersday:
Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures, of which I wouldn’t know how to list the different ways. One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.
First the Holy Father makes clear that marriage is between a man and woman! Duh! But he knows the question is posed to him because there is great confusion in society today from those who are trying to redefine that which is already definitively defined and cannot be changed.
Then he says that secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. (And yes, this is part of the states responsibility, but this is far from the Pope endorsing cohabitation in the sense of a sexual relationship. And he acknowledges that there are many forms of cohabitation--a single son with an elderly mother and he cares for as a son cares for a mother. Can cohabitation have the same civil protection economically in terms of health benefits, social security and the like? It is not a sexual union or cohabitation.)
Keep in mind, that the Church is opposed to legal divorce. In Italy the Church fought tooth and nail to prevent legal divorces. Was this good? My Italian mother and Canadian father, both conservative Catholics told me no!
The problem in Italy prior the the Council was that men would leave their wives and children and cohabitate with another woman. He became a deadbeat dad, did not support his wife or children because the legal aspects of the separation had not been addressed in a court of law for the protection of persons, children and property.
Civil divorce protects the parties who are divorcing and their children and possessions. It is the duty of the state to do this and enforce it. Not the Church. The Church can only state that the civil union of divorced and remarried Catholics is not recognized by the Church and that the initial marriage is the valid one until proven otherwise in an ecclesiastical court of law.
So the Church, in terms of divorce and remarried couples, acknowledges today (not in the past) the need for civil unions to be regulated by the state to protect people and their civil rights. The Church does not acknowledge these civil unions as marriage and in fact says there is a public sin involved which prevents these couples from receiving Holy Communion if the union is sexual in nature, rather than fraternal.