Sunday, 21 February 2010

Di-Ve: The Marriage Non-Debate and the EU
Saturday, 08 February, 2003 by Fr Colin Apap

Malta's Catholic Archbishop's ability to promote HOPE in a turbulent world is amazing. Mons. Joseph Mercieca strongly appealed to newly weds in 2002 to denounce the evil influence of secularism and materialism that were the cause of so many broken marriages.

Mons. Mercieca, echoing the Pope´s recent pronouncements, was speaking in his traditional annual letter to newly married couples who tied the knot throughout 2002. His impassioned appeal comes at an appropriate timing. The family has been under stress because of many factors not the least because of looming legislation that reflects the prevailing secularist mentality on the family.

HOPE is a Journey made up of facts and concrete choices: we cannot build.

HOPE on slogans similar to waving empty flags flying in the midst of lost opportunities.

It is no hidden secret that several liberal maltese thinkers would look forward to the prevalent EU mentality on the family as the solution to radical change in maltese legislation vis a vis the traditional maltese family. It is quickly rebutted that no EU legislation can affect our legislation. Neither on abortion nor on the legalization of same sex marriages.

Will the Church be better of if Malta joins the EU?
It is a well-known fact that the European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved two important motions demanding that EU states should incorporate legislation favouring both abortion and same sex marriages.

These are the latest facts: The European Parliament narrowly approved a report asking the 15 member states to give live-in couples, including homosexuals, the same legal rights that marriages enjoy.

The final vote on amendments to the annual report on rights in the European Union rejected an article that "urged" the member states "to permit marriage between persons of the same sex."

The amended report was approved 277 to 269, with 14 abstentions.

The relator of the report was Dutch Labor Party member Joke Swiebel, chairwoman of the Europarliament's Gay and Lesbian Intergroup.

What?s the value of such official pronouncements? The vote isn't binding on the member states, but rather constitutes a legal point of reference for them.
It is to create a legal framework.

A tradition. An official consensus on certain social and moral issues that are at the very centre of catholic teaching. Such official pronouncements will be very useful as a reference point of the mind of EU legislators. Binding decisions of the Court of Justice will be based on such official pronouncements. They are done with a purpose.

No one would believe that European Members of Parliament would pass non-binding legislation because they have nothing else to do in Brussels.

When I was in Brussels to see for myself the workings of EU institutions I had the chance to meet several fellow-priests from Europe and particularly from catholic Ireland.

We were told that the Bishops stand on The Moral Question is to accept the least evil of the proposed legislations. "This is the best deal we could get", they were told.

In this way so many laws will become part of our legislative corpus without the need of "Crusades" or campaigns or any local exercise in sensibilisation. Those who would not speak now would hold little credence when they will speak in the future.

Divorce, on the other hand, seems to be already accepted as a reality in Malta too. There is a damning silence that speaks louder than facts.

Those same people who so rightly cautioned one and all about the "divorce mentality" ? which is even worse than legislation about divorce itself - has lost their prophetic clout.

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