Thursday, 29 March 2012

Times: Gay Marriage and the Common Good [1 and 2]

Friday, March 9, 2012 by Ray Azzopardi, Xemxija

In his Talking Point, Give Gay Couples the Right to Marry (March 2) Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando states, "the only reason many are averse to the idea of gay marriages is simply a misguided one based on religious beliefs".

He continues by asserting that those who base their arguments on such beliefs should not dictate to others the manner in which they should live their lives.

It is a fact that decisions taken by the powers that be affect different members of society. I have insisted more than once in my several contributions to The Times that whenever regulations are being formulated one should always look at the good of society at large, in other words, at what is termed as the common good. It seems that whenever one discusses what is licit or illicit for society, those who insist that certain actions should not be regularised to safeguard the good of society at large, are branded as individuals

who are denying the rights to minorities.

Stating that those of us who are against gay marriages are misguided because we are basing our convictions on religious beliefs is reasoning in a very narrow and prejudiced way. Irrespective of one's beliefs, what is good for society as a whole should be safeguarded. Our Catholic principles have lasted for so many centuries and continue to be that beacon of light for all societies for generations to come not because they are Catholic but because they are valid and licit for all societies irrespective of one's beliefs.

If being democratic means allowing each individual or group of individuals to decide for themselves what is licit or illicit irre

spective of the impact such decisions have on oneself and society at large, then we are ignoring the common good which should never be sacrificed in order to satisfy the good of certain individuals.

When speaking about freedom in a democratic society we have to learn to distinguish between being allowed to do what one wants and being allowed to do what ought to be done for the good of oneself and the good of society at large.

Denying absolute truths and basing our decisions on what is feasible for me, here and now, is falling into the trap of relativism. Before we start debating on specific topics like marriage between gay couples and the rights of minority groups it would be better and healthier to start reflecting on the dignity of the human person, the common good and what makes a sound and strong society.

[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

Friday, March 9, 2012 by Kevin Papagiorcopulo, communications officer, Archbishop's Curia, Floriana

Reference is made to the article MP Does Not Rule Out Gay Marriages Bill (March 3). Throughout the article, at times reference is made to "gay marriage" and at other times reference is made to "gay civil unions", in such a way that it is not clear to which the article is referring.

A case in point is the comment attributed to Evarist Bartolo where he says that "within the Church's ranks, there were those who were in favour of marriage equality". Immediately afterwards, he quotes the Bishop of Ragusa as coming out in favour of gay civil unions.

Bishop Paola Urso, the Bishop of Ragusa, in an interview to explicitly said that he is not in favour of gay marriage. ( 2012/01/11/651009-vescovo_urso_stato_riconosca_unione.shtml).

Only recently, on January 9, in his address to the Diplomatic Corps, Pope Benedict XVI clearly expressed the Church's teaching on this matter: "In addition to a clear goal, that of leading young people to a full knowledge of reality and thus of truth, education needs settings.

"Among these, pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman. This is not a simple social convention but rather the fundamental cell of every society.

"Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.

"The family unit is fundamental for the educational process and for the development both of individuals and states; hence there is a need for policies which promote the family and aid social cohesion and dialogue. It is in the family that we become open to the world and to life".


[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]

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