Sunday, 20 October 2013

Malta Today: Auxiliary Bishop warns against ‘equating’ civil unions with marriage

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna says ‘marriage is for the family’.
Sunday 20 October 2013 - 13:03 by a Staff Reporter

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna.

Equating civil unions with marriage was "illogical" and "deceptive", according to Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna.

Referring to the Civil Liberties Act which is at its second reading in parliament, Scicluna urged MPs to engage in a thorough debate and reflection before equating civil unions with marriage.

"In a matter of days, the Maltese Parliament will be called to vote out the traditional concept of conjugality cherished by the Maltese society for millennia," Scicluna said in a letter published in The Sunday Times of Malta.

He said that up to now, Maltese society had given special legal protection and social and religious support to the conjugal union between a man and a woman "which we call marriage".

Scicluna argued that the special status of marriage emerged "from the fact that, of its very nature, by the fact that a man and a woman become one flesh, marriage is open to the gift of parenthood".

He insisted that this "special role of marriage", is one of its major contributions to the common good.

"Children born of the union between a man and a woman are ideally raised in the family which is given social recognition and support through the institute of marriage. In a nutshell, marriage is for the family. It is not simply a socially recognsied partnership," he said.

Scicluna added that the proposed Bill intended to put all this behind in the name of the asserted equality of same sex couples to couples of different sex.

"This asserted equality is a no-brainer when we deal with human dignity and the right to freedom from unjust discrimination. It does not stand the test of logic when it comes to the openness to the gift of parenthood," he said.

The essential difference between marriage and any other human partnership was the ability "to become one flesh in the mutual expression of love and the natural openness to the gift of parenthood".

"The equation approach is therefore untenable and deceptive when we try to equate same sex unions with marriage," Scicluna concluded.

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