Thursday, 26 December 2013

Malta Today: Bishop demands study into effect of gay adoption

Charles Scicluna: ‘There is no right to parenthood; no right to adopt. There is the right of the child to be cared for.’
Wednesday 11 December 2013 - 16:10 by Matthew Vella

Auxiliary bishop Charles Scicluna

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna has called for an impact study that examines the way gay adoptions will affect Maltese society.

"This is a fundamental change in the way Maltese society is set up. We believe that this development is not beneficial to minors and to society in general. This is not about the rights of gay people but about creating a new type of family where the founding principle is not marriage between a man and a woman but any social partnership," the bishop said.

The statement was not signed by any of the two other bishops, Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo bishop Mario Grech.

Scicluna has been vociferous in making a vocal stand on gay adoption in the wake of a civil unions bill that will formalise the adoption of children by gay couples, which is already taking place by single, gay parents.

"The Church is against putting children in an environment where the common and natural experience of the conjugal love between a man and a woman is substituted by the quasi-marital relationship between a man and a man, or between a woman and a woman. Let us not play with the innocence of our children.

"The Civil Unions Bill amends the law on filiation: the law that determines who is to be considered a parent. It introduces two new sets of legal parents: John & John. Jane & Jane."

Scicluna prefaced his statement by saying that it was according to Catholic doctrine that best interest of the child is taken into consideration when adoption is discussed.

"The child has the right to know his or her parents and to be brought up by his or her parents: in all cases a man and a woman," Scicluna said, citing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989."

"In those cases where the child cannot be brought up by his or her parents, the adoptive parents should follow the mother-father pattern found in nature. Adoption by a single parent is an exception," Scicluna added.

The bishop, who formally was the Vatican's main prosecutor on clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church, was also categorical about people's right to father children.

"There is no right to parenthood; there is no right to adopt. There is the right of the child to be cared for. What is the say of the child in this issue? Who will choose to give 'Baby A' a mother and a mother or a father and a father, rather than a mother and a father? How will this affect the upbringing of adoptive children?"

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