Monday, 6 January 2014

Malta Today: Catholic lawmaker has ‘moral duty’ to vote against civil union law – Auxiliary Bishop

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna says a Catholic MP voting in favour ‘of a law so harmful to the common good of society is a gravely immoral act’.
Saturday 4 January 2014 - 12:02 by Miriam Dalli

A Catholic MP who supports the Civil Union Bill and the right for same-sex couples to adopt would be committing "a gravely immoral act", according to Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna.

In an interview with Italian media Avvenire on the Civil Unions Bill being discussed in parliament, Scicluna said the Catholic lawmaker had the "moral duty" to vote against the bill.

The Italian reporter asked the Bishop whether it was lawful for a Catholic MP to support the law.

Scicluna argued that the Catholic Doctrine of the Faith was clear: in a document issued in 2003, on the 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons', it said it was the Catholic MP's responsibility to uphold the doctrine.

Paragraph 10 of the said document reads: "If all the faithful are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions , Catholic politicians are, in particular, in the line of responsibility which is theirs."

Therefore, Scicluna insisted, "the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against the bill".

"Granting the vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good of society is a gravely immoral act," Scicluna said.

In giving a background to how Malta was in the process of legislating in favour of gay couples, Scicluna said that all political parties had been "in a frantic rush to grab votes" during the 2013 electoral campaign.

"In a frantic rush to grab the votes, all political parties have promised to facilitate the claims of the gay lobby and promised legislation in favor of civil unions. After the elections of March 2013, Labour, led by Dr Joseph Muscat, won and the government has moved to honor its commitment to the gay lobby," he said.

In the past weeks, the Bishop had also declared that Pope Francis had been "shocked" when he learnt that Malta was about to recognise gay couples.

To the Italian media, Scicluna said the Pope had been "saddened" by the development, especially on the issue of adoptions.

Scicluna told the Pope that promoters of the bill would cite his words - "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and good will, who am I to judge?" - but would not cite what the Pope had also said in 2010 when he was still Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

"The Pope repeated a phrase of his letter of 2010: 'It's an anthropological setback'," Scicluna said.

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