Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Leading Catholic academic shows why Catholics may not support civil partnerships

Professor Roberto de Mattei
Professor Roberto de Mattei, a leading Italian Catholic academic, has written an excellent article entitled: "Can a Catholic support civil unions to prevent gay ‘marriage’?", answering the question with a strongly-argued 'no' - see below for key extracts. Professor de Mattei's article is a powerful antidote to those "personalities from the Catholic world" such as David Quinn and Dr Austen Ivereigh of "Catholic Voices" who have supported civil partnerships. The article's thesis is entirely at one with Pope Benedict's words of 2 December 2010 that:
"The church cannot approve legislative initiatives that imply a valuation of alternative models of the life of the couple and the family".
Key extracts from "Can a Catholic support civil unions to prevent gay ‘marriage’?" by Professor Roberto de Mattei:
  • "A dangerous belief is gaining ground, even among Catholics, that a juridical recognition of homosexual cohabitation is the only way to avoid "gay marriage." "No to gay marriage, yes to the rights of de facto couples and homosexuals" is the watchword of those who want to organise a line of resistance based on the disastrous policy of "giving in so as not to lose." This is not only a colossal strategic error but also - and above all - a grave moral one."
  • "If the principle is accepted that the lesser evil can be committed in order to obtain a larger good, then Catholics would be able to promote therapeutic abortion in order to avoid selective abortion; they could promote homologous artificial insemination in order to avoid heterologous artificial insemination; they could support civil unions in order to avoid homosexual marriage. But, doing this, the whole edifice of morality would collapse because, from lesser evil to lesser evil, every single moral choice could be speciously justified."
  • "[E]ven some personalities from the Catholic world are saying that the recognition of homosexual unions is de facto a "lesser evil" which might be undertaken in order to avoid the "greater evil" of "gay marriage." But from the moral point of view, the legal recognition of homosexual unions is just as grave as putting them on the same level as marriage. This is why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its document entitled Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons (3 June 2003) and approved by John Paul II, sets down that "respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.""
  • "Voting in favour of a law such as this is to make oneself complicit in an evil which is in no way destroyed by the supposed "damage limitation." If there were two laws in Parliament, one which legalised homosexual marriage and the other which recognised the rights of homosexual couples but did not equate their union with marriage, Catholics could not vote in favour of the latter on the basis that it was "less bad" than the first. If the worse law were to pass, then the responsibility for it would fall on those who had signed it."
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