Friday, March 22, 2013

Lucia Did the Pope really endorse civil unions in Argentina?

A story has been making the rounds that Pope Francis put forward an idea to promote civil unions in Argentina as an alternative to redefining marriage, and that he was voted down by his more conservative bishop's conference. The New York Times had a quite prominent article promoting this view and it was quoted to us here on this blog by one of our readers. At the time, I said that it would be better to wait and see what clarifications are forthcoming as I found it difficult to believe that Francis would be so out of step with the Church's official position on civil unions.

Turns out he most likely did not:
BUENOS AIRES, March 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Miguel Woites, a confidant of Pope Francis while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, is denying a widely publicized claim that the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio suggested the endorsement of gay civil unions as an alternative to "homosexual marriage" during a private meeting with fellow bishops in 2010.

In an interview granted to the Catholic news agency ACI Prensa, Woites said that the story "isn't true. It's a complete error."

The principle source of the claim, Bergoglio biographer Sergio Rubín, "never said who told him, when they told him," said Woites. "It's not correct to write something like that out of thin air. That (New York Times) article was very criticized by the bishops. He certainly would have referred to unions of convenience but not that anything be legalized."

Related link: Bergoglio didn’t suggest endorsing homosexual civil unions in 2010, says confidant of new pope ~ LifeSiteNews

11 comment(s):

Chris Sullivan said...

The article Lucia links to concludes with this, giving a very different impression than Lucia's quote:

Rubin's words carry some weight, because he is the one of the two individuals who co-authored the only authorized biography of the current pope, entitled The Jesuit, published by Ediciones B in 2010. The biography was based on conversations with Bergoglio.

The claim has been seconded by homosexual activist Marcelo Marquez, who told the Times that Bergoglio "told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage."


Further confirmation here:

And the activist isn’t alone in making these allegations. A former pastor in Buenos Aires, Andres Albertsen, too, claims that Francis once used similar language to describe his stance on civil unions. In a private meeting, he told CNN that the pontiff, prior to becoming pope, was candid.

“In this conversation that we had, he showed himself to be very open, very frank with me,” Albertsen said. “He told me that he would have accepted a civil union.”


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/22/did-pope-francis-secretly-endorse-civil-unions-for-gays/

Rubin's claim makes sense to me because it's the same position for legal recognition of same sex unions, but not marriage, which has been supported by the NZ Bishops and many other bishops, even Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/cautions-pope-francis-and-recognition-gay-unions

God Bless

Andrei said...

I don't know why you persist with this nonsense Chris Sullivan, I really don't.

You know full well, for example, that the New Zealand Catholic Bishops opposed the civil union legislation when it was passed but continue to claim they support it.



Chris Sullivan said...

The Bishops did not oppose the Civil Union law because they were opposed to Civil Unions per se but because the law was popularly seen as an attempt to introduce gay marriage. At the time I discussed with the Bishops and they had no problem supporting legal recognition of same sex relationships, as per their 2000 public submission.

In retrospect I think we made a mistake to oppose Civil Unions. They clearly are not marriage.

The reality is that the state simply has to recognise the reality of peoples living arrangements, a right which flows from the natural law. Not to do so is a serious social injustice.

God Bless

bamac said...

Chris,

How thn would you read this ?... though I guess you will read it with your own interoretation in your mind...

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=9001886

bamac said...

I don't seem to get my link to work well ... appologies

Mrs Mac

Lucia Maria said...

Chris,

If the NZ Bishops weren't opposed to civil unions as such, even though they opposed them, then that indicates a real problem with our Bishops' religious submission of mind and will - if what you are saying about their position is accurate.

However, I can't take your interpretation of their position as fact, given that some your own understandings on what is and isn't Catholic are somewhat fuzzy, in my opinion. I would like to hear for myself a NZ Bishop explain in his own words why the Bishops should have supported civil unions. Until I hear that, given that the 2003 document from Vatican on Considerations Regarding Proposals to give Legal Recognition to unions between Homosexual Persons requires our total assent, I will not believe that their position is anything but what this document requires.

You need to read this as well: Pope Francis will never approve homosexual civil unions.

Lucia Maria said...

Bamac,

Your link works. It just has to be copied and pasted. To create click through link, you need to write the code for an a href=. Have a look at the code in the first box at the top left on this page.

Chris Sullivan said...

Basically we agreed with Richard Worth MP's proposal.

As the Bishops themselves said:

"Civil rights, such as inheritance, next-of-kin status, benefits and grants, can be ensured by other appropriate legislation without any need to give same-sex and de facto relationships the same legal and social standing as marriage"

In point of fact, civil unions do not give same sex couples the same legal and social standing as marriage (eg no adoption rights) which is the very reason people are now pushing for full gay marriage.

LifesiteNews is simply incorrect, as they often are, promoting ultra-conservative and extreme views outside of where the Church actually stands.

CDF documents do not require total assent. They are authoritative but not infallible. Denzinger lists multiple cases where CDF (then Holy Office) documents were subsequently overturned on papal authority. As Nicholson put in in your LifeSiteNews link,

“A Catholic following Vatican II teaching will accept such a document, aware that one may explore the issue further, but that the general thrust will not be reversed.”

Exploring the issue further re Civil Unions is exactly what is occuring now in the Church. The general thrust of opposing gay marriage will not change.

The CDF teaches that Church documents are historically conditioned, and this is a classic case of that. A teaching conditioned by social pressure for gay marriage and our resistance to that.

I remain opposed to same sex marriage. I wrote a submission against civil unions and spoke to the select committee on it. I organised 2 public meetings against civil unions in our parish where Gordon Copeland MP came to speak. In retrospect, I think we missed the distinction between civil unions and marriage; a distinction which is now clearer.

God Bless

bamac said...

Chris,

Can you give quotes from our bishops as to their acceptance of civil unions or is it just your word that we are meant to believe? You told me in an earlier comment that I shouldn't just take someone else's word for things that certain people have said or are supposed to have said..

You say ...
Exploring the issue further re Civil Unions is exactly what is occuring now in the Church...who is it in the church ...do you mean that they are being looked at seriously or that they are being performed already?

Shalom

Chris Sullivan said...

There is a helpful list here of Catholic Bishops publicly supporting civil unions, plus some links to articles for further details.

http://queeringthechurch.com/2013/03/22/a-kairos-moment-for-catholic-civil-unionstime-for-debate/

Basically this is a continuation of what the NZ Bishops said:

"Civil rights, such as inheritance, next-of-kin status, benefits and grants, can be ensured by other appropriate legislation without any need to give same-sex and de facto relationships the same legal and social standing as marriage"

which endorses some form of legal recongition of gay unions. NZ Catholic politicians loyal to the Church accordingly voted for the Ricard WOrth ammendment. SImilar recently in Argentina where an Opus Dei MP proposed an ammendment for civil unions instead of gay marriage.

This principle was taught by JP2 in Evangelium Vitae (I think): politicians may support a lessor law to counter a more evil law.

We do not conduct Civil Unions but there is no particular theological reason why we shouldn't so long as this does not cause scandal by confusing them with marriage.

God Bless

bamac said...

Thank you Chris for that but I was meaning can you give a quote from OUR NZ bishops or is it a case of just your word that they agreed wirh civil unions in the end?



Mrs Mac

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.