Breaking News: Pope Still Condemns Gay Marriage

New Pope Condemns Spain Gay Bill (BBC)

Pope Benedict XVI has responded firmly to the first challenge of his papacy by condemning a Spanish government bill allowing marriage between homosexuals.

The bill, passed by parliament’s Socialist-dominated lower house, also allows gay couples to adopt.

A senior Vatican official described the bill – which is likely to become law within a few months – as iniquitous.

He said Roman Catholic officials should be prepared to lose their jobs rather than co-operate with the law.

Astute observers will note that this statement is merely a reiteration of the Vatican’s 2003 proclamation on gay marriage, authored by Cardinal Ratzinger:

Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon, even in those countries where it does not present significant legal issues. It gives rise to greater concern in those countries that have granted or intend to grant — legal recognition to homosexual unions, which may include the possibility of adopting children.


In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

The Vatican’s reaction to the Spanish bill is unsurprising. While skeptics may point to it and say that their worst fears about Benedict are coming true, I’d argue that any of the other serious papal candidates would have reacted in the same way. Perhaps Godfried Danneels might have been an exception, but even he would have been in the shadow of the 2003 document and John Paul II. So it’d make little sense to contend right now that the Vatican has taken a turn for ill. At least on this issue, it’s simply being consistent with recent positions.

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Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. Phil Davis says:

    “Breaking News: Pope Still Condemns Gay Marriage” is breaking news in the same vein as the old Saturday Night Live bulletin that “Generalissimo Franco is still dead.”

  2. ken says:

    While I can certainly understand the Pope’s opposition to the Church marrying homosexuals I do not understand his condemnation of civil legislation that would allow it as ‘gravely unjust’. Legislation legitimizing homosexual marriage might violate our sense of propriety but they would not would violate our sense of justice. Indeed, justice is the best argument to allow homosexual marriage, it is not an argument against it.

  3. Kate says:

    Many would say that justice demands that civil, societal and religious affirmation of heterosexual marriage should not be altered to cater to the whims of gay people.

    Justice requires gays to find another term for their unions, temporary, multiple, or permanent.

  4. ken says:

    kate, it is clear you do not understand what the term justice, either biblical or civil, means.

    If you want to arue against homosexual marriage you will have to use another argument than one from justice.

  5. Kate says:

    Ken… I don’t see why. The argument from justice suits me just fine.

    It would be very unjust for those of us who do not agree with you to be required to change our traditional understanding of family and marriage merely to conform to such gay requests.

  6. Kevin says:

    Kate, get with the times!. You can believe the traditional family all you like, but HELLO look at the thousands of kids that have been adopted BECAUSE the traditional family screwed up?.

    Why the hell should we lose rights like pension and health benefits, filing join tax returns when we are picking up the tab because a heterosexual couple had a child they WEREN’T READY FOR.

    Have you ever heard of people getting married that don’t procreate, why should they get rights then?

    Maybe if you allowed us a chance since 50%+ of your straight perfect world screwed things up and if you would let us commit and formalize our relationships, maybe society would then grow to respect us.

  7. McGehee says:

    You can believe the traditional family all you like, but HELLO look at the thousands of kids that have been adopted BECAUSE the traditional family screwed up?.

    Congratulations, you’ve just proven that nobody’s perfect.

    That’s why we develop institutions like marriage — because withoutt hem things would be even worse.

    Tinkering with such things at the whim of the political moment, is a very dangerous thing.

  8. Kate says:

    I said nothing about procreation, only that I wish to preserve the traditional heterosexual marriage.

    I really have never known any parents who wished that their child would grow up to be gay or lesbian. It has something to do with wishing for grandchildren, but much more to do with the idea that our preference for those we love is the traditional sexual union, even though we admit and mourn the fact that like other human relationships they are not always perfect.In fact, hardly ever. But nature itself is the determining factor.

  9. Saurav says:

    That’s why we develop institutions like marriage—because withoutt hem things would be even worse. Tinkering with such things at the whim of the political moment, is a very dangerous thing.

    How fragile is your faith in the notion of marriage that extending its legal, social, and economic rights to LGBT couples would somehow undermine it? Sometimes you need to set aside your irrational fears and support something that seems dangerous because it’s fair and right.