Breaking News: Pope Still Condemns Gay Marriage
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 Ã¢€“ 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.