Lombardi Editorial: Church will not give up its defence of marriage
EDITORIAL November 10, 2012 By Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ Director, Vatican
Television Centre & Vatican Radio
A Father and a Mother
In recent days
there have been three worrying events concerning legislation on marriage. In Spain,
the Constitutional Court has refused an appeal that challenged the existing law, which
excludes all reference to the difference between a man and a woman and simply mentions
spouse A and B; this remains then the situation. In France, the Government has presented
a bill for the transformation of marriage, so as to include same-sex marriage. In
the United States, some of the referendums held on the same day as the presidential
elections in various States have, for the first time, delivered an outcome favourable
to same-sex marriages. It is therefore clear that in western countries there is a
widespread tendency to modify the classic vision of marriage between a man and woman,
or rather to try to give it up, erasing its specific and privileged legal recognition
compared to other forms of union. It is nothing new. This we had already realised.
Nevertheless, the matter does not cease to amaze: Because we should be asking if this
really corresponds to the feelings of the people, and because the logic of it cannot
have a far-sighted outlook for the common good. Not only the Catholic Church is saying
this; it was pointed out clearly by the Chief Rabbi of France in a well-reasoned statement.
It is not, in fact, a question of avoiding unfair discrimination for homosexuals,
since this must and can be guaranteed in other ways. It is a question of admitting
that a husband and a wife are publicly recognised as such; and that children who come
into the world can know, and say they have, a father and a mother. In short, preserving
a vision of the human person and of human relationships where there is a public acknowledgement
of monogamous marriage between a man and woman is an achievement of civilisation.
If not, why not contemplate also freely chosen polygamy and, of course, not to discriminate,
polyandry? It is not expected, then, the Church will give up proposing that society
recognise a specific place for marriage between a man and a woman.