by Terence Weldon • • 2 Comments
Zenit’s complete English translation of Pope Francis’ interview with Correia makes it clear that no, he did not in fact “support” civil unions, but stopped well short of any direct endorsement.
Many countries have regulated civil unions. Is it a path that the Church can understand? But up to what point?
Marriage is between one man and one woman. The secular States want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of coexistence, spurred by the need to regulate economic aspects between persons as, for instance, to ensure healthcare. Each case must be looked at and evaluated in its diversity.
by Terence Weldon • • 3 Comments
As I thought, the post at Catholic News Service was not an English translation of the full text, but a synopsis of the key points. On civil unions though, it does include pretty well all that matters. What is left out is mostly the soft, personal interest stuff – his feelings about leaving Argentina and the like.
One important point though that I’ve not seen in any of the English language reports, deals with Cardinal Kasper’s address to the consistory, last month. The interviewer asked Pope Francis why it should be that this speech should have been so “controversial” among the cardinals. That’s a good question – before this story about the pope’s interview broke, I’d been struggling through Kasper’s interview myself, along with a critical response published alongside it. I’ve not yet understood the text in full, let alone digested it – but it’s clear that it’s a most important contribution to discussions of marriage and family, so Francis response reply to the question is significant.
Here’s the question and answer in the original Italian, followed by a reliable English translation, slightly adapted from Zenit:
Perché la relazione del cardinale Walter Kasper all’ultimo Concistoro (un abisso tra dottrina sul matrimonio e la famiglia e la vita reale di molti cristiani) ha così diviso i porporati? Come pensa che la Chiesa possa percorrere questi due anni di faticoso cammino arrivando a un largo e sereno consenso? Se la dottrina è salda, perché è necessario il dibattito?
«Il cardinale Kasper ha fatto una bellissima e profonda presentazione, che sarà presto pubblicata in tedesco, e ha affrontato cinque punti, il quinto era quello dei secondi matrimoni. Mi sarei preoccupato se nel Concistoro non vi fosse stata una discussione intensa, non sarebbe servito a nulla. I cardinali sapevano che potevano dire quello che volevano, e hanno presentato molti punti di vista distinti, che arricchiscono. I confronti fraterni e aperti fanno crescere il pensiero teologico e pastorale. Di questo non ho timore, anzi lo cerco».
and the English translation:
Why did Cardinal Walter Kasper’s report in the last Consistory (an abyss between the doctrine on marriage and the family and the real life of many Christians) generate so much division among the Cardinals? Do you think that the Church will be able to go through these two years of toilsome journey to come to a broad and serene consensus?
Cardinal Kasper made a beautiful and profound presentation, which will soon be published in German, in which he addresses five points, the fifth of which is that of second marriages. I would have been more worried if there hadn’t been an intense discussion in the Consistory, because it would have been useless. The Cardinals knew that they could say what they wanted, and they presented different points of view, which are always enriching. Open and fraternal debate makes theological and pastoral thought grow. That doesn’t frighten me. What’s more, I look for it.
Google translate is obviously not entirely satisfactory, but I find it’s a useful first step. I’m certain that a good quality, complete English text will soon be available, but meanwhile I’ve prepared for my own use, a text set up in two columns, with the Italian and Google English side by side.
(Update: There is now a complete English translation at Zenit. For my own use, I continue to use a parallel text, comparing the Italian and English side by side – but have now replaced the poor Google version with the Zenit translation).
Readers who would like to see this, and download my parallel text, can do so by following this link Pope Francis, interview with Corriere.
(I was already preparing something similar for Cardinal Kasper’s address, which Pope Francis speaks so highly of. When completed, I’ll post a link to that, too, in the same two column, parallel text)..
by Terence Weldon • • 0 Comments
The MSNBC report on Pope Francis and civil unions that I’ve just published, states that a full English translation is available at Catholic News Service. I’m not sure if this is quite correct – it looks to me like a report on the interview, rather than a full translation of the complete interview, but it does offer more than other reports. I have the complete Italian text, which I will compare with the CNS version, and report on as soon as I’ve completed grappling with the language. (UPDATE: It’s clearly NOT a complete translation. I’m working now with the Italian text, and will have more shortly).
Here are the parts of the CNS report, that deal specifically with civil unions. .
Pope, in interview, suggests church could tolerate some civil unions
By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with “much mercy.”
Pope Francis’ words appeared in an interview published March 5 in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
“Matrimony is between a man and a woman,” the pope said, but moves to “regulate diverse situations of cohabitation (are) driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care.” Asked to what extent the church could understand this trend, he replied: “It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety.”
Bishops around the world have differed in their responses to civil recognition of nonmarital unions. The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family said in February 2013 that some legal arrangements are justifiable to protect the inheritance rights of nonmarried couples. But until now, no pope has indicated even tentative acceptance of civil unions.
- German Bishop Declares Support for Gay Civil Unions, Says Sexual Doctrines Must Change. (queeringthechurch.com)
- This Time It Was Recorded (commonwealmagazine.org)
by Terence Weldon • • 0 Comments
Cardinal Bergoglio’s name is already included, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, in the the growing list of senior bishops and cardinals who have expressed some form of support for same – sex civil unions, but it’s too soon to add his name as Pope Francis. News reports today, based on a recent interview with Corriere della Sera, indicate that may soon change.
by Terence Weldon • • 0 Comments
Other points to note from the same poll, include support for same – couples’ right to adopt children is now at 61% – slightly ahead of the 58% who support equal marriage.
The Republican fiasco in Arizona, Kansas and elsewhere, over bills allowing anti-gay discrimination on the grounds of religious freedom, is put into sharp focus by another finding in the WaPo poll. Only one in six Americans agree that businesses should have the right to discriminate against gay people – and even if this is couched in terms of religious belief, support goes up to just 28%, with over two thirds of voters (69%) opposed to any form of business discrimination – even on religious grounds.
The collapse in opposition is underscored still further, by reports that Republican politicians are filing amicus briefs opposing the state bans on gay marriage in the conservative states of Utah and Oklahoma – and doing so on the grounds that these bans conflict with Western, conservative values.
A group of Republicans has come out in support of legalizing gay marriage in Utah and Oklahoma, arguing that allowing same-sex unions is consistent with the Western conservative values of freedom and liberty once championed by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.
Led by former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas, 20 Republicans signed a friend of the court brief submitted Tuesday to a federal appeals court in Denver that is reviewing same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma.
Adding to the difficulties of the opponents of gay marriage who are attempting to defend the ban on the grounds that gay marriage is in conflict with Christian religion and is harmful to children, is the number of religious groups opposed to the ban – and testimony from expert witnesses, and from children themselves, that the children being raised by same - sex parents benefit when their parents are allowed to marry.
This is central to the case now underway in Michigan, where two moms are challenging the ban on gay marriage on the grounds that allowing them to marry will also allow them to jointly adopt the three children they are already raising successfully. It’s also part of an amicus brief now with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, which is preparing to hear the challenges by Utah and Oklahoma to the recent federal court decisions that state bans on gay marriage contravene.
All of this matters to the Catholic and other Christian churches. The polling evidence shows vividly that not only is opposition to gay marriage collapsing, but in the youngest generations, it is now almost non – existent, even among young Evangelical Christians, and young Republicans. The extensive research published last month (February 2014) showed also that the churches’ opposition to LGBT equality and inclusion up to now, has been a major factor driving them away from religion altogether. That is, religious opposition to same – sex unions has become, in Pope Francis’ words, a “vaccine against the faith”.
IIn the Catholic church, lay people (with real – life experience of creating and raising families) understand its value, and that includes iits value for lesbians and gay men. As a result, Catholics as a group are more supportive of marriage and family equality than the population at large. This puts them in conflict with the stated position of Catholic bishops – but as is clearly shown by the results of the global consultation on marriage and family, it is the bishops who are out of touch with reality. They are the ones who will have to adapt.