In Latvia, the episcopate has just asked the executive to grant legal status to homosexual “couples.” An astonishing statement that comes after recent remarks by Pope Francis on civil unions between people of the same sex.
The Latvian episcopate did not take long to rush into the breach opened in the high walls of the Leonine enclosure by the documentary film screened in October 2020, previewed at the Rome Film Festival, organized by the Vatican.
In this award-winning film, viewers were shocked to discover an interview in which the successor to St. Peter explained that homosexual “couples” had the “right to be legally covered.”
Taking up the ball, on December 16, 2020, the Latvian bishops sent a letter to Egils Levits, the President of the Republic, and to Inara Murniece, the President of Parliament, asking not to change the legal definition of marriage, but to legalize other forms of relationship that they believe could benefit from legal protection.
Indeed, in Latvia, the Constitution—to this day—defines marriage as “the union between a man and a woman.”
A conception perhaps outdated in the eyes of the Archbishop of Riga, Mgr. Zbignevs Stankevics: “we must put aside all ideology and create the real legal framework which would protect all members of society,” declared the Latvian prelate during a parliamentary hearing on December 15.
And the Archbishop continued: “We are looking for proposals that are not marred by any ideological or religious question; we are not questioning the concept of the traditional family, but we are talking about mechanisms to protect these relationships, including same-sex relationships, which fall outside the traditional definition of marriage.” Words that are difficult to hear come from a prelate, who by virtue of the episcopate belongs to the teaching Church.
Words which openly contradict what the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) recalled in 2003: “Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself,” wrote the prefect of the CDF, a certain Cardinal Josef Ratzinger.
“We must seek attempts to unify society, not to divide it,” argues Archbishop Stankevics, forgetting that to build a society contrary to natural law is to destroy it. Objectively, these words are contradictory.
We must quote Saint Pius X: “No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker – the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built in the clouds; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of unhealthy utopians, rebels and the ungodly: Omnia instaurare in Christo.” (Notre charge apostolique, 1910)
These are words that the Archbishop of Riga would do well to ponder.