France: Some Bishops call for a national debate on homosexual “marriage”

Source: FSSPX News

In France, the bishops of Nanterre, Toulon-Fréjus, Luçon, and Besançon recently stressed the “seriousness of the issues” involved in legalizing “marriage” between persons of the same sex. According to the French daily newspaper La Croix dated September 17, 2012, they asked that the question be debated at the national level. For Bishop Gerard Daucourt of Nanterre, the campaign for same-sex “marriage” constitutes “a serious problem which affects the social dimension of marriage and family life, as well as the common good”. The prelate thinks that the topic deserves a true debate in which “all of society may take part as they were able to do with regard to bioethics”. In view of this, on September 17, 2012, he addressed “a message to the Catholics of Hauts-de-Seine”. He invited them to write to the Prime Minister or to their deputy [elected representative].

Although the presentation of the draft legislation to the council of ministers is scheduled for October 24, 2012, “the debate is open”, says Bishop Alain Castet of Luçon. He wonders, however, whether there is “truly a debate”. The prelate deplores the fact that “those who describe marriage commonsensically as the union between a man and a woman who welcome life and allow a child to grow up are raked over the coals and ridiculed.”

Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon for his part denounced “a totalitarianism of thought”. “Once somebody takes a stand on this subject, he is described as an ultraconservative or something else. The problem should not be to describe the other, but to take issue with rational arguments”, he remarked while calling for a referendum. In an interview on the radio RCF and the television network TLM on September 14, the Archbishop of Lyons, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, provoked some strong reactions when he described homosexual marriage as “a breakdown in society”, with “innumerable” consequences: “Soon, they will want to make couples composed of three or four. Then someday, maybe, the ban on incest will fall”, he said, among other things. Archbishop André Lacrampe of Besançon also called for the start of a “national debate”.

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris and President of the Bishops’ Conference of France (CEF), met with Christiane Taubira, minister of justice, and Dominique Bertinotti, delegated minister in charge of family life, on September 18 to discuss homosexual “marriage”. He said that “the idea that marriage can be opened up [to homosexuals] without transforming it is an illusion. To allow our fellow citizens to believe that we would give access to heterosexual marriage to homosexuals would be to feed an illusion”. In remarks cited by La Croix on September 19, the French prelate predicted that the change being considered by the government would produce “a new sort of marriage which would no longer be quite the same marriage experienced by those who have married up till today”. However, he rejected the use of demonstrations as a means of protest against the the government’s plan: “I see no point in protesting in the streets” he said. “We are a democracy, not a dictatorship where the only way to express oneself is through insurgency”.

Civitas thinks otherwise:  on its website it calls for the organization of “a major demonstration of all French people attached to the idea of family, the basic foundation of our society, and anxious to preserve the natural end of marriage, as well as the best interests of the child”, on November 18.  (Sources: apic/La Croix/Le Parisien/civitas-institut—DICI #261 dated 09/28/12)

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