VATICAN CITY (CNS): Supporting legislation that gives legal rights to gay or heterosexual couples who are not married is a position that is not consistent with the Catholic faith, said members of the permanent council of the Italian bishops’ conference.
“The faithful Christian is obliged to form his conscience” in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church, the bishops said in a statement released on March 28 as Italian politicians continued to debate legislative proposals recognising unions formed by unmarried couples, including homosexuals.
The bishops’ statement quoted the 2002 statement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on “The Participation of Catholics in Political Life”.
The Vatican document, signed by the future Pope Benedict XVI, said Catholic politicians “cannot appeal to the principle of pluralism or to the autonomy of lay involvement in political life to support policies affecting the common good which compromise or undermine fundamental ethical requirements”.
Meanwhile, in Britain, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster said that by sponsoring legislation for gay rights, the British Government was “legislating for intolerance”.
He also questioned “whether the threads holding together democracy have begun to unravel”.