Dr Pell reinforces Vatican call
The strange proposal to legalise homosexual unions should be opposed consistently, says the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell.
Homosexual acts are wrong, closed to the gift of life, he said.
“Men and women are made for one another and express their love for each other sexually, give birth to children and nurture them,” the archbishop said.
“In marriage they make a public and lifelong commitment to this, providing the foundation of the family, which is the basic unit, the source of stability and vitality for all societies.
“Until now this truth has been recognised in all major cultures and major international human rights agreements.”
Archbishop Pell was commenting on a statement by the Pope’s chief adviser on doctrine, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, highlighting the Church’s opposition to legal recognition for homosexual unions.
The statement urged all politicians, especially Catholic politicians, to oppose such measures.
Dr Pell noted that Prime Minister Howard and US President Bush have stated that marriage is only for heterosexuals. “They are right,” he said, “and on this issue they have majority opinion overwhelmingly on their side.”
The archbishop said in his column in The Sunday Telegraph that the Vatican document is “closely reasoned, courteous and respectful, but truthful”.
Men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Unjust discrimination should be avoided. But opposition to homosexual marriage is not based on any discrimination”.
Dr Pell said marriage exists solely between a man and a woman “who through their personal gift of self to each other, perfect one another into a communion of persons”.
He added: “This human development of the spouses and the proper nurturing of children who are the fruit of such unions makes an immense contribution to the common good of society.
“One does not need to have any particular religion to recognise this, or that the family based on marriage is the best way to bring up happy, productive children.
“These are arguments from reason, supported by both the Christian and Jewish traditions going back at least 3000 years. It is the strange proposal to legalise homosexual unions which is the novelty.
“Therefore the (Vatican) document is addressed to all people of any or no religion.
“The proposals to recognise these unions legally, and the pressures in the Anglican and Uniting Churches to recognise such liaisons as appropriate for their ordained ministers, are part of a wider campaign to move from tolerance of homosexual activity to public endorsement.”
Same-sex couples are only a tiny proportion of the population “but we should not underestimate the wider impact these threatened developments would have”, the archbishop said. “They should be opposed consistently, courteously and reasonably.”
Dr Pell said: “Christian teaching on sexuality and the family is found in the first book of the Jewish Old Testament, Genesis.
“Humans are created in the image of God, male and female, to complement one another spiritually and physically, through sexual activity.
“Husband and wife become one flesh and share in the work of creation. ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Gen 1.28) is God’s command.”