Monday, February 27, 2012

Clarification on Civil Partnerships

I found this on the Bishops Website: Clarification on Civil Partnerships. It seems to restate the 2003 document on Civil Partnership.
Following a Guardian report today, 23 February 2012, it is important to clarify the position taken by the Bishops' Conference in 2003 in response to the Government Consultation on "Civil partnership – A framework for the legal recognition of same–sex couples”. Civil Partnerships are now part of the framework of British law. The current debate is about the specific nature of the institution of marriage and its distinctive place in the fabric of society.
23. We believe the government’s proposals to create civil partnerships for same sex couples would not promote the common good, and we therefore strongly oppose them. They would in the long term serve to undermine marriage and the family for the reasons set out in paragraphs 9-12 above. They are not needed to defend fundamental human rights or remedy significant injustices for same-sex couples, as these have either already been substantially addressed or can largely be addressed by the couple entering into contractual arrangements privately. Moreover, the government’s proposals do nothing to tackle what is in fact a very much bigger issue, namely the lack of rights enjoyed by cohabiting heterosexual couples and their children, many of whom wrongly believe they are protected by ‘common law marriage.’ The government needs to publicise their lack of rights, and strongly advocate the obvious solution, which is marriage.
So what is being said here? It would appear to be a half-hearted attempt to clarify the confusing messages coming from Archbishop's House and the new "cottage industry explaining to the media what Their Lordships really mean".
Who has been writing to the CDF?


Anonymous said...

Yes, a rather half-hearted, confused attempt to cover up tracks after the Archbishop Nicholls debacle. Sounds like something written by a committee of bureaucrats trying to keep everyone on side. It surely would not merit a pass grade in a first year class on special morals. And this from the spiritual and moral leaders of Christ's Church in England and Wales?! And as for bringing the matter of cohabiting couples into it - this underlines their cloudiness of thought. Unmarried couples don't have the "rights" or responsibilities of a married couple - because they did not get married. It would do away with civil marriage altogether were unmarried couples to have all the rights, responsibilities and privileges as married couples - there would be no point in choosing to marry. Of course, there is a movement to get rid of the public recognition of marriage in this way. Many people who cohabit don't want the ramifications of marriage, that is why they don't get married. It would be quite wrong to foist the effects of marriage on them against their will. People have a natural right not to marry - marriage entails a freely made decision to marry. As for education: what about the Bishops teaching their flock (and anyone who'll listen) that it is morally wrong, and harmful, to live together without marriage, particularly where they have children. Children are those mostly harmed by casual, "unfettered", sexual relationships.

Anonymous said...

"We believe the government’s proposals to create civil partnerships for same sex couples would not promote the common good, and we therefore strongly oppose them."

But its okay to have a CPA which amounts to exactly the same thing save the fig leaf of not referring to sexual relations between the same sex partners?. What hypocrisy. If the Bishops are so against the 'misinterpretation' of the CPA as 'gay marriage' why aren't they complaining about it?. I don't remember interviews in the press, TV and other media outlets saying they felt 'let down' they had supported the CPA because it was 'clearing up certain anomalies' in the law' and now it was all being taken out of context and people were calling it 'gay marriage'. Do you?. This statement stinks.


Louis said...

His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio?

On the side of the angels said...

So His Grace's "we did not & do not oppose Civil Partnerships"...[and those who suggest otherwise are being 'mischievous']

...and the Catholic Voices position that the CDF directive ordering a 'duty to oppose same-sex unions' does not apply to Civil partnerships [and those who erroneously presume otherwise are merely 'exploiting the ambiguity of the terms']...

...are now automatically reversed?

If that's the case why have both parties been silent for five days?

Where are the retractions?

Maybe the rapid response teams at the CCN & Catholic Voices are on the job?

Lynda said...

Anon at 8.59: Sexual relations between the "civil partners" are implied throughout the CPA. However, unlike for marriage, one cannot talk about the essential aspect of consummation - as consummation of marriage has a precise meaning, i.e. the act of sexual intercourse having occurred upon marriage. The clearly defined and universally recognised act of sexual intercourse is only possible between a woman and a man; it is not possible between two persons of the same sex. That being so, the legislation cannot specify any kind of sexual act that is required to make the "civil partnership" valid. Marriage is a natural phenomenon, a natural institution, a relationship involving a definite natural sexual act (an act by which a child may be conceived barring any impediment, permanent or temporary, to fertility, on the part of the husband or wife). Because there is no such natural sex act that can take place between two persons of the same sex, such an act cannot be incorporated into the legal definition of "civil partnerships". CPs are the invention of the legislation that regulates them - without the CPA they do not exist in law (of course, they do not exist in nature). Marriage, on the contrary, exists prior to any State or its laws - the State simply recognises the natural institution by its laws. [By the way, I was the first commenter above but I must have accidentally clicked "Anonymous". Apologies.

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