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Church's clear opposition to all same-sex unions

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 Contents - Aug 2013AD2000 August 2013 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Church's clear opposition to all same-sex unions
Holy See announces canonisation of Blessed John Paul II - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
University: In the lions' den: Catholic ministry on secular campuses - Br Barry Coldrey
Lumen Fidei: The great gift of Faith: Pope Francis' first encyclical - Damian Wyld
Understanding Syria's religious war - Fr Paul Stenhouse
Common good: St Basil the Great: outstanding doctor of the Church for our time - Jordan Grantham
Sacra Liturgia 2013: Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith: interview on liturgy - Zenit News Service
National Assembly: Order of Malta renews and grows - Damian Wyld
Letters: Sense of sacred - Cedric Wright
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Michael Apthorp
Letters: Pope's advisory board - Ken Bayliss
Letters: Catholic statistics - John R. Barich
Letters: Christian example - Arnold Jago
Letters: Humanae Vitae - Frank Mobbs
Books: FRANCIS: POPE OF A NEW WORLD, by Andrea Tornielli - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS: a course in religion for Catholic high schools - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Books: FROM BROTHERHOOD TO PRIESTHOOD: Memoirs of Msgr William A. Mullins - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: ALIVE IN THE SPIRIT, by Fr Ken Barker MGL - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Benedict XVI's Assumption homily: 'In God there is space for man' - Benedict XVI

It is evident from the volume of letters received by AD2000 in recent months that marriage is an institution (indeed, a sacrament) that readers hold dear.

It is also something close to the Holy Father's heart, as demonstrated by his strong opposition to the Argentine push for same-sex marriage and by his eloquent support of traditional marriage in the new encyclical Lumen Fidei.

How disappointing, then, at a time when Catholics in Australia and abroad are working with others to state the case for marriage, to have the cause undermined by a prominent fellow Catholic.

In a July article on the Eureka Street website, entitled "It's time to recognise secular same sex marriage," Father Frank Brennan SJ makes a number of assertions which need to be rebutted.

After alleging "a clear divergence of view within the Catholic Church on civil unions", Fr Brennan backs this up with a claim that the then Cardinal Bergoglio told Argentine gay rights activists that "homosexuals need to have recognised rights" and that he "supported civil unions, but not same sex marriage".

Fr Brennan continues: "I am with Francis on civil unions, but, unlike him, I now accept that we can probably no longer draw a line between civil unions and same sex marriage." It would appear from this that Fr Brennan supports same-sex civil unions, despite his clear realisation that this will ultimately lead to same-sex marriage.

Putting this aside, his support for civil unions stands in direct opposition to a 2003 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on homosexual unions a document, incidentally, which Fr Brennan references, but seemingly does not heed. This document, authored by Cardinal Ratzinger and approved by John Paul II, is very explicit in stating the Church's opposition to legal recognition of same-sex unions.

Furthermore, in claiming to cite the Holy Father in defence of his position, Fr Brennan relies on nothing more than unsubstantiated internet rumours which have been denied as false by Miguel Woites, confidant of the then cardinal and director of the Argentinean Catholic Information Agency.

Fr Brennan has been a tireless voice in public debates on life and family. If he would only lend that voice to upholding marriage between one man and one woman, instead of following the line of his friend, Kevin Rudd, he might find that the "change" he now considers inevitable is not in fact so.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 26 No 7 (August 2013), p. 2

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