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Keep up battle against same-sex marriage, urges Catholic leader

By on Monday, 10 June 2013

Protesters against same-sex marriage in Paris last month (AP)

Protesters against same-sex marriage in Paris last month (AP)

A French Catholic campaigner has urged Church leaders not to give up opposition to same-sex marriage, despite the spread of laws allowing the practice across Europe.

Antoine Renard, president of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe, said: “The message from France is the campaign isn’t over – these laws rely on a big lie, and no lie can survive.

“Our own government has succeeded in its goal of dividing opinion in the Catholic Church, so the Church’s authorities need to be prudent. But there’s a lot of teaching to be done, and I hope our pastors will provide it,” he told the American Catholic News Service.

France’s same-sex marriage law, which allows gay and lesbian couples to marry and adopt children, was signed by French president François Hollande on May 18.

Mr Renard said Catholic groups would step up their campaign against the law before municipal and European Parliament elections in early 2014 and would try to block the government’s “gender-based reforms” in education and family life.

“Although this law has been adopted, we can still fight against its application and pressure political parties to show stronger commitment,” he said. “Although it will be difficult to repeal or revise it, we’re determined to try and will be encouraging campaigners in other countries to do the same.”

The Catholic La Croix daily has reported that France is seeing a “multiplication of initiatives” against the law, with new groups springing up nationwide.

The paper said one organisation, Founding Tomorrow, had been set up by young professionals from various parties to combat “the failure of Christians to engage long-term in politics”, while another, Actors for the Future, had been formed by a priest from the Church’s Versailles diocese.

Mr Renard said opponents of same-sex marriage would seek to invalidate the law by having marriage inscribed in France’s constitution as “the union of a man and woman”.

He added that lawyers also were checking whether the law violated France’s international commitments, including the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which enshrines a child’s rights “to know and be cared for by his or her parents”.

He said France’s constitutional council ruled that marriage can be modified by law, “so we can use this in our own fight”.

Same-sex marriage is also allowed in Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, and legislation is under consideration in Britain.

Same-sex adoption is expected to become legal in traditionally Catholic Austria on July 1, to comply with a February ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, while the highest constitutional court in Germany, where same-sex adoption is allowed, strengthened the fiscal rights of gay people on June 6.

The French law has been firmly opposed by the Catholic bishops’ conference, whose outgoing president, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris, told a plenary meeting at Lourdes in April that France was witnessing “an organized and militant invasion by gender theory”.

On June 4, the French bishops’ family and society council said “radicalisation” caused by the law had been felt “even within Catholic communities and those responsible for family pastoral work”.

“Some believe this reform doesn’t modify marriage at all, since it recognizes love between two beings, whereas others think it deprives marriage of its substance by making light of sexual difference,” the Church report said.

“Some deny the Church any right to intervene in questions facing society, whereas others want it to be the focus for a political struggle. Some invoke the merciful love of God to plead for the law, while others invoke God’s creative love to oppose it.”

Mr Renard said his federation and other groups would “concentrate on raising awareness, and then on a program of renewal to change how political parties behave”.

“People around Europe have seen how unexpectedly strong the opposition to same-sex marriage has been in France. We’ll now try to capitalize on this and export our resistance to the rest of Europe,” he said.

  • Julian Lord

    Wow… you simply have no clue at all about Greek history obviously

    In fact, you’re the one presenting an unhealthy and morally biased description of it.

  • Julian Lord

    Ten cardinals sat in judgment of Galileo. Pope Urban VIII was not present in person, but he was there in spirit, for his personal feelings of anger and frustration were the driving force behind the extraordinary proceedings. Urban recognized just how seriously Galileo’s new science challenged established church doctrine. Worse, Galileo had declared that the book of nature was written in the language of mathematics, not in biblical terms.

    In fact, Pope Urban had financed Galileo’s work, but when Galileo decided to insult the Pope and the Curia within the published text of his book, Galileo’s enemies in the Curia succeeded in having support for him from the Holy See overturned.

    FAR from Pope Urban being present “in spirit, for his personal feelings of anger and frustration”, the Holy Father instead personally assured that Galileo’s subsequent house arrest was as comfortable and light as possible, personally arranging for a house servant to be permanently assigned to look after Galileo’s personal comfort and needs.

    Although Galileo was forced by the Curia to publicly recant his heliocentrism as a “heresy”, the fact that the Holy See was NOT at the time ideologically opposed to the emergence of astronomy is demonstrated by the strong support that was given to Copernic, who was a Catholic priest, and who had already expressed his own heliocentric theories within the framework of an imprimatur and nihil obstat from the Church.

    The principal cause of Galileo’s condemnation is NOT in his Science, but in his attacks upon the persons of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia, and a rebellion against the editorial suggestions that the financiers of his work had suggested to him, in the interests of the basics of pro et contra argumentative methodology that were the standards of the time.

  • Neil Cameron

    Not interested in heterosexual marriage????
    what the hell are you talking about?
    Heterosexual marriage has been legal, recognized and protected all along. That recognition, protection and legality is being extended to same sex marriage. NOTHING is being taken away from heterosexual marriage, no rights of heterosexual marriages are being reduced, nobody is being prevented from having a heterosexual marriage.
    NOTHING untoward is being done to heterosexual marriage.

  • la Catholic state

    Are you joking?! Heterosexual marriage has been battered by legalised divorce, quickie divorce, co-habitation, and now the big one….Gay so-called marriage. By comparing real marriage with gay ‘marriage’…..the Government is devaluing real marriage even further…telling us that consummation and procreation are not necessary to marriage. Why…..they are only a trifling little thing.
    So our masters have no regard either for heterosexual marriage….OR children. Now that’s evil.

  • aaglaas

    And this was worthy of permanent loss of freedom and house arrest for the rest of his life? I disagree.

    Galileo was no scoffing atheist nor angry escapee from religion. He had attended Catholic school, both of his daughters had become nuns and, most important, he considered himself a loyal son of the church. He felt that he was trying to save, not hurt, the church. He was trying to prevent the church from having to defend a doctrine that he thought subject to disproof.

    Nonetheless, the mere mention of Galileo’s name provoked fury in Urban. At one point before the trial, the Tuscan ambassador to Rome, a good friend of Galileo’s, merely entered the pope’s chamber and was met by an angry blast: “Your Galileo has ventured to meddle with things that he ought not to and with the most important and dangerous subjects that can be stirred up these days.”

    If God had wanted to make Earth’s waters move in a way other than by making Earth move, Simplicio (speaking for the Church) says, He certainly could have done so — “Upon which I forthwith conclude that, this being granted, it would be an extravagant boldness for anyone to limit and confine the Divine power and wisdom to one particular conjecture of his own.” The “particular conjecture” to which Simplicio is referring, of course, is the Copernican system.

    Simplicio’s closing statement doesn’t sound very explosive. It seems likely that Galileo felt the same way. Yet Galileo’s enemies later convinced Urban that, if the statement came from Simplicio’s mouth, Galileo’s intent must have been to make fun of it and, worse, of Urban himself.

    Galileo was strong-minded but not stupid. The problem was that Simplicio’s assertion had been a standard papal argument and censors had directed Galileo to include it in the book. Clearly, in Galileo’s thinking, the argument had to come from Simplicio. Conceivably, Galileo forgot that the argument had been Urban’s.
    When Urban saw the result, he was furious and unforgiving.

    Even after Galileo’s death in 1642, Urban refused to relent. The grand duke of Tuscany, Galileo’s patron for many years, wanted to hold a suitable public funeral and erect a monument over Galileo’s grave at the Church of Santa Croce in Florence.

    Urban warned that he would consider such action a direct insult. So the remains of one of history’s great scientists were quietly hidden in the basement of the church bell tower for almost a century.

    One more example of the Church abusing its power.

  • aaglaas

    No, it’s simply history you obviously have never known about, and cannot accept because you can’t handle the truth.

  • aaglaas

    There’s nothing ‘political’ about the minute breakdown of the Hebrew words above into English…. again, you seem to not be able to handle truth.

  • aaglaas

    Not true. Judge Ryan who oversaw the publication of the 2009 Ryan Report after nine years, concluded the rape and abuse of children within the care of the Catholic Church was endemic.

    Here is the link to the full report. I notice you did not provide any links to academia to support your claim however..

  • Neil Cameron

    Battering heterosexual marriage with divorce, quickie divorce and co-habitation has nothing to do with extending the right to marry to same sex couples. Historical battering of heterosexual marriage by heterosexuals seeking to destroy or to avoid their own marriages is not the fault of homosexuals and cannot be used as the stick with which to beat homosexuals.

    Legal marriage is not about the sexual act of consummation, it is not about procreation. Civil & legal marriage is about a contract which codifies the relationship.

    Consummation of a marriage may very well be a vital aspect of a religious or other cultural marriage, always will be. I personally believe that the state should have no role to play in the bedroom, or in the sexual communion between two people, married or not.

    If you want to define marriage in terms of the sexual act after the ceremony, go ahead, even celebrate it and entrench it in your religious beliefs. But I do not believe it is safe or even relevant to involve the state and the law in that area of a marriage.

    With regards the issue of Children, marriage is the legal binding of two people. The laws that deal with Children are a different area of law.

    Children are not a pre-requisite of civil marriage, they are not a compulsory aspect of civil marriage. They do come about in a sizeable proportion of marriages, but they are not the sole purpose of marriage.

    Laws dealing with children must be kept in the separate and vitally important area of law they already exist within. The issues associated with children are far too important to intertwine with the laws of marriage and the reason for that is the fact that so many marriages do actually descend into the hateful and destructive chaos of divorce. Intertwining children into that area of law over complicates an already complicated (and distressing) set of legal actions which children are subjected to in a divorce. The area of family law is very carefully constructed to manage these issues with sensitivity and to do so delicately without causing any more harm than is already being caused. Adding to the legal burden would be detrimental to the innocents affected by the divorce.

    A civil marriage is simply a marriage recognized in law. A religious marriage is a civil marriage with the additional fact of the oaths and binding promises being made before God, following long established ritual and tradition. Nothing is devalued by allowing same sex couples to have the civil part. The religious, ritual and traditional aspect remains unique and the exclusive preserve of those who hold them in esteem and who seek to honour that tradition.

  • Julian Lord

    You seem to imagine that your homosexualist agenda equals truth.

    Though it seems that you have some allies among the CH moderation team …

  • Julian Lord

    Pole-dancing B-word

  • Julian Lord

    And this was worthy of permanent loss of freedom and house arrest for the rest of his life? I disagree

    So do I, but those are the facts of the matter

    NOT your clichéd anti-Catholic vitriol

  • aaglaas

    Well at least we agree on something! :-) And since you are incapable of reason when it comes to admitting the wrongs that the Catholic church has done in the past to people, it’s no surprise you disagree.

  • aaglaas


  • aaglaas

    I only share the truth, and historical fact, which you can’t handle.. and the only ‘agenda’ is to free ourselves of religious oppression and discrimination towards gay people. You seem to imagine that bigotry, prejudice, and religious oppression towards homosexuals and their lives speaks in Jesus’ name… I assure you it doesn’t.

  • aaglaas

    Oh no… I assure you that your stated views on homosexual souls are extremely out of date with modern reality, and are better suited to a more ignorant Age..

  • aaglaas

    The children in orphanages are there because they ‘do not’ have a mom and dad.

  • aaglaas

    It’s called ‘science’, which you don’t seem to understand.

  • la Catholic state

    I just explained to you that it has. Marriage is about consummation and an openness to new life. Otherwise….best friendships could be equated with marriage under the new definition. It completely disregards the defining features of marriage.
    To gut marriage of its real meaning… a Satanic evil.

  • Julian Lord

    Careful lcs !!! You are BLASPHEMING against the new holy dogma of marriage has nothing to do with sex unless gays say otherwise !!!

  • Julian Lord

    Fool, a report exclusively concerning child abuses amongst group A will be able to deliver no findings concerning groups B-Z

  • Julian Lord

    !!! giggle !!!

  • Julian Lord

    Your lies, errors, and ad hominems are about as convincing as a dead haddock

  • aaglaas

    I’m sorry you can’t handle historical truth taught in universities around the world… but you seem like an expert in dead haddocks…

  • aaglaas

    It’s good to see you can still giggle like a schoolgirl.

  • aaglaas

    You really should look in the mirror when you choose to use that word.

  • Marco Luxe

    JP: This is a strange place to reject the Bible’s historiography of slavery.

  • Julian Lord

    What on EARTH are you ranting on about now ?

  • aaglaas

    Your utter malice, glee at putting down others who you try to make sub-human by merely calling them ‘homosexuals’… show you are not only not Catholic, but are not Christian as well… you have a demonic and un-Christ-like pleasure in condemning others… you fool no one other than yourself as in your ‘Christian’ motives… you instead attempt to hide your innate disdain, and contempt of others over some failing of ‘sin’.., under the banner of Christ.

    I assure you that when you face your maker… your evil motives will be impossible to hide then…. no matter how big the crucifix you attach to your chest for the public around you to see.

  • Julian Lord

    you have a demonic and un-Christ-like pleasure in condemning others … &c.

    Thank you for this latest “demonic and un-Christ-like” condemnation.

    I cannot remember making a single personal accusation against you (beyond pointing out that you are spreading lies), whilst you have been pouring your hatred and vitriol onto me in rather copious quantities.

    FYI disagreeing with the homosexualist political agendas of such as yourself does not constitute “contempt”, not even in your sad attempts to twist and warp what I have said and what is written in Scripture out of all recognition ; and even were I to feel any contempt for your histrionic malignancy and your anti-Christian notions, there is no divinely mandated law that I should need to be loving nor accepting of any evil abuses of Christ’s teachings..

  • Joanne Ellen Patak

    “Countries with a high percentage of nonbelievers are among the freest, most stable, best-educated, and healthiest nations on earth. When nations are ranked according to a human-development index, which measures such factors as life expectancy, literacy rates, and educational attainment, the five highest-ranked countries — Norway, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands — all have high degrees of nonbelief. Of the fifty countires at the bottom of the index, all are intensly religious. The nations with the highest homicide rates tend to be more religious; those with the greatest levels of gender equality are the least religious. These associations say nothing about whether atheism leads to positive social indicators or the other way around. But the idea that atheists are somehow less moral, honest, or trustworthy have been disproven by study after study.”

  • louis

    The word “Gay” used to mean “happy”- as seen in the dictionary. Most homosexuals desire happiness, but they are rejecting God’s Law (which is also natural law) that was established for our own good. What they are trying to do is change the meaning of certain words to suit their views. The problem here is with pride, or conceit, placing themselves above God and his wisdom. It is in fact Atheism. And it is absurd to think that a person who rejects the divine Light is more enlightened than others. There is a deep rooted hatred for Christianity and other religions who believe in traditional marriage.

  • louis

    Netherlands healthy ? No way.
    Atheists are in fact blind to the possibility of eternal happiness in heaven. Hitler , Stalin, Mao , all were atheists and they were evil.
    Most great scientist were believers in God (Einstein, Newton, Galileo).

  • Joanne Ellen Patak

    haha. oh dear. I’m not going to argue with that. You just keep talking like that, you’re making my argument for me.

  • Neil Cameron

    Oh for heavens sake.
    It is not about sex.
    If you want your marriage defined around the rubbing together of genitalia go ahead.
    Personally, mine doesn’t obligate nooky for legitimacy.
    Denying same sex couples marriage on the grounds that they might be friends who wont consummate, could just as easily be extended to opposite sex couplings. Friends of opposite gender could marry and never engage the nooky factor.
    Furthermore, there are no copulation police ensuring the nooky has taken place, so in reality consummation as a requirement is obsolete since any act of policing it is in effect and act of public indecency.
    Your argument is a dud.

  • Neil Cameron

    When the teachings of scripture are the motivation behind representations in parliamentary democratic processes, then political philosophy will be used as representations in the pontifications of religion.
    Get your religion out of our politics and we will take our politics out of your religion. Otherwise, hush and let the big people debate, discus and represent in any way they see fit.

  • aaglaas

    I haven’t been the one ‘giggling’ with unholy glee, using ‘B’ words, calling people ‘fools’ and ‘liars’, or attempting to deny other people the right to marry such as you have.

    How strange.. you claim to follow Christ’s teachings, and yet in this virtual room, you have followed NONE of his most important teachings below:

    Luke 6:37

    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

    Matthew 7

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

    Matthew 5:39

    “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”

    Luke 6:29

    “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.”

    Ephesians 4:2

    “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

  • Marco Luxe

    I want to hear you, as I’m certainly interested in scientific papers that support Regnerus’ study. Please cite some. But opinion pieces by bible academics, et al. don’t qualify. That’s just as bad as –LA LA LA LA LA –closed ears.

    Everything is “political” in the broad sense in academia, as every scientist has a point of view, and that view can be considered political. Heliocentrists vs geocentrists had quite the “political” battle centuries ago, but in science, the hypothesis with the best fit to facts generates a consensus over time. Regnerus’ study doesn’t provide any new facts, just that children in intact families generally do better than those in broken families. Big news there. It says nothing about his hypothesis, which he touts to theocrats as a conclusion… for money.

    It seems that you are the one with the closed ears and a very un-Christian hardened heart. Didn’t the big guy say something about a hardened heart?

  • louis

    Of course you cannot argue with that , because the lives of the 6 persons mentioned disproves your “non-belief” . Sweden stable ? There have been riots going on for days now. Amsterdam is the capital of prostitution. Whereas Poland is the best of Europe.

  • Julian Lord

    Regnerus’ study doesn’t provide any new facts, just that children in
    intact families generally do better than those in broken families

    In reality, Ragnerus’ study pointed out that previous studies were generally biased in a pro-homosexual manner by ONLY considering children being raised by people in stable relationships.

    But that when this condition of stability was removed, and children in general were considered irrespective of whether those raising them were in a stable relationship or not, then the negative aspects of being raised by homosexual couples rose dramatically, far outstripping the effect of unstable heterosexual couples on the same group of children.

    The purpose of the conclusive remarks in Ragnerus’ study was to point out this alarming statistical outcome, and to request further studies and independent peer reviews of these conclusions, given that he himself was unsure if his results weren’t a fluke.

    The utterly disgusting way that this man and his work has been treated and mistreated and misrepresented by the gay lobby and by political homosexualists is absolutely horrifying.

    It is one of THE worst cases of politically motivated interference into the work of independent Academia that I’ve ever seen.

  • Julian Lord

    This new attempt to try and bring down opprobrium onto me by the use of teachings that are exactly antithetical to your ad hominem attacks is typical of the tactics that you have been deploying here, and calling you a liar for having decided to start spreading lies about me is FAR milder than the contents of those ghastly lies that you have been spreading about me.

    But if you want to play a game of Scripture :

    1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear

    Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

    2 Timothy 4:2 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

    Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

    Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

    Acts 13:6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
    7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
    8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
    9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.
    10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

  • Julian Lord

    An irrelevant non sequitur.

  • CityOwl

    Maybe I didn’t look hard enough, but your prior comments on this thead don’t have links either. Anyway, here you go…
    “About 3 out of 10 of those who sexually abuse children are family
    members of the child. This includes fathers, uncles, or cousins.”
    “nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career”

    from your link:
    “the types of institution which predominate in the requests to testify
    to the Investigation Committee are industrial and reformatory schools. Most of those schools closed more than 30 years ago.”

  • CityOwl
  • TieHard

    do you really think slavery has gone?

  • Rosemary58

    No, I don’t think slavery has gone; that is why I said it still exists in some places, (sad to say).

  • Richard Ahearn

    I have mixed feelings about this subject.
    We all need our “guardian angel” who will look out for our emotional needs and material welfare. Usually it’s our next of kin. In the case of adults it is the spouse. Legally, it’s someone to take power if we are unable to act for ourselves. Such as giving permission for a medical treatment if we are rendered incapable.
    A homosexual has no legal spouse to perform that function. For this reason, I think that a homosexual should be able to nominate a next-of-kin with the powers of a spouse.
    So, for just material and legal purposes, I think that some kind of formal homosexual union is fair and reasonable.
    But reason and emotion do not go together. I get a little irritated by political correctness and having it forced upon me. I dislike the loss of the word “gay” from its normal use in the English language and would prefer that the word “marriage” is not also hi-jacked. If the gay community would settle for some other word, then everything else is fine with me.
    Assuming a significant number of others share my view, the homosexual community would be wise to just go for the legal bit and not push the emotive word “marriage”. Once they have achieved the former, in five years or so everyone else would have got used to it and, being lazy, use the word marriage for the union anyway.
    Of course, for the religious lobby, it is a different matter. I regard a religion as a club.
    You volunteer to join and you must obey the club rules regardless. If, for example, you want to be a freemason, you must be prepared to stand on one leg and go moo. If you don’t like it, don’t join. So the homosexual community cannot reasonably expect the churches to just smile and give in.
    However, I do have serious misgivings about child-adoption. And of course, we are going to get gay divorces and all that alimony jazz.

  • TieHard

    it worries me when people call themselves big…
    and say they will represent in any way they see fit…

  • Marisa Lorah

    Having lived in both France and in Belgium, I am surprised at France’s
    opposition but completely understanding where the Belgians stand in this
    matter. They are for decency and normalcy and seem to have escaped the
    perverted ideas of current day love and marriage. In the end, right
    will prevail, have no doubt of that!