Bishop OK with homosexual unions?

Bishop OK with homosexual unions?

I’m willing to bet he was misquoted but Bishop Robert Vasa appears to be saying here that it wuld be okay for governments to set up same-sex civil unions, as long as they are not marriage in everything but name.

Bishop Robert Vasa of the Bend-based Baker Diocese of the Catholic Church, said the church has not yet formally vetted the idea of civil unions, but he believes some kind of government recognition of same-sex couples might be appropriate.

Actually the Church has formally vetted the idea and rejected it in Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Bishop Vasa says that some type of recognition may be okay, but not that which makes it equivalent to marriage, but both of those cases have already been rejected.

Faced with the fact of homosexual unions, civil authorities adopt different positions. At times they simply tolerate the phenomenon; at other times they advocate legal recognition of such unions, under the pretext of avoiding, with regard to certain rights, discrimination against persons who live with someone of the same sex. In other cases, they favour giving homosexual unions legal equivalence to marriage properly so-called, along with the legal possibility of adopting children.

So the Vatican is saying that all legal recognitions of homosexual unions are to be avoided because they would be tolerating that which is intrinsically evil, something we should not do. Again, maybe Bishop Vasa is being misquoted or he didn’t read this document, but he’s wrong on this issue.

  • It’s a slippery slope.

    And his really poor choice of words “separate but equal” just plays into the hands of gay marriage advocates by linking this so-called struggle for gay rights with the civil rights struggle.

  • I’m sure I’m missing the boat on this but is it much different than the Massachusetts bishops advocating health and legal benefits for homosexual couples? I think Bishop Dupre was particularly confused on this issue. It seemed to me that it was the redefining of marriage to include other than a man and a woman that the bishops oppose but it seemed to me at the time that civil unions didn’t seem to faze the bishops too much.

    I could be wrong, but that’s how I read it at the time when the issue was hot here last January.

  • This is from Bishop Vasa’s website:

    The quest for recognition of homosexual unions as if they are the moral equivalent of heterosexual unions attempts to seek to give civil protections and even additional civil benefits to behaviors which we as Catholics and Christians should find reprehensible. It is not consistent with Catholic morality to promote this legal recognition, support it or help sponsor it.

  • It may be on his part an Arlen Specter-like warning to Catholics that “civil unions are inevitable – I’m not going to pick this hill to die on.”

    (Specter warned the President of a “political reality” of a filibuster on judicial appointments)

  • I don’t think the case against civil unions has been made forcefully at all. All the things civil union proponants want are available with the help of a lawyer who writes up living wills and regular wills. As far as insurance goes, some companies already have benefits for same sex live ins (although interestingly, the live in has to be the same sex, not just a hetero couple who lives together [discrimination!]) and if they don’t, change jobs or get a job with your own benefits like everyone else has to do after age 18 or when your school years come to an end and mom and dad can’t carry you anymore.

    Some companies are realizing just how expensive civil unions are and they are rethinking what they thought was a good pc idea. Hey, if they cover ss partners, why not cover the parents of an employee or the middle aged live at home kid of an employee, a live in aunt, etc., etc. It’s madness when you think it out…. unless the whole thing leads to… yep, government run insurance.

    And find one same sex couple who can’t adopt although it isn’t legal in some places. You can’t.

  • Nolo Press used to have a book on how to write your own contracts for all these civil union things so you don’t even need a lawyer.  I bet it is still out there.  As far as insurance goes. my husband’s company now asks about “any other insurance” meaning, does your wife work and get coverage there?  If so, we’re going to split bills. 

  • Colleen, you’re not wrong.  Dupre, of course, is a special case, but the Mass. Catholic Conference ended up endorsing the “Loscocco Amendment”, which included a clause establishing civil unions but “not defining them”.  The Mass. bishops started out strong against gay marriage but weakened considerably with time.  The pro-family activists thought they were standing on Rock, and found themselves sinking in mud.  It was a dark time in local Church history, and in local State history.

  • Seamole, I don’t see why your last sentence is in the past tense!

    Bishop O’Malley was quite forceful in his January speech on the Boston Common but it was against SS marriage, not against civil unions. I’m so sick of the ‘pregnant’ silences and the behind the scenes undermining of Catholic teaching.

    And for once and for all, any couple of any sex or relation can be granted all property and authority, and yes, even hospital visits! by just visiting a lawyer once. Health Insurance is easy as well. Go get a part time job and get it that way, just like everyone else.

  • Maria Parker addressed the position that the Mass. Cath. Conference(MCC) takes on the issue of the Constitutional Amendment that the Mass. Legislature approved this year and will vote on this coming year, before it could go on the ballot. She addressed the question at the Catholic Teaching on Medical Ethics lecture series,Nov.6, at St. Julia’s,Weston. She said that MCC is not going to support the amendment because of the last section which would give approval to civil unions. She said that civil unions are not harmless because they give every marriage benefit to same-sex partners that are given to married spouses(male and female). She said that those who wish to, can get individual benefits for their same-sex partners through legal agreements and they do not have to redefine marriage to get these benefits for their partners. She also mentioned the possibility of starting a new initiative petition.
    I have written to The Pilot to ask if Arbp. O’Malley is taking the same position as MCC.
    Perhaps others might ask the same question so that we can find out what position Arbp. O’Malley is supporting. I don’t see how he could agree to civil unions since the Magisterium of the Church in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in sec.#2357, clearly states, regarding homosexual sex acts,:“Under no circumstances can they be approved.” As Maria Parker said:” You can’t do evil so that good may come of it.” I’m surprised that someone from The Pilot wasn’t covering that Nov. 6th meeting. They would have heard an excellent presentation by Christopher Cloug,a professor of moral theology at Assumption College. He emphasized the importance of The Theology of the Body in addressing the marriage issue. Marianne Luthin,Dir. of the ProLife office, noted that study groups to learn more about this magnificent work of Pope John Paul II will be starting in March in parishes around the Boston Archdiocese. There is hope!!!
                                  Alice Slattery