Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Progress! Happy New Year!

(Mexico City) Mexico City enacted Latin America’s first law recognizing gay marriage Dec. 28 and said it hopes to attract same-sex couples from around the world to wed.
The law, approved by city legislators on Dec. 21, was published in Mexico City’s official register Tuesday and will take effect in March. It will allow same-sex couples to adopt children and municipal officials say it will make Mexico’s capital a “vanguard city” – and attract extra tourism revenues. Full article.

Predictably, the Cardinal Archbishop of Mexico City responded negatively to the secular government’s granting of full civil rights to LGBT citizens. The Los Angeles Times reports: “Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera said the law created the "perverse possibility" that "innocent children" would be adopted by gay couples.” Thank you Cardinal Carrera, who better to voice the protection of “innocent children” than the Catholic hierarchy?

Meanwhile in Portugal the Cardinal Patriarch of Portugal has taken a far more enlightened position towards Civil Marriages for same sex couples. “While normally vocal on the role of marriage and the family in society, the Catholic Church has refused to mobilise on a subject which, according to Lisbon's Cardinal Patriarch Jose Policarpo, is "parliament's responsibility".

The contrast between the positions taken by Carrera in Mexico and the Cardinal Patriarch of Portugal is striking and illustrates a very sharp division in Catholic thought on the question of same sex marriage and the relationship between Church and State. Policarpo represents a post enlightenment respect for the division of Church and State whereas, Carrera represents a far more medieval understanding of the relationship between Church and State. In the medieval model held by Carrera, the Church dictates to the State how social laws are to be enacted. In Policarpo’s model, Civil Laws are the proper domain of the laity, who are not subordinated to the clergy in the question of civil laws.

This must of course be alarming to Ratzinger, since such an exercise of free speech and dissent from the current “official” Vatican party line is seldom seen in the Catholic hierarchy. I would imagine that there will be a furious exchange of communication between the Vatican bureaucracy (Curia) and Cardinal Policarpo before the passage of the Portuguese legislation. There will be a strong attempt by the Vatican to bring Policarpo “in line” with their monolithic position on same sex marriage. One can only imagine what will be said behind closed doors, but I doubt it will be “happy talk.”

Hopefully, Cardinal Policarpo will politely remind the Vatican that he is the Cardinal Patriarch of Portugal and not an “office boy” for the Vatican. It seems that not even popes can stop the hands of time and the progress of human history. Happy New Year!


In the Kitchen With Don said...

Isn't Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera the one who has given refuge to Mexican priests who were wanted by the law in the USA for molesting kids? And wasn't he also a very good buddy with Fr. Marcial Maciel? I think the good cardinal has a lot of room to talk about harming children.

In the Kitchen With Don said...

Oh, sorry for the double post, but welcome back! I check every day for a post from you and I'm always happy when I find a new one! Thanks so much!!!

Sebastian said...

Fr. John Courtney Murray must be rolling in his grave in distress. The official party line of opposing any acknowledgment of gay rights is a revival of the idea that "error has no rights." Murray's theology won the day against this perspective at Vatican II. While Benedict tries to convince the world that Vatican II was not a radical departure from the past, he is making clear that it is his papacy which is the radical departure. Should we expect a 21st century updating of the "Syllabus of Errors?"

bill said...

maybe Cardinal Policarpo will replace Ratszee as pope when he goes to Gucci shoe heaven