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The Rain in Spain

7/2/2005 - 5:48 AM PST

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By Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
Catholic Online

I awakened to the news of the unraveling of one of the final vestiges of Christian influence in the public order of Spain, the decision to end the recognition of marriage through a legislative redefinition of the word. This was not accomplished by the will of the people but by an act of a legislature that has lost its way. The number of Nations falling to this delusion continues to increase. It seems that more and more governmental officials throughout the western world have begun to see themselves as some kind of new alchemists.

Spain’s Congress of Deputies enacted legislation that gives homosexual paramours the same legal rights as married heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children. The law is similar to statutes in force in Belgium, the Netherlands, and, barring some unforeseen opposition, it will soon become the law in Canada.

The alchemists of old maintained they could change one metal into another. Their claim was a lie. So too, those who, under the authority of the State, purport to make homosexual relationships a “marriage” through passing “laws” that violate the Natural law, are engaged in a delusion, a new kind of alchemy.

Theologians and Philosophers speak of ontology as the science or philosophy of being. For example, a rock is a rock and not a cabbage; a man is a man and a woman is a woman. Marriage is ontologically between a man and a woman, ordered toward the loving, monogamous union of the spouses, open to procreation and forms the foundation of family. Monogamous Marriage between a man and a woman is the first cell of civil society and forms the healthiest framework for the rearing of children.

This fact was once widely accepted by the overwhelming majority of sane people. It was not seen simply as a “religious” idea but accepted as a foundation for the basis of civil society. Marriage and the institution of family founded upon it, were believed to promote the common good of society. Stable, monogamous marriage between a man and a woman was rightly viewed as a “good” that promoted personal human flourishing. It was promoted and protected by the civil government because it formed the foundation of family, which is the first society. The notion that we would have to define marriage by law would have been considered to be absurd!

Yet, now the efforts to redefine it out of existence are multiplying, almost daily.

The Catholic Bishops in Spain appealed to all citizens to oppose this measure “legalizing” homosexual "marriage" stating: "Today the words 'husband' and 'wife' have been systematically eliminated from the Code, in such a way that marriage, insofar as union of a man and a woman, is no longer contemplated by our laws....In this way, the Spanish laws that regulate marriage have become radically unjust… They do not recognize the anthropological and social reality of the union of a man and a woman in its specificity and in its irreplaceable value for the common good, concretely, for the personal fulfillment of the spouses and for the procreation and education of the children… It is necessary to oppose these unjust laws through all the legitimate means that the state of law places at the disposition of the citizens."

Authentic marriage is the preeminent human social institution. It is a relationship defined by nature and protected by the natural law that binds all men and women. It finds its foundation in the order of creation. Civil institutions did not create marriage nor can they give anyone a “right” to marry. When acting properly, the institutions of government should defend marriage against those who would redefine it or undermine its role in Civil Society. Yet, they are increasingly being misused by cultural revolutionaries to undermine authentic marriage and family.

On July 31, 2003 the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released “Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal recognition To Unions between Homosexual persons.” Along with millions of Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and good will, I welcomed this clear articulation of the truth about marriage and family. I also welcomed the manner in which the document was written.

It presented nothing new. It simply restated the unbroken tradition of the Catholic Christian Church for two thousand years, giving a framework for the challenge we face in this age of anti-marriage:

“The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the ...

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