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By Billy Atwell

9/30/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Civil unions are a subterfuge, intended to force marriage equivalency for homosexual unions

The head of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales told a BBC reporter that the United Kingdom Bishops never opposed homosexual civil unions.  Archbishop Vincent Nichols said of the Catholic Church in England, "We were very nuanced.  We did not oppose gay civil partnerships.  We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those." 


By Billy Atwell

Catholic Online (

9/30/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: marriage, gay, homosexual, bishops, united kingdom, civil unions

WASHINGTON DC (Catholic Online) - The head of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales told a BBC reporter that the United Kingdom bishops never opposed homosexuals entering into civil unions.  Archbishop Vincent Nichols said of the Catholic Church in England, "We were very nuanced.  We did not oppose gay civil partnerships.  We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those.  What we persistently said, is that these are not the same as marriage." 

This position of the Catholics Bishops of England and Wales (CBEW) is rooted in a 2005 policy referred to as the Diversity and Equality guidelines, which was rejected by the Vatican for its lack of conformity with Catholic teaching.  The CBEW has continued with this policy anyway.

The lack of the CBEW conformity with Vatican directives has brought the bishops' praise from some in the "gay" (homosexual equivalency) lobby.  Diarmaid MacCulloch, a homosexual Anglican and Oxford professor, said that the English Catholic Church "has rather taken its own line on this [legitimizing homosexuality], not the Vatican's line."

MacCulloch has identified the problem, though he sees it as a virtue of the CBEW.  The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith never accepted the Diversity and Equalities guidelines.  Perhaps the guidelines have not been accepted because they violate the Catholic Catechism, which is even in reference on the Catholic Church in England and Wales website. 

Under the heading of "Civil Partnerships" the website displays paragraph 2357 of the Catholic Catechism: "Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.'  They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."

Just a few lines down from the civil partnerships section of the very same page, under the heading "Children and Parents," paragraph 2223 is cited: "Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues."

Aside from the fact that "under no circumstance" can homosexuality be approved, how does Archbishop Nichols (and other English Bishops supporting the Diversity and Equality policy proposal)  expect English households to bear witness to marriage, fidelity, and virtue, when the same-sex couple is living a life of grave moral depravity that is contrary to the natural law and is intrinsically disordered?

The contradiction between the teaching of the Magisterium, to which the CBEW pledge loyalty and fidelity, and the opinion of some Bishops and Archbishops in the United Kingdom should be explained; preferably by the Catholic hierarchy responsible.

Regarding the issue of civil unions, whether or not civil institutions should adopt civil unions between gay people dismisses the central issue that drives some to want the policy.  The best place for the raising of children and the only institution that offers a stable foundation for society is the family in which the children are parented by one man and one woman. 

Civil unions are not the real goal of the pro-gay lobby.  The pro-gay lobby does not want mere legal recognition of the contractual binding nature of their partnership with another person of the same gender-if they wanted that, they would co-sign on a vehicle or enter into a mortgage for a home together. 

Their real aim is to make the positive law call their union synonymous with heterosexual monogamous marriages.  Their goal is homosexual equivalency. Civil unions are presented with two intended goals: to get Christians to let their guard down and to establish and build up a separate institution that will one day be forced to be called a marriage. After all, when marriage and civil unions offer the same opportunities and legal rights, why not put them under one banner, right?  With Christians no longer fighting an assault on "marriage," the gay lobby will have free reign to prop up a false version of it.

This undercurrent of supporting civil unions, or domestic partnerships, is active in the United States in Vermont, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oregon, District of Columbia, Washington, and Nevada.  Six other states currently offer domestic partnerships with some of the rights included in marriage.

While the CBEW are trying to be "nuanced," they perhaps naively understand the intent of those who seek to establish civil unions or so-called gay "marriage."  If the fight was only about legal contracts, then the states within the United States that currently offer civil unions would not be pushing for "marriage equality" as well. 

Plainly put: the gay lobby does not want civil unions-they want marriage equivalency.  The Catholic Church is the largest unified force to fight against this.  To ignore the inevitable goals of those who want things contrary to marriage and the family will spell out certain defeat in both the United States and the United Kingdom in our efforts to protect marriage and the family and society founded upon it.  
Billy Atwell contributes to Catholic Online, and blogs for The Point and the Manhattan Declaration. As a young lay Catholic and two-time cancer survivor he offers commentary on faith, culture, and politics. You can find all of his writings at For the Greater Glory.


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