Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Vatican paper compares gay-marriage proponents to communists
First Published Dec 20 2012 05:26 pm • Last Updated Dec 20 2012 05:26 pm

Vatican City • Faced with recent setbacks in the United States and Europe, the Roman Catholic Church has intensified its increasingly uphill battle against gay marriage.

The latest salvo came this week, with a front-page article in the Vatican’s semiofficial newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Historian Lucetta Scaraffia compared proponents of gay marriage, with their championing of "marriage equality," to 20th-century communists who wooed millions with their promise of perfect social and economical equality.

Scaraffia, a 64-year-old former feminist activist who later became a fervent Catholic, has often written in the Vatican newspaper on the issue.

For her, the idea of gay marriage is a product of the same "egalitarian utopia that did so much damage during the 20th century ... deceiving humanity as socialism did in the past."

In November, voters approved gay marriage in three U.S. states, while Spain’s Constitutional Court rejected a bid to repeal the country’s same-sex marriage law. France and Britain are in the process of legalizing gay marriage.

The Catholic Church has lobbied hard in all these countries. But it has also tried to present its position in a nonreligious way, as a defense of traditional family that can be embraced by believers and nonbelievers alike.

Particularly in France, church leaders say that their opposition to gay marriage is winning favor outside Catholic circles.

Last month, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the government’s planned introduction of gay marriage. "Our demonstration was declaredly nonconfessional," said Paris Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois, who noted the participation of Jewish and Muslim groups.

This approach mirrors Pope Benedict XVI’s on the issue.


story continues below
story continues below

In his yearly message on peace, released Dec. 14, he said that protecting traditional marriage from "attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of unions" is not a faith issue.

Marriage’s "indispensable role in society" is "inscribed in human nature itself" and "common to all humanity," he wrote. Therefore, the church’s efforts to protect it are not "confessional in character, but addressed to all people, whatever their religious affiliation."

In her L’Osservatore Romano article, Scaraffia echoed and developed Benedict’s argument. To equate a traditional marriage between a man and a woman with a union between homosexuals amounts to a "negation of truth," which would undermine "one of the basic structures of human society, family," she wrote.

In the long run, she concluded, societies will end up paying "a very high price" for destroying family, "as it happened in the past with the attempts to create a complete social and economical equality."

One Catholic supporter of gay marriage rejected Scaraffia’s argument as "cruel."

Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, agreed that "marriage and family are sacred institutions that deserve the support of both civil and religious communities." But, she added, "these institutions are not limited by the sexual orientations of their members. Love and commitment transcend gender."

The Vatican’s arguments against gay marriage, she said, are based on "patently false beliefs about human nature" and represent "a cruel and un-Christian attempt to incite fear and division."

In a recent interview, Scaraffia held her ground.

"The idea," he said, "that men have to be equal to enjoy the fullness of their rights and be happy dates back to French Revolution, when they demolished church bell towers because they were taller than other buildings."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.