News » Religion

Vatican Digs In After Gay Marriage Advances

by Nicole Winfield
Saturday Nov 10, 2012

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican is digging in after gay marriage initiatives scored big wins this week in the U.S. and Europe, vowing to never stop insisting that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

In a front-page article in Saturday's Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, the Holy See sought to frame itself as the lone voice of courage in opposing initiatives to give same-sex couples legal recognition. In a separate Vatican Radio editorial, the pope's spokesman asked sarcastically why gay marriage proponents don't now push for legal recognition for polygamous couples as well.

Catholic teaching holds that homosexuals should be respected and treated with dignity but that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered." The Vatican also opposes same-sex marriage, insisting on the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman as the foundation for society.

The Vatican's anti-gay marriage media blitz came after three U.S. states approved same-sex marriage by popular vote in the election that returned Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency, Spain upheld its gay marriage law, and France pushed ahead with legislation that could see gay marriage legalized early next year.

"One might say the church, at least on this front, has been defeated," L'Osservatore Romano wrote. "But that's not the case."

The article insisted that Catholics were putting up a valiant fight to uphold church teaching in the face of "politically correct ideologies invading every culture of the world" that are backed by institutions like the United Nations, which last year passed a non-binding resolution condemning anti-gay discrimination.

"The church is called to present itself as the lone critic of modernity, the only check ... to the breakup of the anthropological structures on which human society was founded," it said.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, for his part, said gays can have their rights protected by means other than through legal marital recognition. He stressed that children should have a right to say they have a father and a mother.

"If not, then why not contemplate freely chosen polygamy, and naturally so as to not discriminate, polyandry?" he asked sarcastically. Polyandry is when a woman has two or more husbands.

"As a result, don’t expect the church to stop insisting that society recognizes a specific place for marriage between a man and woman," he said.

The U.S. election had been closely watched at the Vatican because of the strong divisions that erupted during the campaign between the Obama administration and U.S. bishops over gay marriage, which Obama endorsed in May. The administration and bishops clashed more vehemently over Obama’s health care mandate requiring nearly all U.S. health insurance plans to cover contraception, which the church opposes.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the contraception mandate - which exempts houses of worship but applies to faith-affiliated employers - is a violation of religious freedom.

The Vatican’s reaction to Obama’s re-election was tinged with such lingering criticism, with Pope Benedict XVI congratulating Obama and praying that the ideals of freedom and justice continue to be upheld.

Lombardi went further urging the administration to respect essential values in "promoting a culture of life and religious freedom" - Vatican buzzwords referring to abortion, contraception and the insurance mandate.

It was a far cry from the Vatican’s enthusiastic response to Obama’s election in 2008. Then, the pope termed Obama’s election an "historic occasion" in a personal note of congratulations sent right after he won, a break with traditional Vatican protocol that usually sees official telegrams of congratulations sent on inauguration day.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-11-10 16:24:24

    Fortunately, this nasty old, lazy, pervert in a dress will be dead of old age before we know it.

  • , 2012-11-10 22:27:09

    Maybe if they would spend more time cleaning up their own back yard and stay out of our bedrooms, they wouldn’t have all those priests having sex with children. Just sayin

  • Vassago, 2012-11-10 22:32:29

    ah, who cares anymore?

  • Andrew Fernandes, 2012-11-11 03:34:03

    Good to know religion is fading worldwide. All it will take for these idiots to disappear is time.

  • , 2012-11-11 08:34:49

    But having sex with young boys is normal? Hypocrites.

  • , 2012-11-11 14:06:31

    ?Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ’wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.? ? Thomas Jefferson

  • , 2012-11-11 16:27:55

    So what else is new?

  • JaimeB, 2012-11-11 17:07:09

    Respect and dignity doesn’t include keeping whole classes of people in a state of second-class citizenship. I don’t care what Roman Catholics believe about marriage. If one class of people is denied access to civil marriage, that is a profound lack of respect and a rejection of its dignity. The Roman church can deny its members communion if they break the rules, but to impose their doctrines on society at large is bullying pure and simple, and gives their protestations of respect and dignity the lie.

  • 2PTown, 2012-11-13 11:01:06

    I am for separation of Church & HATE!

  • Wayne M., 2012-11-13 23:08:55

    The pope and Roman Catholic church are perfectly free to restrict sacramental marriage in their church to one man and one woman, but they have no right to force that definition on other churches and religions or apply it to civil marriage. As for the ridiculous remark by Frederico Lombardi suggesting we should push for polygamy as well as same-sex marriage, this person must realize that same-sex marriage is a movement toward equality in marriage, where as polygamy is a system that places one sex (usually men) in an superior position to the other (usually women). Furthermore, the issues of marriage and having children are separate but if he is talking about the rights of children, the fact is they have a right to loving and caring parents. Gender of the parents is irrelevant. I hardly consider Roman Catholic priests who have no children (at least none they will admit to) and are not married as experts on the needs of children or on marriage.

  • , 2012-11-14 04:24:58

    1865: The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States ended slavery. 1866: The Holy Office of the Vatican issued a statement in support of slavery. The document stated that"Slavery not at all contrary to the natural and divine law...The purchaser [of the slave] should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty, and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue, or Catholic faith of the slave."The Vatican is always behind the times.

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook