Same-Sex Marriage Seen as a "Boomerang"

European Bishops Sound Warning

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ROME, OCT. 7, 2005 ( Same-sex marriage, now legal in Spain, is a boomerang which will rebound on future generations, warned Europe’s episcopates.

The new Spanish law topped the list of issues discussed at the Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), held Sept. 29-Oct. 2 in Rome.

Benedict XVI sent a message to the assembly — via Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state — in which he exhorted the presidents of Europe’s 34 episcopal conferences «not to be afraid of facing up to the present-day pastoral challenges, being in a position to listen to the concrete conditions of man’s personal and social life, ready to proclaim the Gospel of hope to all.»

«The European bishops expressed their amazement and sadness at the Spanish government’s decision to equate same-sex unions with families formed by marriage between a man and a woman,» stated a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the assembly.

According to the prelates, it is not a «progressive, lay and modern way of looking at things, but a boomerang which will rebound with serious consequences above all on future generations.»

Unity and education

Aware that «Europe is a continent which can create a space where the different Christian denominations can meet each other and share mutual testimonies,» and that the Old World «needs Christian unity,» the plenary also supported the Third European Ecumenical Assembly, which will begin next January.

The bishops added that «secularization» as a challenge for Europe. In the East «the degenerate fruit of this phenomenon has been state atheism,» the consequences of which «are still burdensome,» the communiqué said.

In the West, it added, «the culture characterized by secularism in recent decades has thrown into disorder even countries with deep Catholic and missionary traditions, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, France and Spain.»

Given this situation, «the European bishops perceive the urgent need for a re-proclamation of the ‘Good News’ and a new inculturation of Christianity.»

Conscious that «the world’s future depends on education,» the bishops emphasized the school and university as ambits of evangelization and catechesis.

Education, continued the bishops, is not only important for the young, «but also for adults themselves, who always need formation in a life of faith and moral and civil commitment consistent with the values that they wish to transmit to young people.»

There were reflections also on the media, migration, vocations, and the recent World Youth Day, which attracted more than 1 million young people.

«The Catholic Church, the Pope, and Christianity have never been such a focus of attention in Germany,» said the bishops of Europe.

CCEE’s next plenary assembly will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from Oct. 5-8, 2006.

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