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UK Bishops Support for Homosexualist Agenda Based on Vatican-Rejected 2005 Policy

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By Hilary White

ROME, September 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last Monday, when the head of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales (CBEW) told a BBC interviewer that the U.K. bishops had not opposed the creation of legal civil partnerships for homosexuals, he was speaking from a longstanding policy that was published in 2005. But a source close to the CBEW has told LifeSiteNews.com that that policy was rejected by the Vatican for not being in line with Catholic teaching. The UK bishops, however, have implemented it without change, ignoring Vatican-mandated corrections.

During last week’s panel discussion on BBC 2, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, head of the Westminster archdiocese and reportedly in line for a cardinal’s hat this year, denied that the English Catholic hierarchy is opposed to homosexualist political goals, saying, “We did not oppose gay civil partnerships. We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those.”

His remarks follow two other occasions when Nichols was asked by interviewers whether Catholic teaching could change on homosexuality; he replied, “I don’t know.”

The archbishop’s expressions of uncertainty clash strongly with statements by Pope Benedict, who said in the lead-up to his recent visit to the UK, “The Church cannot approve of legislative initiatives that involve a re-evaluation of alternative models of married life and family. They contribute to the weakening of the principles of natural law and so the relativization of all legislation and also the confusion about values in society.”

Nichols, however, is not the first or the only U.K. bishop who has set himself in opposition to Vatican and Catholic teaching on homosexuality. Earlier this year Bishop Malcolm McMahon told the liberal Catholic magazine The Tablet that the “backgrounds” of Catholic school employees are not the concern of the Church, and that it is up to the applicants themselves to decide whether they are able to live according to Church teaching.

The Tablet quoted McMahon defending the government’s civil partnership legislation and saying the Church is not opposed to homosexual civil partnerships. “Civil partnerships are precisely what they say they are. They’re not gay marriages or lesbian marriages. They’re simply a legal arrangement between two people so that they can pass on property and other rights in which they were discriminated against before,” he said.

McMahon boasted, “We have many gay people in education and a large number of gay people in the Church, at least the same as the national average … A civil partnership is not a marriage, it’s not a conjugal relationship.”

Both McMahon’s and Nichols’ statements reflect the contents of a 2005 CBEW document, published in response to the then-Labour government’s proposed Equalities Bill - which ultimately led to the notorious Sexual Orientation Regulations and forced the total dissolution of the Catholic Church’s work in adoptions – telling Catholics that they must comply with legislation on equal employment rights of male and female homosexuals, bisexuals and “transsexuals” in Catholic institutions and structures.

During last week’s BBC 2 television program, Nichols and the CBEW’s position on homosexuality was praised by a fellow panelist, Diarmaid MacCulloch, a homosexual Anglican and Oxford professor of church history, who agreed, saying that the English Catholic Church “has rather taken its own line on this, not the Vatican’s line.”

A source close to the CBEW has informed LifeSiteNews.com that MacCulloch was literally correct, and that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had not accepted CBEW’s Diversity and Equalities guidelines. The CDF, he said, had issued a list of changes to bring the document into conformity with Catholic teaching that “was ignored” by the document’s author, Archbishop Peter Smith.

In their document, the bishops said the first duty of Catholic organizations and institutions is to “to be inclusive, respectful of the human dignity of all and in tune with the spirit as well as the letter of the law.”

Using the language of the homosexualist political movement, the bishops suggested that Catholic institutions should create hiring quotas for homosexuals. It called on authorities “at all levels of the church” to “be more aware” of whether “different groups” are adequately represented in Catholic institutions such as schools, and said that “organisations, institutions and dioceses should consider appointing or entrusting someone with responsibility for diversity and equality.”

Despite allowing Catholic institutions to require applicants to “be broadly in sympathy with the vision, mission and values of the organisation,” the bishops’ policy does not require any private adherence to Catholic moral teaching. This would include requiring doctors or nurses to agree with the Church’s teaching on abortion and euthanasia, or teachers to live according to Catholic sexual teaching.

“In a society in which relationships are increasingly fractured and complicated, it is only to be expected that this may at times be reflected in the lifestyles of those who serve the Church,” the document says.

“Every applicant and employee has a right to his or her private and family life and all Catholic employers must respect that right.”

“As employers, subject to limited and narrow exceptions, Catholic organisations must ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment than another on the grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. This is ‘direct discrimination’.”

So pleased was the Labour government with the document, that its publication and distribution was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, the source told LSN.

Significantly, the document was later cited favorably by an EU document on the right to conscientious objection by health care workers that linked the “right” to abortion with similar putative “rights” to euthanasia and assisted suicide. The EU document agrees with the bishops that “subject to limited and narrow exceptions, Catholic organizations must ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment than another on the grounds of … sexual orientation”.

The favorable response from the EU prompted action from the Vatican, LSN’s source said. Last year, Pope Benedict’s two addresses to the UK bishops who were making their Ad Limina visit took a stern tone, with the pope warning them not to compromise on the life and family issues, or to take a soft approach to aggressive European secularism. Referring to the UK’s Equalities legislation, Pope Benedict urged the bishops to present Catholic moral teaching “in its entirety” and to defend it “convincingly.”

This was a direct rebuke, the source said, and was made after information on the Bishops’ Diversity and Equality guidelines had been delivered to the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone.

Currently, the CBEW, with the Scottish Catholic hierarchy, is formulating a response to the EU’s forthcoming Equal Treatment Directive that adheres to the same principles of “equality” as the UK legislation.

When it comes to the EU Directive, however, the bishops have issued a caution, warning that the Directive could be turned into “an instrument of oppression” against religious groups. Under the Directive’s conditions for equal treatment, they said, the EU “would effectively be dictating to religious bodies what their faith does or does not require: a wholly unacceptable position.”

Nevertheless, Archbishop Peter Smith, chair of the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, said, “The Catholic Church supports the underlying moral principle of the draft Directive.”

European Dignity Watch (EDW), a non-Catholic EU watchdog organization, has been more forthright, saying that the “moral principle” behind the draft Directive is in reality erasing traditional morality in favor of a “newly developed”“horizontal” concept of equality, that will “seriously imperil fundamental aspects of freedom of European citizens”.

The Directive, EDW says will “undermine freedom and self determination for all Europeans and subject the private life of citizens to legal uncertainty and the control of bureaucrats.”


Read related LSN coverage:

Archbishop Nichols's Comments on Gay Unions Endanger the Souls of My Children  
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/sep/10091302.html

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The first pro-abortion Republican enters the 2016 presidential race

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By Ben Johnson

EXETER, NH, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The large and expanding field of would-be Republican presidential candidates grew by one today, as George Pataki became the first GOP presidential hopeful this election season to openly support abortion-on-demand.

The 69-year-old long-shot candidate also has a history of supporting homosexual legislative causes.

In the weeks leading up to his formal announcement, George Pataki took out TV ads asking Republicans to refrain from talking about abortion and gay “marriage,” branding them “distractions.”

“In 12 years [as governor], I don’t think I talked about that issue twice,” he once said of abortion.

On same-sex “marriage,” he says, “I think, leave it to the states. I don’t think it’s a role in Washington.”

However, Pataki has a long history of enacting the homosexual political agenda as governor of New York from 1994-2006. He signed a “hate crimes” law that added the words “gay” and “lesbian” to New York state law for the first time.

He signed the Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Act (SONDA), which prohibits business owners from “discriminating” against homosexuals in housing or hiring, with an exemption only for religious institutions.

He also added sexual orientation to state civil rights laws, alongside such immutable characteristics as race and sex, in an apparent quid pro quo for a gay activist group's endorsement in his last run for governor. The New York Times reported that, under pressure from Pataki, then then-Senate Majority Leader “shifted his position on the bill as part of what is tacitly acknowledged, even by Senator [Joseph] Bruno's senior aides, to have been a deal to win an endorsement for Governor Pataki from the state's largest gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda.”

After the LGBT activist group endorsed Pataki in 2002, citing a long list of his service to the homosexual political cause, Pataki personally lobbied senators for the bill's passage, then signed it into law that December.

Coupled with his stance on gun control, environmentalism, and other issues, he stands well to the left of the Republican mainstream.

The three-term governor of New York, who belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, took his own advice by largely avoiding social issues today. The closest he came was his vow, “I'd repeal oppressive laws like ObamaCare and end Common Core.”

He added that he would “fire every current IRS employee abusing government power to discriminate on the basis of politics or religion. That is not America!”

Otherwise, Pataki's announcement speech hewed to stand pat Republican issues like reducing taxes, shrinking the number of federal employees, increasing military spending, and supporting entrepreneurship.

He began by thanking his supporters, in English and Spanish.

Smiling, his head pivoting between twin teleprompters, he said, “Let me tell you some of the things I'd do right away to get oppressive government off the backs of Americans.”

He would institute a lifetime ban on congressmen acting as lobbyists after they leave office. “If you ever served one day in Congress, you will never be a lobbyist,” he said. He favors forcing Congress to live under the laws it passes, so there will be “no special rules for the powerful.”

He cited his history of cutting taxes, reducing welfare rolls, and leaving his state with billions of dollars in surplus. “That's what our policies can do,” he said. “I know we can do the same thing for the United States.”

In recent weeks, he has called for a more interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. Today, he reminded his audience that he was governor of New York in 9/11. “I will not fear the lesson of September 11,” he said. “To protect us, first we must protect the border,” he said – an unexpected phrase, as Pataki supports amnesty for the at least 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“We will stand with our ally, Israel, a democracy on the front lines of terror and barbarism,” he said.

Like former Sen. Rick Santorum, who announced he is running for president yesterday, Pataki agreed that “if necessary, American forces will be used to actually defeat and destroy ISIS on the ground – although he promised not to become “the world's policeman.”

Some of his campaign promises drew skepticism, such as seeking to develop self-driving cars and to cure Alzheimer's disease and cancer within the next decade.

The speech's venue was chosen deliberately by Pataki, who considered entering the presidential race in 2000, 2008, and 2012. The town of Exeter, New Hampshire, claims to be the founding place of the Republican Party. (Ripon, Wisconsin, makes a similar claim.)

More importantly, the first-in-the-nation primary skews more libertarian on social issues than evangelical-dominated Iowa and South Carolina, so Pataki has essentially staked his candidacy on doing well in New Hampshire. Fellow pro-abortion Republican Rudy Giuliani made a similar bet in 2008, banking on a good showing among transplanted New Yorkers in the Florida primary. He left the race after finishing a distant third.

Short of a stunning upset in the Granite State, Pataki has little chance of breaking through the pack this year. A Fox News poll ranks him dead last among 16 announced and potential candidates. Holly Bailey of Yahoo! News said, “George Pataki would never say this, but you do have to wonder if he's sort of, maybe, gaming for vice president.”

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Pataki is not the first “pro-choice” Republican to run for president.  Giuliani (who supported partial birth abortion) and Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (another potential 2016 candidate, who supports abortion during the first trimester) ran in 2008. Twelve years earlier, both California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter supported abortion-on-demand. Arlen Specter later left the party and became a Democrat.

In 1988, General Alexander Haig opposed a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So did Texas Gov. John Connally in 1980.

George H.W. Bush supported abortion and voted for Planned Parenthood funding early in his career but changed his position by the time he ran for president the second time, in 1988.

President Gerald Ford was the last Republican nominee to proclaim himself “pro-choice.” 

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Ireland ‘defied God’ by voting for gay ‘marriage’: Cardinal Burke

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By Pete Baklinski

OXFORD, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Cardinal Raymond Burke lamented how formerly Catholic Ireland has gone further than the pagans in the pre-Christian days of old and “defied God” by calling homosexual behavior “marriage” in the referendum last week.

“I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage,” he told the Newman Society, Oxford University’s Catholic organization, in an address Wednesday about the intellectual heritage of Pope Benedict XVI. The Tablet, Britain’s liberal Catholic newspaper, reported his remarks.

On Friday, 1.2 million Irish people voted to amend the country’s constitution to say: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” A little over 734,000 people voted against the proposal. 

Burke said that he could not understand “any nation redefining marriage.”

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The cardinal also emphasized the important role that parents play in protecting their children in a culture increasingly hostile to God’s laws. “The culture is thoroughly corrupted, if I may say so, and the children are being exposed to this, especially through the internet,” he said. One practical piece of advice that he offered families was to put computers in public areas to prevent children from “imbib[ing] this poison that’s out there.”

During the same Oxford visit, but during a homily at a Mass the day before, Burke called marriage between a man and woman a “fundamental truth” that has been “ignored, defied, and violated.”

Burke warned during the homily of the dangers of “various ideological currents” and of “human deception and trickery which strives to lead us into error.”

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Why young Christians can’t grasp our arguments against gay ‘marriage’

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By John Stonestreet

May 28, 2015 (BreakPoint.org) -- For five years, Dr. Abigail Rine has been teaching a course on gender theory at George Fox University, an evangelical school in the Quaker tradition.

At the beginning of the semester, she tells her students that “they are guaranteed to read something they will find disagreeable, probably even offensive.”

Writing at FirstThings.com recently, she related how five years ago it was easy to find readings that challenged and even offended the evangelical college students “considering the secular bent of contemporary gender studies.”

But today, things are different. “Students now,” she says, “arrive in my class thoroughly versed in the language and categories of identity politics; they are reticent to disagree with anything for fear of seeming intolerant—except, of course, what they perceive to be intolerant.”

And what do they find “intolerant”? Well, in her class, an essay entitled “What is Marriage?” by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson, which was the beginning of the book “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense.”

In their article, Girgis, George, and Anderson defend what they call the conjugal view of marriage. “Marriage,” they write, “is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other … that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together.” They defend this view against what they call the “revisionist view” of marriage, which redefines marriage to include, among other things, same-sex couples.

“My students hate it,” Dr. Rine wrote. They “lambast the article.” “They also,” she adds, “seem unable to fully understand the argument.” And again, these are evangelical students at an evangelical school.

The only argument for conjugal marriage they’ve ever encountered has been the wooden proof-texting from the Bible. And besides, wrote Rine, “What the article names as a ‘revisionist’ idea of marriage—marriage as an emotional, romantic, sexual bond between two people—does not seem ‘new’ to my students at all, because this is the view of marriage they were raised with, albeit with a scriptural, heterosexual gloss.”

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As Rine points out “the redefinition of marriage began decades ago” when “the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination.”

And if marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction,” then it seems mean-spirited to Rine’s students to argue that marriage by its very nature excludes same-sex couples.

And where do students get the idea that marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction”? Well, everywhere—television, church, school, their homes, in youth groups.

Rine writes, “As I consider my own upbringing and the various ‘sex talks’ I encountered in evangelical church settings over the past twenty years, I realize that the view of marital sex presented there was primarily revisionist.”

In other words, once you say, “I do,” you get “the gift” of sex which is presented as “a ‘gift’ largely due to its [erotic], unitive properties, rather than its intrinsic capacity to create life.” Even in the Church, children have become an optional add-on to married life rather than its primary purpose.

What can we do to win back our children, our churches, and the culture? In our recent book “Same Sex Marriage,” Sean McDowell and I lay out a game plan. We offer strategies for the short-term and the long-term, with the ultimate goal: re-shaping the cultural imagination towards what God intended marriage to be, starting with the church. Come to BreakPoint.org to pick up your copy.

As Chuck Colson once said in a BreakPoint commentary about marriage, “We Christians are very good at saying ‘No.’ But we’ve got to get better at saying ‘Yes’: showing how God’s plan for humanity is a blessing. That His ways, including faithful, life-giving marriage between one man and one woman, lead to human flourishing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Reprinted with permission from Break Point.

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