Liturgical liberalism and support for gay civil unions linked?
ROME, April 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The man in charge of the widely criticized public liturgies of the late Pope John Paul II has told an interviewer that there should be legal recognition of same-sex unions as a matter of justice.
As the pope’s chief liturgist for 18 years of John Paul’s reign, Archbishop Piero Marini, was one of the most influential men in the Church.
“There are many couples that suffer because their civil rights aren’t recognized,” Marini said in an interview with the newspaper La Nación in Costa Rica this weekend.
Asked what he thought of discussions in Costa Rica on the secular state, Marini said, “This is already a reality in Europe. The secular state is good, but evil if it becomes a secularist state, ie: a state that goes against the Catholic Church.”
“Church and state should not be seen as enemies to each other,” he said. “In this discussion it is necessary, for example, to recognize the union of people of the same sex, since there are many couples who suffer because they do not recognize their civil rights. What you cannot do is recognize in any way that this couple is united in marriage.”
However, his comments fly directly in the face of specific teaching of the Catholic Church’s Magisterium.
In 2003, then-Cardinal Ratzinger issued a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith precluding the possibility of condoning civil union legislation for same-sex partners.
The document, entitled 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons,' stated: “Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason, because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage to unions between persons of the same sex.”
“Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good,” it added.
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Noteworthy is the liberal reputation of Marini’s papal celebrations, which frequently featured young women as “liturgical dancers” at events like World Youth Day, during his tenure as John Paul II’s master of ceremonies.
Marini’s endorsement of homosexual civil unions fits the profile of “liberal” priest-liturgists soft-pedaling the Church’s teachings regarding homosexuality.
His celebrations both in Rome and at large international events like World Youth Day, were widely criticized for regularly featuring scantily clad “liturgical dancers,” and non-Christian ceremonies like “blessings” by indigenous shaman and other additions proposed as “inculturation.”
As the pope’s chief liturgist Marini was one of the most influential Catholic churchmen in the world, with the fruits of his work being broadcast on television around the globe and seen by millions, if not billions of people.
Despite the teaching, the proposal to accept civil unions as a “compromise” with secularist trends and the homosexual lobbyists that influence them is nevertheless growing in popularity among some Catholic clergy.
Earlier this month, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna – who is also known for a particularly notorious creative “rock and roll” Mass for youth and for allowing similar experiments around his archdiocese – told an audience in London, “There can be same-sex partnerships and they need respect, and even civil law protection. Yes, but please keep it away from the notion of marriage. Because the definition of marriage is the stable union between a man and a woman open to life.”
Despite heavy criticism from lay Catholics and from the Vatican, Schönborn's own cathedral offered “blessing” ceremonies – called “God’s service for lovers,” – for all people “in love,” including same-sex couples.
“We should be clear about terms and respect the needs of people living in a partnership together,” Schönborn added. “The new Austrian law on same-sex partnership is very respectful but clearly distinguishes this situation from marriage.”
Two other cardinals, Colombian Ruben Salazar and Theodore McCarrick, the emeritus archbishop of Washington, D.C., have also recently suggested the Church should not oppose same-sex civil unions.
While there has been much coverage of Marini’s comments on civil unions in the media, few in the secular press have mentioned that liturgical “liberalism,” including a penchant for dancing girls and cobbling together elements from non-Christian religions, often coincides with theological liberalism, especially on the Church’s teaching on sexuality.
In the late 1990s it was revealed that one of the most prominent liturgists of the 1970s and a promoter of the “liturgical dance” trend was a serial homosexual abuser who was ultimately convicted of sexual abuse of minors.
Fr. Barry Glendinning, a priest of the Diocese of London, Ontario, was the darling of the liturgical expert world for his work in the 1970s and his ideas are still popular through his books.
Roger Cardinal Mahony, the former archbishop of Los Angeles who is currently enmeshed in a legal battle of his enabling of homosexual abusers, was known for his occasionally unsubtle opposition to Catholic teaching on homosexuality. He was also one of the most prominent liturgical “liberals” in the Catholic Church, especially known for the experimental Masses that featured at his annual Catholic Education Conference in Los Angeles.
Watch an interview with Archbishop Marini on his liturgical work since Vatican II: