WELLINGTON, NZ, April 26 ( – The New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ Conference (NZCBC) has caused scandal in the Catholic world by directly contradicting Pope John Paul II on homosexual unions. The NZ Catholic, the country’s Catholic newspaper, reported Sunday that the 10 members of the NZCBC submitted a report to the NZ Ministry of Justice supporting a system of registration for practicing homosexual couples. The system would “give same-sex couples access to certain legal rights and benefits available to married couples,” according to the Catholic paper.

While the bishops oppose the right for such couples to adopt or use reproductive technology to have children, “the bishops say registered relationships should be included in law wherever marriage confers rights or obligations regarding income support, tax credit entitlement, legal aid, or the division of property if the relationship breaks down.”

The stand of the NZ bishops is in stark contradiction to that of the pope. LifeSite reported in January that Pope John Paul II said to Roman officials “I ask authorities to avoid any initiative which could favor or guarantee legal equality between the family and other forms of living together.” Moreover in June the pope told the Pontifical Council for the Family:  “in some countries it is sought to impose so-called ‘de facto’ unions upon society.” ‘De facto’ unions between homosexuals represent a deplorable distortion of what should be the communion of love and life between man and woman in a reciprocal giving (which is) open to life,” he said.


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