Thursday, April 28, 2005

MH - Vatican Encourages Civil Disobedience

I don't know how many of you have been tracking this story - I read about it today in the Wall Street Journal. Since I don't subscribe, I don't have access to that story, but here's the essence of what's going on, courtesy of Yahoo! News. Here's the lead:

The Vatican hit back at a Spanish government bill allowing homosexuals to marry and adopt children, saying Christians had a duty to oppose such "iniquitous" legislation.

For Pope Benedict XVI, the draft law poses a first test just days after he was elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church, which takes a strict line on homosexuality.

The Vatican denunciation came from Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council on the Family, in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Asked about the Spanish bill adopted [last] Thursday by deputies in Spain's lower house of parliament, he replied: "We cannot impose the iniquitous on people.

"On the contrary, precisely because they are iniquitous the Church makes an urgent call for freedom of conscience and the duty to oppose."

"A law as profoundly iniquitous as this one is not an obligation, it cannot be an obligation. One cannot say that a law is right simply because it is law."

Here's the money section:
Trujillo said that municipal officials asked to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies should object on grounds of conscience, even if it meant they might lose their job.

"I am talking of every profession linked to implementation" of the law, he told Corriere della Serra.

"They should exercise the same conscientious objection asked of doctors and nurses agains a crime such as abortion.

"This is not a matter of choice: all Christians . . . must be prepared to pay the highest price, including the loss of a job."

This discussion is reminiscent of the famed First Things debate from a few years ago regarding the obligation of Americans to follow unjust laws. It also seems to tie in nicely with the discussion we've been having regarding the morality (or lack of same) in Corporate America.

The Journal speculates that this could be an indication of the extent to which Benedict intends to challenge the growing secularism of Europe. It would be interesting if the Vatican made a similar challenge in America, wouldn't it? . . .

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