Sunday 23 May 2010

Argentine Priests Declare in Favour Of Gay Families Legislation.

In Argentina, the institutional church is engaged in efforts to resist the move toward marriage equality. Court challenges to the handful of same sex marriages already approved by magistrates have been backed by the Church, while bishops are strongly opposing the LGBT equality bill which has already been passed by the lower house of parliament, and is now making its way through the Senate. However, the bishops are not the whole church. Elsewhere, it is well established that the majority of Catholics are vastly more well-disposed than the bishops to gay inclusion. This has been demonstrated  in the US by formal research, and by groups like  Catholics for Marriage Equality.

In their statement of support, the group of priests, led by Fr Nicholas Alessio of Cordoba, remind us that Jesus never said anything against homosexuality, but frequently spoke against the oppressive use of power, and in support of outcasts and the marginalised. The law should be placed in the service of the people.

The bishops, not surprisingly, have responded by insisting that the dissenting priests are speaking in their personal capacities, and do not speak for the church. To this I reply, that much the same can be said of the bishops: Argentina is an overwhelmingly Catholic country,  and yet it is clear that at the very least, a substantial proportion of the Argentine Catholics do not agree with the bishops on this  .

This short report is from Momento 24:

Fr Nick Allessio
In Argentina, a group of 12 Catholic priests have declared their support for the equality legislation, in open dissent from the stance of the bishops. The bishops are speaking on behalf of themselves and the institutional church. They cannot be said to speak for the whole church, which clearly has divided views.
Twelve priests that answer to Enrique Angelelli’s group expressed the need to allow “marriages for everyone.” Another priest, Nicholas Alessio said to Radio Mitre 810 “We are Christians, Catholics and priests of the Catholic Church but we are opining on this issue at the antipodes of the view of the episcopate. We are in favor of equal rights, pro-family marriage of homosexuals and gay family. “ The priests have issued a text which claims that “Jesus never set a closed doctrine on marriage”   ”he simply followed the customs of his time and came to recognize and defend, in a special way women in a social context sexist and patriarchal."
For more details see the longer Spanish report at  Panorama Catolico Internacional (Use Google translate for a somewhat muddied English version).