Tradition, Family, and Property, commenting on the recent legislative approval of same-sex ‘marriage’ on the part of the Portuguese parliament, has this to say:
‘The Portuguese parliament’s approval of same-sex “marriage” on January 8 is shocking for many reasons. …
The article then sets out the reasons as follows
‘There is no doubt that the general decay of morals, chaos in people’s minds, loss of the sense of logic and of the moral sense, have also hit the country once known as the Land of Santa Maria (Saint Mary). However, that alone does not explain what happened. We must also consider another phenomenon, painful to Catholic hearts.
‘Unfortunately, it is not rare for some bishops and cardinals to present “dialogue” as a way to avoid confronting the errors of the modern world even when they are so clearly aberrant such as abortion and so-called homosexual “marriage”. The latter is supposed to “normalize” the practice of homosexual acts by equating them with the conjugal act in legitimate marriage. …
‘Unfortunately, in Portugal, the position of the bishops’ conference and above all that of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Most Rev. Jose da Cruz Policarpo, has been one of dialoguing in such a way that it rather confused and discouraged Catholics instead of attaining any positive result in the defense of religion and Christian civilization.
‘The result of years of such policies has been tragic: In 1975, divorce, which had been approved by the socialist Republic in 1910 and ceased to be applicable to Catholics in 1940, was extended to everyone, even those married in the Church. In 2008, that divorce law was broadened with the approval of “fast track” or “no-fault divorce.”
The article points out that abortion was legalized in 2007; and now, in 2010, the Portuguese Parliament approved homosexual “marriage.”
The article then continues
‘In 2007, a national plebiscite was held to decide on the law authorizing abortion. The attitude of the Portuguese bishops, and above all that of the Cardinal Patriarch, was to avoid a clash. The laity took the initiative to fight against abortion but they were unable to count on support from the clergy, since ecclesiastical authorities forbade them to speak from the pulpit against the approval of abortion. They could deal with the issue only theoretically, without attacking the proposed legislation.
‘Moreover, the Cardinal made confusing statements that he later rectified, when he stated that abortion was not a religious issue. Worse, after the law’s approval, he refused to ask the country’s president, his personal friend, to veto it. …
‘Furthermore, the Patriarch of Lisbon admits that Catholics can ask for a referendum as a way to forestall the law, but insists that such a decision will be up to the socialist-dominated Parliament. He makes it clear that the Church will not support effectively’ those who seek such a referendum. He also gave instructions to his clergy ‘for the signature petition campaign not to be proclaimed from the “Church’s rooftops.”’
These are worrying times, there has been a sea change in the understanding of human rights in the international arena and very few voices have been raised to halt the march of the anti-life and family agenda currently being championed as human rights.
There has always been an expectation on the part of the lay faithful that leadership in the proclamation of authentic human rights and moral values will come from the national hierarchies within the Catholic Church. There is no doubt that the lay faithful also need to take responsibility and oppose the ani-life and family agenda but it is disheartening when they do so to find that there is no support for their action from those who should be foremost in giving that support. It is even worse in some cases to find there can be active opposition to lay initiatives