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Children should be brought up by mother and father, Bishops say on gay unions

After ground-breaking interview by Pope Francis, Maltese bishops’ tone on gay unions sounds less belligerent

Matthew Vella
16 October 2013, 12:00am
Archbishop Paul Cremona said MPs should consider the effects of civil unions for gay people who will be able to adopt children.


Malta's bishops have called on Christian MPs to "continue proposing" the Church's teaching on marriage, in a guarded message against civil unions for gay people.

The tone of the statement, by Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo bishop Mario Grech, was uncharacteristically subdued, reflecting in part the spirit of an interview by Pope Francis to La Civiltà Cattolica in which the pontiff said that the Church was too fixated with sexual ethics.

"In line with Pope Francis's example, we do not intend to repeat 'the teaching of the Church' on this issue which 'is clear'. We invite all those involved in Christian formation and catechesis to continue proposing what the Church teaches in this regard," the bishops said.

Their pointed warning was for MPs to consider the effects of civil unions for gay people who will be able to adopt children.

"We trust [they] will do their outmost so that while discussing this Bill, they show respect towards all the persons involved and at the same time consider the common good," the bishops said.

They said adoption of children by partners in a civil union was a very delicate issue. "It seems to us that it will be wise if the legislator takes the necessary time to make the right decisions on this matter. Children should preferably be brought up by their parents, a man and a woman."

The bishops also exhorted MPs to take strengthen opposite-sex couples and families, which they described as "the first and principle builder of society".

"We encourage all those who are convinced of this truth to treasure the family and continue expressing their high regard towards this natural institution."

The bishops said the new civil unions bill, which will grant gay couples the same rights and obligations of opposite-sex marriages, demanded a "profound and ponderate reflection".

"We should keep in mind that through this Bill we are discussing persons and their lives. Consequently, in order that this may be a mature discussion, it should reflect a profound respect towards those persons. As Pope Francis recently said referring to persons with a homosexual orientation, 'in life God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation'."
Matthew Vella is editor of MaltaToday.com.mt.

After graduating in a...

Joseph Galea
Dear bishop: What about those children whose hetero parents are not even worth their own lkives and treat their children badly and miserably? Should these children be raised by such parents for the sake of having a mother and a father? What about those children who have no parents? Don't they have any right to be loved and to have a decent life? or gay people cannot give love and cannot give a decent life? I think your arguments are really biased and stereotyped with unfounded claims against gay people. Unfortunately bigotry and ignorance is still rife in Malta and you can see even from comments in here.
Nomis101
I do agree children should be brought up by a mother and father. Only Mothers give birth and the father is part of the mother for this great creation. Why do we have to pay thousands and thousands of euros to adopt???? when a couple would give their life for a baby. Where are the authorities and church please??? Babies and children are not objects found in a supermarket or stationery to spend thousands to buy them, they are humans. God gives them free to us with love then it's up to us to follow God's direction ,in return we should unite with God and bring up the children the way it should be, doing our best.
hsimah
This getting ridiculous and very un natural and ask . How did we come into the world , surely not by Male having sex with another male. There is no way that this can happen. Let a child ask his school mate ": Whats you mothers name? and you answer JOHN, and what is your fathers name? and you answer PETER."
Joseph Buhagiar
@ MP Marie Louis Coleiro. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION REGARDING THIS CIVIL UNION AND THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN OF THESE MENTIONED SAME SEX COUPLE. CAN YOU REALIZE THE PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE DAYS THAT COME REGARDING THE BROUGHT UP OF CHILDREN. DIVORCE AND THIS CIVIL UNION GO AGAINST THE HOLY FAMILY MARRAIGE. IF IT'S NOT, WHERE ARE WE GOING TO. DIN HIJA HAGA BISS LI RIDTU TAGHTU LURA LILL-VOTANTI TA' L-ISTESS SESS. DI MHIX SERJETA TA' NIES KWALIFIKATI.MA NOQOGHODUX INDURU MAL-LEWSA GHAX!!!!!! DIN MIHIEX LOGHBA POLITIKA.
Joseph Buhagiar
@ MP Marie Louis Coleiro. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION REGARDING THIS CIVIL UNION AND THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN OF THESE MENTIONED SAME SEX COUPLE. CAN YOU REALIZE THE PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE DAYS THAT COME REGARDING THE BROUGHT UP OF CHILDREN. DIVORCE AND THIS CIVIL UNION GO AGAINST THE HOLY FAMILY MARRAIGE. IF IT'S NOT, WHERE ARE WE GOING TO. DIN HIJA HAGA BISS LI RIDTU TAGHTU LURA LILL-VOTANTI TA' L-ISTESS SESS. DI MHIX SERJETA TA' NIES KWALIFIKATI.MA NOQOGHODUX INDURU MAL-LEWSA GHAX!!!!!!
Joseph Buhagiar
@ MP Marie Louis Coleiro. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION REGARDING THIS CIVIL UNION AND THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN OF THESE MENTIONED SAME SEX COUPLE. CAN YOU REALIZE THE PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE DAYS THAT COME REGARDING THE BROUGHT UP OF CHILDREN. DIVORCE AND THIS CIVIL UNION GO AGAINST THE HOLY FAMILY MARRAIGE. IF IT'S NOT, WHERE ARE WE GOING TO. DIN HIJA HAGA BISS LI RIDTU TAGHTU LURA LILL-VOTANTI TA' L-ISTESS SESS. DI MHIX SERJETA TA' NIES PARLAMENTARI.
Polly Bonello
Look who is talking? Children brought up by mother and father and abused by priests? I remember the 60's with the caption if you say anything against a priest you are offending the Church! Today,if one of the Church's priest abuse children, the Church is not responsible and has not offended the child! Stick to your millions dear maternal Church: the more you hoard the less people will continue to trust in you! The local Church ( third world Church is a beacon) is just unbelievable : Mammon rules ok?
Martin Scicluna
What the bishops say may not have much weight or importance, but with such so called "progressive" laws mankind is heading fast and straight into oblivion.
Mark anon
A preference to keep children with their biologocal parents sounds like a very serious bias to hold when being responsible for making decisions about care provisions for at-risk young people. I shudder when I consider the this bias is probably responsible for keeping children in households with severe domestic violence and other domestic abuse risks.
Joe J. Borg
Dear Bishops, why is it that if in your opinion children should be brought up by a mother and a father, you support institutes and organizations which are run solely by males or by females? Why don't you close your institutions and give the children in your care to foster parents? On second thought these institutes would house quite a number of irregular immigrants and the church would have effectively gone from words to actions.
Joe J. Borg
I agree with the Bishops that this should be a mature discussion. Would DR. SB vote against this bill as his ex-leader had done in the divorce issue against the wishes of the majority of the Maltese? I think that the answer might be a 'yes' or a 'no' depending on the amount of political mileage that he might acquire.
COOL BREEZE
In an ideal world children left in the care and /or tutelage of members of the clergy should feel safe and not threatened nor subject to abuse .Members of the clergy should not steal the Church's property (France ) nor construct palaces masquerading as their residence(Germany ),nor attempt to profit when selling graves via excessive admin.charges (Gozo), nor should the Church attempt to preach with regard to issues they have never, nor will ever ,experience -such as parenting issues .The Church has too much to say about probity and "moral fibre " when clearly it lacks providing good examples in achieving such and sadly is mostly constipated
Pancrazio Grech
It's rich coming from our bishops when everywhere in the world , when our children was in their care , quite a few were molested by what so called priest and for sure either they were gay or perverts, So my advice to the bishops is to let go or they will lose more from their flock
Anthony Busuttil
That is the ideal dear Bishop but....... half of our children are brought up by single mothers, grand parents and couples out of wed lock. so what's wrong a baby is brought up by a descent gay couple? I know gay couples whom their relationship survived even 30 years more than a married couple.
joe mifsud
To should and should not,i am sure that parents of the same sex love and adore their children equally as regular parents.It has nothing to do with God or being christian to love your children,The bishops of malta would not know as themselves dont have children and should not have a say in this.
Ramon Casha
A family is a natural institution, but what constitutes a family is more varied than the bishops imagine. After my grandfather was killed in the war my mother and her many siblings were ably raised by her own mother and aunt - as were many in those times. Weren't they a family? Many even today have only one parent, for any of a number of reasons - are these not a family? A family has nothing to do with "the difference between a man and a woman". The roles of the parents are not rigidly defined and certainly not bound to their gender. This is a law that affords couples who love each other and wish to formalise their relationship, the same rights irrespective of the configuration of their genital organs. Certainly everyone wants what is best for the child, but the objection to adoption by same-sex parents is not based on any credible threat to the well-being of the child. What is best for the child is for that child to be raised by loving parents, whether biological or adoptive. All research into this subject shows that same sex parents are just as capable and their children are raised just as well as any heterosexual couple. In many cases, adoption in such cases is single-parent adoption, where the child is the biological child of one of the couple and would be legally adopted by the partner. What's the alternative? To have a child raised by two people but only one recognised as a parent? What if something should happen to that parent? Would the child be taken away from the only other person they look to as a parent? What if the bishops and the church were to concentrate their efforts on fighting against the homophobia that, unfortunately, still exists? If society treats sexual minorities equally it would greatly reduce the heartache that these people face from time to time. Now there's something that would be for the common good.