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Catholic lawmaker has ‘moral duty’ to vote against civil union law – Auxiliary Bishop

Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna says a Catholic MP voting in favour ‘of a law so harmful to the common good of society is a gravely immoral act’.

Miriam Dalli
4 January 2014, 12:00am


A Catholic MP who supports the Civil Union Bill and the right for same-sex couples to adopt would be committing "a gravely immoral act", according to Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna.

In an interview with Italian media Avvenire on the Civil Unions Bill being discussed in parliament, Scicluna said the Catholic lawmaker had the "moral duty" to vote against the bill.  

The Italian reporter asked the Bishop whether it was lawful for a Catholic MP to support the law.

Scicluna argued that the Catholic Doctrine of the Faith was clear: in a document issued in 2003, on the 'Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons', it said it was the Catholic MP's responsibility to uphold the doctrine.

Paragraph 10 of the said document reads: "If all the faithful are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions , Catholic politicians are, in particular, in the line of responsibility which is theirs."

Therefore, Scicluna insisted, "the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against the bill".

"Granting the vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good of society is a gravely immoral act," Scicluna said.

In giving a background to how Malta was in the process of legislating in favour of gay couples, Scicluna said that all political parties had been "in a frantic rush to grab votes" during the 2013 electoral campaign.

"In a frantic rush to grab the votes, all political parties have promised to facilitate the claims of the gay lobby and promised legislation in favor of civil unions. After the elections of March 2013, Labour, led by Dr Joseph Muscat, won and the government has moved to honor its commitment to the gay lobby," he said.

In the past weeks, the Bishop had also declared that Pope Francis had been "shocked" when he learnt that Malta was about to recognise gay couples.

To the Italian media, Scicluna said the Pope had been "saddened" by the development, especially on the issue of adoptions.

Scicluna told the Pope that promoters of the bill would cite his words - "If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and good will, who am I to judge?" - but would not cite what the Pope had also said in 2010 when he was still Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

"The Pope repeated a phrase of his letter of 2010: 'It's an anthropological setback'," Scicluna said.

 
Miriam Dalli graduated in communications studies from the University of ...
Jimmy Galea
@ guzep - well, I think I understand better what you meant and I apologise if you felt I was in any way denigrating your grief. I have no idea what the actual details of the scenario were but clearly you found them totally unacceptable. However, some sort of explanation for this decision must have been made (even if you considered it inadequate) - would you care to relay the reasons given for the refusal of your request ?
Joseph Calleja
@ Jimmy, my apologies for not being able to explain exactly what I meant. This is not rubbish believe me. Let me try explain better. I know what the last rites are and they gave those to him before he died in London. What I meant is that when the remains arrived at the church they did not allow the family to take the remains inside the church to have a presente catavre mass. They only let us take the coffin as far as the Zuntier and that as far as we got. I hope you can understand what I wanted to say and please do not call the grief I feel rubbish. I feel that the church disrespected my family. This was another episode like the interdet that Bishop Gonzi donned on those who followed the MLP, but maybe you are too young to remember those days.
Jimmy Galea
Pollypocket (and everyone else) - this is NOT a political issue. It is a social issue and it is not only the Church's right to speak out on social issues but it is also the Church's duty to do so. As for being out of line with the Pope's statements on this, and other issues - with all due respect, you are very poorly informed. The Pope has changed absolutely nothing of the Church's view on this, and other, matters. The only thing that has changed is the tone of the statement. Do seek out and read accurate transcripts of what this Pope has actually said, then read the statements of Benedict XVI, John Paul II, Paul VI and John XXIII and you will easily realize that, contrary to what you were led to think, none of their views, statements or teachings differ at all.
john pace
the new monopoly game as issued by the Maltese church today, pass go but if you are gay, or married to the same sex you will have to pay a fine and go to prison. Let me remind the church and the polititions we put you were you are and the strenght of both parlaiment and the church is in the hands of the Maltese people.
john pace
SO the church wants to start another Saga!!first the Divorce and now Gay marrage. Both the church and the polititions should do well by not giving their opinion and even not try stopping gay marrage from comming into Malta. Like the Maltese decided to bring in the divorce now it will be up to the Maltese people to decide in bringing gay marrage. If the archbishop scicluna wants to make any comments about gay marrage he should try and be more open and honest about himself like explaining to the Maltese people why the church in Malta is hiding the names of all those priest who everyday are sexually abusing children and are getting away with it. Remember Pope Francis made it very clear that he wants these priest dismissed but the Archbishop of Malta and Archbishop Scicluna decided to keep this matter closed. So I say to these priest read your Bible again and listen to the words of Jesus Christ as never did Jesus Christ say anything against gays or lesbians.
angela rickett
I am sure I'm not alone in thinking that it is really time that priest, whatever their position in the, should do the job they signed up for and not keep meddling in politics. If they want to meddle in politics, then they should resign from the priesthood and do so. But I guess that kind of action would be to honest for them, they would no longer have anything to hide behind. I suggest that this priest requests a meeting with his boss..the Pope, as he seems to be out of line with his boss's commitments to all.
Axel Cachia
Inhoss li ghandu jkun hemm distinzjoni bejn dak li tghallem il-knisja u bejn dak li jillegisla. Id-drittijiet civili bl-eda mod m'ghandhom ikunu mxekkla mill-knisja.
brian farrugia
The Bishops arguement fails as all his conclusions hinge on the claim that the law is against the common good, which we have no proof it is. But I see his responsability to speak out as it is his duty. Also if he is right, then how can we then turn the clock back?
lslsj@bigblue.net.au
Scicluna, shut up. How dare a member of a hierarchy that peddles in pedophilia talk about morality.
Joseph Micallef
Hawn Malta vera injoranti nassocjaw kull problema mal politika. Ghaliex dan il fusss kollhu fuq l-isqof Scicluna meta dan qed jaghmel xoghlu? fejnhom l-isqfijiet l-ohra ma jitkelmux? Il Papa qal ma nigudikawx persuni bhal dawn imma ma qalx li jistu jizzewgu jew li jaddottaw it tfal.Dan huwa id-dover tal -isqof li jitkellem u sewwa jaghmel. il hazin hu li mhux qed jinftiem ghax qed jahsbu li qed jitkellem politika. Ara inwarbu dan kollhu ... fl-Evangelju ma jisemma imkien il gay , mela lanqas biss hemm li Gesu kien favur jew kontra. Bir-rispett kollhu lejn dawn il persuni li nhoss li hafna drabi jkunu nies ta qalb tajba kbira, Gesu kien jighd hobbu lil xulxin kif habbejtkhom jien, Gesu kien jhobb lil kullhadd hekk ghandna naghmlu ahna ukoll, jigifieri inhobbu minjar ma nuzaw lil haddiehor. Kieku Gesu ried jintroduci il gay marrage kien jaghmilla ghax ma kienx jibza mil politikanti. Anke lil dawk li riedu id divorzju Gesu qalihom car u tond Alla ma jridx id divorzju jekk mhux f'kas ta rabta hazina. Alura jekk ma jisemma xejn ma nistux nighdu li Gay marrage huwa xi haga li Alla jrida. Li tnejn 2 nisa jew 2 irgiel jhobbu lil xulxin bir rispett kollhu mhix xi haga hazina , imma ma tistax taqa taht ligi ghaliex il ligi qeda hemm biex tohloq struttura u biex tisalvagwardja lil xi naha tal koppja u lit tfal. Jekk tohrog din il ligi ma tkun tista id-dawara lura din mhix xi loghba imma hija pedina ta telf ghas socjeta maltija. Jekk din tigi legalizzata jafu li certu ligijiet jigu kontra Gays finanzjarjament? Mela flokk nighnu inkunu qed infixkluhom. Hemm haga ohra l-imhabba hija li tmut ghal min thobb u mhux tuzah bhala oggett u fdal kas anke zwieg bejn ragel u mara jekk it tnejn "jhobbu lil xulxin" ghal pjacir biss alura dik mhix imhabba. U dan kollhu jaqa taht immoralita. Punt iehor huwa li fkas dil ligi tidhol liktar li jbatu huma it tfal...u wara kollox ahna oggetti jew persuni bir ruh? Min lest li jitlef ruhu ghal twemmin li mhux maghruf? Lil Gesu nafuh u nafu li permezz tieghu hemm is salvazzjoni ... imma il-bqija .. fejn se morru?
GYK
X'hemm Komuni bejn l-Arriva u Mons. Scicluna? It-tnejn helsu minnhom il-barranin u twikkejna bihom ahna.
joe mifsud
Dear bishop do you ever learn,People are People and should be treated EQUALY.
John M Cassar
The notion of 'for the common good' has been used by the Nazis, Stalin and even the Klu Klux Klan. This Mons is obviously out of touch with reality since as the name implies Civil Union is just that - Civil. What would be in the interest of common good would be not to have another Gonzi whether Mons or otherwise at this time. The church has already emerged weaker and with clipped wings following the ill-fated crusade against divorce. Another crusade campaign against civil rights will surely result in further irreparable damage and continue down the road to total oblivion and irrelevance.
Jimmy Galea
@ Guzep - what a load of rubbish you speak. You don't give last rites to someone who's been dead a long while. It's as simple as that and has nothing to do with death in a foreign country - a person could die in Hal Safi and still won't be given last rites if he's been dead too long
Jimmy Galea
@ Guzep - what a load of rubbish you speak. You don't give last rites to someone who's been dead a long while. It's as simple as that and has nothing to do with death in a foreign country - a person could die in Hal Safi and still won't be given last rites if he's been dead too long
GRACE PAVIA
Need I add my two pennies worth? Scicluna off you go! Chose between Gozo or the Vatican!!! Your time is over and passée.
Joseph Calleja
I would like to ask the Mons : Where was he and the rest of the Maltese Bishops when a certain parish priest refused to let us bring in the remains of my father inside the church so we could give him the last rights inside the church? My Father died overseas where he was receiving treatment. His remains were brought here to Malta so we could bury him in his hometown. This had nothing whatsoever to do with being PL or PN but just plain ignorance by this supposedly very educated Parish priest. I still think that the church owes Me and my family an apology for this miscarriage of justice. But as they say in Malta "Hoss fl-ilmma". The church is as bad as the government. Unfortunately I don't forgive and forget that easily not when the church had the gall to discriminate against my father because he died in a foreign country through no fault of his own. Waiting for that apology to my family Mons Scicluna.
albert leone
The words "gravely immoral act" is even more provocative and a challenge to society than if the monsignor had used the words "act of mortal sin" for who is he to arrogate to himself what to judge as moral or immoral. The word mortal sin is simply a Church construct which for me he can use to his heart's delight (although of course for some it has a lot of unfortunate political baggage) but I consider myself just as competent and worthy as him to decide what is moral or immoral although our frameworks of what is right or wrong must be very different.
Kalanc Qasamula
How much is Tehran prepared to pay Scicluna to head its morality police? He will feel at home there.
Kalanc Qasamula
How much is Tehran prepared to pay Scicluna to head its morality police? He will feel at home there.
xprun
Dan l-Isqof Scicluna jidher li hu replika tal-Isqof Gonzi - l-aktar bniedem li qatt ghamel hsara lill-knisja f'Malta. Nispera li l-Arcisqof Cremona jsib tarfu u jerga' jibghatu lura minn fejn gie. Ahna rridu kapijiet tal-knisja li lesti jifhmu u jaccettaw lil kulhadd u mhux jindahlu fejn ma jesahhomx u bi kliemhom u ghemilhom igerrxu aktar zaghzagh mill-knisja. Dabbar rasek Isqof Scicluna ghax qed iddarras lil hafna Kristjani.
Kalanc Qasamula
Milli jidher il-papa il gdid ma ssaportihx lil Scicluna il-Vatikan u wikkieh lilna.
eddy privitera
Mons. Issa erga mur kellem lill-Papa u ghidlu kemm rabja qajjimt kontra l-Knisja Maltija bid-diskors li ghidt, kemm lit Times of Malta u lil-Avvenire, halli naraw il-Papa jifrahx, jew jiddispjacihx !!!!
Nicholas Farrugia
Lill Mons nissugerilu jara film jekk forsi ghadu ma rahx, "Inherit the Wind" ta Spencer Tracy u Fredrik March. F'dik l-epoka ghadek tghix Mons.
godwin xerri
listes tul u listes valenu bhal gonzi, issa stembah dan il pastas, qabel qatt ma fetah halqu.
Mario Attard
....What a bunch of slobbering wolves, you all are... Tista tghidli mill liema Vangelu hadtu dan il-Kliem? Jien ma sibthomx. Staqsi lil Sir Michael Gonzi dak li defend it-tfal tal Laburisti fil Mizbla, lil dawk li fil Milied qad jippoza tat-twajjeb u jaghti il-festi it-tajba w issa intesa kollox 3 ijiem biss wara l-awguri, Int bhal ma qal Sidna Gesu Kristu "Qabar imbajjad". Ikolli nghid ghandek subghajk dritt daqs riga.
joe mifsud
Who gives a S..T about the Catholic Docrtine of the faith.Who are you to discriminate,are you a NAZI.People are people and should be treated equaly.Its because of people like you the church is loosing its flock.
Il Googol
And a God fearing person has a moral obligation to multiply!
victor zammit
The Bishop reminds of the medical doctor who was asked by Hitler to prove that German blood was superior to any other. The doctor returned and said that human blood was everywhere the same. The Fuhrer sent him to a concentration camp in Siberia.
Kalanc Qasamula
Ayotollah Xikki Lunah. Your place is Tehran not Europe. It seems the shorter a bishop is the worse he performs.
Jonathan Camilleri
I don't quite agree with Mgr. Scicluna.
V Z
Mons Scicluna, where were you 10 years ago, how come you never uttered a word against Malta joining the EU.You definitely knew what was going on in Europe at that time and what it meant for Malta to join in. How come now that you find every opportunity to oppose any proposal, whilst at that time you did not feel like talking maybe not to harm the Government!!!
Jimmy Galea
What a bunch of slobbering wolves, you all are. The issue of LGBT so-called 'rights' has become the only issue of the day. Famine, health, war, child education - none of these matter anymore as long as homosexuals become entitled to fly in the face of any law, be it natural or divine. Gay extremism is nothing but the latest in a centuries-old pattern of anti-Christianity ie. man adhering to any doctrine, however perverse, as long as it flies in the face of Christ's teachings. Gay rights are nothing but the latest fashion, fed by factions with a common agenda (an agenda that, ultimately, couldn't care less about gays, one way or the other), to which you all subscribe mindlessly. Then again, it has always been this way and there is no reason to believe that it will ever change. As for Joseph Howard - you are a textbook example of the deadly mix of violent prejudice and irredeemable ignorance. Nonetheless, this still does not entitle you to make your utterly unfounded statements and your laughable lies.
Jimmy Galea
What a bunch of slobbering wolves, you all are. The issue of LGBT so-called 'rights' has become the only issue of the day. Famine, health, war, child education - none of these matter anymore as long as homosexuals become entitled to fly in the face of any law, be it natural or divine. Gay extremism is nothing but the latest in a centuries-old pattern of anti-Christianity ie. man adhering to any doctrine, however perverse, as long as it flies in the face of Christ's teachings. Gay rights are nothing but the latest fashion, fed by factions with a common agenda (an agenda that, ultimately, couldn't care less about gays, one way or the other), to which you all subscribe mindlessly. Then again, it has always been this way and there is no reason to believe that it will ever change. As for Joseph Howard - you are a textbook example of the deadly mix of violent prejudice and irredeemable ignorance. Nonetheless, this still does not entitle you to make your utterly unfounded statements and your laughable lies.
George Azzopardi
dan min fejn sabuh!
Anthony Busuttil
This is purely a tehdida !!!!!! Who Archbishop Cremona and Bishop Grech they don't talk? why they are letting the most junior of them all? Mons Scicluna a staunch Nationalist wants to have another dispute between church and PL. We are still suffering the 60's war of wards and action by the church. if this is the plan of Mons. Scicluna it means more problems for the church. it is a known fact that people they don't boder about church any more . Look what happened during divorce referendum. The majority did not listen from what the church had to say. I suggest to Mons.Scicluna to impose a mortal sin to MP's who vote in favour of civil union.
Tony Fenech
Min hu nisrani, hu min hu , hu x'inhu, mghandu l-ebda dritt ihalli lil haddiehor jigi michud id-dritt kif jghix. Ara jekk tigborx xi firem il knisja kattolika ta Malta, halli jergaw jitilfuha bhal ligi tad divorzju li l-knisja bli ghamlet kemm appoggat bil miftuh kontra, b'hekk telqula hafna fidili. Jien minhiex omosesswali , min jien biex nigguddika lil haddiehor min hajja felici? Ghamlu petizzjoni ha nivvotaw u kemm jien u kemm il familja tieghi , kif ukoll nies genwini fic cert li nghejnu lil haddiehor jghix hajja ferhana , iva nivvotaw favur zwieg civili bejn l-istess sess. Qatt smajtu lil Kristu jsemmihom lil dawn l-umani bhalna jew ikkritikom? Le allura l-knisja qeda timponi fuqna gideb . Mons Scicluna iriedna mmorru ghal zmien meta telqu min Malta nies bla htijja ta xejn lejn Kontinenti ohra ghax Jekk ma kontx tkun ma tal maduma kont tigi kkastigat ghax ihalluk bla xoghol, il knisja kattolika ta Malta biss, unika, mhux tad dinja qeda timpona kontra l-omosseswali ghax il Papa qal min hu biex jiggudikom. Alura min ghandu rasu f'loka jinjora dan il hazen li gej min halq ta bniedem li xejn ma hu altru hlief li hu bhali u bhalek, anzi pjuttost ahna nhobbu lil proxmu, hu min hu, x'tip ta orjentazzjoni ghandu , iva nistmawh kif ukoll naccetawh. Mons Scicluna ghandu mibgheda ghalihom, ghax la qieghed imaqdarom, allura iva mibgheda.
albert leone
Mon Scicluna is a throw back to the secretive and manipulative Vatican cliques and of local conservative monsignors trying to get back in a position of temporal power. When was it ever the case that an auxiliary takes the role of a primadonna. I suspect that this is some sort of curia coup against Bishop Barbara who is a holy and spiritual man. I hope they do not draw him in their machinations.
Jonathan Camilleri
Is Mgr. Scicluna indirectly asking for a constitutional reform as he is publicly asking Catholic MPs that his (and only his) religous views should dominate in the Maltese Parliament. So far we were governed by a democracy is this going to change to a theocracy?
malcolm azzopardi
I agree that he is worse than Michel Gonzi .... The curia didn't learn that scaremongering didn't work in the divorce issue. We're in 2014 my dear bishop
Kenneth Galea
This is the reason why the Catholic church is mired in its pre-historic era. They cannot accept change and even so stubbornly the church in Malta does not want to move on with modern change. In 50 years time the Catholic church will become extinct, no wonder that the number of church goers is dwindling away. By outdated preaching the Bishops are inciting homophobic hate. We are in 2014 and Malta is a liberal and open society.
kenneth azzopardi
Our Bishop Charles Scicluna wants to send us back in time when gay persons were imprisoned and even tortured to negate their sexual identity, he has simply lost touch with the reality of our modern life where we have to respect all the various forms of family union which is enshrined in our laws to protect all citizens. Maybe his next proposal will be the start of a new inquisition with him as the head of all investigations.
Ramon Casha
Will someone send this bishop back to the Vatican? He'll feel right at home there among the other antiquities. This is further proof, if any were needed, that Article 2 of the constitution must be removed. His church is supposed to teach morality, and instead it's doing the opposite, spreading hate and immorality. The church has abandoned its constitutional duty decades ago and turned into just another hate group.
Joseph Howard
Mons Scicluna I do not agree with your reasoning at all. It is not a question of a Catholic MP or not. We did not choose a government for its religious values but for a government that takes the necessary decisions when needed. Irrespective of his beliefs an MP while in Parliament must do what is needed for the country. If the Church was to have its way we would still be in the dark ages in this country. Vote for women the church was against it. Equal rights for all citizens the church was against it. The Decriminalization of Gay activity the church was against it, Pensions to senior citizens the church was against it. Free education for all children the church was against it. Mixed marriages the church was against it. Actually my father as a Church of England member was called a Mason by one of your predecessors. You have always been against what Labour stands for and in the past have cast people out of church and buried others in parts of the cemetery that were not consecrated and last but not least, Compensation for victims of Pedophilia the church was against it and still refuse to compensate. The church should be and practice what it believes, help the poor and live within its means. Than one can start talking about issues. Joseph Howard
Glor Findel
You are sowing the wind, do not be surprised when you reap the whirlwind bishop. ... The local scene is not even yet fully recovered from the rifts caused by bishop Gonzi and here we go again. One would have thought the world has moved from the days of the inquisition but here he comes the Scicluna going back in time. This time however, as seen by the divorce law, the people know better and will hopefully not let you lead them astray. ... What I cannot understand is why this Hypocrite when on Xarabank and apologized to the gays there -- reaping applause btw since people thought he was sincere! ... I can still hear Mintoff's words ringing in my ears accusing Mercieca of being IPOKRITA! ... I am so said to say that I never felt so close to Mintoff in his words! Scicluna INT IPOKRITA!
Mario Attard
Mons,ahna nghidu "drink and drive don't mix" u irridu nibew nifhmu ukoll li "hurch and State don't mix", Il-Knisja hija religjon embru ghandu id-dmir li jobdi lil Knisja u l-stat huwa civili. Il-Knisja ghandha dritt titkellem fuq il-bicca taghha imam ma ghandix dritt tindahal fic-civil. Jien personalment ma naqbilx ma ma zwieg ta l-istess sess, imam jekk jien inhobb lin-nisa hemm xi had ghandu dritt jghidli biex inhobb nies ta l-istess sess.Alla taghni il-Liberta u l-ebda Gvern, Isqof jew xi appostlu iehor ma huwa sejjer jehodli din il-liberta. Jekk naghmel hazing jiggudikani Alla li hemm fis sema u mhux l allat ta l-art. Mons ahjar taraw kif tibdew mill- hnizzrijiet li ghamiltu sal-llum u tibdew taghtu ezempju lil poplu dwar 7 doni u mhux taghmlu dak kollu biex tagevolaw lil dak jew lil iehor. L-ebda Isqof malti ghadu ma nehha is-salib tad-deheb u flokku ghamle salib ta l-injam bhal Papa Frangesku. Ghaliex ma taghmlux bhal San Frangisk jekk inthom daqshekk religjuzi u tilbsu xi xkora u il-flus tibghatuhom lil Missjoni.
anton portelli
kulma jonqos jedded bid dnub il mejjet bhalma ghamel siehbu gouder!!
anton portelli
kulma jonqos jedded bid dnub il mejjet bhalma ghamel siehbu gouder!!
Alf Galea
Here we go again. The church never seems to learn after the divorce debacle. Threatening with fire and brimstone has stopped working ages ago and only backfires. The church meddling again in politics means that it hasn't learned anything since the 1970's.
eddy privitera
Mons. Scicluna is proving himself WORSE than Archbishop Michael Gonzi. And that is saying something !The local Curia got a licking on the divorce issue. This Monsignor will give the local Curia its final blow !