Pro divorce Catholics launch movement, 'we have duty to avoid State-imposed morality'

A new pro-divorce Catholic movement has announced its impending launch this week, stressing that Catholics are duty-bound to ensure that no morality is imposed on the whole population.

The group, Kattolici: Iva ghax Dritt, said that it is composed of a number of practicing devout Catholic laymen who agree that “a Catholic has the duty to ensure that the State does not impose a particular morality on the whole population.”

“The commandment of Love, which to us is absolute, as well as the Catholic Church’s social teachings particularity on respecting everyone’s rights, creates within us an obligation to promote the rights of others, even when we do not agree with them and not allow anything to interfere the exercising of these rights,” Carmelo Hili, a Labour councillor on the Burmarrad administrative council, said.

“We are concerned that these important elements are coming across clearly during the ongoing campaign dealing with the introduction of divorce into the Maltese islands."

The group said society should be allowed to make its choice freely, according to their conscience and how it thinks best. “Despite how not all of us agree with divorce in itself, we however believe it is a civil right that allows a person, based on a free choice, to make life decisions themselves, without any imposition of a particular morality.”

The group said it also intends to help in clarifying certain notions “as there is a lot of confusion going around.”

The group said it would officially launch on Saturday, extending an invite to the media to cover the event.

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@-falzonsilvio; Thanks for your post..always good to know! Is that Roger Vangheluwe doing a Clinton/Lewinsky??..."It began as a kind of game with this boy. It was never a question of rape, or physical violence. He never saw me naked and there was no penetration"...no penetration=no sexual intercourse? It is still an abuse and no way to be justified, no matter how many times he confessed or how many rosaries he prayed or how much money he paid to the victim.
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Belgian Prime Minister: the church must assume its responsibilities, this cannot go on POSTED ON APRIL 17, 2011 THE Roman Catholic Church was left “stupefied” on Friday as Belgium reacted with revulsion to new child sex abuse horrors admitted by an ex-bishop that the Vatican placed in exile rather than face earthly justice. Roger Vangheluwe told Belgian television that he abused one nephew for 13 years and another for nearly 12 months – but that there was “no penetration” and that he did not “in the slightest” think he was a paedophile. Days after church bosses ordered Vangheluwe to undergo “spiritual and psychological treatment” in a French hide-out, identified by media as La Ferte-Imbault in the wine-rich Loire Valley, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme laid into remarks he said “go beyond the boundary of what is acceptable”. “The church must assume its responsibilities – this cannot go on,” Leterme insisted. He should not be in a French abbey,” cried Flemish newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen, “but in a jail cell or in a psychiatric institution.” “How did it start?” Vangheluwe said in the interview. “As in all families: when they came to visit, my nephews would stay over. “It began as a kind of game with this boy. It was never a question of rape, or physical violence. He never saw me naked and there was no penetration. “I don’t in the slightest have any sense I am a paedophile. I don’t get the impression my nephew was opposed, quite the contrary,” he added although he also admitted: “I knew it wasn’t good, I confessed it several times.” He said the abuse ended when the family learned of it, but that they agreed to keep it under wraps – Vangheluwe paying millions of old Belgian francs to the victim. He said he had to “talk regularly” with a designated psychiatrist and reiterated an earlier defence that the abuse “ended 25 years ago”, adding he had been able to “work very well” as a priest thereafter. Belgian Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck said the comments were a “slap in the face” for all victims. The head of a Belgian parliamentary inquiry meanwhile slammed “protection” for Vangheluwe by the church hierarchy. http://secular-europe-campaign.org/2011/04/17/belgium-more-church-child-rape-horrors/
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Ireland: Amnesty names Vatican and Irish Government over human rights abuses POSTED ON MAY 14, 2011 THE VATICAN and Ireland are criticised in connection with child protection issues in the Amnesty International Report 2011: The State of the World’s Human Rights, published later this morning on the eve of Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary. The 400-page report examines human rights in 157 countries and, for the first time, also includes the Holy See. It has found that, in Ireland, “child protection standards were inadequate in both law and practice” and that “the Holy See did not sufficiently comply with its international obligations relating to the protection of children”. It found that the Irish Government “failed to implement a number of commitments it made in 2009 following the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse . “This included a failure to introduce draft legislation to give child protection guidelines a statutory basis.” It said that “in February [2010], the all-party Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children proposed a new constitutional provision on children’s rights. However, the Government did not schedule the required referendum in 2010 as promised.” It continued that “there were serious concerns about the lack of adequate investigation and transparent reporting by the Health Service Executive on deaths of children in State child protection services. “In March (2010), the Government established an Independent Child Death Review Group to review the executive’s investigations into the deaths of children in care.” Where the Vatican was concerned, the Amnesty report says that “in May (2010), the Holy See submitted its initial reports on the optional protocols to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which, at the end of the year, had yet to be considered by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.” http://secular-europe-campaign.org/blog-2/
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@marisa lincoln Sorry, I don't think this is the best place to answer you. From your posts I realize more what a great need there is for dialogue and adult catechesis in this country, and the church is not doing enough. As an active member of the church I apologize for the way we might have abused you - compassion must be the way forward. There is a different picture of the church, believe me, and getting to know it will not make the ugly part look nicer. It will, however, give you a destination and a point of reference when you protest.
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In 1533 the pope refused to grant Henry 8th a divorce. Henry split away from the church and established The Church of England. It was only after this first important step that it became possible to then split Church from state. It wasn’t just Henry’s need for a divorce that caused this split from the Church of Rome. During the Reformation, the whole of Europe landed with many breakaway churches – various Christian sects. Before Malta can cut clean away from the Church of Rome, there is a need to set up The Church of Malta. As the article implies, people need a church which deals with 21st century realities. According to http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a106.htm there are over 33,000 Christian denominations worldwide.
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DSCI Thanks for replying. Heaven knows a dialogue is really needed amongst ourselves because the church will have none of it. I was baptized shortly after I was born. Do you call that voluntary? I was indoctrinated before I even turned 7 (age of reason) into the sacraments of confession and communion. Do you call that kind of childhood intrusion voluntary? If the sacraments were truly offered on a voluntary basis, they would be offered when people are adults. As for the sacrament of marriage that too is compulsory for those who are already conditioned into the RC system. Yes, there is a need for spiritual guidance. We guide our children to adopt certain attitudes and responsibilities and we point out the outcome when certain social rules are broken. But please do not ask me to coerce my children to go tell a priest about their bad behaviour. What the **** has a priest got to do it? To grow responsibly a child needs to learn how to be accountable for his/her actions and his/her decisions – just like adults should. But the RC church robs people the opportunity to act responsibly with their INVENTION of confession. My view is that a priest absolutely does not represent Jesus (not unless you wish to diminish and insult Jesus) and a priest has NO POWER whatsoever to forgive you your sins. Only you can forgive your own actions which you regret doing. It does not matter how and where children are brought up. (Families can take many forms – not just the Roman Catholic standard). What’s important for future generation is to be a good role model for your children: honesty; integrity; respect towards others; patience; kindness; self discipline etc. A mature responsible parent does not need to have his or her children conditioned by the harmful doctrines of the church. I admit there are some good values expressed within the church, but my understanding is that the Church’s agenda is most definitely divorced from the original teachings of Christ. The Council of Nicea hijacked the original teachings and contorted them. But DSCI – that’s merely my opinion – humbly stated. I try my best to be respectful towards the church and its followers but I also have a right to stand up and say my relationship with the RC Church has been a very abusive one - robbing me from my own inner wisdom. This link will give you some idea of different family types. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_compendia/fof2005/families.pdf
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l-problema hi l ebda legislatur ma ddikjara jekk hux kattoliku, kristjan, ma jemmen b'xejn, umanist, jew jemmen f'xi haga ohra, qabel l elezzjoni li addiet. Forsi wasal iz zmin li l kandidiati kolla jajdulna fiex jemnu qabel l elezjoni li jmis halli inkunu nafu ghal min ghandna nivutaw fl-elezjoni li gejja. Jekk votant mhux kattoliku, u ma jridx kattolici jmexxu lil pajjiz, dan ghandu dritt ikun jaf fiex jemmen kandidat. B'hekk min mhux kattoliku ma jkollux ghalfejn jivvota lil kandidat kattoliku. Il kandidati kola ghandom jiddikjaraw b'mod car fiex jemnu qabel elezjoni. Li kieku konna nafu dan kollu min qabel, forsi ma kinx ikun hawn dat tahwid kollu li ghadej bhalisa. Nispera li nitalmu ghal elezjoni li jmiss. Pacenzja inqbadna darba. It tieni darba ikun kollu tort tana.
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@CJohn Zammit I agree. The legislator should stick to his religious beliefs when he casts his vote, or voices his personal opinion. However when in the role of legislator, he has to consider everybody. . @marisa lincoln I won't argue about the church, ignorance, sacraments or genuine care (btw, sacraments are on a voluntary basis). I hope you might have an opportunity to experience the church in a different way. The fact that you haven't is not your fault, mind you. Regarding marriage: "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society..." (from the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). According to me, since it is a unit of society, then it must involve society, and not only the 2 spouses. Your marriage, and anyone's, is important for society and for our future generations.
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Phew ... of course divorce is not a civil right... It is the legal structures which allow this process which is a civil right. FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF CONTRACT Contracts between two people may be rescinded if they so choose. A marriage contract is like any other contract. This contract may be supplemented by vows if the couple so choose. The church invented the idea of sacraments: these are no more than power tactics to keep ignorant people under her control. If there was any RESPONSIBLE LOVE or GENUINE CARE for people, the 7 seven so-called sacraments would be offered on a voluntary basis and not imposed. For me personally, I find the involvement of a hierarchy of single men in my marriage contract and/or vows VERY REPUGNANT.
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Finally a beacon of light in the Catholic darkness. If only the Church and the tea party were intelligent enough to listen and look at the bigger picture so much potential damage and resentment can be avoided. But unfortunately an Opus Dei crusade without proper considerations seems to be the order of the day.
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@DSCI You may wish to consider Article 5: 1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognized herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant. 2. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Covenant pursuant to law, conventions, regulations or custom on the pretext that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.    I do not blame you for wanting to stick to your religious beliefs. But I do condemn the current crop of legislators, on both sides of the House -- especially the Prime Minister -- who who are shirking their duties to the public , in direct contravention of Article 5 (of the UN Covenant).   Shame on them.
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Some sense finally.
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@Raphael Vassalllo If you see my posts, it was only later that I pointed out that I'm Catholic. I just voiced that divorce is not a civil right (which we also happen to disagree upon, but anyway). But regarding your point, if faith does not affect my lifestyle and the way I think, what kind of faith is that? For the Christian the concept is not on its own, and faith is never on its own, but they are connected. We see the world through the eyes of faith. I'm sorry this must frustrate you. Yes, we'll leave it at that. . @Raphael Vassallo & Sage I admit I might have misunderstood the level of imposition you were referring to, sorry. Well, this is a referendum, so the majority will have their way. At this point it might go either way. If the Yes wins, I won't feel you would have imposed anything on me no. I'm afraid you might not feel the same if the No wins. But the only power I have is just 1 vote, just like you, and I will use it according to my conscience and according to my faith, not because I have no choice (voting 'yes' is not a sin), or because I don't feel for those who wish to remarry, but because of what I believe marriage is.
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I meant - exercising your right to express an opinion ...
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@DSCI - you've already been told that a covenant is nothing but a contract, an agreement. . However, I wanted to point out one last thing. You (DCSI) are not imposing your beliefs just by coming here and telling us what you believe. That is not imposition. That is just you expressing your right to express an opinion, which everyone respects. . The imposition takes place when (and at the point where) laws are passed - or omitted - based on the beliefs of one sector of the population, which laws ignore what the rest of the population thinks and believes. . If divorce legislation goes through, you (and people with similar beliefs) will NEVER be forced to make use of it. However if one fails to give the people the possibility of divorce (based mainly on the teachings of the Church), one is imposing on that part of society which is not aligned to the Catholic Church - thus forcing people to live according to the Church's values when one might possibly not want to, or not even have the same values. . So much is obvious to me, but I somehow got the impression that you were misunderstanding at what level that imposition is taking place.
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carmel duca
Your beliefs are one thing. The nature of marriage is something else entirely. What you are doing is distorting the latter in order to make it fit the former, when in actual fact the two are unrelated. Meanwhile you suggest that I'm arrogant (and you're probably right) and yet you seem to be blind to the supreme arrogance involved in fusing the above two disparate concepts. In fact the arrogance of the religious never ceases to amaze me. Not only do they think their own opinions happen to be shared by God Almighty (no less), but they also insist on forcing these same opinions down our collective throats by means of the law. You seem to be forgetting that laws are things which bind us all equally, whereas religious beliefs are private affairs which the rest of us are (supposedly) free to discount at will. But like I said I will not persuade you. nor you me, so let's just leave it at that
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When I mentioned covenant I was indeed speaking about my beliefs. A covenant is more than a contract. It is the giving of self for the other within that which is "promised". If you want to use Scripture, you can see that whereas the people defied God, He was ever-faithful to his covenant. When one looks at marriage as a covenant He realizes it's not between 2, but 3. You know what I mean. A contract on the other hand looks at what one gains. A contract implies conditions. When one looks at marriage as a contract he would be putting his spouse on the same level as his work etc... At least that's the way I see it. And Raphael, am I sensing a tinge of arrogance with "What did you think it meant"? Or I might be wrong?
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I am not religous but , if one reads : God hates divorce, but Himself divorced and remarried. It seems that even God is not good enough to sing at her church and lead in your organization, as even He who hates divorce, went ahead and divorced Israel because of her evil ways, and married another, the gentiles. Even God has enough sense to reject evil. Not until God raptures His church, and Israel repents at our Lord's second coming will God take her back, and marry her again, and then only those who repent. Jeremiah 3; Zechariah 12-14. My friend forgave this evil man for years, pouring out her Spirit of Grace, and was ready to forgive again and again, but he would not repent. I guess you expected her to have more power than God and do more than God could or would do. Christ says "Depart from me you evil doer!" While Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, and He woos us to Him by His grace, it does not benefit us until we repent to enter into Covenant with God. Marital love is Covenant love, requiring both parties to submit to one another. Unconditional love implies that no matter how your spouse treats you, abuses you, or corrupts you and your family, whether by legal or illegal means, you are to "love" them. Essentially, we have been taught that "unconditional" love is a love without moral boundaries. While Jesus loved us and allowed himself to be abused and terrorized for our sin, He did so before we married Him, but only those who repent, and respond in deep regret, love and gratitude to Him are accepted and benefit in a marriage relationship with Him forever. Others who claim to know Him are warned and told He never knew them. To know Him means intimate love, marital love, and for the evil doer to depart from Him. Jesus is indeed our bridegroom and we are His bride. But even Jesus will divorce many forever and send them to hell, because they never committed to Him in the first place. --Sorry Jesus, according to my friend's church and your organization, "You" are not qualified to lead your church either. Matthew 7. How sad that the church has not learned that divorce in and of itself is not sin, and under certain circumstances is a righteous act, as God did so Himself, and Christ Himself will do so when He separates the goat from the sheep.
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carmel duca
DCSI: A covenant is a contract. That's what the word means: a solemn agreement between two (or more) sides. Nothing more, nothing less. Hence the Ark of the Covenant, and the Rainbow as a sign of 'God's covenant with Man' - which was basically a contractual promise not to destroy the earth. Why? What did you think it meant?
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@sage I'm speaking about marriage the institution. Marriage which is fundamental for our society because is provides the structure for humankind's procreation. Our future depends on marriage. Then, I also believe that marriage is a covenant, but that's besides my point. I am not imposing my views on anyone, I'm just sharing them. But I also cannot be impeded from reasoning things out without considering my beliefs.
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@ DSCI: Have to add ... if you are speaking about marriage, the sacrament, then that is something which falls in the realm of your BELIEFS. And your beliefs cannot be imposed on everyone else who shares this island with you - or rather, in a normal, secular society you would not be allowed to force your beliefs on everyone else. Malta, is clearly an exception to the rule.
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I've enjoyed arguing with you. But this last point leaves me sad. I sincerely hope not many share this view with you. Marriage is not a contract. Maybe the problem in this country is not divorce but marriage. If we look at marriage as a contract, how do we dare ask ourselves why there are so many broken ones?
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DSCI, marriage IS a contract (that is civil marriage is), and as such the right should exist (and exists all over the world except you know where) to enter it and to dissolve the contract when one feels it is necessary. Now if that is not a civil right, I don't know what is. . Of course, if you're speaking about marriage in the sense of a sacrament - then that is something different.
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carmel duca
Divorce has existed as a concept since the very beginning - literally, 'minn zmien zemzem' - as can be attested to the many allusions throughout the Old Testament This alone should say something about the nature of marriage as the 'fundamental basis of society, anywhere anytime, etc'. Besides, marriage cannot be 'reduced' to a contract because a contract is precisely what it already is and what it has always been. So yes, very clearly we are looking at it differently.
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@Raphael Vassallo It seems we are looking at it differently. If divorce is not a civil right, it does not mean it shouldn't be so, but it would reduce marriage to a contract. According to me marriage is indissoluble not because divorce is not a right but because it the fundamental basis of society anywhere, anytime. Yes, you're right, not everyone had divorce in 1966, but what I meant was that divorce already existed as a concept. @ falzonsilvio No one is denying that. At least I am not.
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carmel duca
Incidentally you are wrong about something else. The covenant was signed in 1966. Divorce was not present everywhere in 1966. Italy, for instance, did not have divorce. nor did Ireland, etc.
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Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories." Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
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carmel duca
Look, I don't feel like being drawn into a never-ending argument, especially as it is clear from the outset we will not sway each other one iota. But again you are mistaken. The definition of marriage supplied in the charter of civil rights itself is one which can be dissolved. This means you have a civil right to get married, and a civil right to dissolve that marriage, both very clearly outlined in Article 23.
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@Raphael Vassallo You know articles like these don't take anything for granted. For example a bit later we find "Every child has the right to acquire a nationality." Isn't that obvious with a person? But he article does not take it for granted, and found the need to say that a person must have a right to a nationality. It isn't part and parcel with the very definition of "child" or "person". In the same manner, if divorce was a civil right, it would have explicitly pointed it out. It's just that when the article was written, divorce was already present, so it obviously took dissolution into consideration, emphasizing obviously the spouses' rights and responsibilities, and the children's protection.
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carmel duca
@piccininio 1. Christ couldn't have been talking to christians because Christians didn;t even exist at the time. He was talking to Jews in the capacity of Jewish rabbi. 2. It doesn't make a difference anyway. Mohammad wasn't talking only to Muslims when he wrote the Quran. Buddha wasn't talking only to Buddhists when he outlined the eightfold path. Just as you are free to ignore other people's religions, the rest of us should be free to live our lives without interference from Christianity.
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carmel duca
@DCSI You are incorrect. The Article qualifies marriage as a right, and the definition of marriage it supplies is one which very clearly, very explicitly and very unambiguously allows for dissolution.
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Dak li qal kristu ma qalux biss lill-insara. Kieku qalu biss lill-insara kien jispiċċa jitkellem ma 12-il appostlu u erba oħra għax sa qabel qam mill-mewt ftit kienu dawk li emmnu fih.
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Ha nsaqsi dil mistoqsija ghax S'issa għadu ħadd ma tani tweġiba għaliha - Jekk id-divorzju huwa 'dritt fundamentali jew civili' kif hawn min qed jgħid, kif dan ma jissemma fl-ebda liġi Ewropea, internazzjonali jew f'xi dikjarazzjoni dwar id-drittijiet fundamentali tal-bniedem? U jekk id-divorzju huwa dritt, kif ħadd għadu ma ressaq lill-Gvern Malti quddiem il-Qorti Ewropea minħabba li qed iċaħħad dan id-'dritt'?
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@Raphael Vassallo I would have have bet someone would have said something on point 4. It is not "State is to ensure that spouses have possibility to dissolution of their marriage" or something on those lines, as it would have been if dissolution was a civil right (as in the case of marriage, point 2). But the emphasis of point 4 is on the rights and responsibilities of the spouses at the 3 stages. And the emphasis in the case of dissolution is on the children not the spouse's possibility to remarry.
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carmel duca
@DCSI Article 23 (4): States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equally of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage AND AT ITS DISSOLUTION (my emphasis). IN THE CASE OF DISSOLUTION, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children. Which part of the word 'dissolution' do you not understand?
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@edyjoyce http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cpr.html This is the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Check Article 23. I don't know what divorce is, but as you might see, it is NOT a civil right.
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To: DSCI : If divorce is not a civil-right what is it then ? It is not yet a civil-right in Malta and the Philippines because we do not have divorce yet. But it is a RIGHT in all the other countries of the world !
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Civil rights are not invented by the church mind you. And I'm not imposing my reasoning (because it is reasoning, not plain disregard for whatever the church says) on you. You are in charge of your vote, and you will not sin if you vote yes. But you cannot impose me from voicing my brand of morality, as you call it. If my comment irritated you, ask yourself why. The moment one stops blaming, the moment he starts to grow.
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Divorce should be on Malta’s statute books whatever our personal opinion, beliefs, wishes, hopes. Here’s some food for thought on why: 1. Malta, a modern European state without divorce – surely an oxymoron? Take this scenario: a young Maltese man who is anti divorce and not married is offered a superb job overseas, the UK let’s say. He happily leaves Malta having just voted ‘No to Divorce’ to live in a state that has divorce. He doesn’t worry that his new UK neighbours are divorced and he won’t even know if they are, in all likelihood. The lives of the divorced people around him – some are new work colleagues – don’t impinge on how he lives his life or what he personally wants out of his future (marriage). Why should he stop fellow Maltese nationals back in Malta getting divorced? His move has just proved divorce laws don’t harm him or infringe his liberties or suppress his beliefs. 2. Maltese and foreign citizens who obtain a divorce in an overseas jurisdiction can have it legally recognised by Maltese law and are free to remarry in Malta. Let’s go as far as to say certain Maltese will always manage to get a divorce, if they have the means. This is an inequity. 3. Annulments are granted by both Church and State, for a defined list of reasons, even if couples have children. This is divorce by another name, for the few, for the ingenious perhaps; and it exposes some parties to humiliation. 4. Legal Separation is a fudged and often distressing state of affairs that leaves the parties unable to remarry and in a perpetual state of limbo. A better scenario than divorce? Nations can never be homogenous in beliefs. Let’s stop pretending Malta is. Not all Maltese are Catholic or adhere to catholic values, nor are church goers, nor anti divorce. Malta needs to get divorce on its statute books, move on and turn itself to more important issues.
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Of course you want to continue imposing your brand of morality! Doesn't that make you as guilty as the state? I for one don't want your brand of morality. I don't need a sexist church that shelters pedophiles to teach me morality. For more on this log on: mazzun.wordpress.com
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Before starting a new movement, check what civil rights are, and realize that divorce is not amongst them. Thanks.