MANILA - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday expressed its opposition to moves to legalize same-sex union in the country.
The CBCP urged the faithful to reject attempts to institutionalize same-sex marriage in the country in a pastoral letter signed by its president Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
The CBCP invoked the doctrine of the faith in justifying its position.
“Catholics are called to resist all attempts to normalize homosexual behavior and homosexual unions in their culture,” read the letter titled “The Dignity and Vocation of Homosexual Persons.”
“Catholics are called to oppose all gravely unjust laws that contravene both divine law and natural law – including all laws that legalize homosexual unions – because these unjust laws pervert and undermine the common good,” it stressed.
The CBCP said it expects Catholic politicians to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions “in a particularly vigorous way.”
“When legislation in favor of this recognition is first proposed, the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it,” it stressed.
“To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral,” the CBCP added.
The CBCP also advised Catholics not to participate in same-sex union ceremonies.
“One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection,” it said.
The CBCP said the emerging trend of legalization of same-sex marriage in many countries is not enough reason to abandon the Catholic doctrine against it.
“There has been and will continue to be throughout history, much confusion about the nature of marriage. Nonetheless, error is not a reason to abandon truth,” it stressed.
“Marriage binds a man and a woman together for life so that the offspring of their union would have the experience and benefit of the complementary male and female presence in their total development,” the bishops said.
“Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not have the basic biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family. They are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race, and thus it would be an injustice to grant them legal recognition along with the same benefits and privileges accorded to marriage,” they added.
While it rejected same-sex marriage, the CBCP urged Catholic families to continue loving homosexuals “unconditionally” instead of ostracizing them.
“Families with members, who struggle with homosexuality, are called to love them unconditionally, thereby outlasting all their other same-sex loves,” it appealed.
The CBCP issued the statement after a petition by lawyer Jesus Nicardo Falcis III was filed with the Supreme Court last May seeking to nullify the portions of the Family Code of the Philippines, which limits marriage as between a man and a woman.
Read more on The Philippine Star.