Vatican signals options for protecting gay couples

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A high-ranking Vatican official on Monday (Feb. 4) voiced support for giving unmarried couples some kind of legal protection even as he reaffirmed the Catholic Church's opposition to same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, also said the church should do more to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in countries where homosexuality is illegal.

In his first Vatican press conference since his appointment as the Catholic Church's "minister" for family, Paglia conceded that there are several kinds of “cohabitation forms that do not constitute a family,” and that their number is growing.

Paglia suggested that nations could find “private law solutions” to help individuals who live in non-matrimonial relations, “to prevent injustice and make their life easier.”

Nevertheless, Paglia was adamant in reaffirming society's duty to preserve the unique value of marriage.

“The church must defend the truth, and the truth is that a marriage is only between a man and a woman,” he said. Other kinds of “affections” cannot be the foundation for a “public structure” such as marriage.

“We cannot surrender to a sick egalitarianism that abolishes every difference,” he warned, and run the risk of society becoming a new “Babel.”

France is in the process of legalizing same-sex marriage despite fierce opposition from the Catholic Church; a similar fight is brewing in Britain with the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches sharply opposed to the move.

In a September 2012 document on gay marriage, French bishops recognized the value of France's current civil unions law, which grants heterosexual and homosexual couples some benefits, such as tax breaks.

In November, voters approved gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington state, and the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this spring over federal and state bans on gay marriage.

Responding to journalists' questions, Paglia also strongly condemned discrimination against gay people, who he said “have the same dignity as all of God's children.”

“In the world there are 20 or 25 countries where homosexuality is a crime," he said. "I would like the church to fight against all this.”


  1. Finally something Christian in the midst of a secular reality!

  2. Well by giving it’s support for unmarried couples, [living to gether that is], it certainly covers their backs for brother/sister arrangements acceptable at Canon Law, in conjuction with the Confesssional of course, to preserve the priesthood.
    A well established fact in Australia at least.
    It wouldn’t do me and didn’t decades ago.

  3. He saying that we are all God’s children. Equal in the sight of God and judgement belongs to God

  4. He is saying we should not judge one another

  5. Archbishop Paglia is guilty of irrational thinking. No, we do not protect a person’s right to sin, and we have no moral obligation to do so. We do have a moral obligation to fight against the entrenchment of evil in society. One can only hope the Archbishop is legally insane and not culpable for this nonsense.

  6. At last! Someone to say the truth here! This man is giving his authority to the practice of sin that will destroy lives and souls. We don’t’ get to change God’s laws. We can think we’re “nicer” than God, or more “Christian” or “less judgmental” than GOD, but finally we are not going to be the judges here, and judgment WILL happen. Thank you, Allan.

  7. Well, if it is OK for gay couples to live together outside of sacramental marriage, then, it must also be OK for heterosexual couples to do the same. Heck, who needs marriage anyway? Don’t tell me that the Church has finally caved into the culture. Sorry, I am not buying any of this!

  8. In relation to the latter, don’t buy into it Duane.
    The church already permits the spurious brother/sister arrangements as I have previously mentioned, available to clergy and certainly the Franciscans
    Imagine two adults, facing each other every day and not be tempted to have full intimacy, especially when a child has already been born of the relationship.
    Its ludicrous, lacks logic, common sense, prudence and a mockery of the Sacrament of Confession.
    Well all know God will not be mocked.

  9. Excuse me as I interject, but when has love become a sin? It makes me sick to hear such high officials in the Catholic Church, a faith in which I was confirmed, to be so strongly in favor of banishing us from the kingdom of God.

    NO ONE BUT GOD CAN JUDGE ME. This is what I believe and this is the faith of the Catholic Church.

    WHEN I get married to the man of my dreams, I will raise my children to love whomever they want and to love often.

    Demons walk the earth and I can assure each and every one of you that not all gay men and lesbian women are out to destroy an “structure of marriage.” We are trying to love and be loved.



  10. You and Christ have a very different understand of the meaning of love. You mistake feelings for love. Christ is not in your camp. The Catholic Church has always taught that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. Sticking your head in the sand to avoid the truth will not save you.

  11. It is not Christian to try and make it easier for people to cohabit outside of marriage i.e. help them to sin. This bishop is an enemy of the Catholic Faith

  12. You are confusing crime and sin. Lots of sins are not crimes, even though legality may “help them to sin”.

  13. If Archbishop Paglia were an “enemy of the Church” then he would not have been appointed by the Pope. Also, as AlanP mentions, you are confusing crime with sin; they are not synonymous.

  14. This is definitely NOT what we need to hear from such a prominent and powerful archbishop in Rome. The huge problem in today’s society is not that homosexuals are being labelled criminals; even though this is the case in many, almost exclusively, muslim countries, the Church has a right to and is actually obliged to proclaiming, ever more steadfastly and courageously the church’s support for marriage. In most countries in Europe, unmarried, cohabiting couples, already long ago enjoy the same legal protection as married couples.
    This does not make any sense and only deepens the confusions and the gap between various catholics, a gap which is very, very deep already.
    As a fervent convert to the church, I often talk with great love and affection about the church. One thing I have always and untiringly stressed very much, is that the marriage between one man and one woman is a sacred dogma in the church. Likewise, that, while respecting and lovin sinners, homosexuals and others, the church considers homosexual relations “intrinsically evil”.
    According to the archbishop, this would not be the case with homosexual couples living together as partners, at least that is what I understand.
    I just wonder, what I will tell my non catholic friends after this proclamation, so much in favour of homosexuals. And why this warm approach to exactly this group of people, exactly now, when the church seems so alarmed, and rightly so, by the sharp decrease in marriage and having children/families?
    This both hurts and upsets me. Very, very disappointing!


  15. I think you understand wrongly what the Archbishop is saying. Given that there exist homosexual couples, which itself is legal (rightly) in most countries, should some kind of legal recognition be given to this, which is likely to have the effect of encouraging fidelity between them? The question of whether it is morally “intrinsically evil” is actually irrelevant here. Though I agree it should not be called “marriage”. Overwhelmingly the greatest sexual evil in society today is promiscuity by so many, mostly heterosexuals.

  16. ‘Responding to journalists’ questions, Paglia also strongly condemned discrimination against gay people, who he said “have the same dignity as all of God’s children.” ‘

    Those who have not been ‘adopted’ into God’s family by accepting Christ as saviour are still Satan’s children. Jesus said He would not leave us ‘ orphans’, but send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.

  17. Poor Benedict, he doesn’t know who his friends are, as Scripture tells us, “When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you, and lead you where you don’t want to go”.
    He is at the mercy of other’s words and actions, such as we are, Pope or not.

  18. Cecilia you’re not alone in this, as a convert myself, believing all the warnings of friends and aquaintances were “sour grapes”, only to be finding myself having to confront all the corruption, and cruelty against my spiritual children in Christ.
    We have to raise our hand in conscience, deploring what has been done and continues to be done in our name or we too will be held accountable because we know better.
    Take courage.

  19. How can children not adopted into Gods family be classed as satans children.
    If by being in “God’s family’, you mean if not being Catholic, you had better check out what the church is saying in these day’s of enlightenment and ecumenism.

  20. I just read today that Archbishop Paglia has announced his “surprise” that the media have portrayed his comments on same sex partnership as a possible change and a softening on the Church’s dogma on marriage and homosexuality.
    “Surprised”…? Why, then, speak in a manner, especially with extremely gay friendly and catholic bashing media, which, apparently and not surprisingly, coul and shouldd be expeced to twist and retort whatever Archbishop Paglia said?
    Moreover and most important of all: after the seemingly never ending and numerous sex abuse scandals within the Church, by homosexual clergy and others, homosexuals in general is not the minority in most immediate need of the Archbishop’s compassion and support. What about the persecuted and butchered christians in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, or, or…? As Dr Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League in the US, has said, over and over again, that these scandals(in the Church) MAINLY are of homosexual character(please see the Jay Jason report on the net, with all statistics) and that there is no secret that the number of homosexual clergy in the US(even more) but also in Europe, is widely spread, it is absolutely mind boggling to me how Paglia could even consider saying sth that coud be interpreted as some kind of support for gay unions.
    And especially at this time, when the bishops in Ireland and Britain are fiercely opposing the legalisation of same sex marriage, just as in France!
    In any case, the damage is already done.
    Was all of this really as innocent as Paglia suggests himself?
    Excuse me, but I have my doubts, until I see and hear more convincing arguments.


  21. Excuse me, Archbishop Paglia, but homosexuals is not a VIP group in the Church, or elsewhere. Not ina nay country. (Please, I do regret, very strongly, that homosexuals are not accepted and/or mistreated in many muslim countries, but that does not have to lead to adulation to this group). When not one single day passes in the west without gay propaganda in the media, high ranking officials in the Church should, patiently, with love and respect, but with great courage, increase its support for marriage between one man and one woman, instead of offering the media and society this kind of possibility to further attacking and weakening the Church.
    I do have homosexual friend for whom I pary very often, so obviously I have no problems in accepting and loving them as an image og God. “Hate the sin, love the sinner”.

  22. Tell him Allen. God created Adam & Eve, NOT, Adam & Steve. This is typical of the prelates post Vatican II.

  23. You are correct Lynne. The militant homosexual agenda is on display here. @ Robert Sungenis, how about telling us about the good of Israel for a change and attack the Muslims for a while.

  24. Modern day Pharisees. Strain the. Gnat swallow the camel.

  25. When does sin have equal rights? No this is politics.

  26. If your a sincere Catholic on facebook friend me. 🙂

  27. Paul, let’s not get into Jewish/Israeli issues, last night I watched a replay on SBS : Who do you think you are, where Jerry Springer was being taken through his family roots, listening to the voices from the brink of the abyss.
    We have nothing to be proud of there.
    The Muslims?
    We”re on record there too for our historical scare tactics.
    Anything to distract any scrutiny on ourselves, and that’s not even touching on the treatment of our own gifts from God, innocent children.

  28. @Lynne. Who do you think you are? He he I love it when someone inserts that assinine phrase. So who am I Lynne? You do not have a clue. The spirit of the prophets are subject to Prophets. I love Roberts stance on many issues. But when one who sees himself as a Prophetic defender of our faith but refuses to submit himself to the same litmus then an unbalancing in ones perspective begins.

  29. I have no idea at all who you are Paul, and it doesn’t interest me personally, apart from the fact your a child of the universe and a child of God,
    You made mention of Israeli [which automatically connected to Jewish issues] not me, and Muslims, with the churches scare tactics.
    Your familiar with the Jewish ones, but maybe not the Muslim,.
    To refresh your memory, Hillaire Belloc and hisThe Great Heresies would be a great place to start.
    Do you think there were no Catholic homosexuals on Hitlers list by the way?
    And the Pope was silent.

    My comment stands.

  30. Jad ALHALABI
    Fritschgassestr. 6
    A-5020 Salzburg

    Dear Sir

    Fristsetzungsantrag in der Sache Jad ALHALABI, Zl. E6 423.307-1/2011
    Good day to you. this my case and evidence .
    My name is Jad Alhalabi, I am currently seeking asylum in Austria, but the Austria government is following the human rights and justice and they are correct but I can prove it through my documents that they are not.
    And I am not safe here in Austria ?
    I got troubles in here by a Tunisian man that he even told me that he will kill me and attacked on me with a knife in his hand. I complained for Austrian police in St.Johann im pongau, but they have denied it and told me that when I see blood in my body then I can come to police even though I had medical report from the hospital then the police accept my complain and give me a copy of my complain letter but told me if I show it to anybody then the police makes problems for me and the name of that police man is Roman RAINER .I am not safe here in Austria.
    In 06.09.12 I had a roommate. He is from Chechens country and his name is Hassan we were living in one room and without any reason he argued with me and tried to beat me. But that time it didn’t happen and after one day he tried to beat another person in the pension and I complained to the chaifeen of this pension and the chaifeen told him to change the room then in 11,09,2012 I came to my room and saw him in my room and told him to leave my room but he didn’t listen to me and started beating me after that I called the police, police came just took our names and told me that always you make these problems and they were tow police men then at the same night when the police left this person ( Hassan) started fighting with all the people in the pension and said that I will beat all the people in this pension and went out of pension, then in the next day he came with another person, that person was also from Chechens and his name is Adam and both of them said that they will come with other Chechens people to beat or kill all of us then at the same date at night they came with four vehicles and they were around 20 people with the knifes in their hands to beat or kill us, at the same time we tried to defense and called the police, when the police came they escaped and police couldn’t arrest them, and in the morning we went to police station and complained about them because they can come any time to fight us.
    We are not safe in here and when ever I face with any problem and I go to police they always tell me that I am making problems the ID number of the police man is 4711.
    but if I make problem then why should I go to police and ask for help.

    I want to make formal complaint against Ms Steiner from the Bundesasylamt in Innsbruck (Austrian Government ) with Office of the Treaty of Dublin or UN in USA ?

    And how can I get protection from the United Nations and the private papers to get them and I will be refugee under the UN?

    Please check the attachments for my case and evidence.
    Thank you very much and sorry for taking your time
    And for you all respect and thanks

    Jad alhalabi
    E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

  31. Greetings to you Sir

    These are my objections which should be written in the complaint letter :
    1-At my interview with the Austrian police (Sicherheitspolizeikommando Salzburg) on 10. February 2011 the translator told me that even if you have prove of what you said in the interview you will not get an asylum in Austria. He also told me that the Government of Austria always refuses (Negative) such cases.
    2- On 18. April 2011 I had an interview at the Federal Asylum Office (Bundesasylamt) Innsbruck. My immigration officer was Ms. Steiner. At this interview I was not allowed to present my case as is prescribed in Austrian law and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. When I tried to testify the official stopped my testimony. Multiple times I tried to tell my story but each time she said to answer “yes” or “no” or in a short answer. I was unable to give my testimony.
    3- the decision that Ms steiner made for my case was ( negative ) and was unjustice , iniquity and inhuman.
    4- after i received negative i made appeal, the legal time is six months according to the austrian ( president law ) to wait for the answer the high court should decide about my case.and after my appeal this is more than eight months i have been waiting for the final answer.
    5- Ms steiner (my judge) is written the reasons in my negative letter that in 2003 you have no problems in Jordan
    first of all, she did not ask me about the problems I had in 2003 but I have lots of proofs to show that I have lots of problems in my country with my Government.
    6-the OHCHR here in Austria not accepting always to help me in me asylum case.
    I know why?
    because I am refugee and I am arab jordanian and the workers in OHCHR from Austria for that no help from them always.and I asked them many times I like to do interview with any one in ohchr office also refuse my request!
    please after all this what written
    can you tell me how my life safe here in Austria?

    Thank you and kind regards
    Jad alhalabi

  32. Responding to journalists’ questions, Paglia also strongly condemned discrimination against gay people, who he said “have the same dignity as all of God’s children.”

    What a joke! The catholic church leaders across the globe are vilifying homosexuals, while remaining criminally ignorant of the damage done to the victims of clergy sexual deviancy. We saw their true colors right around election time, when the vitriole coming from many bishops tried to convince the voters that they should deny gay couples their civil rights. Yet we’re led to believe that now they’ve magically experienced an epiphany regarding their dignity? People, please try to come out of the ether and recognize that the catholic church cares only about image and money. Paglia used non-descript terms when he said those things, like “…should do more to protect…” and “…I would like the church to fight against all this.” Here’s an novel concept: Maybe we could believe you if you actually demonstrated it through action, and not hyperbole.

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