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Bishops tackle abortion and same-sex "marriage".

Washington--At their fall conference (Nov., 2003) the U.S. bishops made moves to tackle several thorny social issues. They set up a task force to examine the use of sanctions against Catholic politicians who vote in favour of pro-abortion legislation. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, noted, "It's a constant source of scandal that the most prominent pro-abortion people are Catholics ... who seem to go unreproved." The ultimate sanction against such people is, of course, public excommunication.

On November 12, by a vote of 243-3, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a strong document which stresses that "Christians must give witness to the whole moral truth, and oppose as immoral both homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons." It is not unjust to deny marriage to homosexual couples, the statement declares; in fact, justice requires this, because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different. The state has an obligation to promote the family; and therefore it can justly give married couples rights and benefits which it does not extend to others. The bishops also note the central importance of Christians acting on their faith in regard to protecting marriage by their political actions. There can be no separation between one's faith and life in either public or private realms. "By their voice and their vote, they should contribute to society's welfare and test its public life by the standards of right reason and Gospel truth." This is particularly urgent in the light of the need to defend marriage and oppose legislation of same-sex unions.
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Title Annotation:United States
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:257
Previous Article:Cardinal Sin.
Next Article:Bishop Raymond Burke.
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