Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna said last week equating marriage with homosexual unions means introducing into the legal order “an element that objectively distorts it,” because such a situation “constructs a legal social edifice on the foundation that each person desires.”
In a conference on the value of marriage for society, the cardinal explained that making homosexual unions equivalent to marriage by claiming that marriage is a “social convention” and that each person is free to establish whatever kind of sexual-affective relationships he or she chooses and to demand they be given public recognition is to introduce into the legal order “an element that objectively distorts it.”
“Building society upon the basis of the desires of each individual is equivalent to building a society every more foreign morally speaking,” the cardinal said.
According to Cardinal Caffarra, the recognition of homosexual unions “is an absolutely new fact in the history of humanity.” “The marriage institution is seen as if it had no natural foundation but was merely a social convention.” Thus, “civil law can call ‘marriage’ or make equivalent to marriage as it has been understood up to now, any other kind of community,” with the idea of “extending rights” to these, the cardinal said.
“To favor other types of living arrangements with the same title with which the State favors marriage means to diminish that guardianship of the marital institution that is a grave duty for those who have political responsibilities,” he said.
He also noted that those who have responsibility for the common good should “promote and defend” the marital institution and that civil law cannot “make homosexual union’s equivalent to marriage, which is defended by the Italian constitution.
The marital institution “constitutes the original form, the archetype and the paradigm of human society and also the place in which the human person begins—in a strong sense of the word—his life,” he said.
“Therefore, to say that those responsible for the common good should promote and defend this institution is a consistent conclusion. The entire legal order gives favor to marriage,” the cardinal noted. “In Italy, as in other countries, it is an obligation sanctioned by the Constitution,” he added.