.- The secretary and spokesman of the Bishops Conference of Spain, Father Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, said this week that making homosexual unions the equivalent of marriage is like introducing “counterfeit money.” “It is false that a union between one man and another is marriage. If the law decrees it, that is like counterfeit money, that’s like imposing a virus, imposing on society something that is false and will have consequences,” he said.
The Spanish government on Friday approved a bill to legalise homosexual marriages. The reform notably also grants homosexual couples the right to adopt children.
The other two countries where homosexual marriage is legal are Belgium and the Netherlands, though only the Netherlands allows such unions to adopt children.
Speaking on Spanish TV, Father Martinez Camino explained that the Church has “nothing personal” against homosexuals, but that the question of marriage “is not a personal question but rather a question of the organization of social life,” and he stated that the intention of the government to legislate that the union of two homosexuals is the same as that of two people of the opposite sex has no historical basis in any legislation or in any period.
Regarding the reform of the country’s divorce laws, Father Martinez Camino likened it to reducing marriage to the level of a sales contract. “Marriage is a life-long commitment between two persons and in that sense plays a social role unlike any other human reality,” he said.
Turning his attention to the issue of religion in public schools, Father Martinez Camino recalled that the Church does not try to impose this teaching on anybody, but he called for respect for the rights of the 80% of parents in Spain who enroll their children in religions classes each year.
In his judgment, any measure that marginalizes religious education, relegates it to outside normal school hours, or provides some kind of alternative based on recreational activities or simply going home would not be an adequate response to this problem. “A government that claims to be generous in the extension of civil rights should be so in this case,” he stated.
Lastly, Father Martinez Camino announced that the Bishops Conference will present a series of initiatives aimed at defending a Catholic vision of society, which priests will be able to speak on from the pulpit to help the faithful better understand their faith.