.- The president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Cardinal Julian Herranz, called on legislators and judges this week to be creative in finding ways to defend individual rights without violating the principles that favor the family founded upon marriage. In an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica, the Spanish cardinal said, “The family cannot be confused with a ‘pact’ applied to civil unions,” referring to a proposal in Italy to grant them legal recognition.
Civil unions are already recognized in France, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Croatia, Iceland, and Germany. In Poland and Ireland proposals to legalize such unions are being debated.
According to the cardinal, lawmakers have the duty to defend the common good, “and this applies to all nations.And the common good is achieved by constantly working to strengthen the institutions upon which society is based, among which first and foremost are marriage and the family,” he emphasized.
“Thus, all laws that favor the family based upon marriage are good. Other laws that seek to weaken marriage and the family are not,” the cardinal warned.
He cited John Paul II’s repeated cautions against granting civil unions a status equal to marriage, and he recalled an address by Pope Benedict XVI in June of this year in which the Pope said that acceptance of various alternatives to marriage devalue the institution of marriage.