17 September 2007

Christian perspective of life by Jacqueline Calleja (Times of Malta, September 17, 2007)

In her letter to The Times (September 4), Marisa Xuereb, of the Malta Gay Rights Movement, clearly shows that one of the aims of her movement in Malta is some form of recognition of same-sex relationships.

While individual civil rights should be enjoyed by all without exception, it is unacceptable to give rights which give any form of recognition to a couple who are of the same sex. This, for Catholics, is a non-negotiable issue supported not only by the Catholic Church but by many who are not Christians or even believers.

Ms Xuereb gives a list of "freedoms" which she says are enjoyed by European homosexuals but denied to local ones. Since this list is, in her own words, "non-exhaustive", will the adoption of children perhaps be one day included? If so, will the rights of a child to enjoy the complementary roles of father and mother be given any consideration at all?

Nowhere in my letters did I say that the sole aim of marriage for the Catholic Church is the procreation of children. The Church's teachings make it clear that there are two main aims in matrimony: Conjugal love between a man and a woman and the generation and education of children. In homosexual relationships these goals are both missing.

Ms Xuereb also mentioned the "barrage of letters" written by heterosexual persons in favour of homosexual relationships. However, it is to be remembered that there is also a silent majority against all this in this country who, for one reason or another, will not put pen to paper to air their views but whose opinions carry immense weight.

There are, then, those correspondents who assert that Jesus never brought up the subject of homosexuality in His teachings. He did not (St Paul did) but then neither did He mention incest, rape, slavery, racism and a whole range of other subjects. The 10 commandments, which Christ made clear He came to complete not to abolish, encompass all this. These commandments are as valid and as binding today as they were when they were given to Moses on Mount Sinai, unlike those other injunctions contained in the Old Testament which pertained solely to the particular circumstances of the Israelites of the time.

Finally, it is important to state that Christians do not impose their views on others (imposing means coercion and this is evidently not the case) but simply propose the Christian perspective of life which everybody is free to accept or reject. It would be, indeed, a sad day if Christians, faced by adverse criticism, would refrain from advocating those values which, despite life's adversities and their own frailties, make a life lived in the Lord's footsteps such a source of serenity and joy now and, hopefully, lead to eternal life later.

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