Cardinal Restates Opposition to Same-sex Unions

Says Legalization Will Undermine Common Good

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, OCT. 18, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Durban sent a statement to South Africa's Parliament to restate the Church's opposition to the legitimization of same-sex marriage.



Last December, South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled as unconstitutional the current law that only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman.

Cardinal Wilfred Napier, also president of the southern African bishops' conference, sent a statement on Monday to Parliament, in which he said that as homosexual acts are against the natural law, so are homosexual unions, reported the Catholic Information Service for Africa.

"They undermine the very nature of marriage and the family," he said.

Cardinal Napier said marriage is a gift, "a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love."

Quoting from the New and Old Testaments of the Bible, the cardinal said it was clear that a homosexual union was in no way similar to marriage.

He said legalizing same-sex marriage would undermine the family and the foundations of society and go against the common good.

Cardinal Napier quoted "Considerations Regarding Proposals to give Legal Recognition to Union between Homosexual Persons" (2003): "The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unity of society."

Cardinal Napier clarified that the Church does not support discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and that homosexual persons have a right to be treated with respect by individuals and by society.