On Saturday, November 10, Fr. Federico Lombardi, a Jesuit who is the director of the Vatican Television Centre and Vatican Radio, published an editorial regarding the Church’s ongoing efforts to preserve the authentic meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the law. Fr. Lombardi writes, “In recent days there have been three worrying events concerning legislation on marriage.” He references events in Spain and France, as well as the November 6 referendums on marriage in the United States.
Fr. Lombardi continues, saying, “It is therefore clear that in western countries there is a widespread tendency to modify the classic vision of marriage between a man and a woman, or rather to try to give it up, erasing its specific and privileged legal recognition compared to other forms of union.” He notes that this tendency “is nothing new” but that “the matter does not cease to amaze” because “the logic of it cannot have a far-sighted outlook for the common good.”
He cites the support of non-Christian leaders, such as the Chief Rabbi in France, and then offers a basic catechesis on why marriage as the union of one man and one woman ought to be protected in the law:
It is not, in fact, a question of avoiding unfair discrimination for homosexuals, since this must and can be guaranteed in other ways. It is a question of admitting that a husband and a wife are publicly recognised as such; and that children who come into the world can know, and say they have, a father and a mother. In short, preserving a vision of the human person and of human relationships where there is a public acknowledgment of monogamous marriage between a man and a woman [as] an achievement of civilization (emphasis added).
Fr. Lombardi points out that if sexual difference is removed from the definition of marriage, the question opens of why not recognize other forms of relationships like polygamy and polyandry. He concludes by affirming that in light of marriage’s essential role in society, “It is not expected, then, the Church will give up proposing that society recognise a specific place for marriage between a man and a woman.”
Read the full text of Fr. Lombardi’s editorial (Vatican Radio website)