Catholic Bishops Claim Moral Authority
November 18, 2009 11:05 AM Subscribe
The nation's Catholic bishops approved a broad new document on marriage.
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"Since marriage and same-sex unions are different realities, it is not unjust discrimination to oppose the legal recognition of same-sex unions," the letter says. "These unions pose a serious threat to the fabric of society that affects all people."
Also Tuesday, the bishops reaffirmed a moral obligation to maintain nutrition and hydration for patients in a persistent vegetative state and approved a document on reproductive technology.
"Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology" reaffirms Catholic teaching against in vitro fertilization, egg, sperm and embryo donation, surrogates and cloning.
The bishops meet little more than a week after their successful lobbying effort to strengthen restrictions on abortion in the House version of healthcare overhaul.
The bishops gathered here for their semi-annual meeting also heard a preliminary report
on the "causes and contexts" of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that resulted in some 14,000 abuse claims and cost the church $2.6 billion since 1950.
Since the abuse scandal erupted in the USA in 2002, the Vatican has barred seminarians with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies," and conducted an investigation of seminaries that concluded that "difficulties" related to "homosexual behavior" had been largely "overcome."
The pastoral letter, which passed 180 to 45, spells out the traditional position of the Roman Catholic Church. Some Catholic critics have called it "unpastoral" for its focus on threats to marriage, including, in the bishops' view, contraception and cohabitation, which the document compares to original sin