Tuesday, January 21, 2014
MARRIAGE FOR GAY COUPLES
A gift for the Church and for Society
For those who are familiar with my logic, you might not be surprised that I am in agreement with the Civil Unions Bill including its elements which regulate parenting. My defence for marriage equality is not in spite of my Christian faith but because of it. However, for this article I want to focus on the reasons why I believe the discussion about marriage for gay couples is a gift for both the Church and society at large.
Double-click on the link for the full article
Monday, January 20, 2014
COMMENTS MADE BY DRACHMA LGBTI AND DRACHMA PARENTS TO LOCAL MEDIA IN JANUARY 2014 ON CIVIL UNIONS AND ADOPTIONS BY SAME SEX COUPLES
IT-TORCA 05 Jannar 2014
L-abbozz ta’ liġi dwar l-unjonijiet ċivili...
L-Isqof Scicluna jagħmel pressjoni fuq il-parlamentari
Twissija skjetta mill-Isqof Awżiljarju Charles J. Scicluna lid-deputati parlamentari ftit jiem qabel ma l-Kamra tad-Deputati tkompli tiddiskuti l-abbozz ta’ liġi li se tagħti lill-koppji gay l-istess jeddijiet u dmirijiet bħall-koppji miżżewġin: bħala Kattoliċi, obbligati tivvutaw kontra.
F’intervista li ta s-Sibt lill-gazzetta ta’ ispirazzjoni Kattolika, Avvenire, Mons. Scicluna fakkar li d-duttrina tal-Knisja torbot moralment lid-deputati Kattoliċi biex jesprimu b’mod ċar u pubblikament in-nuqqas ta’ qbil tagħhom mal-abbozz ta’ liġi, u li jivvutaw kontrieh fl-Parlament. Il-pożizzjoni tal-Knisja hi li jekk deputat Kattoliku jitfa’ l-vot tiegħu favur test leġiżlattiv li hu “tant ta’ dannu għall-ġid komuni tas-soċjetà”, ikun qed iwettaq att immorali gravi.
Mons. Scicluna irrimarka li, fit-12 ta’ Diċembru, huwa esprima t-tħassib tiegħu dwar dan l-abbozz ta’ liġi mal-Papa Franġisku. Huwa qal li l-Papa deher imnikket, speċjalment fir-rigward tal-kwistjoni tal-adozzjonijiet tat-tfal minn koppji gay.
Din l-intervista kompliet tibni fuq oħra li Mons. Scicluna ta lil The Sunday Times ta’ Malta nhar il-Ħadd li għadda. Fiha qal li l-Papa ħeġġu biex jieħu pożizzjoni pubblika kontra abbozzi ta’ liġi bħal dawn, u hekk għamel fil-prietka tiegħu tal-Milied. F’dik il-prietka, li qanqlet ħafna kritika, l-Isqof argumenta li elfejn sena ilu Ġesù nnifsu trabba minn mara u raġel, u mhux minn żewġt irġiel jew żewġ nisa.
L-abbozz ta’ liġi dwar l-unjonijiet ċivili tfassal fuq ir-rakkomandazzjonijiet ta’ kunsill konsultattiv li kien jinkludi għadd ta’ organizzazzjonijiet mhux governattivi. Dawn kienu jinkludu lid-Drachma LGBTI, li hu grupp li joffri spazju għal individwi li jridu jintegraw l-orjentazzjoni sesswali u l-ispirtwalità tagħhom, u lid-Drachma Parents Support Group.
Kelliem għad-Drachma qal lit-TORĊA li l-grupp jaqbel mal-abbozz ta’ liġi kif inhu, inkluż mal-adozzjoni tat-tfal. Filwaqt li għamilha ċara li l-grupp ma jridx jidħol f’konfrontazzjoni mal-Knisja, huwa qal li Drachma jemmen li d-deputati parlamentari għandhom jitħallew jiddeċiedu skont il-kuxjenza tagħhom. Żgur li kull min iħaddan il-fidi Kattolika jemmen li, fl-aħħar mill-aħħar, se jkun Alla li se jiġġudikah. Huwa qal li huwa Alla nnifsu li joħloq persentaġġ tal-popolazzjoni b’orjentazzjoni sesswali differenti, u dawn il-persuni għandhom jgħixu l-ħajja fil-milja kollha tagħha skont, u mhux minkejja, din l-orjentazzjoni sesswali. Il-kelliem irrimarka wkoll li hemm diversi teologi Kattoliċi li joffru pożizzjonijiet alternattivi għal dawk uffiċjali tal-Knisja Kattolika dwar kwistjonijiet relatati mal-persuni gay. Dawn jinkludu lil Fr James Alison, Jean Porter u Margaret Farley.
THE TIMES OF MALTA Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 15:36 by
Gays’ parents saddened by Bishop’s words
Parents of gay people say they are saddened by Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna’s comment that Catholic lawmakers who vote in favour of legislation would be committing a “gravely immoral” act. “We are very sad. We are sad that it had to come to this. Because we believe that all persons are children of God and we feel sad because we respect the Church,” a Drachma spokesman told Times of Malta yesterday. Drachma Parents is a Catholic organisation which supports parents who are finding it difficult to accept the sexual orientation of their children. The group, he said, was also upset about Mgr Scicluna’s reference to Pope Francis – who the Bishop claimed had been shocked by the Maltese Civil Union’s Bill.“He resorted to mentioning the Pope – to have the Pope shoved in your face in situations like this, is sad.”
Its sister organisation – Drachma – a Catholic organisation for gay people, said that there needs to be a distinction between the teachings of the Church and the policies of the State. “We were part of the consultative council that drafted this law and we agree with civil unions and gay adoptions,” said a spokesman, stressing that Drachma did not however want to get into a confrontation with the Church.
“We were not really astonished by Scicluna’s comments: he was reproducing the teachings of the Church. And even Pope Francis never formally went against the teachings of the Church – more than the content, he changed the tone,” he said. Homosexuality is not a curse. It’s a gift God gave us. Homosexuality, he said, is not a curse. “It’s a gift which the Lord gave us so that we can contribute to the Church in a different manner.”
MPs should take a decision based on what is best for the country based on facts. “Homosexual couples are already living together and children are already living with homosexual parents, so this is not a new structure, this is regularising their position to protect the rights of children.”
Neil Falzon, director of Aditus, a human rights NGO, said that human rights should be the driving force behind political decisions rather than morality. “The Church has an important voice in society and it’s free to express its opinions and to give guidance. However, on these issues we feel that the primary concern of our lawmakers in Parliament should be human rights,” said Dr Falzon.
Columnist Joe Borg, however, disagreed and insisted that gay marriage –“as the proposed legislation by Government will put into effect” – and adoptions by gay couples are not recognised as basic human rights. “They are civil rights recognised in less than two dozen countries out of the over 190 countries in the world. Even adoption by heterosexual couples is not recognised as a basic human right. The only basic human right at issue is the right of the child to have the best family possible,” he said. He stressed that Catholic politicians are duty-bound to give importance to the teaching of the Church while giving importance to the society’s particular needs at a particular point in time. Fr Borg also urged politicians to “give great importance” to the fact that there is “no electoral mandate for adoption by gay couples.” He defended Bishop Scicluna’s comment saying: “There is a basic human right to make a strong statement and even a bishop has that right”.
Dr Falzon, however pointed out that while the Church felt the need to use strong language against politicians voting for gay adoptions, it never felt the need to use similar language for politicians who have repeatedly retained a system whereby immigrant children are detained in appalling detention centres. “This is a much more pressing issue in which the Church should have an active role, rather than condemning politicians who want to grant broader human rights,” he said.
New ways ministry blogBeing Gay is a Gift the Lord Gave Us, Says Malta’s LGBT Community
Parents of LGBT children in Malta publicly criticized Bishop Charles Scicluna for the latest in a string of anti-civil unions remarks by the bishop as Maltese residents debate a law to recognize such unions in this heavily Catholic nation. Similarly, an organization of LGBT Catholics on the island released its own statement defending the civil unions bill.
Drachma Parents, an organization which assists parents who have trouble accepting their gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children, released a statement to the Times of Malta on Monday. The parents noted their sadness that Scicluna would use harmful language about LGBT people, stating:
” ‘We are very sad. We are sad that it had to come to this. Because we believe that all persons are children of God and we feel sad because we respect the Church.’ …
” ‘He resorted to mentioning the Pope – to have the Pope shoved in your face in situations like this, is sad.’ “
The bishop warned Catholic members of parliament that voting in favor of a civil unions bill currently being debated would be a “a gravely immoral act,” and has previously said Pope Francis was “shocked” at the idea of same-gender couples adopting. Undeterred, Drachma, which supports LGBT people and is a sister group to Drachma Parents, released its own statement endorsing equal legal rights for same-gender partners. Speaking as faithful Catholics, Drachma’s statement says, in part:
” We were part of the consultative council that drafted this law and we agree with civil unions and gay adoptions”…
“We were not really astonished by Scicluna’s comments: he was reproducing the teachings of the Church. And even Pope Francis never formally went against the teachings of the Church – more than the content, he changed the tone”…
“Homosexuality, [Drachma's spokesman] said, is not a curse. ‘It’s a gift which the Lord gave us so that we can contribute to the Church in a different manner.’
“MPs should take a decision based on what is best for the country based on facts.
‘Homosexual couples are already living together and children are already living with homosexual parents, so this is not a new structure, this is regularising their position to protect the rights of children.’ “
Civil unions may soon be legal in Malta, and Bishop Scicluna would do well to listen to Drachma Parents and Drachma who simply want to be part of the Church with every member of their family’s dignity equally respected.
Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
TUESDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2013
NEXT DRACHMA LGBTI MONTHLY MEETING
Next Tuesday, (today week) we will be organising the monthly meeting for Drachma LGBTI, which will consist of a reflection and discussion on the theme of Christmas followed by a get together, with refreshments. We will be meeting at Mount St Joseph, the Jesuit Retreat House in Mosta at 19.30.
All are welcome !!!
All are welcome !!!