Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller offers a blessing at Holy Rosary Cathedral. On Monday, the Vatican released the declaration Fiducia Supplicans on the pastoral meaning of blessings. (B.C. Catholic file photo)
A legislative council member from the pro-Beijing New People’s Party has criticized a joint petition signed by 10 Catholic bishops, including Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller, that called for the immediate release of pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai. “The Catholic leaders’ call for Lai’s release is a striking example of religious power being commandeered for...
Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller is among a group of 10 Catholic leaders from around the world this week who called upon the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to release prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and Catholic Jimmy Lai, who has been imprisoned there for nearly three years. Noting the situation in...
Next month’s Synod on Synodality will be aimed at “being opened toward many voices,” Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller said Monday, emphasizing the synodal process “is based on listening to the voice of the Spirit.”
In a blend of faith and environmental activism, World Youth Day pilgrims from Vancouver gifted rosaries crafted from recycled ocean plastic to other travellers in Lisbon, Portugal, to spotlight the dual themes of religious devotion and ecological stewardship. 100 rosaries were distributed by pilgrims from various Vancouver Catholic parishes, including Christ the Redeemer Parish in...
The report, published by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), showed a rising trend in compelled speech, hate speech laws, censorship, the rise of cancel culture, and a growing intolerance toward some faith-based views in the West.
A Canadian lawyer has been elected prince and 81st grand master of the Order of Malta, the first time a professed knight from the Americas has been chosen as head of the order. Fra’ John Dunlap, a member of the Ontario Bar Association and the New York State Bar, was sworn in on May 3 as head of the order. He will hold the office for 10 years.
The Canadian Royal Crown redesign was recommended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and is based on the bejewelled St. Edward’s Crown used at King Charles’ May 6 coronation as well as the slightly different Tudor Crown symbol.
Washington D.C., Feb 6, 2023 / 09:55 am (CNA).
The European Court of Human Rights ruled Jan. 17 that Russia violated the human rights of three homosexual couples because the government did not have any formal legal recognition of those unions under Russian law.
Two female homosexual couples and one male homosexual couple claimed Russia’s failure to recognize their request for homosexual marriages violated the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. One of the couples brought their claims to the court in 2010 and the other two brought their claims in 2014, while Russia was subject to the European Convention on Human Rights because of an international treaty. Although Russia backed out of the treaty on Sept. 16, 2022, the court ruled that it still had jurisdiction because the country was subject to the treaty when the claims were originally brought before the court.
The court ruled in the case of Fedotova v. Russia that Russia did not need to recognize homosexual marriage under the convention but that it needed to have some formal legal recognition of same-sex couples, such as civil unions, as long as the homosexual couples had similar legal rights to married couples.
According to the court, the Russian government argued that “it was necessary to preserve the traditional institutions of marriage and the family” because they are “fundamental values of Russian society that were protected by the Constitution.” The court ruled against that argument, claiming that the recognition of these unions would not jeopardize the rights of heterosexual couples.
“There is no basis for considering that affording legal recognition and protection to same-sex couples in a stable and committed relationship could in itself harm families constituted in the traditional way or compromise their future or integrity,” the court ruled.
“Indeed, the recognition of same-sex couples does not in any way prevent different-sex couples from marrying or founding a family corresponding to their conception of that term,” the court ruled. “More broadly, securing rights to same-sex couples does not in itself entail weakening the rights secured to other people or other couples. … The Court considers that the protection of the traditional family cannot justify the absence of any form of legal recognition and protection for same-sex couples in the present case.”
Although Russia does not have an explicit ban on homosexual marriage, according to the court, Article 1 of the Russian Family Code defines marriage as a “voluntary marital union between a man and a woman” and does not include any recognition of homosexual marriages. The court also noted that the form for a notice of marriage contains two fields, one for the man and one for the woman, which means the form’s structure prevents it from being used to marry homosexual couples. There is no alternative legal recognition of homosexual couples in Russia.
The homosexual couples sought €50,000 (more than $54,000) in damages, but the court stated that its common practice is to only award money to offset the costs and expenses incurred through the proceedings. Because the applicants did not submit any claims for those costs, the court did not award any monetary damages.
Homosexual unions are legally recognized in 21 of the 27 countries in the European Union and homosexual marriages are legally recognized in only 14 of them.
The consistent teaching of the Catholic Church is that marriage is between a man and a woman. As Pope Francis noted in Amoris Laetitia, quoting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “as for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”
Rome Newsroom, Feb 5, 2023 / 12:00 pm (CNA).
On his return flight from South Sudan on Sunday, Pope Francis said that God loves and accompanies people with same-sex attraction.
When asked by a journalist what the pope would say to families in Congo and South Sudan who reject their children because they are gay, Pope Francis responded that the catechism teaches that people with same-sex attraction should not be marginalized.
“People with homosexual tendencies are children of God. God loves them. God accompanies them,” the pope said during an in-flight press conference on his return from Juba on Feb. 5.
“To condemn someone like this is a sin. Criminalizing people with homosexual tendencies is an injustice,” he added.
In a first for a papal trip, Pope Francis was joined for the in-flight press conference by two other Christian leaders: his Anglican counterpart, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields, who also took part in the “ecumenical pilgrimage of peace” in South Sudan Feb. 3-5.
Together the three Christian leaders answered questions and spoke about South Sudan’s peace process, the war in Ukraine, and mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Welby said that he “wholeheartedly agreed” with what Pope Francis said about the Congo that it is “not the playground of great powers.”
Greenshields added that in South Sudan’s peace process “actions speak louder than words.”
Pope Francis alone answered a question about tensions in the Catholic Church after the death of his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
“I think Benedict’s death was instrumentalized by people who want to serve their own interests,” Francis said.
People who instrumentalize such a good and holy person, Francis added, are partisans and unethical.
Looking ahead at potential upcoming papal trips, Pope Francis said that he wants to go to India next year.
The 86-year-old pope confirmed that he also plans to travel to Marseille, France, in September to participate in a meeting of Mediterranean bishops and added that “there is a possibility from Marseille to fly to Mongolia.”
In his response to the question about the acceptance of people with same-sex attractions, Pope Francis noted that he has spoken on the topic multiple times during in-flight press conferences.
The pope reiterated what he said on his return flight from Brazil in 2013: “If a person with homosexual tendencies is a believer, seeks God, who am I to judge him? This is what I said on that trip.”
He added that during an in-flight press conference returning from Ireland in 2018 he said that parents should not kick out children with this orientation out of their homes.
Pope Francis noted that he recently spoke about the criminalization of homosexuality in an interview with the Associated Press and emphasized again that it is unjust.
“I want to say, I wish I had spoken as elegantly and clearly as the pope. I entirely agree with every word he said there,” Welby said.
“Over the next four days in the General Synod of the Church of England, this is our main topic of discussion, and I shall certainly quote the Holy Father,” he added.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, people with homosexual tendencies should be treated with respect, and unjust discrimination against them should be avoided, while “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved.”