Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 30, 2003
CCCB head: Same-sex unions not marriages
Ontario court ruling devalues marriage, says Berthelet
By ART BABYCH
"The Catholic Church, which will continue to recognize marriage as "the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others."
- Archbishop Marcel Gervais
In a statement published in the Globe and Mail June 18, the group said some people are heralding the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal as bringing the current debate about marriage in Canada to a "fitting" conclusion.
"In our view it only serves to underscore the conclusion of earlier judgments, namely, that Parliament, not the courts, is the place to forge an appropriate legislative response to the complex and multi-layered issues surrounding the public definition of marriage and the legal recognition of same-sex unions," the group said.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Marcel Gervais of Ottawa, a former CCCB president, said Catholic priests and others in the Church who try to marry a same-sex couple can expect to be suspended from their duties.
"In the Catholic Church, an attempted marriage of two of the same sex would not be recognized and the person officiating would be suspended from their sacred duties," said Gervais in a prepared statement June 23. He was responding to queries from the media.
The archbishop said the court's decision will not affect the Catholic Church, which will continue to recognize marriage as "the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others."
Even if the Supreme Court of Canada gave its approval to the same-sex marriage the Church would not permit any of its licenced people to "celebrate these relationships as marriages," Gervais said.
Gervais said the type of sexual communion involved in marriage is natural for a man and woman. "This is marriage," he said. "Intercourse with the possibility of fertility is impossible for two people of the same sex. This may be called other things, but it is not marriage."
He also questioned whether there is any benefit to society to change the definition of marriage "so that it no longer corresponds to its natural meaning."
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