Archbishop Vincent Paglia, the head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Family, was recently interviewed by National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen, who asked the prelate to clarify his recent statements which supported civil unions for lesbian and gay couples. Though some commentators felt that Paglia had retracted his support, his comments in the Allen interview indicate that he continues to back civil unions. Here’s the relevant excerpt:
“ALLEN: Speaking of private law, you recently created a small media frenzy by suggesting that nations could find “private law solutions” to protect the rights of unmarried couples, potentially including gays and lesbians. In some quarters, that was seen as softening the Vatican’s line on gay marriage at a time when bishops in various countries are trying to resist a push for it. Did you learn anything from that episode?
“PAGLIA: Yes, that I have to be more careful in how I talk about these things, and more aware that words can be derailed. You may think they’re going to take you to the station, but in reality they can carry you to the edge of a cliff! But to make clear to you what I actually meant at the time, I proposed what the church has maintained: it is a matter of [protecting] individual rights. Facing the explosion in various forms of living together today, I simply called on states to find solutions which help people and avoid abuses.”
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry