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