The Maltese Parliament yesterday approved the Marriage Act and other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2017. This law appropriates the meaning of marriage and applies it also to relations between people of the same sex.
In spite of what the law says, that considers the same even that which is not the same, marriage will always remain the exclusive bond between a man and a woman, that is open to the procreation of children. Marriage between a man and a woman is the model that has always been embraced by humanity and not only the Christian vision of marriage.
By introducing a neutral concept of civil marriage which is open to every kind of couple, the law sets aside the difference and the natural reciprocity that exists between a man and a woman. By removing this difference, the anthropological roots of the family have been cut off. Society is impoverished when instead of accepting diversity, it imposes uniformity in the manner with which human relations are expressed.
At the same time, the Church fully respects the dignity of every person, whatever the choices made and the relationships embraced. For the Church, every one of us is cherished and remains such because we are all created in the image of God. The Church is also committed to welcome, accompany and assist those persons who choose affective relationships or lifestyles which are different to Christian marriage.
The Church hopes that this law is not followed by measures that diminish the dignity of children, like surrogacy and gamete donation. The Church appeals to society to continue to recognize that children are a gift and they always require the appropriate environment for their conception, birth and growth, which ought to be a serene one and with a great deal of love. The children’s voice needs to be heard loud and clear in Maltese society.
In the face of this reality, the Church, as she has always done, guided by the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, will continue to strive so that marriages and families are strengthened, and at the same time, she shows her appreciation towards countless mothers and fathers who work hard to remain faithful to their irreplaceable mission and dedicate their lives to their children.
✠ Charles J. Scicluna ✠ Mario Grech
Archbishop of Malta Bishop of Gozo