-- Catholic News Agency
Costa Rica Bishops Urge Government To Defend Marriage
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, December 17 (CNA/EWTN News) .- The Bishops' Conference of Costa Rica called on the nation's lawmakers to promote the good of the family by preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
In a Dec. 12 statement, the bishops emphasized that marriage is the foundation of the family and is therefore "a very important value that should be defended from every threat that jeopardizes its stability, its particular nature, essential properties and undeniable ends."
For this reason, the bishops explained that they have repeatedly opposed various bills that would "make same-sex unions equivalent to heterosexual marriage," noting that such legislation "undermines the institution of marriage" and distorts the "understanding of fundamental moral values."
They cautioned that gay advocates and some lawmakers - aided by sympathetic media reports - are trying to change the definition of marriage in Costa Rica.
Such efforts must be rejected, they said, for the sake of families and the good of society.
The bishops emphasized that the Catholic Church respects every human being and rejects "all real discrimination" against persons with homosexual tendencies.
"However, the Church distinguishes between respect for all persons regardless of their sexual orientation, and rejection of homosexual practices as acts that are objectively contrary to God's plan for the human being," they said.
Furthermore, they asserted, it is not necessary to legalize gay unions in order to secure "the common rights" that gay individuals deserve "as persons and citizens."
They explained that it is "a grave injustice" to sacrifice "the common good and the rights of the family" in order to attain goods that "can and should be guaranteed through means that do not harm society."
The bishops urged officials in all three branches of government to assess the constitutionality of "same-sex marriage" proposals.
"We especially encourage those who profess faith in Christ to consecrate themselves with sincerity, uprightness, charity and strength to the mission entrusted to them by the people," they said, "namely, to legislate based on ethical principles and for the benefit of the common good."
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