Local Pastor condemns civil union support
The Christian City Church Apia Central Pastor Eric Poe has condemned a call by Pope Francis to endorse same-sex civil unions and pleaded with local Catholic leaders not to follow suit.
The Pastor told the Samoa Observer that many Catholic Bishops and Cardinals are now coming out opposing the Pontiff’s statement that clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the church about same-sex unions.
“It's a sad day for Catholics and Christians [while] many religions that are upholding the value of marriage only between a man and a woman,” said Pastor Poe.
“This issue is not about being gay, for the church loves and accepts gays, fornicators, adulterous and all sinners, hoping for transformation in their lives, but never approved or endorsed such behaviours as the Bible forbids, but this is about marriage.”
This week, Pope Francis, in a documentary film about his papacy, ‘Francesco’, said nobody should be ousted from their families because they are homosexual.
“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that,” the Pope said.
A spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Samoa-Apia, Father Muliau Stowers did not respond directly to a request for comment.
Pastor Poe said that a civil union is a legally recognised arrangement for gay couples that affords them similar benefits to marriage.
“And the Pope is [...] endorsing that. I believe this can be his own opinion but there is no excuse that he is the Head of the Catholic Global Church or there is a need for more clarification on its content by the Pope,” said Pastor Poe.
He said the [gay] community and the liberal media are running wild celebrating a victory.
“But we hope the Catholic Church leaders in Samoa will assure us with their stand in this matter,” said Pastor Poe.
Previous Vatican doctrine has been to clearly oppose civil unions.
Vatican policy has deemed it “necessary” to oppose them because they “obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage”.
“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law,” the Vatican policy reads.
“Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”