Prayers at Catholic Churches throughout France last week prompted accusations that the churches are homophobic. The story is reminiscent of what we saw in the U.S. after the Chick-fil-A chief said he and the company value traditional marriage.
The rare clerical foray into political debate, on the Assumption Day holiday observed in traditionally Catholic countries in Europe, referred only indirectly to the new marriage law the government plans to pass next year.
But the carefully worded text, first published earlier this month, dominated the news headlines in France, where the media have presented it as a strong attack on the reform.
Church leaders insisted their aim was to launch an open debate about plans to legalize same-sex marriage and euthanasia, two in a list of 60 pledges made by Francois Hollande in his successful election campaign for the presidency last spring.
“The Church wants a debate about social reforms that are coming soon and that really worry us,” Monsignor Bernard Podvin, spokesman for the bishops’ conference, told LCI television.
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