Rorate Caeli

Abp. Paglia, clear or unclear? We report, you decide.

We are glad we were not the only ones to be left confused (cf. previous post) by the reported recent declarations of the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Abp. Vincenzo Paglia. Even a Vatican Radio interviewer had to ask him  today exactly what he meant. Is his response clear?

Q. - During your recent press conference in the Vatican, you spoke of individual rights, particularly those related to patrimonial questions. But some media have referred that you spoke of the recognition of the rights of gay couples. From your texts,* though, these affirmations do not [seem to] follow.

A. - I have obviously been very surprised by what some media have reported. Not only were the words not understood - and therefore the regard with which they were said were not understood - but in truth, and perhaps knowingly, they were, as it were, "derailed". Allow me this railroad metaphor: they were derailed from their track. And it is certain that, when the train is derailed, it does not reach the station, it risks running off a cliff. It is something else to examine if, in the existing [legal] systems, those norms that protect individual rights may be derived.** This is something completely different from the approval of certain possibilities. [Source: Radio Vaticana]

*We should add that no media source mentioned Paglia's words as having come from the prepared texts, they did not appear in them, but apparently from impromptu opinions made outside the prepared remarks.

**The very notion of homosexual civil partnerships (or civil unions, or PACS) exists primarily in order to assure the individual property rights of each "partner" regarding what is commonly held by the "couple" - which is why exlusively family law matters such as adoptions by such "couples" are not automatically granted by the legal recognition of these "partnerships" (for instance, the French PACS regulation does not allow joint adoption by the "partners"). So homosexual advocacy groups seem to be right when they see an opening, by the highest Vatican official on family matters, in the recognition of individual property rights to the commonly held assets derived from these "partnerships", an opening that is clear even in the above-quoted clarification.