ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Uruguay to Allow Homosexuals to Adopt
Church Forced to Bow Out of Service
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, SEPT. 11, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Uruguay became the
first Latin American country to allow homosexual couples to adopt
children, thereby forcing the Christian Family Movement to plan a halt
to its adoption services.
In a vote Wednesday, the Senate ratified last month's Chamber of
Deputies approval of the measure. President Tabaré
Vázquez's administration will now decide when the law takes
The new law shifts decision-making in adoption proceedings to the
national Institute of Children and Adolescents.
Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno of Montevideo, president of the Uruguayan
episcopal conference's Commission for the Family, had given voice to
the Church's disapproval of the measure and concern for children's
"Children cannot be used as an instrument to assert the rights of some
people or a group," he wrote, "nor is adoption an institution that can
be governed by criteria of political convenience."
The archbishop lamented that with the measure, "children are truly
discriminated against, causing them serious harm."
The communiqué clarified that "this issue does not regard
homosexuals as persons, who, as such, merit the greatest respect."
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Florida Bishop Weighs in on Health Care Reform
Says US Prelates Aren't Giving up the Debate
ORLANDO, Florida, SEPT. 11, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The bishop of Orlando is
affirming that the U.S. prelates are not going to give up the debate
and the appeal for "genuine" health care reform that respects life.
Bishop Thomas Wenski affirmed this in an article published Wednesday in
the Orlando Sentinel.
He addressed the current national debate over health care reform, which
has "generated much heat and little light."
The prelate underlined the position of the U.S. Catholic bishops,
affirming the need for "reform that leads to health care for all."
"Any reform should aim at health care that is accessible, affordable
and respects the life and dignity of every human being from the moment
of conception to the moment of natural death," he asserted.
The prelate stressed the Church's knowledge in the field, as "an
employer and thus a purchaser of health care" as well as "a provider of
Furthermore, he stated, "in our parishes, our pantries, our Catholic
Charities offices, we strive to help the people who have fallen through
the cracks -- those who are not served or who are underserved by our
present system of health care delivery."
Thus, the bishop said, "we bring no little experience to the debate."
He affirmed: "We support truly universal access to health care. We want
care accessible and affordable to the poor and vulnerable.
"We champion efforts to improve efficiency and quality while
restraining costs and applying them equitably across the spectrum of
Bishop Wenski stated, "For the Church, the fundamental issue is one of
human life and dignity."
For this reason, he explained, the bishops' conference "has remained
engaged in the current debate" so that, "through dialogue over
principles and policies" they can "ensure that any enacted legislation
will be something positive."
"At any rate," the prelate said, "we continue to insist that health
care reform is too important and legitimate a goal to allow it to be
hijacked by destructive agendas."
"As the debate continues," he stated, "the bishops will continue to
advocate for health care reform that is truly universal and that
protects human life at every stage of development."
Bishop Wenski concluded: "Our government and laws must also retain
explicit protection for the freedom of conscience of health care
workers and health care institutions.
"Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all
is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation."