(CNSNews.com) – Pope Francis is “shocked” about legislation in Malta that would allow homosexual couples to adopt children and encouraged the auxiliary bishop of that island nation, Charles J. Scicluna, to “speak out” against the proposal, the bishop told the Sunday Times of Malta on Dec. 29.
In his Christmas Day sermon, Bishop Scicluna had defended the Catholic Church’s teaching against same-sex “marriage” and gay adoption. When asked why he would discuss such a topic as part of a Christmas homily, Bishop Scicluna said he had met with Pope Francis on Dec. 12 and the pope advised him to speak boldly on the subject.
“We discussed many aspects,” said Bishop Scicluna. “And when I raised the issue that’s worrying me as a bishop [gay adoption], he encouraged me to speak out.”
“[T]hat is exactly what I did in my Christmas sermon,” said Bishop Scicluna. “My sermon was not about the rights of gay people but about children’s rights.”
In his Christmas Day homily, the bishop had said, “The message of Christmas remains always a current message. It beckons and invites us to seek and recognize the true Wisdom that the manger of our Lord Jesus embraces ….
“Around the manger of baby Jesus there are also a woman and a man: the mother who gave him birth and her husband Joseph whom God chose to bring up, along with the mother, the child of Mary.
“God, who generated his Son as a human being without the participation of a man, did not want his Son as man to be brought up without the participation of a man. The silent and essential mission of Joseph was to ensure that the boy Jesus, in his upbringing as a man, was not deprived of a father’s affection and example.
“In the upbringing of his Beloved Son, God himself ordained and chose to be subjected to the wisdom and law of creation according to which a baby should be reared by a mother and father, by a couple made of a man and a woman and not by a couple made of woman and woman or a couple made of man and man.”
The Parliament of Malta introduced a Civil Unions Bill that includes gay adoptions in September. The proposal would give same-sex couple essentially the same rights as married couples under the law.
In late November, Bishop Scicluna discussed the Civil Unions Bill on the Maltese program “Dissett” and said, "While the sexual activity of heterosexual couples has a fundamental role in producing future members of the society, that of same-sex couples does not have a role in society as it does not produce offspring.”
Pope Francis, as the archbishop of Buenos Aires and Primate of Argentina, said in July 2010 that same-sex marriage and adoption of children by gays will “seriously harm the family.”
As reported by the National Catholic Register, “In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family. … At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”
Cardinal Bergoglio also said, “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill but a ‘move’ of the Father of Lies [Satan] who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
The Republic of Malta is a small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea south of Italy and north of Libya. The official languages there are Maltese and English. The official religion of the nation is Roman Catholicism and there are 360 churches on the two small islands (122 sq. miles) that comprise Malta.