LISBON, Portugal, May 21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic bishops of Portugal have denounced Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva's decision this week to approve same-sex "marriages" for the country, reports Catholic News Agency.
President Cavaco Silva's decision is a “step backward in the building of social cohesion and is against one of the most established principles of the different civilizations of mankind," wrote Fr. Manuel Morujão, a spokesman for the Portuguese Bishops Conference.
The Portuguese Assembly of the Republic passed legislation in February that creates the institution of homosexual "marriage" in the country. Silva says he is opposed to the legislation, and could have chosen to veto the bill, though he claimed that there were enough votes for the two-thirds majority needed to override his veto. He had until May 17th to decide, and the announcement that he had signed came earlier this week.
His signing of the bill came only days after Pope Benedict made a tour of the country. Speaking in Fatima on
May 13th, the Holy Father said that abortion and same-sex "marriage" are among the most “insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good."
Referring to Pope Benedict's address at Fatima, Fr. Morujão wrote, “Pope Benedict XVI pointed out that the family is based on a union of love between a man and a woman and that protecting it is one of the key factors in the building of the common good.”
Isilda Pegado, the president of Portugal's Pro-Life Federation, told SIR News that the bill is an “attack on the traditional family, which is bound to have severe repercussions on the entire society.”
According to Pegado, the legislation was “backed by a small political elite, a minority compared to those mothers and fathers who want to educate their children in truth.”
True marriage, she said, is “a school of values and social solidarity,” and “gives birth to children, brings them up, educates them, and is concerned with the protection and support of the most vulnerable.”