At noon each day, a cannon shot resounds in the Eternal City. It is a reminder to Romans and all Italians of their victory over the papacy and the birth of the Italian Republic more than 150 years ago. Prego.
Closer to our own times, another secular victory approaches in a country no less Catholic than Spain. In late April the lower house of the Spanish parliament gave its preliminary approval -- 183 to 136, with six abstentions -- to a bill that would make Spain the third country in Europe to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry and adopt children. Bravo.
The proposed language of the new civil law would include the phrase: “Matrimony shall have the same requisites and effects regardless of whether the persons involved are of the same or different genders.”
A reformulation of marriage doesn’t come much simpler or clearer. It is another step forward in the global progress of human rights for gay and lesbian people. Spain has come a long way. During the Spanish Inquisition, for instance, while Jews were expelled, “sodomites” were burned at the stake as autos da fe, or “acts of faith.” Only 30 years ago, a fascist dictator ruled Spain. This Spanish turnabout to liberty, represented by the eventuality of gay marriage, is truly remarkable.
When the Spanish Senate votes to approve the measure, Spain will join the list of two other European countries, Catholic Belgium and the Netherlands, which have already legalized marriage equality.
Undoubtedly the impeding reality of Spanish gay marriage is a big defeat for Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
Usually the National Catholic Reporter hides their dissident views under a verbiage that obscures a direct rejection of the magisterium of the Church. This outright hawking of same sex marriage and calling it "global progress of human rights for gay and lesbian people" just brings out to the open what they tried to hide under the guise of balance in the past. Do the readers of NCR really need to be reminded that Pope Benedict XVI is the former Joseph Ratzinger? After all they are probably still attending therapy since that event.
All this Catholic ugly talk about gays -- iniquity, virus, moral violence, deeply offensive to morality -- really should not surprise anyone. They are voices from the echo chamber of then-Cardinal Ratzinger and his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal enforcement agency.
Meanwhile, let the Roman cannon shot be heard and celebrated in Spain and all around the world [Source]
Of course when a referendum to liberalize IVF in Italy was soundly defeated after both the Pope and the bishop's spoke out against it, I don't remember a similar NCR editorial about a shot heard round the world. This article was written on the 16th of June. Since then the bill was voted down with a 131 to 119 vote in the Senate shortly after a week of demonstrations. You can read an account of one large demonstration by Robert Duncan here. Unfortunately Spain's Senate does not have the power to veto a law and reportedly it will be voted on in the Parliament on June 30th, the same Parliament that already overwhelmingly supported it before.