Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coaltion to Oppose Bill 185 Press Release 091109

The need to clarify the Church’s position

While the Coalition to Oppose Bill 185 does not speak for the Catholic Church, the founder of the opposition group, Tim Rohr, wants to make it very clear that Archbishop Apuron's position on Bill 185 is NOT the Archbishop’s personal position.

Rohr says that the Archbishop Apuron’s opposition to the bill is simply the local application of an instruction contained in the Vatican document CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS, which states "...all Catholics must oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions..."

This document was authored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church's highest office in such matters, and promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 2003.

Rohr emphasized that the Catholic Church does NOT just oppose "homosexual marriages", but universally opposes the “legal recognition of homosexual unions" regardless of what they are called.

“Not only does the Archbishop NOT have the authority to change this teaching, the Pope doesn't either,” said Rohr. “Thus no amount of revisions, vigils, petitions, or branches filled with olives, will appease the Church. It's a dead discussion.”

Rohr challenged the proponents of the bill to leave the Church and the Archbishop out of the discussion and move on to confronting the real civil issues that Bill 185 raises such as the economic impact of creating a whole new class of dependents on an already burdened GovGuam retirement system.

The Vatican document can be found at

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If you would like more information or to schedule an interview with Tim Rohr please call him at 477-7647, or email at

PDN quote prompting the press release: But Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, sponsor of Bill 185, said he's still unsure whether the Catholic church, the biggest opponent of the bill, will be happy about it. In the bill, the term "domestic partnership" was changed to "civil partnership," to emphasize that the measure deals only with civil matters and erase any religious connotations. A provision that would have applied every legal reference to "married" equally to partners in a domestic partnership was scrapped. Instead, the measure clearly states that a civil partnership is not a marriage and concedes that marriage is between a man and a woman."We wanted to make sure that the church realized that we were not trying to trick them into having civil partnerships eventually lead into marriage," Cruz said.
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