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Bishop says gay marriage advocates flattering "real" marriage

Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher has said the desire of gay marriage advocates to "ape genuine marriage" with "some sort of socially recognised commitment with equivalent status and privileges" is "testimony to the importance of real marriage".

But Bishop Fisher, founding director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Melbourne, told the Rome-based Zenit news service that the "very well meaning" supporters of gay marriage are actually undermining the institution to which they are giving positive testimony.

He said: "The last thing we need at the moment are new projects of social engineering which further dilute community understanding of the nature and meaning of marriage and the kinds of special support they deserve."

"We need to recover a sense of the natural anthropology and sociology of marriage and of the philosophy and theology of marriage, rather than devaluing its currency by calling all sorts of other relationships marriages."

Bishop Fisher also spoke about the "crude pragmatism" that rules in the stem cell debate. He said scientists, sponsors and policy makers abandon the ethic of "primum non nocere" [first, do no harm] in favour reputation and profits. He said altruism and belief that people will be helped is a lesser priority.

He said: "Many governments, terrified that rival economies will get some advantage, have allowed practices that they know are ethically dangerous or at least dubious."

Sydney Auxiliary Views the Bioethical Landscape (Zenit 1/3/04)

Pope says same-sex unions 'degrade' marriage (CathNews 1/3/04)
Bishop Fisher calls morning after pill a "cop out" (CathNews 14/11/03)
Rome journalist says Bishop Fisher commands wide respect (CathNews 3/11/03)
Archdiocese of Sydney | Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP DD VG
Abbott says new stem cells book goes beyond religion (CathNews 2/3/04)

3 Mar 2004