Friday, 2 January 2009

Holy See to Divorce

So the Vatican is to allow divorce, though not for those in marriage, it is merely going to divorce itself from automatically adopting all Italian law.

Vatican legal experts say that too many of the civil and criminal laws of the state that surrounds the Holy See conflict with church principles. Those from New Year's Day the Pope effectively threw out the Lateran treaties 80 years to the day they were entered into by his predecessor Pope Pius XI. The Vatican says that Italian laws are too many, too unstable and too often conflict with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. The Italian government is aware of the sheer volume issue and are looking to delete tens of thousands of obsolete laws from its civil code.

The Vatican is also concerned with some of the international agreements being entered into by the Italian government. One noticeable objection was their refusal to approve a United Nations declaration decriminalising homosexuality. While many gay groups said that the wording didn't go far enough the Holy See said that it went too far saying it placed different sexual orientations on the same level. The actual text merely went to the level of ensuring that homosexuals have the right to exist without imprisonment or execution for being who they are. The Catholic Church took the view that this was paving the way for more whilst still claiming to be accepting of all.

In the UK we're talking about disestablishing the Church of England, in the USA there is a fine delineation between church and state, the problem with the Vatican is that it is a sovereign state in its own right. But some those under its jurisdiction most notably in the banking field have in the past fallen foul of the law. It will be interesting to see just which laws the Vatican decides to veto.

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