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Catholics: Pope should decide NZ laws

Sun 19 Jun 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

The New Zealand Catholic Church believes this country's laws should reflect the moral dictates their Pope, and that his criticism of NZ's civil unions legislation will affect the outcome of the coming general election. In a welcoming address to NZ's new ambassador to the Vatican the Pope referred to "whimsical social trends" and "secular distortions of marriage" as undesirable. Catholic communications director Lindsay Freer subsequently told the Sunday Star Times that "a large number of New Zealanders call themselves Christian and believe in God-given rules for living... and would like to see civil law reflect what the Pope calls moral law." Almost half a million New Zealanders identify as Catholic according to the most recent census. Responding to the Catholic stance Labour minister David Benson-Pope said the majority of New Zealanders believed that Civil Unions is sensible legislation. In a conscience vote Parliament passed the law by 65 to 55. Wellington lesbian church minister Margaret Mayman has also defended the legislation saying the Pope is not taking into account the diversity and variety of families in New Zealand and other countries.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Sunday, 19th June 2005 - 12:00pm

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