The highest ranking clergyman in the Philippines’ Catholic Church has ordered Catholics to have nothing to do with same-sex marriages or anything that resembles them.
Archbishop of Lingayan-Dagupan and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Socrates Villegas, made the comments on Sunday, declaring that a relationship between two people of the same sex is not and ‘can never be a marriage.’
‘Catholics cannot participate in any way or even attend religious or legal ceremonies that celebrate and legitimize homosexual unions,’ Archbishop Villegas said, according to Sun Star Manila.
‘[same-sex relationships] are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race, and thus it would be an injustice to grant them legal recognition along with the same benefits and privileges accorded to marriage.’
Villegas urged family members of gays and lesbians to not reject them, but instead love them more than their homosexual partners did.
‘Families with members, who struggle with homosexuality, are called to love them unconditionally, thereby outlasting all their other same-sex loves,’ Archbishop Villegas said.
‘This love, however, must be a love in truth that avoids praising, consenting to, or defending the so-called homosexual lifestyle.’
The Catholic Church in the Philippines has been ramping up its opposition to legal recognition of same-sex relationships as a legal challenge to the ban on same-sex marriage in the Family Code goes to the country’s Supreme Court.