Catholic Church reinstates 17th Century prayer as part of the political campaign against same-sex marriage, death with dignity

The French Catholic Church will revive a centuries-old custom next week with an updated national “prayer for France” opposing the same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms planned by the new Socialist government.

The prayer, to be read in all churches on Aug 15, echoes the defense of traditional marriage by Pope Benedict and Catholic leaders around the world as gay nuptials gain acceptance, especially in Europe and North America…

King Louis XIII decreed in 1638 that all churches would pray on Aug 15, the day Catholics believe the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into Heaven, for the good of the country. The annual practice fell into disuse after World War Two.

In the text, Catholics will pray for newly elected officials “so that their sense of the common good will overcome special demands.” This would include support for traditional families “throughout their lives, especially in painful moments…”

Pope Benedict said in January that same-sex marriage threatened “the future of humanity itself…”

Socialist President Francois Hollande pledged during the election campaign last spring to reform marriage laws and his government has said it would do so early next year. Opinion polls say about two-thirds of the French support gay marriage…

Hollande has also expressed sympathy for euthanasia, which is not allowed in France, and named a commission to review whether the current law stressing palliative care for the dying needed to be expanded…

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium. Switzerland and the U.S. state of Oregon allow assisted suicide.

I’m never surprised when “defenders of the faith” attack my blog posts as overdoing hyperbole when I accuse the Pope and his Princes of the Church of living in the Middle Ages – or the Dark Ages, depending on the issue.

Kind of heartwarming to see an official order reinstating church politics from the early 17th Century. Affirmation is a trip.

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