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Will the UK courts and the ECHR really nullify the Government’s intention not to permit gay marriage in church? If so, what will the Soho Masses crowd do then?

More to the point, what will our bishops do to prevent them?

By on Wednesday, 25 April 2012

According to Neil Addison, the director of the Thomas More Legal Centre, the government’s insistence that the Churches would not be allowed to carry out religious marriages for gay couples is worthless. Two judgements by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and a British a Court of Appeal ruling in 2010 establish that the Government would be acting illegally if it allowed civil gay marriages without “permitting” them on religious premises too.

This, he says, means that if the Coalition Government presses ahead with its plans to redefine marriage to include gay couples the Catholic Church could face prosecution under equality legislation for acting in accordance with its teachings. The Court of Appeal judgement he is referring to here is that against the registrar Lillian Ladele, who in 2009 took Islington Council to court for refusing her the right not to officiate at same-sex civil partnership ceremonies. The judges decided that her Christian view of marriage “was not a core part of her religion”. Thus, says Mr Addison, “Churches which perform heterosexual marriages will have to be willing to perform same-sex marriages and they will have no legal grounds to resist since the courts have determined that the ‘orthodox Christian view of marriage’ is not a ‘core’ part of Christian belief.”

Well, I am not a lawyer, but I need to know a bit more about all this before being entirely convinced. The government says it won’t “permit” gay marriages in Church: Mr Addison says that various legal judgements have already made that intention non-operative: in other words, we would be in fact “permitted” to enact gay “marriages”: but does that actually mean that we would be obliged to do so? After all, we are presumably already legally “permitted” to marry divorcees in church, just as a number of Anglican clergymen have already done. There is by English law no distinction between Anglican clergy and ours: but I have yet to hear of anyone going to law against a Catholic priest for refusing to marry a couple one or both of whom are already married.

Would it be different over gay so-called marriages? It wouldn’t of course be, in canon law, a real marriage. A civil marriage would have to be carried out in any case: and what happened in church would be a simple mockery, no marriage at all. Can the law really force us to carry out something we ourselves define as non-existent?

As I say, though I speak in ignorance, I’m not yet convinced that we would be in danger from the law. But could we be in another kind of danger, the danger that already exists from the enemy within? Just think of all those gay activists who attend the Soho Masse—which are, don’t forget, permitted by the archdiocese of Westminster. Some of them, I believe, are already united in the “civil unions” which are so warmly spoken of by the archbishop of that jurisdiction. Suppose one of these couples persuades a priest known to have little regard for the laws and teachings of the Church (they do, I am told, exist) to perform such a ceremony: a civil ceremony would take place; the couple would then repair to the church premises of the priest in question, who would celebrate for them a nuptial mass, incorporating the marriage liturgy of the Catholic Church. They would certainly make sure that the media were in attendance: this would be a great propaganda occasion for their cause. There would be front page stories, with photographs. It would be a great blow struck, before the gaze of the disbelieving world, against the Magisterium of the Church, by disloyal Catholics who would doubtless be jubilant in their moment of triumph.

What would the archbishop then actually do? He would issue, no doubt, a disapproving statement. But how disapproving? Would he declare the ceremony just performed to be absolutely null and utterly void? Would he excommunicate the priest who had performed it, or at least suspend him? What would he do?

If the gay marriage legislation actually ends up on the statute book, and Mr Addison is right, if, that is, such a “marriage” could indeed take place with the support of the UK courts and the ECHR, unless the archbishop makes it absolutely plain that by acting in this way any priest involved would be putting an end to his priestly ministry, sooner or later it will happen. But will he? We don’t yet know that he won’t: but what can we be sure of?. We need to know.

Meanwhile, we have to carry on with the fight to prevent this devil’s law ever being enacted in the first place. Mr Cameron sometimes wavers in the face of public opinion: maybe it could happen in this case too. The Coalition for Marriage’s online petition against it is already one of the most massive ever mounted. It is currently edging towards the half million mark. As I write, it stands at 466, 101; next Monday marks the petition’s first ten weeks, and the Coalition are keen to get the total up to half a million by then. So if you haven’t yet voted, do it now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Clifford/641376480 Jason Clifford

    Neil Addison is a lawyer so he has at least some direct experience of these matters. Moreover at least one MP, who is a member of the governing party, has publicly stated that it is his intention to force a situation so as to bring a legal challenge against a church that refuses to conduct a wedding ceremony for a same sex couple – he’s certainly not alone. These two facts should give pause to anyone who doesn’t believe that the law may seek to force religious communities to conduct such weddings.

    Of course the whole matter of religious weddings can be skirted by the Catholic Church should it become necessary in that the Church may simple not conduct civil weddings any more which is already the case in some other countries. If this happens Catholics will still be able to marry properly however it will complicate the work of the Church when determining whether a marriage conducted outside the Church was valid and it will certainly cause serious damage to the reality of marriage in the rest of society.

  • Benedict Carter

    This is not simply a battle about whether homosexuals can use the word “marriage” to describe their pederastic relations, but it is a war about the souls of all the children to come.

    The war is between hell and Mankind: if Christian morality is expunged completely from the minds and consciences of the young ones (let alone from the perpetrators and users of these so-called “marriages”) then how can their souls be in any way conformed to Christ?

    You must carry on this individual battle, but do not be led astray. See the wider war for what it is: a direct assault by hell on the Ten Commandments and on the eternal souls of your children.

  • nytor

    I don’t agree with Mr Addison’s analysis, as a lawyer myself (although I freely admit that this is not the area of my specialism). I find it highly unlikely that churches could be forced to permit gay marriages as freedom of religion or belief is a right under the ECHR and the HRA and religion or belief is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. I find it more likely that the government will be forced to allow those churches which want to to carry out these ceremonies to do so, but not that churches which do not will be forced. I agree with Dr Oddie that permission (as to marry divorced people) is one thing, compulsion quite another, and I simply don’t believe that the ratio of the Ladele case is transferable as it is one thing to say that an orthodox Christian view of marriage is not a core part of the belief of a civil registrar who is carrying out civil ceremonies and is herself divorced and it is quite another to say that of the Catholic Church. In sum, I feel that permission to hold these ceremonies will rapidly happen, but that compulsion will not.

    I also think Dr Oddie is on the money with the rebel liberals within the Church and what they might try to do, but I think Anglicanism has a greater problem in this regard given the numbers of its clergy who want to carry out these ceremonies.

  • James

    “Pederastic” relations ?  I was not aware that the Government’s proposals would allow adult males to marry under age  boys.

  • theroadmaster

    Realities such as the UK legalization of the adoption of children by same-sex couples(which has forced Catholic adoption agencies to go out of existence, rather than betray their core beliefs) and the insidious healthcare mandate forced on Religious bodies in the US by the Obama administration, should make us reconsider the legal repercussions of any future attempt by parliament to redefine marriage.  Christian morality is not set by temporal trends and fads but determined by the truth of our Natural Order and biblical truths as revealed to us by God.  Bad law cannot override consciences formed on these solid foundations.

  • diarmuidlee

    I do not think the archbishop obliquely referred to is a Thomas More or an Edmund Campion. 
    But it will be fascinating to observe how this plays out with the liberals vis a vis Rome

  • Benedict Carter

    Hello Jae/James. Still stalking me?

  • Patrick_Hadley

     The Catholic adoption agencies which did not want to give children to gay couples were quite happy to give them to couples who had “married” after a divorce, and also to couples who were not married at all. Some core beliefs are easier to betray than others.

  • sisterofmartha

    It is my understanding that in at least one country where same sex marriage has been legalised e.g. Sweden, they may take place in an accomodating church – obviously with Catholicism refusing to participate – and there has been absolutely no challenge to this practice from the ECHR. 

    I agree with nytor that any move to force Catholic priests to take part in any such ceremonies is highly unlikely. In fact I believe that to say such a thing will happen - or is even inevitable – is scaremongering. It is, as nytor points out, more likely that any challenge be to allow those religious groups who wish to do so, to solemnise same sex marriages. The Scottish Government plans to permit religious groups to conduct such ceremonies; it will be interesting to watch developments in that area. Enough of the hysteria, please. 

  • sisterofmartha

    Mr Carter, Whilst you and I most certainly agree on the dangers of Christian morality being expunged as well as on the religious definition of matrimony, I think it would be prudent to remember that homosexuality and pederasty are not synonymous terms. As I am sure you are aware, the vast majority of children who suffer at the hands of adult predators are girls; thus the sad, sick people who abuse them are heterosexual by nature. Truth is never served by inaccuracy.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    1) I’m not sure I agree with you on the nature of the ratio in the Ladele Appeal case. I can’t find any mention of her divorced status etc in the judgment  http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2009/1357.html. The relevant paragraph seems to be 52:  ‘[Ladele's objection] was based on her view of marriage, which was not a core part of her religion; and Islington’s requirement in no way prevented her from worshipping as she wished.’ No reason appears to be given for the assertion that her view of marriage is not ‘core’ except the reference to worship which seems to refer back to para 51:  ‘the effect on Ms Ladele of implementing the policy did not impinge on her religious beliefs: she remained free to hold those beliefs, and free to worship as she wished.’

    Assuming I’m not missing anything, this suggests that the essence of religion is confined to belief and worship, and doesn’t include moral actions. In any case, I can’t see any basis for your claim that the ratio is restricted to the peculiar circumstances of Ladele’s views on marriage.

    2) In any case -and this is the point that I take it Neil Addison is making- it’s just not clear how the courts would decide a case that claimed that opposition to same sex marriage wasn’t an essential part of Catholicism. All of us might hope that they’d accept it was, but surely Neil Addison is right to point out that there’s at least an arguable legal case here for the opposing view. And that uncertainty will remain, whatever politicians promise, until the first inevitable challenge by gay activists.

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

    1) Neil Addison replies to a similar point to yours about Sweden in the combox of his post http://religionlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/same-sex-marriage-and-european-court.html:  

    ‘A fair question. it depends a lot upon the structure and legislation applying to Marriage in Spain. In many parts of Europe there is a clear legal distinction between Civil registered Marriage and Religious ceremonial Marriage but that legal distinction does not exist in the UKin addition the UK is fairly unique in Europe in making the European Convention and European Court of Human Rights cases directly applicable in UK law. Finally the decision by the Court of Appeal that belief in Marriage is not a “core” part of Christian belief is unique to the UK and is not based on European case law however that decision makes the legal position in Britain very different to that in other European countries who would probably accept that it is not the place of secular courts to make that sort of decision or that sort of distinction’

    2) This clearly isn’t scaremongering but a real issue of legal interpretation. There is undoubtedly a risk to the Church here: not that the Church will be forced to perform same sex marriages, but rather that it will be forced to abandon any celebration of state recognized marriages. It’s not surprising that those of us who’d be dismayed at such a result are rather more concerned about the risk than those who’d probably not mind too much about such an outcome.

    3) The Scottish Government hasn’t actually decided anything as yet: these proposals have been out for consultation and the conclusions are due soon.

  • Nim

    Pederastic? You might want to consult a dictionary there

  • Oconnord

    In the most simple terms, pederasty is an attraction to immature adults, those physically capable of reproduction, but judged below an age of consent. An idea, distasteful though it is, that was embraced by the John Jay Gould report commissioned by the church, when it set an age limit well below the legal age of consent to classify paedophiles. Homosexuality refers to a same sex attraction between consenting adults. The root of the word means attraction to same, not attraction to males. It means man to man or woman to woman.Not adult to child…. That’s why there are words like paedophile and pederast.

  • Benedict Carter

    That’s fine. Exchange “pederastic” for “sodomitic” and we are there. 

    The rest stands. 

  • Oconnord

     “It would be a great blow struck, before the gaze of the disbelieving world, against the Magisterium of the Church.”
    Such a gross exaggeration, a couple of gay people do a publicity stunt with a rebel priest. I’m reminded of when, the singer, Sinead O’Connor was “ordained” a priest. The Magisterium didn’t fall then, so I doubt it will with a new photo-op. The tabloids will move onto the next WAG or reality show contestant. The Mail and Telegraph will grumble. The only people giving the story the oxygen of publicity may well the catholic press.

    Of all the storms the church has weathered in the last decade, that truly will be the one in a teacup.   

  • Benedict Carter

    I spent more than twelve years working in the former USSR, with nine of those years in Moscow. 

    Latest news from that region is that latest polls (several) show that at least 90% of Russians are in favour of laws banning “homosexual propaganda” (so-called “pride” demonstrations, etc.). Indeed, several city authorities have enacted local laws doing just that, ahead of any Federal laws that may come. 

    Meanwhile in the Ukraine the Parliament is currently debating a law to ban abortion. 

    Good for Russia! Good for Ukraine!

    Isn’t it amazing, now these countries have thrown off Marxism, that they are showing the debauched and unfaithful West, sunk in immorality, the way forward? We, on the other hand (100% in line with Our Lady’s words at Fatima that “Russia will spread her errors throughout the world”) have succumbed to a cultural Marxism entirely, with the abortion and the militant atheism and the licentiousness that marked the Marxist countries from their first days. 

    Catholics should note that Cameron and Clegg have endorsed Obama’s threat to African countries to link aid to the liberal-Marxist agenda (abortion and homosexual “rights”) so beloved by the US Democrats and the EU liberal fascists. 

    This of course is imperialism of the most insidious and evil kind.

  • Oconnord

    Peter Tatchell is an idiot, he no more represents gay people than Richard Dawkins represents atheists. They are simply loud strident voices that are useful for gathering media attention. But their posturing is invaluable, they pave the way for gays or atheists to speak. All minorities need controversial figures to gain momentum, once done the work on equality really begins. 

  • Oconnord

    Yes, such a great example… I’m gonna swop my shoes for bread right now!!! 

  • Charles Martel

     Ah, Stephen Fry, “A stupid person’s idea of what an intelligent person is like”.

  • Charles Martel

     It really makes me wish I was born Russian. An entire country immune to the politically correct tyranny of the west. God bless Holy Mother Russia! Let’s pray for her conversion….

  • Benedict Carter

    Let me tell you something.

    Russia and Ukraine (but not Belarus) are MUCH freer places now than the EU or Britain. You can breathe the air there, whereas at home it’s like one’s living in a choking fog of fear, with people already frightened of saying what they know to be right. 

    Tell me about Western liberal social democracy! It will end soon enough in totalitarianism and in outright persecution for faithful Catholics. 

    Couple of decades away, I reckon.

  • Benedict Carter

    Amen to that. Of course, once the Catholic-Orthodox Theological Commission’s work brings us to the point of a General Council of the re-unified Church, we can say that Russia will have been converted. Orthodoxy’s priests are real priests and their Sacraments are real Sacraments. But of course they remain schismatic for the moment. 

  • JabbaPapa

    Some core beliefs are easier to betray than others.

    In this day and age, you will find Christians betraying any of those core beliefs with very little effort on your part.

    But then, hasn’t it always been so ? Believing on the basis of “Thou shalt not kill” that murder is wrongful, as a core belief, does not mean that murders no longer take place, nor that nobody will ever betray that Commandment.

    And yet, the Commandment remains, inside the core of both Judaism and Christianity.

  • teigitur

    You might have to. The mess the EU has made of Ireland. Aided by a new secular Irish greed of course. The perfect storm which has Ireland in the doldrums, and that for the forseeable future. Almost! completely off topic.

  • Alan

    As I pointed out in another post, for the Orthodox it is we who are the schismatics.  Through an accident of geography, the Vatican happened to be in the West rather than the East.  I think Pope Benedict recognises this, because under the “Ratzinger formula” Rome should be prepared, in the event of reunion, not to insist on retaining all the developments in the primacy since 1054.  Somehow I don’t expect you to agree, but there we are.
    Going back to the article, no clergyman of any church can be compelled to marry anyone who happens to come along.  For us, for example, we can refuse to marry a couple who have no intention of having children.  So would it not be possible simply to refuse a gay couple, without actually having a “rule” to that effect?

  • Benedict Carter

    I don’t agree, because the absolutely non-negotiable elements (Papal Infallibility as defined at Vatican I) and the infallibly-defined dogmas along with the other elements of the Deposit of Faith will of course remain. 

    However, on other matters I think we could see a lot of change. For instance, get rid of the College of Cardinals and replace it with a College of Patriarchs. I could add other things too, but you get the picture. 

  • paulsays

    ‘and the rest stands’! Why should we listen to you as a figure of an authority if you fail so spectacularly at your command of the English language?
    …lets be honest calling all gays pedophiles is certainly quite a blunder, Freudian slip perhaps?..

  • nytor

     ‘the effect on Ms Ladele of implementing the policy did not impinge on her religious beliefs: she remained free to hold those beliefs, and free to worship as she wished.’

    Hmm. But there we were talking about an individual, engaging in providing a secular service. Now, whilst I don’t agree with the outcomes in the Ladele and Bull cases and in particular with the closure of the adoption agencies, it is clear that they all lie “beyond the Church door”. I simply don’t believe that an English court would compel the Church to confer a Sacrament in its buildings and by its ministers of religion against its will. It would surely fall foul of the protections for religion or belief if it did so. I no more believe that an English court would force the Church to marry gay couples than I believed it would force it to ordain women when the Equality Act was going through. Therein lies the difference – the Church is the Church and it confers Sacraments as part of its religious practice, and Lillian Ladele was an individual providing a secular service outwith her religious practice.

    I applaud Mr Addison for raising the concern, but am worried that what he is actually doing is writing an argument which our enemies may seek to use in due course, and that is why I think it ought to be demolished now.

  • JabbaPapa

    The schism with Orthodoxy is the only schism in the History of the Church that Catholicism recognises as being partly responsible for.

    The question of who gets to use the titles of Cardinal, Patriarch, or Pope is secondary — though in the case of Cardinals, it would really be quite straghtforward to name Cardinals whichever Orthodox Bishops were deemed worthy of it.

    The principle sticking point currently in the negociations is actually in the extreme fragmentation of the Orthodox, rather than issues relating to doctrinal or ecclesial agreement between East and West…

    There is at least a stronger desire for Christian Unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches than there has been for centuries.

  • JabbaPapa

    Can you explain the discrepancy between the existence of 1.5% homosexuals in the general population, and 25-35% of child sex abuse crimes being same sex ?

    I mean — bearing in mind the well-attested 2500+ year history of the gay sex fantasy of the man with the boy ?

    Can you explain the homosexual lobby’s repeated attempts to lower the age of consent between 1960s and 1980s for the purpose of decriminalising sex between men and boys ?

    Or are you simply disagreeing with Benedict on the basis that not all gays are pederasts — but only some ?

    Oh and BTW — I know I’ve asked you this before, but are you a homosexual ?

  • http://cumlazaro.blogspot.com/ Lazarus

     I very much hope you’re right. I very much fear that you are not. In any case, I have absolutely no doubt that, should same sex marriage be introduced, we will find this tested in the courts.

  • nytor

    I daresay you’re right, that someone will try to bring a case. However the more I read the paragraph “‘the effect on Ms Ladele of implementing the policy did not impinge on her religious beliefs: she remained free to hold those beliefs, and free to worship as she wished.’” the less I think such a case could succeed.

    This is because forcing a church to marry a gay couple WOULD impinge on their religious beliefs (about Sacraments, if not about the nature of marriage itself), and would impinge on the free practice of the religion (by forcing the conferral, however invalid, of a Sacrament contrary to the Church’s rules). If anything this paragraph helps us, rather than the reverse.

    The sorry truth about Ms Ladele is that although she had seen the jiob evolve around her – as she was a registrar before the Civil Partnerships Act was passed, and although she had made subtle arrangements (changing shifts, etc) to ensure she did not have to carry them out and so that in fact no-one was in fact denied a ceremony – she was carrying out a public service which itself could be said to contradict the holding of an orthodox Christian view of marriage, marrying divorcees in a non-church, entirely secular context in which mention of religion is banned. She was not someone, therefore, for whom it could be convincingly argued that an orthodox Christian view of marriage was a core part of her religion.

  • JabbaPapa

    The problem being that a judgement such as “‘the effect on Ms Ladele of implementing the policy did not impinge on
    her religious beliefs: she remained free to hold those beliefs, and
    free to worship as she wished.’” presumes implicitly upon the invalidity of Religions to define themselves, and presumes the inherent invalidity of obedience to Canon Law as a legal requirement.

    Furthermore, the value of a religion is quite simply NOT defined by one individual’s understanding or misunderstanding of the requirements of that religion, including not by one presiding Judge’s interpretation of those requirements, nor the interpretation of any one single faithful.

    The law is the livelihood of the living. Not the dry contempt of the politically motivated…

    Also — the ceremonial sphere of life is inherently and definitionally religious ; and the legal requirement of freedom of ceremony to those that seek to perform such ceremony as a livelihood therefore necessitates a specific religious assent to that ceremony that has been brutally denied to this particular person.

  • Oconnord

    Do all the priests in the Russian Orthodox church get $40,000 dollar watches or is it just the leader? And when challenged about it will they also have their photos “airbrushed” to remove the watch, then blatantly lie about it. Despite the fact the original photo is in the public domain.

    At times you seem to be using a different dictionary than me, but do the words liar and hypocrite mean the same in yours.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T66SMPJX2FB34SAS4GD7SDVE4U Richard

    A 2 July 2010, interview conducted by Stephen Sackur on “HardTalk” [BBC News Channel] with  Archbishop Nichols
    is transcribed here:  (also on youtube)
    http://www.christianorder.com/editorials/editorials_2010/editorials_nov10.html
    about  halfway down, search for “Sackur”
    Archbishop Nichols seems not opposed to the Catholic Church
    “being prepared to sanction gay unions”.

    Likewise Fr Timothy Radcliffe article:

    The Tablet Blog
    The Catholic Church and gay marriage
    Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP
    2 March 2012, 9:00

    A battle already lost I think.

  • theroadmaster

    Catholic adoption agencies re to ferred same-sex couples or co-habiting couples to agencies who would provide the adoption services that they wanted.  They never directly got involved in providing such couples with such services themselves.  But the legislation to legalize adoptions in favor of same-sex couples, then an imposition too far was made on Catholic adoption agencies and many of them dissolved themselves rather than partake in an activity inimical to their foundational Faith.

  • theroadmaster

    Catholic adoption agencies referred same-sex couples or co-habiting couples to agencies who would provide the adoption services that they wanted.  They never directly got involved in providing such couples with these services themselves.  But the legislation to legalize adoptions in favor of same-sex couples, became an imposition too far on Catholic adoption agencies and many of them dissolved themselves rather than partake in an activity inimical to their foundational Faith.

  • Benedict Carter

    Did I mention watches in my earlier post? No, I didn’t. 

    On this matter though, we are in complete agreement. 

  • Benedict Carter

    It is a terrible indictment of England in this era that the question of the moral depravity of homosexuality rears so large in the thinking and discourse of politicians and Churchmen alike. 

    Are there not other things to focus on that the sexual ravages of 1% of the population?

    As for the Soho so-called “Masses”, I doubt very much whether they are valid. I bet there’s a high chance that either form, matter or intention is lacking in such a sacrilegious charade.

  • pelican

    no hysteria; our priest has said that he is certain we will visit him in prison,and we shall.
    re: hell, it has been quite difficult even walking through our city recently. 

  • Benedict Carter

    The principal sticking point is, and shall remain, the Papal Primacy.

  • Benedict Carter

    Your powers of comprehension seem to be lacking. I would eat more fish.

  • Oconnord

    You are so correct, it is amazing that people use phrases like “the moral depravity of homosexuality” when referring to gay people. And why is the obsession about homosexual acts so large in the thinking of Churchmen in particular. 

    I’m pretty sure 1% would be an underestimate, but your point stands. Why are the churches and religious focusing on such a small matter which really doesn’t effect the vast majority of people. In real terms, how would it effect you if the gay couple living next door were married rather than in a civil union.

    As you say, the church has the right to say which “rites” are valid within it’s own rules. They have the right to call any such rite “a sacrilegious charade.” they are also free to label people heretics for performing such rites.

    As long as they are no longer free to burn people for such “crimes”, well there really isn’t a problem.

     

  • Benedict Carter

    Why? 

    I’ll tell you why: because (a) so many modern Catholic priests are homosexuals – and the Holy Father’s action to ban them from the seminary I am told by an insider is being flouted by the selection boards and by the Bishops; (b) because Churchmen have taken their eyes off God and so want to appear “relevant”; (c) because their minds, in this period of demonic disorientation, have become clouded; (d) because our civilisation is in general in an advanced state of decomposition, and historically, there is a close correlation of that fact with the brazen demands by homosexuals to have their practices raised to the level of Holy Matrimony and Christian family. The effect (and intention, explicitly stated by many of their leaders) is, of course, the destruction of the Christian family. 

  • JabbaPapa

    Which depends on the Orthodox first resolving their own issues of Primacy — remember, they have 14 churches and two Popes (one seat currently vacant).

  • Benedict Carter

    Fair point. Moscow and Constantinople are always jostling each other for supremacy.

  • Mike

     ‘Sodomitic’ means engagiging in sodomy.  And sodomy means anal sex.  Which is not related to gay men as straight couples engage in sodomy too.  So what are you trying to say?

  • Mike

     Not shell fish tho, as it’s a sin.  Well, that’s what the bible says, right?

  • Guglielmo Marinaro

    “Are there not things to think about other than the sexual rampages of 1% of the population?”

    I’m sure that there are. So why don’t you turn your own attention to them and leave us in peace?