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Is it too late to save marriage?

The census showed a disturbing trend away from the institution

By on Thursday, 13 December 2012

Gay Marriage Amendment

Since I wrote my blog on Monday, about the Coalition’s proposed legislation to redefine marriage, the subject has still been dominating the newspaper headlines. The Guardian today has, “Ukip plans to derail PM over gay marriage”, while the Telegraph has, “Britain has fallen out of love with marriage.” This latter headline conveys a deeper and more critical aspect of this debate: the general decline in marriage. The 2011 Census reveals that the number of married people has now fallen to 20.4 million, nearly 200,000 less than a decade ago. At the last Census married people composed just over half the population. Now they comprise 45%. The Telegraph comments that “this is the first time since the census was founded in 1801 that married couples have been in the minority.”

According to Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court judge who has co-founded the Marriage Foundation campaign group to promote marriage, this must be regarded as “a worrying development and is all part of the picture which a few weeks ago revealed 50% of children aged 15 were not living with their birth parents.” I would use the word “frightening” of this development rather than “worrying”. Marriage as an institution has always provided the essential stability necessary to raise children, which is the hardest and most responsible task anyone can undertake. When marriages break up, and co-habitation increases – as the 2011 Census shows – it is always children who suffer most from the consequences.

I was talking to a friend the other day. In her early 70s, a history graduate and a lifelong Tory voter, she says she will not be voting for the Tories at the next General Election. Her reason: David Cameron’s determination to change the official definition of marriage. How many Conservative voters up and down the country plan to do the same? The Guardian thinks many will be drawn to Ukip, which is no longer regarded as extremist and which doesn’t care if the Tory modernisers regard it as the new “nasty Party”. Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has told the Guardian that he believes David Cameron’s proposal “has the potential to rip apart the traditional rural Tory vote. While Ukip wholly respects the rights of gay people to have civil partnerships, we feel the prime minister’s proposals will present an affront to millions of people in this country for whom this will be the final straw.”He added, “The division between city and rural is absolutely huge.”

By “division” Farage means that between the metropolitan middle classes and the Tory rank and file in the country generally. This latter group feels entirely ignored and overruled by the Coalition on this matter. Just as the Rochdale housewife Gillian Duffy was rudely dismissed by Gordon Brown as “a bigot” during the last General Election, when she raised her reasonable concerns about the scale of immigration in this country during recent years, ordinary Tory voters like my friend feel they are being similarly dismissed as “bigots” by the Party grandees over the same-sex marriage question.

In a feature article in the Telegraph this week Iain Martin asks the question of Cameron, “Does he not care who he’s losing?” It appears not. Martin suggests that Cameron and his advisers have concluded that “parties who look like the past are defeated and those that are in touch with some nebulous notion of the future tend to win.” They forget that conservatism is not about being a Colonel Blimp writing “Disgusted from Tonbridge Wells” in the letters columns of newspapers. That is merely an amusing caricature. Classic Conservatism grasps that what has been recognised as valuable, enduring and enriching over many generations needs to be “conserved” for the common good of succeeding generations. The defence of marriage should be seen in this light and not as an attack on people of same-sex orientation or as a reproach to co-habiting couples.

My friend whose allegiance to the Tory Party is now at an end talked to me about her own parents’ relationship. It seems her mother suffered from a severe mental illness throughout the marriage, later diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. “How did your father cope?” I asked her. “Well, he loved her and he was stoical. She needed looking after. To walk away from the difficulties would have been unthinkable.” Her comment illustrates the gulf between a previous generation’s idea of marriage and today. No longer seen as a lifelong commitment, no longer necessarily including children, no longer prepared to shoulder unforeseen burdens, it is regarded by many people as a (possibly transient) romantic partnership. No wonder its meaning and definition are under attack. Is it already too late, not only to save marriage as it has always been understood, but to encourage it so that the next Census will show a reversal of the current trend?

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

    It’s possibly too late to save it for society, at least in the immediate future. (A future generation may well reverse the trend: sexual mores change back and forth.) But we as Catholics need to think about how we can save it for our own children. I’ve no magic bullet here. Part of what we need is a greater sense of marriage as an act of will: we commit ourselves because we have made a decision and a promise, not just because it happens to feel right. Perhaps we also need practical measures such as Catholic dating agencies for people who want a real marriage rather than staying together just long enough to have kids, screw their lives up, and then proceed in the direction of the divorce courts. But a big -perhaps the biggest- problem here is work and the lack of it. Given what sort of hours and mobility are expected of (eg) young professionals, I’m surprised anyone’s marriage lasts. On the other hand, what chance of marriage do you have if you’re an unemployed graduate living in your parents’ basement? 

  • sclerotic

    The founder of Christianity was quite clear – no divorce. Within a few decades exemptions were admitted on the authority of Peter and Paul since when an army of Canon lawyers has worked diligently to widen the gates so that now we have marriage tribunals in every diocese committed to the process of annulment – divorce by any other name to anyone else. I would have more sympathy with this sort of article if bishops were willing to declare that all divorcees were banned from the sacraments. But it’s easier to villify politicians than to do something that is actually in your own back garden.

  • paulpriest

    I have to repeat the question I asked elsewhere:

    As Civil marriages are being abolished – replaced with a universalised civil partnership virtually identical to the one for same-sex couples – which has no mandatory ‘unifying’ aspect or necessary consummation or even a legal recognition of adultery being possible…

    Although it becomes obvious that there are earth-shattering canonical repercussions in that non-baptised Catholics who go through this ‘new civil marriage’ contract – will no longer be recognised as being validly married by the Church…

    …there comes the big question regarding formal or proximate material co-operation with a law which is intrinsically unjust in that it scandalises the very nature of marriage…

    The question of whether the Church will be able to engage in civil marriages is now defunct – it is now impossible – there will now have to be a separate civil ‘ceremony’ and a sacramental nuptial mass which will provide the contract of union and its obligations [which the new civil marriage has lost]…

    But given the very nature of these ‘new civil marriages’
    Will a Catholic be permitted to enter into one?
    They scandalise the very nature of marriage and are therefore intrinsically unjust.

    Are we on the brink of a Nightmare scenario where Catholics will be forbidden from becoming ‘legally married’ in this country?

    Evangelium Vitae 73.2
    In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a
    law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it,
    or to “take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote
    for it”.98

    &
    CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION
    TO UNIONS
    BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS
     http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.htm

    May be telling us that as the ‘New Civil Marriage’ is intrinsically unjust it may very well be impossible for a Catholic to participate in one otherwise they would be culpable of formal or proximate material co-operation.

    I think we desperately need the Vatican to inform us as to whether or not Catholicism in this country is on the brink of no longer being able to have any protection or provisions of the state for married persons?

    Will Catholics be forbidden from entering a ‘new civil marriage’? and thus have no legal recognition of being married?

    It may seem ridiculous – but it’s a serious question!

  • paulpriest

     Rubbish – obviously from someone who has never known anyone going through the annulment process…

  • Jordy

     I am truly confused as to why they would discourage traditional
    marriage through the tax laws and the media, then encourage gay
    marriage, and at the same time encourage immigration. The first two could
    have been about population numbers reduction but then immigration would
    raise population levels again; seems like someone wants to decimate our
    culture. Any logical explanations?

  • Joe Zammit

    First and foremost we must continue to fully back the notion of marriage as a union between one man and one woman for life because this is God’s plan on us and of marriage. So, even just to please God, we have to carry on insisting on this one type of marriage.

    Politicians are normally sick persons, especially when they know that after a couple of years they have to face a general election again. So, most of them have no principles but move about with the wind, normally with that of the majority.

    That’s why the Catholic Church should do her best to prepare strong-principled Catholic laypeople to stand for general elections to parliament and back them in every possible way, while never giving up teaching the Christian truths that would be relevant from time to time.

    We must rely on God’s grace because no one can change for the better without His powerful grace. At the same time we do our part. Our part will never be in vain.

    When God wants, He can bring about a mass conversion. He knows perfectly well how to do it!

  • Anon

    Marriage,indeed, in sickness and in health.
    Cultural pressures can be challenged if Catholics are given fair access to mainstream media platforms  and ‘secular’ state schools etc. The statistical evidence of the effect ‘our lifestyle choices’ since the 1960s is now all too horribly apparent.
    It is the more supernatural pressures that are difficult to counteract, especially when the general public and even many Catholics do not know they actually exist. I do not know the extent and depth of these assaults on families- whether influentials are particular targets etc or even how to grapple with the reasons behind it. Perhaps it is the work of a Lay movement to speak in public in Britain about these things…dangerous work,I suppose.

  • sclerotic

     Why do you have to know someone? Jesus is quite clear – no divorce. “Annulment” is just word games, process is what happens to meat. The structure of matrimonial understanding through centuries of theological reflection is derived almost entirely from Justinian.

  • david17606

    UKIP gets my vote now. 

  • Cestius

    I think any state sanctioned marriage is likely to become utterly meaningless as the definition is altered repeatedly to suit the demands of ever more minority groups.  To be honest that is only finishing off the work started by divorce lawyers, family courts etc. that have made marriage so unappealing to young men in particular. I think in the end, state marriage will be not worth the paper it’s written on., Although the authorities will never acknowledge it and actively try to suppress it, only the Church’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman for life will have any genuine validity or appeal.

  • GratefulCatholic

    I don’t think that’s right, Mat. 19:9, a man may put away his wife for fornication (adultery). St Paul says that a man must not then remarry but remain celibate or reconcile with the wife; quite simple really.
    On conservative politics: do we have a secular parallel here of Moderns v SSPX = Conservatives v UKIP ?

  • awkwardcustomer

    ‘… seems like someone wants to decimate our culture.’

    That’s exactly what they want to do although, strictly speaking, ‘to decimate’ means to reduce by a tenth whereas their aim is to dismantle traditional culture and values entirely.

    Who are ‘they’?  Try googling the ‘Fankfurt School’ and ‘Cultural Marxism’.  I would provide links but I’ve had big problems with Disqus recently, which are made worse whenever I do include links.

    Another interesting source of background on this comes from Soviet dissidents, such as Yuri Bezmenov, Vladimir Bukovsky and Anatoliy Golitsyn. According to Anatoliy Golitsyn, the collapse of the Soviet Untion was a fake, planned in the late 1950s to lull the West to sleep. 

  • Tom47

    The announcement of the government’s intention to legislate for the introduction of same- sex marriage (a policy absent from the Tory manifesto in 2011) came in the same week that the Chancellor was forced to admit that the government induced economic downturn was going to continue as was  the squeeze on benefits paid to the unemployed, the working poor and  the disabled. Meanwhile the richest taxpayers will see the highest rate of taxation reduced from 50% to 45% and multinational corporations legally avoid paying any tax.. The proposal to allow same-sex marriage is a classic political diversionary tactic and we should be wary of expanding too much psychic energy  at the moment opposing it in detail. We can simply restate the church’s position that marriage is between a man and  a woman. If as a result the government then separates church and state by introducing exclusively civil marriage, with a second ceremony in church for those who request it (and the church could then reasonably either limit it to members of the congregation or require people to show some commitment to the church’s teaching on marriage), then so be it. It would also give the C of E the  opportunity  to escape from its humiliating role as state church. The Tory leadership has been ambushed by the campaign for same-sex marriage, which came from nowhere and has become like CND in the 1950s and 1980s an unquestionable  badge of  liberal identity.. We should bear in mind that CND even captured the Labour Party in both those frustrating decades of opposition to apparently permanent Conservative power .The party is proving once more how vulnerable it is to the politics of the ‘moral spasm’ as the outstanding socialist Aneurin Bevan called the policy of unilateral  nuclear disarmament.. Labour should be asking itself just how this campaign fits into a socialist or social democratic policy agenda at this moment of extreme economic and social distress.  Whatever our personal political views, we should all be demanding a more serious political debate.

  • Kevin

    “The defence of marriage should be seen in this light and not as an attack on people of same-sex orientation or as a reproach to co-habiting couples.”

    I believe that sodomy and fornication are sins, but if presented with the above statement as a hypothetical argument I would have to ask: why would you presume to impose your definition of marriage on “people of same-sex orientation?

    If you believe that they have a different “sexual orientation” then why do you not believe other differences about them, such as a different “commitment orientation”?

    It is more logical to defend marriage on the basis that it is the only moral form of sexual relationship than if is to suggest that all forms are equal but one should be more equal than others.

  • Jonathan West

    What exactly do you mean by “saving marriage”?

    Do you mean ensuring that the only sexual acts involve married couples? This was never true.

    Do you mean that couples don’t live together unless they are married? Sorry, that horse bolted a long time ago.

    Do you mean that couples once married, never split up and never divorce? I don’t think people are going to see the justification for insisting on the unhappiness that would cause.

    So what exactly do you mean by “saving marriage”? And what would count as success in that endeavour?

  • KARL

    What man in his right mind would marry, investing his whole life, into a circumstance
    so easily, hyserically ended, unilaterally only to lose everything, especially his
    children to an adulterous spouse who wins and makes him, the abandoned, innocent
    spouse subsidize her adultery and brainwashing of their children, legally?

    Then, when he is broken and poverty stricken, he has to face off against a nullity process
    when he believes and knows his marriage is a sacrament.

    How can anyone even wonder why the institution is dead?

    Get real, kids. The Church is dead, too. By choice of the Pope and clergy and us.

  • Rizzo The Bear

    I’m pretty sure that there ARE couples in long-term relationships who would LOVE to marry!

    The question is: Why not? Is it really – REALLY – all about it just being ‘just a piece of paper’ and it means nowt?

    Ha! Ha! You would be surprised.Do you know the ones I point the finger at for its slide?First off…homilies at Holy Mass that neglect to talk about the value of marriage on a regular basis. There is enough discussed about divorce and the terrible threats to the institution.SOLUTION: How about some finely-balanced, experience, Magisterium and scripture-enriched homilies about the spiritual, health and emotional benefits of marriage? 
    Successive Governments taking married couples too much for granted … so much so that they break their promises to grant tax incentives to married people.
    SOLUTION: The Government should help married couples in the here and now. Stop this propaganda  nonsense that is same-sex ‘marriage’!

    The media using up printing ink and rags to publicise these overblown, overpriced shams that are ‘celeb weddings’ – the costs of which would be better spent on furnishing and improvements for the couple’s home! What those who look at these photographs fail to get into their dense heads is that the day is but the start but the rest of your married life is what matters.SOLUTION: Always remember that the very objects that should cost more should be your wedding bands. You only get married once … that is, unless you are Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elizabeth Taylor or Henry VIII. If you like dressing up, being the centre of attention and a good party, hire an elaborate costume and go to a fancy dress do! Invite your friends and family to do the same – it’s just as enjoyable, the cost stays put.Organising the ‘Big Day’ brings on needless pressure to bear for the couple and the ‘obligation’ to invite relatives you don’t see or hear anything about from one funeral to another to what should be YOUR SPECIAL DAY. I learned a long time ago that all this is not for your benefit but just for the sake of appearances; something for these relatives to talk about ‘back home’ and pick at it like vultures at a carcass!Organising a wedding brings out the control freak/divo/diva out of some people. Hair-raising.Peter Kay’s observations on family wedding receptions at his shows are achingly funny yet excruciatingly TRUE!A priest once told me about a couple who married in the RC Church in the morning and, in the afternoon, they all went to a cafe in town and enjoyed a slap-up fried breakfast with pots of tea/coffee afterwards! No hoopla, no fripperies, no fights, no tears and everyone had a great time – the priest, the happy couple, close family and friends and the hearty congratulations from fellow diners!Wow, I thought to myself! That’s brilliant! That’s just the job! The two most important people who should be there were there when you exchanged your vows and rings will be with you throughout your lives. Yes, I’m talking about Christ Himself and His Blessed Mother!For the love of all that is holy, save the Champagne/Cava/Asti Spumanti until your First Anniversary! Have a blast then!Start a trend, folks! 

  • Rizzo The Bear

    We are not kids. So there.

    And the Church is thriving.

  • GratefulCatholic

    Karl, You’re right in your opening paras and that’s probably one reason why St Paul warns us that it is better to remain celibate. But your last line is so wrong. Believe me, I am no lefty social worker, rather an Old Colonial of the land as hard as nails and I beseech you to get back to the True Faith. The Church is perfect – the Mystical Body of Christ; what is rotten is man (and we should not be surprised about that!), some clergy and church leaders have indeed Fallen – that is no reason to lose faith. I will pray for you Karl, from 12000 miles away.
    My Heartfelt Regards, GC    

  • Jordy

     Thank you awkwardcustomer: Anatoliy Golitsy’s book “New Lies for Old” has been revealing: the disintegration of marriage/family & religion is really a Marxist effort to replace parents and their traditions with the power of the state. The reality of children being predominately raised and educated by state institutions rather than parents will end any final resistance to state control over our culture and lives.

  • Joe Zammit

      Par.2357 of the Catechism of
    the Catholic Church reads:

       “Homosexuality refers to relations between
    men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual
    attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of
    forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological
    genesis remains largely unexplained.

      Basing itself
    on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,
    tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically
    disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to
    the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual
    complementarity.

      Under no
    circumstances can they be approved.”

  • Popudopulous

    And to make money!

  • AnthonyPatrick

     You’ve hit the nail on the head. And I worry about the developing neo-secular attitudes towards the responses of people of faith in our society, too.  But not unduly: people of true faith must remain undaunted, as did our forebears in these islands when the going got really tough under Elizabeth I following the re-definition of the Church as the State Church.  The present-day Elizabethans are just taking things to their logical conclusion in their eyes: the ‘intellectually marxist’ State is its own church, after all.

    I do fear for what’s left of the remnant of orthodox belief in the C of E, though, and the survival of the Cof E itself as anything more than a puppet church, a quasi- ‘spiritual’ cog in the state machine. (Of course, it could be argued that’s more or less what it always has been for the last four hundred and fifty years.)

    A propos this aspect: Catholics hold that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.  We believers, the Pope included, are the body.  But what’s the opinion of Elizabeth II on all that’s been going on in her Church recently?  After all, she is meant to be its Head.  By holding on to the title misappropriated by Henry VIII she is also the defender of the faith of her Church.

    It’s all very well David Cameron and the minions of Mammon making it transparently obvious what they are really about (political reassurances to the contrary, as history repeatedly shows, count for nothing beyond the requirements of fiscal and electoral expediency), but what right have he and they to pontificate about the Queen’s own C of E?

    Did Cameron et al ask her permission before pontificating about women bishops (“… get with the Project”), for example?  Does she agree with him?  Does she have an opinion on the re-definition of ‘marriage’ ?  If so, why has she not let it be known somehow, if only to provide leadership for the remaining true believers in her Church (pace the Archbishop of Canterbury, generation after generation on this island were always taught that the monarch is the true Head of the true English Church) who would at the least be grateful for some guidance regarding matters concerning their faith, I would have thought.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’m not being flippantly ironic about any of this.  I am Catholic, not caustic, about these concerns.   

  • kentgeordie

    Maybe if Christians had made a stronger stand in defence of life-long marriage, and against divorce and civil partnerships unless for all, we would not now be fighting on the last barricade. There is a strongly secularist force at work, and we have not succeeded in finding the means to promote traditional values.

  • Tom47

    The  C of E has always been in denial about its origin. While Luther’s rebellion was rooted in theology (the sucking up to princes came later), that of Henry VIII was blatantly about the whim of a tyrant.The Anglican church has been trying to rationalise its existence ever since.
    Where Luther’s weapons were academic theses, the Tudor monarchs used the axe and the rope. 

    The Reformation was first of all a get-rich=quick scheme for  landowners and cronies of the king: all those country houses called :Abbey’. The ideologists followed, providing justifications to order.

    The clearest manifestation of the spirit of mean-mindedness  which lay behind the Protestantisation under Edward VI and then Elizabeth is bets summed up in Thomas Cromwell’s gangs arriving in parish churches with hammers  and whitewash. Defenders of the Faith indeed!
     

  • mark startin

    How to spot the single-issue fanatic.

    The comments are about the same point regardless of the content of the blog to which they are attached.

  • AnthonyPatrick

     I think you’re right, and we must keep the light shining for those who are lost and need to find their way back to the true fold of the Holy Catholic Church.

  • Michael Turner

    There are several strong arguments against same sex marriage. Too deep to go into at length here
    but they can be briefly stated.

    Marriage between one man and one women is right at the core of our major church’s teachings.
    They have been put in an impossible position, perhaps the greatest catch 22 position in recent history. They cannot accept the government’s position under any circumstances, the alternative of opposition is the only stance they can adopt, for this they receive unwarranted criticism and attack on their very credibilty.
    I therefore see this issue as an iniquitous and wholly repugnant attack at the very heart of the great churches of this country. not least our own Catholic community.  

    There has been no argument supporting same sex marriage other than the rather weak line of equality
    It seems to me that this is already on offer to homosexuals in the form of civil partnership. There is no need nor argument to alienate millions simply to appease 1/5th of 1% of the population. ( In civil partnerhip )
    It is a very weak and wholly insufficient argument our PM put forward that, ” I am in favour of marriage as an institution and see no reason why gay people should be excluded ” This statement screams arrogance and niavity and does nothing to provide a rationale for the proposal.
    In my own tiny campaign over this issue I have communicated with numerous MPs. I have found the same unsupported position from what appears to be a ‘ brow beaten ‘ political community.

    As someone who studied stastistics ( though some years ago ) I can state the following with confidence. There are more than 100 tory MPs who are strongly opposed to the proposals, yet just a few in the labour party. Given the numbers involved it is inconceivable that any less a percentage of
    labour MPs would be opposed. This confirms that the main thrust of support from those in favour is based upon perceived electoral advantage, unlike the 100 plus who are voicing opposition based on
    conscience, otherwise they need not speak attall.

    The institution of marriage would be significantly deminished. I have carried out my own mini survey
    just 50 people at random in my own town. The question was simple. ” Do you think that same sex marriage will have a negative impact on the institution. Result.  Yes 53  N0 31 Don’t knows or other
    16.  It this was in any way mirrored accross the community then yes there would be a very negative impact on marriage.

    Finally. The institution of marriage was founded on the basis of one man and one women in a family
    unit for which the sole purpose was and is. Procreation and Survival of the Species. Nobody is attacking homosexuals simply by opposing this bill. It is however of too much importance for our communities to be left up to ‘ here today gone tomorrow’ politicians to impose their will upon us. This proposed bill was not in the manifesto of any of the politcal parties and therefore no mandate exists for change of this magnitude. I would urge all clear thinking people to oppose this bill in any way possible, short of breaking the law.

    Michael Turner
    mtturner@fireflyuk.net

  • Mtturner

    In opposition to the proposed re-definition of marriage I forgot to add.
    We must do everything possible to convince the government that the
    only way this would be resolved would be REFERENDUM we must shout
    this from the rooftops. The vast silent majority could then have their say.

    Michael Turner

  • Erin Pascal

    Marriage is not something you can just easily let go when things go wrong–it just doesn’t work like that. You have made a vow, a promise in front of the church and most of all, God. Why not do everything that you can first, talk with your spouse, think about it a hundred or better yet, a thousand times and then decide.. Picture yourself and your kids 10 or 20 years from now with and without your spouse. Clear your mind, take a deep breathe, and ask God for guidance.

  • Tom47

    But what would be the point of that? It’s a one-issue party which can only hope to be a spoiler at the next election.

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

    You’re confusing a number of different things here. First, marriage tribunals are there to declare that a marriage never existed: it is possible (given the specific requirements of intention etc) that what looks like a marriage isn’t a marriage and the tribunal process is simply a formal way of recognizing this possibility. Second, you mention the Pauline and Petrine privileges. These are extremely limited exceptions of dissolving a valid non-sacramental marriage, based on explicit scriptural authority and the need to protect the higher end of human life (ie our life as Christians) at the expense of natural law.

  • Michael Turner

    Hi Tom

    You have clearly not read UKIP’s manifesto, which is available on the net. To describe them as a one issue party is simply wrong. hey have a well articulated policy on most
    major issues. They are of course being somewhat overwhelmed by their successes. It
    is important to realise their relative infancy as a political party. But be certain they will mature very quickly.

    Michael Turner

  • Joe Zammit

    Mark,

    Is it possible that you are not intelligent enough to recognise the link between what the Catholic Church infallibly teaches and the topic of the blog?

  • Joe Zammit

    Prayer and action.

    Prayer: God can do what we cannot do. God can arrive where we cannot arrive.

    Action: evil spreads when the good stay idle. Action in every possible way, always according to law.

    Mass media are there for Catholics as well to make use of.

    One of the possible bad qualities of a Catholic is indifference: You let others do the job and you just stare.

    Unity and organized action among all Catholics will prove effective indeed.

    We must remember that truth is on our side. Solid arguments are on our side. On the opposite side there is ONLY superficiality.

  • andyandnic

    The full text of Bishop Egan’s letter to David Cameron can be found here:

    http://quovadispetre.blogspot.co.uk/

    Its worth a read and some serious thought.  In fact it is excellent.

  • mark startin

     The central topic is the recently released statistics on marriage.

  • mollysdad

    What we need to do is something radical. All Catholic clergy should resign their civil certificates designating them as registrars of marriage for the purposes of civil law. Then, the Church should take the adjudication and registration of true marriage into its own hands, not only for Catholics and other Christians but also for everyone who believes marriage to be what it truly is. Matrimonial causes involving Catholics would be dealt with by Church tribunals; those not involving Christians would be dealt with by lay judges applying canon law. Anyone who believes marriage to be what it is about to become can go swimming with David Cameron in his moral cesspit.

  • http://twitter.com/rihanna81336247 rihanna

    The spells cast by prophetharry@ymail.com made wonders! all of a sudden my man who broke up with me 2 months ago kept calling me to see how I am doing and just talking constantly and I knew it was because of the love spell which prophet harry did for me, my man wanted to hear my voice. Only 3 days after the love spell was cast my man told me that he wanted to come by to the house claiming he needed a outfit and he looked so lost and sad like he lost his best friend and I knew he missed me and I felt it, because i can see the sadness on his face….
    He said he would come the next week to visit and 2 days later after he said that at my house he wanted to move back in with me. to my surprise, he came back the next morning he was all on me kissing and rubbing on me telling me how much he missed me and loves me so much that he wants me back. i was happy and i gladly took him back, thanks to prophet harry for helping me to bring my lover back
    rihanna

  • JabbaPapa

    What is this advert for witchcraft doing here ???

  • JabbaPapa

    Obviously not, Mark.

  • mark startin

     Obviously yes, from the wording of the title and subtitle.

  • whytheworldisending

    The parable of the foolish bridemaids (Matthew 25) comes to mind.

    “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too.”

    This is like the situation we have now. Those unconcerned for the grace which comes through Jesus Christ, neglected to teach the Faith to the next generation. They were ignorant of the nature of British society and its absolute dependence on its Chritian Heritage for its values and sense of community. They saw no need of the Wisdom found in the Gospels, and therefore they made light of it, and denied it as useless; so that they and their children are found to be destitute of it.

    Those who, like the wise bridesmaids, have kept the faith, are equipped and ready to serve God and Man, but there comes a point when the numbers do not allow them to serve everybody. There comes a point when those without grace must be abandoned to their fate. This is in a sense a judgement on those who foolishly believed that they could put their faith in something other than God.

    In the parable there are 5 wise and 5 foolish bridesmaids, and the wise bridesmaids had only sufficient for the task, so could not share even if they wanted to. Already there are not enough foster parents, or local authority resources, or social workers to look after children born to atheists; there are not enough police (not to mention judges and prison wardens) to oversee the criminal behaviour of atheists, there are not enough doctors and nurses to treat the sexually transmitted diseases of atheists; there are not enough treatment centres to help victims of drug and alcohol dependency promoted by atheistic hedonism, and there are not enough teachers with the faith to make the Gospels known to chidlren.

    A 2-tier society is evolving in which increasingly, people of faith will be (a) unable to spare the resources to assist atheists with the consequences of their atheism and (b) forced to separate themselves from atheists in order to salvage something of what is good in society for themselves. It seems harsh and it seems unchristian, but that is just the way it is.

    It is already here in that we have Faith Schools, and Home Education (in the USA this is big) but it will not be long before we will have Faith Hospitals. Already the secular NHS is forced to prioritise services in favour of treating conditions which are not self-inflicted, and the numbers of people suffering – for example – alcohol induced liver damage and drug induced mental illness is soaring. Unless we get some christians in government, things can only get worse.

    The demand for services is coming from foolish lifestyles born out of atheism. The wise helpers are those who have taken on board that ethos of self-denial and service to others which comes from the Gospels. When demand outstrips suppply, normally the price rises, but you cannot buy love. It is priceless. 

  • NewMeena

    Following the discussion about the status of Christianity and especially Catholicism in British society following the release of figures from the 2011 Census, a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said:

     “The overall decrease in the number of self-identifying Christians is consistent with recent social attitude and social value surveys.”While this is a challenge, the fact that six out of 10 people in England and Wales self-identify as Christians is not discouraging. Christianity is no longer a religion of culture but a religion of decision and commitment. People are making a positive choice in self-identifying as Christians.”SEE LINK:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20675307(Scroll down about one third to read the above quote)You claim ridiculously and absurdly that children taken into care are “children born to atheists”; together with a whole host of other evils: criminal behaviour; sexually transmitted diseases and drug and alcohol dependency are a consequence of atheism and promoted by atheistic hedonism.With the above quote from the Bishops in mind you might begin to realise that most of these evils arise among Christians.                                          

  • NewMeena

    Here is the LINK again:  

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20675307

  • NewMeena

    This is very good advice with which (except for asking God, possibly) I agree.

    I have enjoyed a stable (heterosexual with children produced) marriage for over 30 years to a single partner. I recommend it strongly to everyone.

    But not everyone agrees. I am used to that, and it doesn’t annoy.

  • NewMeena

    “It is the more supernatural pressures that are difficult to counteract”

    Supernatural?

  • NewMeena

    Do you come from Malta Joe?

  • Parkerkajwen

    The Pope behaves like a foolish child, as he coddles open adulterers and abandons
    faithful spouses. If you support him, you are a fool! Benedict needs to grow up and listen to annulment respondents and turn a deaf ear to his fellow(losers) bishops, especially here in the colonies.

  • Karl

    Thank you for the prayers, sincerely. Having faith is far easier said than done. 

    BTW, I practice what Paul preached. To say than SOME clergy are bad is a vast understatement. As regards marriage…..the clergy, at least in the colonies, are a
    useless bunch of near heathens! Here, adultery and remarriage are nearly sacraments, with the tacit approval of the hierarchy. I would be glad to mention that were I to have to defend myself before the Pope.