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Archbishop questions Home Secretary about same-sex marriage

By on Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Archbishop Smith is chairman of the bishops' Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship (Mazur)

Archbishop Smith is chairman of the bishops' Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship (Mazur)

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark met the Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday to talk about the Government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage.

The archbishop told The Catholic Herald that he wanted to clarify why the Government believed such legislation was needed.

He said he could not see the point of it given that civil partnerships already offer broadly the same legal rights as marriage.

But during their 40-minute meeting, he said, Mrs May seemed unable to answer that question. “I suspect the Government hasn’t really thought out why the definition of marriage should be changed,” he said.

He said that the standing committee of the bishops’ conference was to meet on Wednesday to plan how to campaign against the Government’s plans.

He met the Home Secretary alongside William Fittall, secretary general of the Church of England’s General Synod. The meeting had been suggested by the Church of England.

During their meeting Mrs May said that the Government intended to introduce same-sex marriage and that the consultation was merely to help with the “nuts and bolts” of the legislation.

Archbishop Smith also asked Mrs May about reported comments by Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove and Portslade, that churches which refuse to marry gay couples should be stripped of their marriage licences.

Mrs May said that was “not Government policy at all”, according to the archbishop.

  • http://www.cjmwrites.com/ Christopher J Moore

    I applaud Archbishop Peter Smith for standing up for marriage. If the legislation is passed and Catholic Churches are subsequently stripped of their marriage  licences, so what? When I was getting married at Belmont Abbey in 1986, on Easter Monday (a bank holiday) the civil registrar said they would not come out. I told them I didn’t care as I would be married in the eyes of God and in the Church and we could go down and sign at the register office when it was convenient for us. In the end, they relented and came out!

    All this would mean is that couples married in a Catholic Church would need to register at a civil office at some stage to make it legal within English law - though one has to ask if this is really necessary as the government has stripped away all the rights of marriage anyway!

  • Anonymous

    What will happen if gay marriage is legalised??

  • Anonymous

    Why does the Church think it has the power to define the terms of marriage for all of humanity?

    Marriage is a human institution that pre-dates the Church, and has been present in almost all civilisations. Gay marriage has existed before let’s remember. Why then does the Church feel it can dictate the terms? It is society as a whole the must decide that – as marriage itself is a creation of society.

    Marriage as a sacrement in the Church is something entirely different. It is about a communion with God. It is a sacred Catholic institution – I don’t deny this. But why should everyone who is NOT a Catholic abide by the rules of Catholic marriage?

    I can’t see the issue with leaving secular marriage to be defined as society dictates, and then as Catholics dictating for yourselves the kind of marriage you find acceptable.

    The Church has no stake in secular marriage so why should it try and decide what it means? No one is trying to re-define Catholic marriage – any perceived ‘threat’ to the Church is fictitious.

  • Scyptical Chymist

    And what exactly is the point you are trying to make? For example are you arguing that sexual activity between a  couple of the same sex in a a stable relationship should be recognizable as marriage by the state? If so  come out and say it. I presume you are not a Catholic, as clearly this is not the position of the Church.  However if you are a Catholic then clearly you need to consider the Church’s teaching.

  • Cjkeeffe

    We should note that English statute and common law has always defined marriage as between a mana and a  woman. Homosexuals are permitted by statute law to enter into civil partnerships why are they not happy with that. Marriage forms a covenant between man and woman and is also teh essential stable union man and woman to have children within.

  • Anonymous

    In secular marriage – as defined by the state at the registry office there is no convenant between man and God. Nor is there any obligation of child-bearing.

    Under the Catholic sacrement of marriage both child rearing, and the covenant between man and God fundemental. I understand this – but why should the rules to the Catholic sacrement of marriage be applied to secular marriage too?

    I agree that marriage may help in creating a stable household to bring up children. Everyone is in favour of stable upbringings for children. However, I hardly see how gay marriage would endanger this.

  • Anonymous

    I am talking about marriage not sex. I am saying that if society decides that gay marriage is acceptable – then what authority does the Church have to dictate what is (in terms of the law) a secular institution?

    The Church is likely never to perform same-same marriages. That is the concern of the Church, and the rules it has for that sacrament.

    Allow I disagree, I don’t have the arrogance to tell the Church how to make its decisions on marriage. And neither should it have the arrogance to try and tell society the rules of secular marriage.

  • Katerina Ambrose

    Marriage is one man one woman for the procreation of children and for the salvation of each others souls.
    There should be no re-difining of marriage, as it won’t improve secular society. Secular marriages follow a reasonable norm, after all what next… legal polygamy? Where would it end? It is a slippery slope.

  • AndyB72

    My own personal view on this is eloquently expressed by the comedian, Wanda Sykes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ38Ujwyllk&feature=fvst

  • chrism

    When I was a student in the 1960′s , when the repeal of the Sexual Offences Act was being debated , it was argued that homosexuals simply wanted to be free from the fear of blackmail. The consequences of the appeal of the act  , and the ensuing  permissive society led to the continual erosion of  social morality and a huge rise in the numbers of sexual deviants and practices. And so it continues today. At that time , I well remember on the same platform , those who argued for  ‘ the freedom of loving relationships ‘ with children. All of the demands and arguments for such sexual rights could just as equally apply to children and animals. why stop at same sex ?

  • chrism

    As far as the stupidity of the argument as Wanda Sykes is concerned , it is like saying ‘ if you don’t like burglary  don’t commit it ‘. It is the effect on society that is the important issue ! Not someone’s brainless opinion on the matter !

  • Agent Provocateur21

    Dear Paul, the Church did not invent marriage. God did and establised it as a union between a man and woman. Therefore, your argument the Chuch can’t say to the society what is good or bad is very weak. The Chuch not only can, she MUST defend what is good and holy.

  • Aaron Lopez

    Because religious institutions have always, and rightfully will always, help shape and inform society on the moral good. In fact the idea of a monogamous, homosexual marriage is an offshoot of the Christian idea of what constitutes a marriage.

    Paul, you are in the unfortunate modernist mentality of ‘i’ll do what i want, they do what they want, and we’ll keep it to ourselves’. That has never been the way of the Church. In fact, it is completely antithetical to Christ’s teaching. 

    Put it this way: if your brother, neighbour, or friend had an unhealthy addiction to child pornography or beastiality, you would do as much as you can to snap them out of it (or at least I hope you would), even though they believe it’s perfectly harmless. Likewise, The Church in her Wisdom knows that society requires its people to uphold the value of marriage, and anything to undermine it, such as premarital sex, cohabitation, and gay marriage is a detriment to that society.

    Remember, the value of liberty isn’t doing anything you wish. The value of liberty is in doing what you ought to do.

  • app

    The church can only ever uphold an unquestionable right to represent itself based on it’s own teachings and not the states. Now if a secular society wants to make its own rules then so be it, that’s a democratic right which may include legalising marriage for budgies for all I care. However, what happens in a registry office is the only area in which government should have a say, it is not their job to interpret scripture and matters of faith or organise church services to please Westminster. Anyone who wants to use the church to sanction their unchurched behaviour has got it wrong, why would anyone worship or follow a god that had been invented as the mouthpiece of a temporal government?

    If the teachings of the Christian church become restrained by politicians and the whims of media gurus then the message is void. True authority rests on the shoulders of Christ, he is not the puppet of corrupt vote hungry politicians and neither should we be.

  • Anonymous

    Christianity began 2000 years ago, yet recorded human civilization has been around for many thousands of years before. Marriage is thought to be 5000 years old or older. Therefore your assertion that monogamous heterosexual marriage is a creation of Christianity is incorrect. Societies before Christianity had heterosexual marriage.

    Next you continue to make wild accusations about my world-view and mindset – that are quite impossible to prove.

    ‘I’ll do what I want, they do what they want, and we’ll keep it to ourselves’

    I find it amusing that you feel you can pluck a quote out of midair and attribute it to me. We are talking about gay marriage, and you think that because my opinion differs that I will conform to some kind of stereotype you find disagreeable. If you disagree with me just tackle the points of my argument – don’t go on some quest to prove me wrong on issue you don’t know my opinions on.

    For your information I do not have a ‘laize-faire’ attitude to morals and behavior that you assume I must do. No, quite the opposite in fact. The best for society overall often trumps personal freedoms. For example driving at any speed on the roads is a personal freedom – but it is much better for society at large if we drive more slowly in order to avoid deaths on the road. Therefore I support this curtailing of this liberty. I would apply this to many other human ‘liberties’ such as gun-ownership and adulterous behaviour.

    Then you make a false parallel between activities that could be harmful to society and gay marriage – which you have not given any evidence why it could be harmful. Bestiality is bad and dangerous for animals and people. Child pornography is exploitive and dangerous for children. But what exactly are the harmful effects of gay marriage? Why can’t we discuss this? Are you just struggling to think of anything credible, perhaps?

  • Anonymous

    Gay people are asking for a secular way to celebrate their love, and to cement and stabilize their relationships. I don’t see what’s damaging about this.

    There is no slippery slope because – firstly no one is asking for the legalization of polygamy – and secondly society rejects it as we see clear reasons why it is damaging to children and women.
    Many US states, and some countries have made gay-marriage legal in the last couple – but none of these countries have had any calls or pressure for polygamy. 

    It is secular marriage law that would be changed if gay marriage was made legal, and under the law pro-creation of children is not an obligation. Equally Catholic marriages need not have children or else we would ban the infertile and old from the sacrament of marriage would we not? 

  • Anonymous

    Because the majority of society finds those practises to be abhorrent, and with rational reasons why they are damaging to society. 

    Whereas most people find neither gays, nor gay sex to be abhorrent and there are very few rational reasons why gay marriage could be damaging to society. 

  • Anonymous

    Nice post.

    If the bishops want to make gay marriage impossible, & if the reason for their position is that it is not Christian marriage – does it not follow that they should, by the logic of their position, oppose the marriages of Muslims as well ? Yet how many Churchmen who attack gay marriage, and the rights of gay people, as unnatural, etc., explain how the polygamy of OT Biblical heroes was not unnatural ? If Christian monogamy is alone tolerable, then why is Islam not attacked vigorously for its immoral and degrading & anti-human polygamy ? If the culture wars are to include broadsides against gay marriage & gay rights, why are there no denunciations of the behaviour of the false prophet (as from a Christian POV he is) from Arabia who pandered to the lusts of the men who followed him, by allowing them to take several wives ? Or is polygamy in accord with the teaching of Jesus, while gay marriage is not ? If Catholic bishops anywhere in the world want to be Mr. Valiant-for-truth, they need to be consistent, and not attack one form of marriage that they reject as inconsistent with Catholicism, while being silent about another they also reject. If gay people who are not Catholics can be hindered from marrying by Catholic bishops, why do the same bishops fail to try to stop Muslims marrying ? Why attack one evil, and not these others too ?

    Why is patriotism acceptable (even though it sets Christian against Christian),  whereas gay marriage is still not acceptable to Christian bishops ? How is the killing of Argentinian Catholics by UK Catholics a manifestation of Christian love, whereas a committed & faithful union in love of two gay Catholics is not ? How is destroying the Unity of the Body of Christ by war praiseworthy & not sinful ?  The NT says our *patria*, our “fatherland”, is in *Heaven*. Christian bishops provide chaplains for soldiers whose training equips them to kill other soldiers, themselves provided with chaplains provided by Christian bishops. This is the brotherly love of Cain for Abel, not the self-giving Love of Christ.  When are the bishops going to condemn the sin of patriotism for its effect upon the unity and brotherly love between Christians that it destroys ? If the state can without sin make patriotism legal for Christians, why can’t it do likewise with gay marriage, and do so without sin ?

    I think we should be told the answers – and sooner rather than later.

    If the Abp’s position is that gay marriage is not natural marriage – one reply is that marriage is a social construct, and is subject to change. Only Christian marriage is by definition both monogamous and indissoluble once consummated. If the Catholic bishops want to prevent marriage being undermined, why do they not condemn the Church of England for caving in to the adulterous & sacrilegious union between the Prince of Wales & his (already-married) mistress ? Or is there one standard for the mighty, but  another for those who can’t fight back ? Why is Prince Charles allowed to undermine two marriages & then contract a second of his own during the lifetime of his mistress’ husband, whereas two gay people are not to be allowed to marry one another ? If Catholic bishops have the authority to meddle in the business of non-Catholics, as the Abp seems to want to, why is HRH not being rebuked by the Abp ? 
     
    If there is any merit in the Archbishop’s position, I would very much like to be able to see it. As a Catholic, I find it impossible to defend as consistent a set of inconsistent positions that the bishops of the Church hold & desire to be held by others. It is not Christian to get het up about the evil gays while saying not a word about the (no less truly, by Catholic standards) evil Prince of Wales. I fully expect Abp Smith to rebuke him severely  for his adultery, as that is why bishops have the gift of Apostolic fortitude: that they may fearlessly and with Apostolic zeal rebuke evil in high places, as they should, in order to set an example of Christian fearlessness  & zeal for the truth. That would be a nice example of the New Evangelisation in action.

  • Katerina Ambrose

    Changing the secular law on marriage is a bad idea, because gay marriage is not in the interests of society. Catholic marriages are not seen as valid if the intention is not to be ‘open’ to the possibility of children.(possibly grounds fro annulment)
     Infact, procreation is so wrapped up in the whole marriage thing, that in the Orthodox Catholic Church, if the marriage fails to produce off-spring, there is the option for a ‘church divorce’, so that the couple may re-marry, with the possibility that the ‘new unions’ may hopefully  be’ fruitful.’ Not alot of people know that!
    In Catholic marriage if a couple is infertile it is painful, but unforseen.
    Change in the marriage law IS a slippery slope, how do you know what the future holds? I know some Muslims like the idea of Legalized Polygamy!

  • Anonymous

    Paulsays I don’t think you actually see what’s happening – it’s all a con!

    Primarily yes to Catholics marriage is a sacramental institution – a union of souls becoming one flesh where one gives oneself totally to the other and becomes everything for that other – the physical and spiritual love overflows with the Grace of God through His Procreative Will into forming new life – a new unique encapsulated cosmos – the child becoming a new part of this spiritual and physical bond and increasing the love and the experience exponentially….

    It’s a reflection of natural reality – the telos towards the continuance of the earthly race; an inbuilt social and psychological entelechy towards that end – for love to overflow into a family and a community and the physical and spiritual links increase commensurately…

    Now even if you remove the religious aspects of this paradigm you still arrive at a natural phenomenon – an evolutionary/genetic/endocrinological/neurochemical/psychological coercion towards this bonding and unifying and consolidating and becoming a protective, loving holism of a family.

    The natural telos of lovemaking is exactly that – unifying and procreative – biologically, psychologically and for those with a non-positivist/secularist/mechanist perspective – a spiritual entelechy too.

    That’s the normative way – any way you wish to look at it – that’s the inherent design and the ontological ideal.

    Now introduce those who are sexually attracted to members of the same sex – why or how or through what process or potential biological/psychological/socio-cultural factors  is irrelevant for this argument – they exist.

    Even though they possess an inherent procreative capacity they are unable to enter into the normative paradigm expressed above as they psychologically and spiritually limited from bringing that aspect of themself to fruition by unifying themselves with a member of the opposite sex.
    No matter how unifying the intention of their sexual acts – they axiomatically [and for all intents and purposes if one aspires to the ideal scenario - unwillingly] preclude that generative aspect of themselves from their sexual partner.
    No matter how crude or insensitive it may seem – the sterile sexual acts of homosexuals is mutual masturbation.
    All the evolutionary, biological ,psychological aspects of themselves driven towards a procreative entelechy is automatically denied from them…

    Hence there is a scarring – an intrinsic moral disorder within the acts unable to fulfil their designated purpose.
    …and those with same-sex attraction possess an inherent ‘natural’ moral disorder and a social disorder – it’s non-normative and non-categorical – it cannot be universalised without extinction.

    Now within the infertile and menopausal there remains most of the entelechy except a procreative aspect which can still be personally, socially and externally vindicated and lead to a furtherance of that very entelechy by promotion of the very state or providing that holism to those deprived of it e.g. adoption, communal integration etc. They are married by natural and supernatural standards.

    But for those within a same-sex relationship?
    The best to which they can aspire is an exclusive loving union of disaffected friendship – the argument that sexual activity by its very incapacity to fulfil the overwhelming desires for fully unifying and being procreative is by its very nature damaging on so many levels and must be considered as intrinsically harmful and intrinsically morally disordered – cannot be merely dismissed with ‘it’s the optimal expression of physical love’ – the limiting unifying nature of it axiomatically accentuates and aggravates and potentially corrupts and jeopardises the love within the relationship.

    …and to this couple their relationship must be afforded social recognition and in the interests of social justice all legal rights reflecting their relationship should be implemented and upheld – joint property, rights of inheritance, power of attorney, hospital visitation etc.

    So this same-sex partnership must be afforded specific rights.
    The Church cannot condone and strongly advises against – for the couple’s own sake- any sexual activity [but this does not preclude chaste emotional and exclusive physical intimacy to complement and compliment the "disaffected friendship']

    Now the government – instead of merely altering all the legal aspects individually – chose to encapsulate all these legal rights into a Civil Partnership act which for all intents and purposes designates the same-sex couple as having the same legal status  as those who are married [yes I know - it is not called marriage - and it does not directly relate to those within a sexual relationship - but nevertheless the legislation has introduced a separate entity which possesses a congruency in statutory rights as marriage]

    So where marriage’s normative natural [and legislative supernatural] status is compromised by its existence.
    For those in [most] religious bodies it scandalises the very nature of marriage’s supernatural union of souls and the resultant spiritual family holism.

    Therefore the Catholic Church…

    [despite what you might hear from obscurantist renegades like His Grace Archbishop Nichols [whom don't forget was forced by the Vatican to clarify his position] or the posturing Catholic Voices]

    …strongly opposes Civil partnerships by their very emulative nature. It does not oppose most of the natural social justice provisions within it – it opposes its encapsulation as a single entity which bastardises and scandalises the intrinsic nature of marriage. A same-sex relationship – however loving and unifying – IS BY VERY DEFINITION – not marriage.
    To provide all the rights under a ‘marriage-like’ umbrella statute is erroneous and defiantly denigrates the normative aeons-formulated categorically-exclusively heterosexual nature of marriage.

    …The Church cannot merely dismiss the awkwardness and accept the Civil Partnership provisions with the equivocation that it’s a legal arrangement and not a recognition of a sexual ‘consummated’ partnership…

    [How +Vin & the Catholic Voices team thought they could get away with that argument is beyond me - same-sex partners DO NOT ENGAGE in what the Church calls lovemaking - haven't they read the criteria of casti connubii & humanae vitae? Compound that with the physical manifestation of the legislation - it is performed AS A MARRIAGE by its participants - and thus compromises the normative natural nature of Marriage and scandalises the Catholic sacramental supernatural nature of marriage]

    Hence the 2003 CDF Directive where we have a ‘duty to oppose’ same-sex unions and the proscriptive ‘strongly oppose’ of CBCEW representative Bishop Hines’s deposition to the CP consultation – apply!

    So when during the Papal Visit [and repeated in Sep 2010] Archbishop Nichols declared ‘we did not oppose Civil Partnerships’ he was guilty of amnesia and [inadvertent?] misrepresentation of Church teaching – as he has been during recent months [hence the intervention of the Vatican in December - forcing him to clarify his position]

    Nevertheless Civil Partnerships exist [and the Church opposes them just as it opposes a vast array of other legislation]
    It has a legal equivalence with marriage in every way except one – where it can be performed.

    Now here’s the crux of what’s going on.
    When the legislation for Civil Partnerships was being proposed – GLBT activists and campaigners declared all they sought was recognition and a resolution of all the social injustices and deprivations the law in its then state had against homosexuals – that it DID NOT WANT it to be considered as marriage – as…

    …now get this…

    “Marriage is a redundant socio-cultural paradigm which offends all those who belong to a “post-nuclear family” relationship”

     [ironically you'll hear similar arguments from so-called Christian lobby-group Ekklesia who oppose any legal/financial bias towards the marital status]

    In other words – the GLBT community recognised marriage for what it was – a timeless socio-cultural and religious construct which did not reflect the nature of their relationships. They did not want to be referred to as participants in marriage given its ideological and religious ‘baggage’

    So what changed?
    Why all of a sudden do the Gay Activists demand ‘Justice’ & ‘Equality’ and an ‘end to homophobic oppression’ which can all be resolved by the legal designation of ‘Same- Sex Marriage”?

    Why are they being duplicitously deceptive – they have Gay marriage in all-but-name – so why do they want the name?

    In 2001 GLBT Activist Ben Summerskill declared EXACTLY what the intention was behind it…

    Simply to force every institution which performs civil marriage to perform same-sex marriage – any body which did not or could not [i.e. all the homophobic enemies of equality] must be legally forced to perform them or be excluded.

    In other words – this is about punishing the ‘inherently homophobic’ aspects of religion
    and legally ensuring they are not allowed to continue to provide ‘institutionally homophobic’ marriages.
    If a Church, Mosque or Temple thinks it is going to get away with perfoming Civil marriages within their religious ceremonies and deny same-sex couples from the privilege?
    They are very much mistaken – they are homophobic and should not be allowed to continue to affront GLBT dignity by being part of the legal system

    So what is this all about?

    Ultimately the removal of all religious bodies who cannot perform same-sex ceremonies from also participating in the civil marriage process.

    Now make no mistake: Same-sex marriage will come.
    Some religions will comply with the intensifying pressure to perform the ceremonies…

    …meanwhile our Catholic hierarchy will handwring, bewail their lot, attempt to make dodgy deals with the encumbent government over exemptions and appeal to religious conscience rights etc.
    …and it will all come to nothing – they’ll be kicked out of the civil marriage process and there will be a legal enforcement of dual ceremonies; the religious ceremonies will need civil confirmation & recognition with separate vows/public declarations.

    So why doesn’t the Church do here what it has done in numerous countries elsewhere? e.g. India, Canada, Russia etc

    Why doesn’t the Church pro-actively appeal to the Vatican to remove itself completely from the Civil process and revoke the statutory provisions; throwing them back in the government’s face?

    Why doesn’t it now – before being dragged kicking and screaming – act conscientiously and remove itself from the sullied process?

    Answers?
    Well why give away a right you possess and still have an opportunity to cling to – maybe even for a decade or so?

    If we’re out of the process we lose our [illusionary?] bargaining chip and if we lose this fight we might get compensated by the government with something else we want?
     
    Ohhhhh! We would be seen as ‘institutionally homophobic’ !!! [the LAST thing our hierarchy wants]

    …and to quote our illustrious Archbishop Nichols “Who knows what’s down the road?”

    Maybe when this Pope dies we’ll have new Vatican ‘Policy’?
     [notice no deference to timeless magisterial teaching here]

    A new Pope might be more ‘pastorally sensitive/gay-friendly’ and submit to social cultural developments and permit the blessing of ‘disaffected chaste same-sex commitments’ in Churches – a sort of marriage-lite? And we might be able to wing it and stay within the state system and placate all the gay pressure groups?

    {and let’s be honest here – they’re already happening in secret or in public among professional establishment same-sex Catholic couples while our hierarchy turns a blind-eye – it’s happening!!! The more it’s done the sooner it will become more ‘acceptable’ ]

    There’s also financial considerations – who is going to pay for both a Church and a Civil ceremony? It could mean less money in our coffers if we can’t provide an all-inclusive service

    ….but there is also one final argument as to why we shouldn’t take the moral high ground and remove ourselves from the Civil marriage process…

    MAYBE IT’S WRONG!!!??
    Maybe being ousted by bully-boy browbeating and exiled from the civil process by those who wish to change the definition of marriage and rewrite history for their own selfish ends – is to be cowardly – and to abrogate our duties and responsibilities to our traditions and ancestors and every member of society of all faiths and none – if this is unjust – maybe compliance is the last thing we should do? Maybe we’re here to take a stand and fight it all the way – the same way we are supposed to fight against any injustice and oppose every tyranny [even when it arrogantly wields the false banner of 'equality'] ?

    Or in this world is it too much to ask the Church to ever do the right thing?

  • David Page

    I am thankful for Church Leaders seeing the home secretary.
    As an Evangelical Christian I believe that Mariage was instituted by God for the good of society, whether they believe in God or not. Protestants call this Common Grace. The bible speaks of Marriage between a man and a woman who are committed to each other for life. So called ‘same sex marriage’ can never be true marriage even if the government inacts a law. All it would do would be to weaken the institution of marriage and our country will suffer the consequences. Politically the Conservatives will suffer as polls show that it will effect the Christian vote greately which is far stronger than any ‘Gay’ vote.

  • Anonymous

    How is it unforeseen? Catholics that are knowingly infertile, or post-menopause regularly get married.

    Are you saying that these people should not be able to get Catholic marriages?

  • Anonymous

    And what effect will it have on society?
    Gay couple A live together for X years and that’s OK?
    Gay couple B marry and live together for X years and society crumbles?
    Not sure I follow the logic here.

  • Anonymous

    The Church believes that she has a sacred duty to defend the truth – to uphold it and to guarantee it. Just as the Church will never condone murder, she can never accept a falsehood. To do so would be tantamount to colluding with a lie and therefore with the destruction of humanity – lies are destructive.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the relationship between one man and one woman is vastly different to that which exists between a man and a man. When a man and a woman fall in love, their love can - because it is ordered in the right way – lead to new life. It is also highly complimentary – the joining together of the two human genders. When both sexes come together, humanity itself, in a sense, is united. When two men or two women unite sexually, one is tempted to say that the union is narcissistic – a loving of the same, not of the radically different. 

    Two males may be able to love each other or form a relationship, but that ‘pairing’ can not be called marriage as the definition of marriage has always been understood as the state of union between a man (husband) and a woman (wife) that can (and in the vast majority of cases, does) lead to life, or is at least ordered towards procreation. This isn’t about religious rites but is rather about the truth and the Church’s belief that she has a God-given mandate to defend it.

    The truth leads to love, it sets us free. Falsehoods imprison us, they sometimes create false paradises – aka fools paradises. Truth leads to freedom and salvation. Lies lead to imprisonment of the soul and deluded societies. Christ wants people to be free, to be wedded to the truth, to rid themselves of fantasy-lifestyles. In that sense, the Church has a duty to proclaim that marriage is between a man and a woman and is the preserve of those whose sexuality is ordered towards the opposite sex – as it is amongst 98% of the human (and mammalian) population.

    Again, there are many, many different relationships within human societies: from friendships to extremely odd ones (such as sado-masochistic fetishist partnerships). Some people enter into homosexual relationships. Whatever they may wish to call these relationships, marriages they are not, nor can they be. To call them marriage is tantamount to calling “night” “day” or “white” “black”. 

    To hijack marriage for a political cause is to devalue it. To open its definition up to any adult pairing is to devalue it. To say that the relationship of two same-sex people is intrinsically the same as that which exists between a husband and wife is plain madness. When societies propose that the irrational is rational, then we know that humanity has reached a shallowness that is quite perilous. 

  • Anonymous

    The Church believes that she has a sacred duty to defend the truth – to uphold it and to guarantee it. Just as the Church will never condone murder, she can never accept a falsehood. To do so would be tantamount to colluding with a lie and therefore with the destruction of humanity – lies are destructive.
    The simple fact of the matter is that the relationship between one man and one woman is vastly different to that which exists between a man and a man. When a man and a woman fall in love, their love can - because it is ordered in the right way – lead to new life. It is also highly complimentary – the joining together of the two human genders. When both sexes come together, humanity itself, in a sense, is united. When two men or two women unite sexually, one is tempted to say that the union is narcissistic – a loving of the same, not of the radically different. 

    Two males may be able to love each other or form a relationship, but that ‘pairing’ can not be called marriage as the definition of marriage has always been understood as the state of union between a man (husband) and a woman (wife) that can (and in the vast majority of cases, does) lead to life, or is at least ordered towards procreation. This isn’t about religious rites but is rather about the truth and the Church’s belief that she has a God-given mandate to defend it.

    The truth leads to love, it sets us free. Falsehoods imprison us, they sometimes create false paradises – aka fools paradises. Truth leads to freedom and salvation. Lies lead to imprisonment of the soul and deluded societies. Christ wants people to be free, to be wedded to the truth, to rid themselves of fantasy-lifestyles. In that sense, the Church has a duty to proclaim that marriage is between a man and a woman and is the preserve of those whose sexuality is ordered towards the opposite sex – as it is amongst 98% of the human (and mammalian) population.

    Again, there are many, many different relationships within human societies: from friendships to extremely odd ones (such as sado-masochistic fetishist partnerships). Some people enter into homosexual relationships. Whatever they may wish to call these relationships, marriages they are not, nor can they be. To call them marriage is tantamount to calling “night” “day” or “white” “black”. 

    To hijack marriage for a political cause is to devalue it. To open its definition up to any adult pairing is to devalue it. To say that the relationship of two same-sex people is intrinsically the same as that which exists between a husband and wife is plain madness. When societies propose that the irrational is rational, then we know that humanity has reached a shallowness that is quite perilous. 

  • Anonymous

    “Gay people are asking for a secular way to celebrate their love”
    They have it – it’s called Civil Partnerships

    “some countries have made gay-marriage legal in the last couple – but none of these countries have had any calls or pressure for polygamy.”

    Bloody Nora, give it some time! I know that everything happens in an instant within the secular time-scale, but…! There are already campaigning groups for polygamy and human-animal marriage (which happened in history and still happens within Hindu sects). 

    In 1943, the new Archbishop of Westminster, Bernard (later Cardinal) Griffin preached on the subject of the threats then being made to marriage. He said that the devaluing of marriage through divorce laws and the sexualisation of society would lead to an unravelling of marriage itself. I am sure that there were some in 1945 who would have said to him, “See, nothing to worry about.” I bet those same people would be horrified to know that only 60 years down the line the citizens of Britain were being told that same-sex partnerships (illegal until 1967 or whenever) would be called marriages and that marriage would have been devalued to just being about companionship, i.e. that society was considering making it practically illegal to argue that there was a fundamental difference between heterosexual and homosexual partnerships.

    “Equally Catholic marriages need not have children or else we would ban the infertile and old from the sacrament of marriage would we not?”

    But marriage is not only about children, they are also about the bringing together of the two-halves of humanity: male and female. I’m afraid that homosexual partnerships cannot do that. Even so, marriage is about rightly ordered sexuality, which according to natural law, the Church, most religion and the rational and to any objective observer, is open to the possibility of life or, in other words, to the opposite sex. The elderly who get married or the infertile – both rare compared to the millions of young couple who get wed every year throughout the world – are at least ordered towards the opposite sex. 

  • Anonymous

    “Gay people are asking for a secular way to celebrate their love”
    They have it – it’s called Civil Partnerships

    “some countries have made gay-marriage legal in the last couple – but none of these countries have had any calls or pressure for polygamy.”

    Bloody Nora, give it some time! I know that everything happens in an instant within the secular time-scale, but…! There are already campaigning groups for polygamy and human-animal marriage (which happened in history and still happens within Hindu sects). Give it another 50 – 100 years, maybe less.

    In 1943, the new Archbishop of Westminster, Bernard (later Cardinal) Griffin preached on the subject of the threats then being made to marriage. He said that the devaluing of marriage through divorce laws and the sexualisation of society would lead to an unravelling of marriage itself. I am sure that there were some in 1945 who would have said to him, “See, nothing to worry about.” I bet those same people would be horrified to know that only 60 years down the line the citizens of Britain were being told that same-sex partnerships (illegal until 1967 or whenever) would be called marriages and that marriage would have been devalued to just being about companionship, i.e. that society was considering making it practically illegal to argue that there was a fundamental difference between heterosexual and homosexual partnerships.

    “Equally Catholic marriages need not have children or else we would ban the infertile and old from the sacrament of marriage would we not?”

    But marriage is not only about children, it is also about the bringing together of the two-halves of humanity: male and female. I’m afraid that homosexual partnerships cannot do that. Even so, marriage is about rightly ordered sexuality, which according to natural law, the Church, most religion and the rational and to any objective observer, is open to the possibility of life or, in other words, to the opposite sex. The elderly who get married or the infertile – both rare compared to the millions of young couple who get wed every year throughout the world – are at least ordered towards the opposite sex.

  • jonathanbird

    Given that we have CPs I don’t see the need for gay marriage. However, I don’t see how it damages the “institution” of marriage more than all the divorce and remarriage which is common now? It’s a good excuse for all the usual suspects to stick it to the gays though.

  • Matthew Roth

    Infertile Catholics are still capable of the marital act and open to life. Homosexuals by definition cannot be open to life, as their act is not capable of producing it…

  • Matthew Roth

    Infertile Catholics are still capable of the marital act and open to life. Homosexuals by definition cannot be open to life, as their act is not capable of producing it…

  • Anonymous

    What does being ‘open to life’ mean? Infertile couples cannot produce children any-more than gay couples. They know this, and if they are having sex are clearly using their infertility as a form of contraception.

    Matthew I am struggling to put into words how lame your argument appears.

  • Anonymous

    What does being ‘open to life’ mean? Infertile couples cannot produce children any-more than gay couples. They know this, and if they are having sex are clearly using their infertility as a form of contraception.

    Matthew I am struggling to put into words how lame your argument appears.

  • Anonymous

    …of course, yes because pedophiles are totally accepted in society today, just as you feared.

  • Anonymous

    not

  • Anonymous

    David Cameron was quick to expel MP’s who expressed christian views about homosexuality, which he said did not coincide with his party line. Is he going to sack Mr Weatherley for speaking out of turn, or do his purges only apply to Christians and not practicing homosexuals? Anyway where did he get the idea that the majority of British voters are homophiles with no religious affiliation? He should sack his advisers.

  • AidanCoyle

    I do wish you wouldn’t beat about the bush, paulpriest. Why not just come down from the fence and tell us plainly what you really think?