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Bishops to urge Catholics to write to MPs about same-sex marriage

By on Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Archbishop Smith pictured at his installation at Southwark (Photo: Mazur)

Archbishop Smith pictured at his installation at Southwark (Photo: Mazur)

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark has said that the bishops’ conference is planning to issue leaflets informing Catholics of forthcoming same-sex marriage legislation and urging the faithful to write to their MPs about it.

Archbishop Smith, chairman of the bishops’ Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, said that he and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Wesminster also planned to write a pastoral letter about the importance of marriage to a stable society.

He said that after the details of the legislation had emerged “we will be producing a leaflet for Catholics to raise awareness of the specific proposals and to encourage people to engage with their MPs”.

His statement follows a meeting with Theresa May last week in which the Home Secretary clarified that the Government intended to introduce same-sex marriage and that the consultation next month was only to help with the details of the legislation.

Archbishop Smith said: “At our recent bishops’ conference standing committee meeting we discussed the forthcoming government consultation on same-sex marriage. It was agreed that the president and vice-president of the conference will write a pastoral letter reflecting on the importance of marriage and family life in building a stable and healthy society, and affirming and celebrating the Church’s understanding of marriage.

“In addition, after we have had the opportunity to study the details of the government consultation, we will be producing a leaflet for Catholics to raise awareness of the specific proposals and to encourage people to engage with their MPs,” the archbishop said.

  • AidanCoyle

    I’ll certainly be writing to my MP in response to the bishops’ urging. I shall strongly echo their belief in the important role of marriage as a force for good and for stability in society and consequently I will be encouraging my MP to support any legislation directed towards the extension of marriage to same-sex couples.

  • Anonymous

     I’ll certainly be writing to my MP in response to the bishops’ request.  i shall strongly echo their faith in the indispensable role of marriage as a force for good and stability in society.  Consequently, I will be insisting that my MP must oppose in the Commons any Bill introduced by the Government designed to include this nonsense of same-sex ‘marriage’ in the provision of matrimonial ceremonies.
    I shall impress upon my MP that marriage is a state of lfe exclusively reserved for heterosexuals, one man and one woman, who are capable of having children in the normal set of circumstances, and not, as in the case of homosexuals, a barren duo who are unable to conceive any offspring.  In this regard, I know that my attitude is fully in accord with the thinking of the Church, and is not, like the opinion expressed earlier on this page, heretical garbage that is unworthy of a Catholic paper.

  • AidanCoyle

    ‘Barren duo’? ‘Heretical garbage’? I do so love the temperate and measured tone of many of the public contributions to this site. It really creates such an inviting impression of Catholicism. That must be why people are queued round the block to fill all our churches.

    Perhaps the Catholic bishops might usefully enter a moratorium on pronouncements about sex and sexuality-related matters. I mean, if I’d fouled up in monumental ways on a given issue, I think I’d have the humility to listen and learn for a decent period rather than readily wading in with my ‘expert’ opinion…

  • geoffreysmith1

    If and when you leave out the rhetoric, Mr Coyle, I think you could post a reasonably coherent response to the argument I presented in my previous comment.
    The fact remains that so-called “same-sex marriage” is anathema as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, as the bishops have made abundantly clear to all who are prepared to listen to them and take on board their teaching. You, dear Sir, apparently, are not.
    As far as listening and learning for a decent period is concerned, we have now been subjected to this SSM drivel for more years than we care to remember.  In all that time I think we have acquired enough knowledge of the gays’ attitude and approach to recognise a profound evil when it confronts us.
    No Catholic worthy of the name can possibly countenance such advocacy of anti-Catholic doctrine and practice as you have produced on this page.  Frankly, Sir, I resent your intrusion into this website with your erroneous idea of promoting a very sinful activity.
    If you are the Catholic you profess to be, you should apologise to the bishops for your arrogant dismissal of their appeal, and withdraw your comment.

  • Anonymous

     It’s a pity that the CH chose to censor my previous response to your comment, Mr Coyle.  They must have a gay on the staff who objects to the publication of details that ruins your advocacy of sinful behaviour.
    The fact remains that so-called “same-sex marriage” is utterly anathema as far as the Catholic Church is concerned.  In no circumstances can this violation of Catholic doctrine and practice be condoned, and any attempt to change the Church’s age-old gospel in this respect is doomed to failure.  We have Our Lord’s promise for that.  You would be well advised to acknowledge His warning and amend your erroneous view.
    There, I have toned down my previous comment and now perhaps it meets with the approval of the CH censor.

  • shieldsheafson

    Even though a majority of citizens still happen to oppose the redefiniti­on of marriage, the more important thing is that the very idea of of ‘same-sex marriage’ is a metaphysic­al absurdity. What is at issue here is a matter of objective fact that it is the business of reason to discover what ‘marriage’ is, or whether religion is a good thing or not, rather than the law to stipulate. The metaphysic­s underlying natural law theory that marriage is, not by human definition­, but as an objective metaphysic­al fact determined by its final cause, inherently procreativ­e, and thus inherently heterosexu­al.

  • Lefty048

    is the gentleman in the picture  the one who wants to get married?

  • Confof Chi

    pathetic comment…..

  • Zaren38

    You cannot have a healthy society if it is not build by a healthy family.God started the family with a
    man and a woman, and that how should be.Other marriages bring instability and less healthy society.
    Catholics have to shoulder responsibility.

  • Anonymous

    I was about to rip into you… when I realized that you are a voice of sanity in this sea of lightly veiled-bigotry and unsubstantiated fears, and scaremongering.

    Unfortunately your eloquence on the subject leaves me little to add. :)

  • Anonymous

    ‘inherently procreativ­e’
    well… except for all those infertile and post menopause couples that marry, are you suggesting that only fertile couples with the intention to have children can get married??

  • Robert Kovacs
  • Lee

    Shieldsheafson used the word ‘inherently’. I think that is evidence enough that wha he meant is the inherent substance of marriage is that of ‘procreative’ and inherently heterosexual union. For if one is to be ‘married’ when we look at the ontology of the word and its cognates, none of them refer to the absurdity known as ‘same-sex’ marriage for such a thing is a logical fallacy.

  • MDM

    I think the word you’re looking for is etymology not ontology. Marriage comes from the Latin maritus which simply means lover.

  • Parasum

      “It was agreed that the president and vice-president of the conference will write a pastoral letter reflecting on the importance of marriage and family life in building a stable and healthy society, and affirming and celebrating the Church’s understanding of marriage.”
    ## If, & as, marriage is so important to society – why does it take the prospect of gay marriage for bishops to be concerned for  “the importance of marriage to a stable society” ? Shouldn’t that have been said a long time ago ? The collapse of the family and the trivialisation marriage did not begin with calls for gay marriage. How is gay marriage going to undermine the institution, if the delinquencies of straight people have not done so ? I don’t recall any episcopal denunciations of marriage-debasing Royalty or celebs; no indignant rebukes for them. The moral: busting families and committing adultery & marrying for a couple of months is fine if one is an HRH or a celeb. Not a very moral kind of moral.

  • geoffreysmith1

     I quote:

    “The Archbishop of Westminster, in authorizing this scandalous
    “ministry”, is leading some of the most vulnerable members of his flock
    into the lair of wolves. He shall have to account for every soul lost
    when he faces the judgment seat. If he did not think he was made of
    strong enough stuff to be a shepherd of Christ’s flock, he should have
    refused his appointment. Prayers for Archbishop Nichols and for the
    souls he has effectively abandoned.”  (Letter in response to the above video).

    The Catholic Church in England will never gain the credibility it needs to oppose “gay marriage” as long as it allows this blasphemous drivel to continue in some of our churches.
    The Catholic gays must be told in the most uncompromising terms that they are not a privileged minority in the Church, and their persistent clamour for the Church to alter her age-old teaching on the subject of homosexuality, to grant some degree of tolerance to the gay life-style, will never be permitted.
    Archbishop Nichols’ supine acquiescence to the demands of this heretical minority has rendered him unfit for any further service in the Church’s hierarchy, and he should resign forthwith.

  • Jorge Morais

    Let’s pray for the bishops.
    They need strength in this fight.

  • Anonymous

    Come on Lee everyone knows there etymology from their ontology!

  • m francis

    youd better hope there isnt a God or that he is in a particularly forgiving mood my trotskyist friend.

  • m francis

    I think people would respect you more if you told us if you regard yourself as an atheist and/or gay.  People would then appreciate what angle your viewpoint was coming from. Perhaps the CH censor would be respectful enough to explain to us all why you felt Geoffrey Smiths comments were inappropriate and if not then I suppose we can presume that our gay friends  have an agent pink on the inside.

  • Anonymous

    ‘an agent pink on the inside’ Wow you make me laugh!
    Paranoia like that makes it very hard to take what you say seriously. Your being sarcastic right?