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‘New law will compel churches to offer same-sex marriages’

By on Friday, 20 April 2012

Neil Addison, director of the Thomas More Legal Centre (Photo: Simon Caldwell)

Neil Addison, director of the Thomas More Legal Centre (Photo: Simon Caldwell)

David Cameron will not be able to exempt the Churches from a duty to offer marriages to gay couples, a senior Catholic barrister has warned.

Neil Addison, the director of the Thomas More Legal Centre, said that the Prime Minister’s assurances to the Church that they would not be compelled to perform religious marriage for gay couples are worthless.

He said two judgments by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg combined with a Court of Appeal ruling in 2010 clearly showed that the Government would be acting illegally if it legalised civil gay marriages without permitting them on religious premises too.

It means that if the Coalition Government presses ahead with its plans to redefine marriage to include gay couples the Catholic Church could face prosecution under equality legislation for acting according with its teachings.

“The Government will be obliged to permit same-sex marriage on religious premises on exactly the same basis as it permits heterosexual marriage,” said Mr Addison, a specialist in religious discrimination law.

“How this will affect the rights of Churches who are registered for marriage and in particular how it will affect the Church of England and its clergy who are registrars of marriage by virtue of their status as priests of the established Church is legally very arguable,” he said.

“Certainly a good legal case can be made that any place or person who is registered to perform marriage must be willing to perform same-sex marriage on the same basis as they conduct heterosexual marriage since, in law, there will be no difference between the two.”

Mr Addison’s legal opinion is sharply at odds with the Government’s assurances, included in its consultation document launched last month, that a new law would “make no changes to religious marriages”.

“This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman,” the document said.

But Mr Addison argues that a recent European Court of Human Rights case involving two French lesbians found that, although there is no human rights obligation for any country to legislate for gay marriage, once a state had passed a gay marriage law it must be applied to all citizens equally.

The ruling upheld the findings of an earlier case involving a homosexual who had sued the Austrian government.

Mr Addison said: “What the Government assurance is ignoring is the fact that, in law, there is no difference between and no status for civil as opposed to religious marriage – both are in law the same thing and merely take place in different premises.”

He said the position of the Churches had already been undermined by a ruling of the Court of Appeal ruling against the registrar Lillian Ladele who in 2009 had taken Islington Council to court for refusing her the right not to officiate at same-sex civil partnership ceremonies.

The judges decided that her orthodox Christian view of marriage “was not a core part of her religion”.

Mr Addison said: “Churches which perform heterosexual marriages will have to be willing to perform same-sex marriages and they will have no legal grounds to resist since the courts have determined that the ‘orthodox Christian view of marriage’ is not a ‘core’ part of Christian belief.”

The remarks of Mr Addison came as British Muslims grew increasingly vocal against the proposals.

Dr Majid Katme, the head of the Islamic Medical Association, called on Britain’s two million Muslims to form “a holy alliance” with Christians and others against the proposals.

“Marriage in Islam is only between a man and a woman,” said Dr Katme. “This is the belief of the two million British Muslim believers and the belief of about 30 million Muslims who live in western Europe.

“It is the same belief of 1,600 million Muslims in the world,” he said. “It is the same belief also in the holy teachings of Judaism and Christianity.”

He continued: “The time has come to establish a holy alliance of all faiths with those sensible people who are without faith in order to oppose gay marriage in any new law.”

He urged Muslims to sign Lord Carey’s Coalition for Marriage petition which has already attracted about 450,000 signatories opposed to gay marriage, making it one of the largest petitions in British history.

The words of Dr Katme were substantially stronger than the statement issued by the Muslim Council of Britain, which last month had described the Government’s case as “strikingly weak”.

The Council of Glasgow Imams was also more forthright, saying that a gay marriage law would be an “attack” on their faith and said Muslims should not vote for candidates who favour changes in the forthcoming local elections.

“There is no scope for compromise on this issue and we simply say this: no to same-sex marriage,” the imams said.

All the mainstream Christian churches are opposed to the proposals, with Catholics urged by their bishops to do all they can to resist them.

  • Chris Manchester

    If you had said  ‘What do you expect from a black person?’ instead of ‘gay person’, you would quite justifiably be accused of overt racism and face the possibility of criminal prosecution.  Some kindness and humility here is in order on your part. It might also help if you follow the teaching of the Catholic Church in this respect, which is that homosexual people ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358).

  • Chris Manchester

    And with this kind of arrogantly dismissive response, is it hardly surprising that millions of people in the UK (not least those in power) think, ‘Why should we take the remotest notice of what Catholics have to say?’

  • Chris Manchester

    Oh please!  Make space free in the martyrology…

  • Chris Manchester

    If you had said  ‘What do you expect from a black person?’ instead of ‘gay person’, you would quite justifiably be accused of overt racism and face the possibility of criminal prosecution.  Some kindness and humility here is in order on your part. It might also help if you follow the teaching of the CatholiChurch in this respect, which is that homosexual people ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358).

  • Chris Manchester

    Well, as they say, ‘Like attracts like’.

  • theroadmaster

    There has been a perceptible blurring of boundaries by legislation which is increasingly overriding the religious consciences of people of Faith.  One has only to remember the legalization of the rights of same-sex couples to adopt children which put Catholic adoption societies in such an invidious position, that it was a case of either adapting to this situation or voluntary dissolution.  The potential juridical implications of the any future laws which seek to redefine the ethos of marriage for Christian Churches and other Faith groups, as laid out by Neil Addison, cannot be dismissed out of hand as just unsupportable speculation.  The current debate in the US surrounding the narrow scope imposed by the Obama administration, in relation to the criteria which enables religious bodies or institutions to avoid being co-payers towards certain “health” insurance policies, which are inimical to their foundational Faith  , is a case in point.

  • Charlene Roberts

    Listen all you churches Bishops, Priests the like I do  not care who you are. To put a statement saying that it is by God’s Grace that Gay Marriages can Rejoice is just absolutely disgusting. There is no conflicting evidence ever in the bible that there is anything of the like. What Man man Law is has nothing to do with Religious Faith and REMEMBER it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, when you morons realise this. and forget about man made law you will realise that when you die, there is life after death and you will be judged, whether you want to believe it or not and there should be a petition for the Anglican Clergyman to resign from his post. NOW what happens Men marry men, Women marry Women.  In the bible it says bring fourth fruit meaning a man and a women to have a baby, how can you do that in same sex marriages. You are an absolute disgrace and a shame to even call yourself a Christian, no matter what church you are in. Everybody knows that it is an abomination and it is disgusting whether you believe it or not like it or not???

    What does the Bible say about homosexuality and same sex marriage?
    There has been a lot in the news about this subject. There are TV shows that promote the homosexual and make it a live happily ever after life style.
    In the United States gays and lesbians can legally marry in New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and Washington, DC.
    My concern is our children and our grandchildren are growing up in a perverse Nation and society. Is this the first time that there has been a perverse Nation and society? Can it be forgiven? What does God say about homosexuality?

    Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. and Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
    I was in a discussion just this week with some folks and I quoted an Old Testament scripture and their reply was “well, we don’t live in the Old Testament now, we live in the New Testament of grace.” My reply was, God says He is the same yesterday today and forever and He change not, there was a little over 400 years between the Old Testament and the New so do you think that God changed in those few years?

    Listen folks, there is a continuous revelation of the wrath of God in both the Old Testament and New Testament. It is re-vealed in our contemporary society. This is God’s constant and insistent displeasure with evil. He changes not. God is merciful, not because He is lenient with the sinner, but because Christ died. The gospel has not changed God’s attitude toward sin. The gospel has made it possible to accept the sinner. The sinner must have either the righteousness or the wrath of God there is no other choice and that choice is ours and sad to say, many will choose their on way.

    The New Testament talks about homosexuality also but, I just wanted to make a point about the Old Testament and New because, they are both instructions and Gods divine word for mankind. Look at what the New Testament says in Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    Verse 25 of Romans chapter 1 says that they changed the truth of God into a lie. Ellen DeGeneres is an American poster for the homosexuals so to speak that says, it’s OK to be gay Moms and Dads, teach your children to love and accept the way I am and others like me. Is it OK to be gay? Is gay marriage OK?
    Look, it’s not OK….Bible says it’s an abomination to God. Abomination means: extreme disgust and hatred

    God said He gave them up. Here in Romans chapter 1 Apostle Paul was talking about the Greeks. Perversion entered into the Greek life style, and it brought Greece down to the dust. Go over there and look at Greece today. Thousands of tourist visit each year the “Greece ruins.”
    Anybody who tells me that they can be a child of God and live in perversion is not kidding anyone but themselves.There are many passages in the Bible condemning same sex marriage and homosexuality. Don’t think that God just gives up on the homosexual. God convicted them at some point in their life but, they choose to live in sin without God.Romans10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Love in Christ Jesus, Ronnie Miller

  • Benedict Carter

    When anyone uses the defence of “scaremongering nonsense”, you know what is being denied is coming soon to a Church near you.

  • Benedict Carter

    It deserves no better. 

  • Benedict Carter

    “Globally, the Church is currently growing faster than at any point in its history so far”.

    That’s just not true. The Catholic population is steady at around 17.5% of the global population and has been so for several years. Any growth is in line with the growth in world population.

    If one looks at specific countries, you have great increases in South Korea, some African countries, India and China. But in the West the picture is very, very different: there has been the opposite, a collapse unprecedented in its speed and extent. 

  • Chris Manchester

    If God so abominates homosexual acts I wonder why, as Creator, he freely chose to inscribe it as a minority expression of sexual behaviour into the very natures of almost all species of animal?  (See for example, the most comprehensive research carried out in this field by  Dr. Bruce Bagemihl: Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, St. Martin’s Press, 1999; and  ‘Same-sex behaviour seen in nearly all animals’ at 

    Whilst not arguing that just because a minority of most animals engage in such behaviours it is therefore automatically fine for a minority of humans to also, nevertheless it does seem odd to me to think that humans would be the one species where such expressions of sexuality should be deemed unnatural.  Could it not be the case that, just as God has given same-sex orientations for one part of his Creation, and for his own good purposes, that a minority of human beings might share in that gift too?  

  • Benedict Carter

    “Whilst not arguing that just because a minority of most animals engage in such behaviours it is therefore automatically fine for a minority of humans to also ..”.

    That’s exactly what you are arguing.

    Homosexuality is a cross that the homosexual or lesbian has to bear. We all have them. 

    We are all called to holiness. Religion isn’t a human construct, as you ultimately are arguing, but a Divine institution revealed to us by the Son of God. We all have crosses: how we react to them determines our fitness or not for Heaven. 

    As homosexuality is so deeply imbedded in its sufferers (yes, I do see it in the final analysis as an illness – as any illness is a deformation from the norm of health),  for poorly-understood psychological reasons, the homosexual who lives a chaste life, only possible by the Grace of God in prayer, the practice of mortification and regular recourse to the Sacraments, will merit a great reward.

    This is the Catholic religion, like it or not. Your choice.

  • Chris Manchester

    Regarding your first comment: No, I very precisely was not arguing that just because animals do things then humans can too.  Hence the use of ‘automatically’.  There are many behaviours animals exhibit that humans would not wish to follow (killing their young at times for example).  My point is that it seems difficult  to make a case that a naturally occurring, minority inclination to same-sex behaviour should NOT occur in human beings, given its proliferation in other creatures.  Natural law arguments in the area of homosexuality are very flawed.  In fact, based on nature we ought to EXPECT a certain proportion of humanity to be homosexual, which of course is precisely what we find.

    As to your other points: whether I like the Catholic religion or not is entirely irrelevant.  I am interested in truth and living by it.  I agree with you entirely that we are called to holiness and that religion is revealed.  But I also know that the human and flawed institution which then interprets that revelation can, as so many instances in the past have shown, simply be wrong.  Take the scriptural presentations of the ‘depravity’ of homosexual acts the Catechism notes.  Historical-critical analysis (something ironically that ‘Dei Verbum’ insists be used to interpret the Bible) has long since shown that they were addressing the sins of inhospitality and idolatry.  They can simply not be legitimately applied to the context of loving, same-sex relationships.  To do so is the equivalent of arguing that because rape is condemned in the Bible, so must any form of sex between a man and a woman.

    Finally, I agree with you that we are called to lived chastely.  Needless to say, however, I can so see reason, based on natural law or sound biblical exegesis, why a committed same-sex couple cannot lead such a life.  Thankfully some senior clergy seem to be slowly trying to move the Church in  this direction.  Vincent Nichols in particular recently used (significantly I feel)  the language of ‘calling’ to describe the ‘profound and lifelong friendship’ a gay couple should see themselves as called to. To be called involves a caller.  Who is that?

    Change will come, no doubt,  but unlike in the cases of Galileo, Jews, women and others, hopefully it will not be centuries before a pope is heard to apologise to gay people.

  • Benedict Carter

    The Church has absolutely nothing to apologise to homosexuals for. Nothing.

  • Benedict Carter

    Many Catholics are being killed for their faith around the world. It’s almost an everyday occurrence. And you are obsessed with homosexuals? Why? Are you one?

  • Oconnord

    This is just another spurious argument from the Thomas Law Centre. If, in their imagined worst case scenario, a church could be forced to carry out a legal marriage ceremony, the answer is simple. separate a religious marriage rite from the act of civil marriage. The MCB and Scotland’s imam’s already do this in practice.

    This simply is not the “christian” stand for two reasons:

    It simply denies the narrative of a “war on christians”, or catholic martyrs, or a church forced to go “underground”. It shows how ridiculous such grandstanding statements are.

    Secondly, and more importantly, if the church loses it’s appeal of “romantic” wedding vows, if couples realise that the civil, legal commitment is more valuable than words said before an alter, the religious marriage loses it’s appeal. 

    Vows before god are esoteric, signing a marriage contract in front of a registrar and witnesses can seem far more binding. 

  • Benedict Carter

    The divorce statistics worldwide are 100% contrary to your hope that ” … signing a marriage contract in front of a registrar and witnesses can seem far more binding”.

    Tell us what you are Oconnord. When I pick up a history book, I expect that the historian will have prefaced his work with a statement of his biases, as he sees them: it helps the reader to ascertain his lack of objectivity. 

    With a surname like yours, one might surmise you are one of the many Irish post-Christians, born a Catholic but who has given up the Faith?

  • Parasum

    Your use of Romans 1 is highly selective, to say the least – to say nothing of the far from certain interpretation that identifies same-sex activity as one of the sins. St. Paul is denouncing idolatry – a far more widespread thing the other: there are plenty of gay-bashing Christians who idolise the Bible.

    “Bible says it’s an abomination to God. Abomination means: extreme disgust and hatred”

    ## Here are some more, using the very same Hebrew word:

    Deu 17:1     “You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever; for that is an abomination to the LORD your God.

    Deu 22:5     “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.

    Prov 11:1     A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.

    Pro 12:22     Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

    Pro 15:8     The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

    That makes lying no different from same-sex activity – IOW, liars are no better than gays. That is not a text that Christian gay-bashers quote. Using the Bible to clobber people is not good :(

    “Anybody who tells me that they can be a child of God and live in perversion is not kidding anyone but themselves”

    ## STM that is for *God* to decide, nobody else. Salvation, all of it, is through Christ Alone, not through St. Paul or the Bible or Romans or morality. God elects to salvation, not our sexual orientations or us.

  • Parasum

    ….and the Catholics are even worse LOL !

  • Benedict Carter

    “Salvation, all of it, is through Christ Alone, not through St. Paul or the Bible or Romans or morality”. 

    What tripe, ill thought out and plain wrong.

    You are saying that we have no part in our Salvation at all: what then of free will, Christ’s constant admonitions to flee sin, and the institution of the Sacraments? What of the Church? You have just completely demolished the need for it.

    You consider Catholic moral teaching and St. Paul to be in opposition to Jesus Christ?

    Your position seems to be that of a Calvinist or one of its madder offshoots.

  • Mtaylor050

    Why, Oh why do you who profess being a follower of the humble carpenter use emotive words like ´moronic´to put your point across? Whatever the logic of your argument is, it is utterly lost as soon as you reduce yourself to rudeness.  It seems as if you have  profound ignorance of the principles of manners and proper debate and an even profounder ignorance of the Catholic Religion. To this immaturity one is compelled to say grow up!

  • Anya Palmer

    Mr Addison is misleading you and your readers.  He is talking about a case in which the European Court held that France was entitled to have a legal position whereby a lesbian couple could not jointly adopt their own child (Gas and Dubois v France; for an accurate account of the judgment see here  Mr Addison rightly says that in that case the Court said that it had already found in an Austrian case that member states are not obliged to allow same sex marriage.  He then falsely claims that in addition the judgment “found that… once a state had passed a gay marriage law it must be applied to all citizens equally”.  I have asked Mr Addison through the comments section on his blog where in the judgment in Gas and Dubois v France the judgment says that.  He obviously can’t answer, because he has chosen not to publish my comment.  So let me ask him here: in which paragraph of the judgment does the Court say that?  If he can’t answer, I would suggest you amend your story to avoid misleading your readers further.

  • JabbaPapa

    I can only echo Benedict’s shock at your suggestion : What tripe !!!

    Salvation, all of it, is through Christ Alone, not through St. Paul or the Bible or Romans or morality.

    This suggestion demolishes itself at a fairly basic level of logic — Christ Alone taught obedience to the Law, tempered by a living understanding of His own more fundamental Commandments. “The Law” FYI means “Scripture”.

    No literary text in this world can provide salvation (including no internet blog post) — but to suggest that morality, nor the seminal spiritual and religious teachings contained in the Bible do not provide efficacious means towards salvation, when Christ Himself has provided us otherwise, is to deny one of the very foundations of the Christian Faith — and it has been denounced on multiple occasions by the Church, quite rightfully, during the course of the past two millennia as being a gravely heretical concept, leading straightforwardly to apostasy and sinfulness.

    DIY religion is no religion at all.

    Religious commandments are made for those who engage in the particular sins that they describe. I am not a homosexual, so I don’t engage in acts of homosexual sin. I am a heterosexual, but I have chosen to be chaste. It is no less difficult for me than it would be for anyone else in this world. But then, there’s a whole bunch of other sins that I frequently commit and do not successfully avoid, and the Commandments and other teachings concerning those sins concern me directly.

    The point is to admit that one does these imperfect things, for starters to oneself, and to admit their deeply imperfect and sinful nature, *especially* to oneself.

    A Law which say that all things are permitted is no Law whatsoever, and it is directly incompatible with the very basics of not just Christianity, but any other belief that can legitimately be called a religion.

    What you are saying then, is not just uncatholic — it is very deeply irreligious.

  • JabbaPapa

    grrr liked by mistaken misclick :(

    In fact that’s a pretty hateful comment, isn’t it…

  • JabbaPapa

    He then falsely claims that in addition the judgment “found that… once
    a state had passed a gay marriage law it must be applied to all
    citizens equally”.

    This is actually, as far as I can remember, an accurate statement of the proviso that the Court provided in its ruling on that lesbian couple.

    To be precise, it ruled that “once a state had passed a marriage law it must be applied to all citizens equally” — adding the adjective “gay” in front of marriage does not distort the legal reality, just focuses on one particular aspect of it.

    Given the non-separation of Church and State in the UK, it therefore follows quite logically that Church in the UK is subjected to European Court case law and sovereign decisions.

    Therefore, the legal necessity for church marriage to comply with EU rules and laws will, should the UK create a “gay marriage”, create a legal requirement that church marriage must comply with the rules in question — notwithstanding that they are entirely unreligious in nature.

    As for Oconnord’s rather laughable suggestion of simple. separate a religious marriage rite from the act of civil marriage — if disestablishment were “simple”, why then hasn’t it been done yet ? Not even by the Wilson or Callaghan Governments ? The answer of course being that it would be onerously difficult and would probably require the creation of written constitutions, and substansive changes to all existing constitutions, for all of the United Kingdom and Colonies and Commonwealth.

  • Oconnord

    The divorce statistics make a mockery of catholic marriage… so much for “until death due us part”. I did not express a “hope” that civil marriage would be binding for life. 

    As to being “born a Catholic but who has given up the Faith?”

    Well simply put.. no. I was not born a catholic, no more than I was born a Labour supporter. I am by accident of geography and family tradition forced into being an unwilling catholic for my entire life. I was even complicit as a child, although I never had any “Faith”, I still happily had a confirmation and communion as I got stacks of money afterwards. 

    Now as an adult I find that I am a lifelong member of a group that refuses to release me, no matter how much I reject it’s validity. Much like Rick Santorum’s daughter, aged three, who was signed up to a lifelong membership to the NRA, without any consideration as to whether she would approve of gun use as an adult.     

  • Charles Martel

    Actually Chris, I always treated them with respect, but was bullied by them. As I say, the militant ones I have had dealings with were not good ambassadors for their kind. This is the opposite of prejudice; it’s simply stating what I have experienced.

  • teigitur

    ………..and yet it seems to endlessly fascinate you Damo, or else you would not be here telling us what “The Christian stand ” may or may not be.
     A fact that endlessly facinates me……….

  • Jonathan West

    Seems there are quite a few fully paid-up members of “Liars for Jesus” here. I’ve seen this all a wearying number of times. For instance, a lot of church opposition to the Equality Act a couple of years ago was based on the entirely untruthful premise that it would require the Catholic church to accept women priests. It seems that exactly the same tactics are in use here. There are only so many times you can cry “wolf” before people simply stop taking the slightest notice of you.

  • J G

     My reference was historical. It happened before when the Church refused to go along with the State. St. Edmund Campion pray for us.

  • J G

     They keep trying. The goals do not change. It is the “death of a thousand cuts” strategy. When we stop crying wolf that’s when the wolf will eat us. We have been through this before in our 2000 year history.

  • J G

     In the US they are attempting to order the Church to provide or pay for contraception. They are demanding that Catholic hospitals perform abortion. They have shut down Catholic adoption agencies for being Catholic and refusing adoption to homosexual couples. You are the one who is misleading.

  • J G

     Your last statement shows your bias.

  • J G

    So when was the last time the Swiss Guard forced you to go to Mass or recite the creed? You seem very free to not be Catholic. However, you seem quite ready to force Catholics to violate their faith. Btw, your attack on a 3 year old child is simply vile.

  • J G

     It is actually a result of original sin. Don’t blame God. Natural law has nothing to do with animals btw, don’t they teach such things anymore?

  • J G

     Actually in some nations to say that homosexuality is sinful is illegal. You move step by step downwards toward Sodom.

  • J G

     The government is lying. Much like Obama has already done with the HHS mandate.

  • Chris Manchester

    Well how convenient is that?  If something exists in the world which we don’t personally like or which doesn’t fit in with our model of how things should be, rather than consider that perhaps our model is flawed, we simply by-pass the process known as ‘thought’ , slap the ‘must be caused by original sin’ label on it and file it away in the ‘problem solved’ drawer.

    I don’t blame God for the fact that same-sex behaviour is present in animals. Even using the word ‘blame’ already reveals your prejudice on the subject.  I ask what it might mean for humans if He has created them that way.

    You’re quite correct to pull me up on ‘natural law’ though.  Sloppy of me, but I hope that the rest of my sentence makes it clear that I mean ‘arguments based on nature’.

  • Chris Manchester

    ”The Church has absolutely nothing to apologise to homosexuals for. Nothing,” –  not worth dignifying with a response.
    ”As for “Change will come” – dream on”

    - no need to dream, it’s already under way.  The Soho masses don’t spring from nowhere you know!

  • Benedict Carter

    He hasn’t created them that way. 

    Homosexuality is subject to conditioning and early emotional and psychological influences. And even if (as seems very unlikely) there was a genetic predisposition to homosexuality, this does not negate the need to live a chaste life. Nor does it negate the efficacy of Christ’s Sacrifice nor does it negate Grace.

    Grace perfects nature. This is true for homosexuals as it is for all others. 

  • Benedict Carter

    Those scandalous and sacrilegious Masses are under review as we write (whatever Nu-Church Nichols may say) for the simple reason that they do NOT spring from an authentic Catholicism.  

  • Parasum

    “He continued: “The time has come to establish a holy alliance of all faiths with those sensible people who are without faith in order to oppose gay marriage in any new law.””

    ## This has the drawback of looking opportunistic:

    1. Muslim attitudes are to gay people are no friendlier than those of Westboro Baptist Church; which is not too friendly.

    2. On other occasions, Imams seem very happy to vilify non-Muslims; which they do with gusto. How come the *kaffir* idolater pigs are acceptable all of a sudden ?

    3. If the *kaffir* idolater pigs qualify as human enough  for Muslims to work with on this matter – why not on other matters ?

    4. If they regard us Christians as accursed filth whom Allah has consigned to destruction for the sin of *shirq*, & unbelief, & not honouring the Apostle of God whom Allah has sent – let them at least be consistent. How can we possibly be associated with on this matter, when we are so horribly in error on so many other things ? Logically, we *kaffirs* can have nothing to contribute, so they should avoid us lest they be contaminated by having anything to do with us.

    5. What Muslim does not know that Mohammed (PBUH) is the Seal of the Prphets whom Allah has sent ? And that the Holy Koran shows the hatred of Allah for the sin of  *shirq*. But those worship the Trinity commit it. Since when has *shirq*, a sin hateful to Allah & many times condemned in the Holy Koran, compatible with this nonsense of  “a holy alliance of all
    faiths” ? In a moment this man will be telling us that Sabaeans are acceptable to Allah, despite their worship of the stars, or that the differences between Shi’ites & Sunnis don’t matter; or that idolatry pleases Allah. Or that Mohammed (PBUH) is not the Seal of the Prophets.

    6. By the logic of the religion for which he stands, this man is denying its teachings. All his words show that gay people are regarded as *so* vile that *anyone*, even those whom Allah condemns in the Koran, can be accepted as allies against them.  The unwisdom of agreeing to such overtures cannnot be condemned strongly enough. Men are known by the company they keep, so those Christians who make common cause with Muslims of that kind have only themselbes to blame if they seem to be unscrupulous in their means of resisting what they dislike.

    7. To adopt a common front with others whose doctrines one detests so to thwart a third party, is merely for two assassins to join together to kill a third they both hate. Should one not except a slightly higher morality from *Christians* ?  

    8. This opportunism merely succeds in giving the impression that  for all their talk of morality, neither religion cares a rap for it, or for principle; & that they will go to any lengths they need to in order to get their way.

  • Oconnord

    What attack on a 3 year old, are you delusional? Or do you simply find the reporting of facts vile? Fact..”Rick Santorum’s daughter, aged three, who was signed up to a lifelong membership to the NRA by her father.”

    So where is the attack on the child? It’s a pretty clear statement.

    No I am not free “not to be catholic”, I am free not to be a practising catholic. Two very different things. The church reversed a Papal Edict which allowed catholics to “defect. The reason seems to be that many Irish people, along with other Europeans, had started to actually defect. The site has all the information. 

  • Oconnord

    Too true! I can’t think of a more interesting subject. I guess maybe that’s one thing we can agree on, religion is fascinating.

    I think in hindsight the phrase christian stand was not very apt. Perhaps christian rhetoric would have been better.

  • Oconnord

    The key words there were “marriage rite”. I’m not going to argue with your legalize but it already exists in practice. Most imams are not registrars, so many weddings held in mosques are simply religious marriage rites. After which the couple register a civil, legally recognised marriage. The opposite would hold true where two divorcees have a civil wedding which is valid without any religious ceremony. 

    Are you trying to say that not only does this not happen every day in the UK but that it would be impossible for the catholic church to simply offer a religious ceremony after a couple have legally married in a civil ceremony.

  • JabbaPapa

    No, I’m saying that politically motivated gays are liable to try and force the Church of England to perform “gay marriages” whether it wants to or not, on the basis of European law, and then subsequently attempt to force this upon every religion in the UK.

  • JabbaPapa

    What a perfectly obnoxious post. It is revoltingly objectionable in every possible way.

  • teigitur

    Slightly off topic, Damo. are you an insomniac?

  • Chris Manchester

    Gosh, who would have thought that the same-sex behaviour observed (so far) in over 1,500 species of animals (the subject under discussion) was due to the poor creatures having suffered ‘early emotional and psychological influence’?  Absent fathers in the Bonobo ape population perhaps, or maybe a preponderance of overbearing mothers among Spotted Hyenas?  

    I agree with you regarding chastity, but chastity does not equate to celibacy.  The latter is a gift from God granted to few. If a gay man or woman has not been given that gift, and is born homosexual as (contrary to your claim) the vast majority of recent scientific evidence points to, then perhaps his or her calling is to a faithful loving relationship, just as it is for most straight people.

    The institutional Church in places is changing and becoming gradually more understanding and compassionate as the years go by (the Soho Masses in the UK being one example of this).  Nevertheless it finds itself, as in countless times in past, on the wrong side of history.  No doubt once again it will be dragged kicking and screaming to see the error of its ways and make the customary apologies and soothing speeches.  Oh, that for once it might not be like this!

  • Chris Manchester

    Well said!