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Bishops to send out a million postcards on marriage

By on Thursday, 17 January 2013

Archbishop Smith has urged priests to do all they can to oppose the marriage Bill (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

Archbishop Smith has urged priests to do all they can to oppose the marriage Bill (Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk)

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is sending out a million postcards calling on MPs to oppose the Government’s redefinition of marriage.

The postcards will be sent to parishes next week. Each card will have a space for people to sign their name so they can post it to their MP.

The text says that marriage is the “foundation of the family” and upholds the common good. It does not say anything about same-sex relationships.

Accompanying the cards will be a letter to all parish priests signed by Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, chairman of the bishops’ Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship.

In it, the archbishop says: “My purpose in writing is to ask you to urge the members of your congregation to make their own views known to their MP.

“To assist them in doing that we have printed postcards ‘speak out for marriage’ and a bundle of these are with this letter.

“Parishioners simply need to add the name of their own local MP to the address on the front of the card, and their own name and address below the text on the back. Please can you put up the enclosed posters, let your parishioners know the name(s) of your local MP, and strongly encourage your parishioners to send the cards and to give them to their friends to send in as well.”

Archbishop Smith added: “The first key vote is likely to take place in early February so the time to act is now. We need to encourage as many people as possible to get involved. Please do all you can.”

The postcard campaign follows a letter to the Daily Telegraph signed by more than 1,000 priests arguing that the Government Bill, expected to be published this month, will restrict the freedom of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage.

The text on the postcards

Dear member of Parliament
As a concerned constituent I urge you to vote against the Marriage (same sex couples) Bill.
· Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of the family and provides the best circumstances in which to raise the next generation.

· This is why society has recognised marriage as having an identity distinct form any other relationship, however much love or commitment may be involved; marriage is about the common good.

· No mainstream political party promised such a radical change in its last election manifesto. There is therefore no mandate for it.

Please vote against it and let me know your views.

  • Deodatus

    I hope the Church will include in her concern the other things that this government is doing to adversely affect married and the stability of family life – the destruction of help for the vulnerable in every category and their demonisation

  • Max

     I really think that the Church should get its priorities right. I would think that the murder of the elderly people in hospital should take precedence over this. Elderly people are being murdered in hospitals in the U.K. It has been the good Doctors who have been brave enough to speak out while the Church looks the other way. The Bishops of England and Wales even voted for the death pathway at the Bishops conference hard to believe isn’t it  . Please go online and see for yourselves type in damian Thompson bishops vote for Liverpool care pathway.

  • Deodatus

    Yes. In so many ways, both blatant and insidious, the Tory government agenda is anti-life both in value and quality and regard.

  • Vincent

    Teresa

    That is what I ment about “Some people vNot being on the same wavelength”

  • Spritual

    I agree  we need the Church to speak out about these things . You have only got to watch the TV and see  TV programmes such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale they show people arguing and shouting and talking on their phones in Church. I have never witnessed this happening in real life they are making a mockery of the Church. Yet no one from the Church speaks out why not??? . If they were portraying another religion like this they would be up in arms about it. But the Church allows it.

  • Spritual

    I have just read  the Damian Thompson article I can not understand why the Bishops would vote for the Liverpool care pathway it is going against everything they should stand for.Thank you for this comment I know about the pathway from friends who have had loved ones put on it you are right it is murder. But I did not know that the Bishops voted for it until I read your comment. I wonder if his holiness the Pope is aware of this.

  • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

    Very strict rules? Then how on Earth did Newt Gingrich get, not one, but two 19 year marriages annulled, one with children, and both failing because of his infidelity?

    Why wasn’t there an uproar amongst the clergy when this happened? Why wasn’t the rogue official who granted those annulments punished? The church’s silence confirms its complicity, which is not surprising when virtually all such requests are granted.

  • Patricia Allen

    I quite agree there should never ever be same sex marriage. I always get the Herald. V.good reading.

  • Nick

    Well there’s going to be same sex marriage, so get used to it.

  • Nick

    We don’t have a Tory government. We have a Coalition government who champion equality for all.

  • Nick

    The church is doing a very good job of making a mockery of itself – it doesn’t need any help.

  • Nick

    The answer is Yes to all of your questions. Of course teachers should be sacked if they refuse to endorse equal marriage. Children should be taught about equality shouldn’t they? Children should be taught not to discriminate shouldn’t they? What kind of message are we sending out to those children who subsequently discover that they’re gay? Shouldn’t we be sending out the message that you grow up any marry the person you love regardless of whether that’s a person of the same or the opposite gender?

  • Nick

    And where does ignorance, prejudice and bigotry come in?
    Where does equality, tolerance and non discrimination come in?
    To follow your logic, heterosexual union of people past child baring years are unnatural.

  • Nick

    Yes the state is going to change it – because marriage is licenced by the state, not by the church.

  • Nick

    The difference isn’t going to be eliminated – its going to be added to.

  • Nick

    Well you’d better get used to it, because its going to happen.

  • Nick

    Oh dear oh dear – yet another religious person obsessed with sex. Yep, gay people do actually love their partners you know – I’ve been with mine for almost 22 years.

  • Nick

    Indeed it is – to equalise marriage. Which has massive support in Parliament and the latest poll by COMRES found 60% of the population in favour.

  • Parasum

     One word: Moonpig.

  • Parasum

     It’s probably borrowed from the US – the USCC seems to use such things quite a lot.

  • Parasum

     You’re describing something nearer to autophobia. FWIW, people are sexed, not gendered – gender is for nouns, not people.

  • Parasum

    Is shaving natural ? Or cutting one’s toe-nails ? Or washing hair (which is dead BTW) ? Or bathing ? Of course getting rid of people preserves nature – why else would David Attenborough favour that ?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9815862/Humans-are-plague-on-Earth-Attenborough.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9819441/Sir-David-Attenborough-wrong-on-human-plague.html

    BTW, a syllogism has only three members, neither more nor less.

  • Parasum

    Having a set of principles helps a great deal in cutting through the confusions of a debate. That, and not having a view when one cannot see on what basis to form one.   

  • Parasum

    “N.b. annulment means no marriage ever took place not that one is disolved.” 

    ## *That* is the problem. Living for years with someone to whom – somehow, because the Church says so – one discovers one is not married after all, despite the wedding and children, is beyond words. A legal formula can’t bring back X number of years of living in a delusion. Now *that* makes a mockery of marriage :( And of the Church’s treatment of the divorced & remarried.

  • Parasum

    “Of course teachers should be sacked if they refuse to endorse equal marriage.”

    ## I wonder what the OP meant by “endorse” – there is a difference between explanation of X, & agreement with X, & active support for X.

    There is a difference between equality before the law, and equality misunderstood as interchangeability, and equality confused with equity.

    “Discrimination” is another word that needs care – it’s not in itself different from discernment. Unjust discrimination is not quite the same as discrimination.

    As for “love”, that word is very slippery indeed.  Words need to be used with care if they not to cause confusion. 

  • Deodatus

    If you believe that, you are in fantasy land.

  • teigitur

    Thats very laudable. So how will re-defining marriage help you, or others in in your shoes?

  • teigitur

    So one set of discrimination is replaces another. How wonderful is that?

  • Nick

    The church and Christians are not being discriminated against. But religious freedom does not take precedence
    over other rights.
    A teacher should be duty bound to explain all forms of generally accepted human relationships (and same sex relationships are generally accepted even if Christians don’t accept them) to children as part of their education.
    It DOES NOT mean that the teacher necessarily
    has to agree with those relationships. 
    A barrister defending a client doesn’t have to necessarily have to agree with what that client may have done, but is duty bound to defend them dispassionately and to the best of their ability.

  • Nick

    Marriage is only between one man and one woman because at some point in history, that’s how society defined marriage.

    Once society redefines it, as between two opposite or same gender people that’s what marriage will be.

    And future generations will accept that in just the same way we, to date, have accepted the current meaning.

  • Nick

    That’s rather a silly question – how does marriage ‘help’ straight people?
    It will ‘help’ me in exactly the same way as it ‘helps’ them – no more, no less.

    But it isn’t really a question of ‘help’ is it….. People don’t get married for ‘help’ do they….

    The question you need to be asking is ‘Why do people get married’?

  • Nick

    A set of principles – what, such as equality and non discrimination you mean?

  • Nick

    Very fortunate that no true Catholic hates homosexuals, for Vatican City is full of them (and I don’t mean the tourists).

  • Nick

    Another Catholic obsessed with sex.
    Same gender sex IS NOT marriage.
    In the same way that opposite gender sex IS NOT marriage.
    Don’t confuse sex with marriage.

  • Nick

    What rubbish.

    “The mother had no way of proving who the father was” – WRONG. She still doesn’t!! Being married to a man does not, in any way, prove he’s the father of the child. Why do you think there are so many DNA tests.

    “but only one is capable of bringing a child into the world and binding that child to that child’s parents.” – WRONG. I have close friends who have never married but have three grown up children. Their family unit is no different to couple who married. Its no less loving.

    “That physically unique ability flows from our body” – Yes exactly – proving that you don’t need to be married.

    “To legally redefine marriage is to legally pretend that the natural family unit does not exist.” – WRONG. It doesn’t do this in any way, its just be complemented.

    “Redefining legal marriage literally erases all legal trace of the natural family unit.” – WRONG. What is the ‘natural family unit’? The one that suits your definition of it and no other?!!!

    “Redefining marriage redefines parenthood – for everybody. It gives the State permission to ignore the fact that your child is biologically yours.” – NO it doesn’t. And in any case, you know whether the child is biologically yours or not.

    Do you realise that in your very long post, you’ve not used the words LOVE and LOVING once! NOT ONCE!!!!

  • Nick

    The Catholic church supposedly supports the ‘traditional family’, but it didn’t stop Catholic Priests abusing children beyond recognition did it!!!

  • Brain

    I am getting so tired of the catholic church.  It acts more like a business than a church.

  • Nick

    I think it far more likely you are the purveyor of fantasies.

  • Nick

    Through its introduction of equal marriage, the Government is supporting the institution of marriage strengthing family life.

  • Nick

    Perhaps you should refrain from the sin that is surely Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

  • Nick

    They remain silent because they’re far too busy buggering choir boys.

  • Nick

    Well said…

  • Quakerish

    I feel the statements and campaign by the Catholic Church are a great blessing to me and to Catholics. I am a Quaker and have been trying to get my “catholic” views heard, but it has proved totally fruitless. I recently read documents produced by Catholic Bishops which crystallized an analysis which I had been finding hard to formulate alone. Ironically, Quakers have historically worked to demand the right to conscientious objection (to war). They will no doubt be found lacking if / when a new group of conscientiousness religious objectors need protection. This group is likely to be catholic. It is a time for prayer and a time to protect the family as the bedrock of our society.