Fri 31st Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 31st Oct 2014 at 16:19pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo

Latest News

Archbishops say marriage Bill poses ‘grave risks’ to religious freedom

By on Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Mazur)

Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Mazur)

The Archbishops of Westminster and Southwark have urged MPs to “think again” about the consequences of the same-sex marriage Bill being considered in Parliament next week.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith said the change in the law is “far more profound than first appears”, and will change the meaning of marriage so that openness to children “is no longer central”.

The archbishops also said the Bill as currently drafted poses “grave risks to freedom of speech and freedom of religion”.

The full statement issued by Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith on Marriage (same sex couples) Bill:

We urge members of the House of Commons to think again about the long term consequences of the Marriage (same sex couples) Bill in deciding how to vote at the report stage and third reading debates next week.

Many people within and beyond the faith communities deeply believe that the state should not seek to change the fundamental meaning of marriage. This proposed change in the law is far more profound than first appears. Marriage will become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family, is no longer central to society’s understanding of marriage. It is not too late for Parliament to think again and we urge MPs to do so.

Furthermore, the Bill as currently drafted poses grave risks to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If the Bill is to proceed through Parliament we urge members to ensure it is amended so that these fundamental freedoms we all cherish are clearly and demonstrably safeguarded.

  • paulpriest

    A graver risk to Holy Mother Church in Our Lady’s Dowry than either of our illustrious Archbishops?
    Somehow, after recalling their records; I don’t think so…

  • NatOns

    A parlous position indeed. Yet even in their own woeful laxity .. and their egregious promotion of error .. in fact not least from those whose own personal wrongdoings have found them out, still one can bless God for careful, thoughtful, meaningful witness to the Faith. What is lacking here, as it is wholesale across church leadership throughout the Catholic world, is the fully sacrificial witness to the Truth .. not this or that set of truths held in common by all men of good will, or more vainly the ‘truths’ institutionalised as mere worldly or fleshly political correctness, but the Lord our God Himself, in His body the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

    Saints, sinners in penitence, souls of all degrees of gifted grace have given up their lives for the privilege of belonging faithful to this One Person: Jesus Christ. Never as one flawed human charitable institution among so many others, nor for one way of belief and feeling good and showing one’s preferred self-expression, but in body and in blood, under judgement to these: God’s. So when a mass apostasy sweeps like a tsunami of disbelief, unbelief and malformed belief over the Catholic Church – when only 2% of His communing body bothers faithfully to commune in Him, as a body, on regular basis – well, the usual paper-shuffling, foot-dragging, and mealy-mouthed defences against its effects are worse than no defence; Dear Lord, Almighty God, protect Thy People from the way of the world, and grant us to Shepherds worthy of Thy Name and a firm faith by which to follow them.

    God bless our pope!

  • Adamson

    Are the Archbishops right or wrong when they say the modern institution of marriage will be harmful to society. where is the evidence? We need to know before we legislate.

  • Kevin

    “beyond the faith communities”

    To paraphrase Mark Steyn: you know when someone belongs to a faith community because they do not call it a faith community.

  • AlanP

    It seems that our Archbishops cannot make a single statement, however correct, without the traddies jumping on them for alleged past iniquities.

  • agent.provocateur

    It’s time to form a Catholic movement in Britain, which will defend the unborn children and marriage without fear or doubt. In fact, such movements should be established in every EU country. Inspiration from France:

  • AlanP

    The Pope is perfectly entitled to do that, and it does not make him a “traddie”. I hope you are not implying that our archbishops are part of any “gay mafia”, or even approve of it.

  • paulpriest

    Our Archbishops make very few statements yet even then a high percentage of them are best left forgotten.
    Alleged? Hardly!
    Past? No – they are ongoing – the scandals of Connexions, LCP, John & Lizzie, the Mental Capacity Act, the CES, CAFOD, the Soho Masses etc etc etc…and that’s before we get to the negligence & dereliction of duty within crumbling, disenfranchised, 94% lapsing dioceses….

    Iniquities? Yep!

    How have our Bishops fought against the SS-marriage bill?
    The Good Bishops have of course been exemplary but the rest?

    Invariably silence – occasional irraional rant from ++Smith devoid of any explanation as to why it’s wrong and the devastating consequences for the Church – no, we get a rending of garments and “it’s the end of civilization as we know it….!”

    ++Nichols? A Christmas Homily which was directly, unnecessarily confrontational for all the wrong reasons….

    Meanwhile the only recent news we’ve had from their Graces is – according to Terry weldon – their considering national expansion of the Soho mass project??!!!

    Yes with friends like these?
    I seriously don’t know why the humanist and secular societies bother pushing for the destruction of the Church…
    Leave it to our Bishops – they’re doing a wonderful job of it already….

  • An onlooker

    ‘Immoral behaviour toward junior clerics and seminarians’. This is a very grave accusation to make. I sincerely hope that you are not basing it on unsubstantiated gossip.

  • paulpriest

    If an Arch[Bishop] is sinning it’s between them and their Confessor.
    When they commit public scandal through their pronouncements or executive [or subsidiary] actions which are directly contrary to Catholic teaching or wilfully counterproductive or destructive to Holy Mother Church – then it’s our business!

  • paulpriest

    Homosexuals seem to be convinced that the proposed ‘Equal Marriage’ Legislation will verify, vindicate and validate their relationship.
    So the question has to be asked to those homosexuals advocating this:
    ‘What do you seriously think you will be getting’?
    What will same sex marriage confirm?
    Recognition of an exclusive, loving bond of fidelity among partners who wish to spend their lives together?’

    Primarily this civil contract will NOT recognise, acknowledge, confirm or endorse:
    Any mutual recognition between partners – let alone short or
    long-term loving recognition prior to the ceremony – yes – incredibly –
    both partners do not even need to know each other or even to have met
    each other before the ceremony.[unless immigration get involved]
    Co-habitation – The same-sex spouses do not need to interact on any level – even on the same continent – after the ceremony.
    Sexual activity – Consummation [however one might wish to define it e.g. as
    genital activity] is neither a criterion nor a pre-requisite.
    Sexual Fidelity – Each partner may engage in sexual activity with
    any other person or any amount of persons of the same sex and this will
    not legally compromise/jeopardise the marital contract.Adultery will
    not be a legal concept…except…well?

    The ONLY sexual criteria within same-sex marriage is that a
    partner can sue for divorce should their spouse engage in sexual
    activity with a person of the OPPOSITE sex.
    So when homosexual couples declare they want the state to recognise their relationships as marriage?
    What do they think this new marriage legislation will give them?

    Because it’s technically not recognising anything more than a civil partnership
    does? [the only additional provision is automatic joint custody to any
    adopted or IVF/surrogacy-generated child]
    You don’t need to be sexually faithful or sexually intimate or sexually active.
    You don’t need to live with each other, love each other – you don’t even need to know each other…
    The ONLY PROMISE in the whole thing – is an oath of fidelity to one’s homosexuality?!!!
    One can have joint property rights, powers of attorney, hospital
    visitation, rights of legacy etc with this person with whom you’ve
    signed a marital contract…whom you might not know from Adam or Eve…
    …you can live where you want
    …with whoever you want
    …and have sex with whomsoever you want…
    …or the whole deal’s off!!!

    So you want to get married?
    What do you mean by married?
    Do you think this bears any relationship to what the legislation will mean by marriage?
    Do you think GLBT activists have been acting in your best interests if – after all this grief – all the years of heated arguments and a nation divided over the issue…
    All you are getting is a glorified oath to maintain your sexual orientation?

    Meanwhile marriage is abolished, people lose their jobs, there are rows
    amongst religions and politicians and teachers, public sector workers
    and related professions all have their livelihoods jeopardised…

    …all for the sake of an oath to homosexuality?
    …not the state recognising a committed loving union between two members of the same sex?
    Same sex marriage won’t be a marriage by any definition…
    …even your own!

    So why do you think you haven’t been told that same-sex marriage is going to be no such thing?
    …ask your activists and spokespersons
    …and ask them what they’re getting out of all this!?
    Now for some people – in the ‘struggle for vindication, recognition and
    acceptance of homosexual identity’ – the redefinition and virtual
    abolition of marriage might very well be ‘a price worth paying’?
    Whether we agree or disagree on the technical or moral or socio-cultural issues…
    ..such a fight would be understandable.
    But surely it would be farcical to tear society, a government, a legislation and a national institution apart…
    …if the results had nothing to do with marriage for people with SSA?
    Marriage for everyone meaning marriage for no-one?

    Primarily to Catholics marriages are made in Heaven – and I do not mean the gay nightclub – it 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, cultural and psychological entelechy towards
    that end – for love to overflow into a family and a community and the
    physical and spiritual links increase commensurately… [to be continued]

  • paulpriest

    [cont] Now even if you remove the religious aspects of this paradigm you still arrive at a natural phenomenon – an
    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

    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
    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

    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…
    …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’

    [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’… [and as reported in the Nov 2011 Tablet ]

    …His Grace 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 (which didn't really clarify anything - and
    those who denounced the Archbishop's position as directly contrary to
    the CDF directives and the 2003 Bishops' Conference position as ...and
    get this..."MISCHIEVOUS"!!!! ) ]

    But here’s the irony – when Andrew Brown reiterated the CV/+Vin’s
    position [and its contrast with the Catholic Church elsewhere in the UK]

    Suddenly The CBCEW issues a ‘Clarification’ where it states:

    Following a Guardian report today, 23 February 2012, it is important to
    clarify the position taken by the Bishops’ Conference in 2003 in
    response to the Government Consultation on “Civil partnership – A
    framework for the legal recognition of same–sex couples”.
    Civil Partnerships are now part of the framework of British law. The
    current debate is about the specific nature of the institution of
    marriage and its distinctive place in the fabric of society.

    23. We believe the government’s proposals to create civil partnerships for
    same sex couples would not promote the common good, and we therefore
    strongly oppose them. They would in the long term serve to undermine
    marriage and the family for the reasons set out in paragraphs 9-12
    above. They are not needed to defend fundamental human rights or remedy
    significant injustices for same-sex couples, as these have either
    already been substantially addressed or can largely be addressed by the
    couple entering into contractual arrangements privately. Moreover, the
    government’s proposals do nothing to tackle what is in fact a very much
    bigger issue, namely the lack of rights enjoyed by cohabiting
    heterosexual couples and their children, many of whom wrongly believe
    they are protected by ‘common law marriage.’ The government needs to
    publicise their lack of rights, and strongly advocate the obvious
    solution, which is marriage.

    +Vin says “we did not oppose Civil Partnerships”
    Catholic Voices Co-ordinator Austen Ivereigh informs members of the CV
    team that the CDF directive ordering a duty to oppose same-sex unions
    DOES NOT APPLY to Civil Partnerships and that Dr Oddie was ‘exploiting
    the ambiguity’ Catholic Voices barrage the blogs and twitter with defence of this
    position to the extent that Greg Daly [The Thirsty Gargoyle] makes a
    ludicrous, farcical, sophist, fallacy-laden & ultimately utterly
    specious defence of Archbishop Nichols’s position that a same-sex union
    is not the same as a same-sex union because the sexual aspect is not
    presumptive [ignoring that same-sex mutual masturbation is NOT
    doctrinally considered as lovemaking and cannot be applied]

    …and NOW we have the CBCEW ‘clarifying’ that they DO actually oppose Civil Partnerships and always have done since 2003…

    So where does that leave Archbishop Nichols & Catholic Voices?!!!
    So far we have had nothing but silence from them.

    Nevertheless Civil Partnerships exist [and the Church [despite our own
    hierarchy's obfuscation, wishful thinking and ultimately downright
    mendacity - even after a clarification which does confrm to the CDF]
    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?
    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 with this new Pope we’ll have new Vatican ‘Policy’?
    [notice no deference to timeless magisterial teaching here]
    The 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!!!?? [to be continued]

  • paulpriest

    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?
    Will Archbishop Nichols retract his previous statements?
    Will Catholic Voices retract and remove its statements on the issue and reverse its contra-Catholic position?
    Will homosexual activists admit that they already have gay marriage –
    and the only reason they want legal recognition of the term ‘marriage’
    is to enforce ‘equality’ on those who refuse to acknowledge such unions
    to the extent of expulsion from the process i.e. casting religious
    institutions into exile?
    I do not think so….

    Civil marriage has systematically contravened the sacred principles of
    Catholic Sacramental marriage to the extent that in order to marry we
    have had recourse to the double effect – for the greater good of the
    Marital Contract we committed remote material co-operation with a
    process that ‘falsely/impossibly’ allowed divorce and remarriage.

    Heretofore the co-operation was remote, material and
    permissible because the offence involved bearing false witness against
    an immutable reality – it was merely definition/redefinition/denial of
    an ontological reality or non-reality – or it was pretence or assumed
    dominant control in regard to a reality it could not alter – childish
    tilting at windmills with neither authority or efficacy…

    Previouslywe could ‘co-operate’ under the principle that ‘the state can say or do what it wants – it cannot change the underlying reality no matter what it thinks it’s doing” – no reality was altered – the people who were ‘divorced’ by the state – were not, the ‘remarried’ were not etc.

    And baptised non-Catholics undergoing a civil ceremony were – by principles of non-intervention and non contrariety – still able to do what the Church does – swear a solemn, mutual, exclusive binding contract – and become validly married.

    So yes previously the State’s ‘fiddling with marriage’ didn’t interfere with Tridentine precepts or the sacramental reality – it lied, scandalised and dishonoured marriage, it endorsed extra-marital sexual licence, it endowed those who were not married with the title and secular/social benefits of being married…
    …but it didn’t thwart marriage!!

    It didn’t prevent those eligible to marry and willing to marry from going
    through a ceremony with the intention to marry and ultimately really
    Therefore we could co-operate.
    There was injustice and scandal – but it was verbal straw in the wind – and the double effect could apply.

    But after this vote – and once the ECHR has introduced ‘equality’ within
    heterosexual and homosexual ‘marriage’ legislations and all principles
    like consummation, fidelity, commitment etc have been eliminated…
    Like someone waving a fiver in front of the coin-operated drinks machine – the baptised non-Catholic couple willing and able to get married in the
    eyes of the Church – are being deliberately thwarted and prevented from
    making those promises they wish to make in a civil ceremony which
    denies those promises exist and proscribes them from being made.

    The State is now intervening and acting in ways contrary to the Church.
    Deliberately preventing a couple from making declarations which could have been previously [albeit arbitrarily] recognised by the state.
    The state is saying ‘we do not recognise – we do not permit – we will neither hear nor acknowledge nor publicly record – any oath to exclusive mutual fidelity…”
    The couple are saying ‘we want to make real marital promises’ and
    the state has its fingers in its ears declaring “la-la-la, I’m not

    The State is now standing in Heaven’s way – deliberately forbidding entrance to the Holy Spirit – like cutting out a sorcerer’s tongue so he cannot say the final words of the spell.

    Whereas previously the state position was ‘well it’s up to you what you mean by those promises’
    The new state position is ‘you are not allowed to make those promises – to the extent that if you make any attempt to act in ways contrary to our
    definition of your relationship – we will exert the full force of the
    law upon you’
    People are now going to be prevented from marrying – their state marriage intrinsically thwarting the possibility.
    That’s the new difference- and that’s why there is a new set of issues upon the discernment table.

    Does the new ‘civil marriage’ with its ‘redefinition of marriage’ [i.e. its
    abolition] and its thwarting of marriage – wilful prevention of those
    eligible to marry from marrying…
    Does it change from an unjust law with which one may co-operate
    into an ‘intrinsically unjust’ law with which one is absolutely forbidden?
    And here enters the principle of solidaritism and the duty of care afforded
    to all the baptised – the real oecumenical spirit if you will.

    Can a Catholic conspire with that which deliberately prevents/thwarts a baptised non-catholic from marrying?

    We need a intense CDF scrutiny of the rubrics, principles and aims and
    corresponding consequences of this new legislation to determine whether or not in the eyes of the Church it is merely unjust or intrinsically

    Because if it is intrinsically unjust – and nobody’s given reassuring assertions as to why it is not and cannot be…?
    Evangelium Vitae 73 & 74 & The CDF’s ‘considerations’ tell us we are
    forbidden from co-operating with civil marriage…and thus in order to
    marry we become criminals.
    Technically we might be at war…and I’d like someone to tell me with some authority that we’re all ok and can go back to bed without the worry of disappearing in the night.

    We have a problem :
    Catholics might be technically forbidden from co-operating in new intrinsically unjust English civil marriage legislation.
    But if they think they can simply undergo a non-State-involved religious ceremony and simply be married in the eyes of the Church and the sight of God?
    They can’t – it’s illegal!!!.

    After the Commons’s vote determining Same-Sex Marriage the Church is ultimately going to be forced to separate itself from performing the
    civil aspects of marriage within a Church Nuptial ceremony
    Similar to other countries with a two-ceremony system…

    BUT…in most countries there is a civil contract of
    mutual exclusive, spousal fidelity – even when they just affirm a
    presumptive contract.[i.e. nothing is directly stated to the contrary of
    presumed 'traditional' exclusive fidelity]
    That won’t exist here.
    Because our government has made sure that any ‘assumptions for conformity’ with other understandings of marriage [e.g. among diverse faiths/cultures in their actuations of beng husband/wife/life partner/significant other/uncle tom cobley] – can’t exist.
    They’ve made it perfectly clear what constitutes marriage by
    excising the ‘unnecessary exigents’ like fidelity, sexual intimacy,
    cohabitation, even mutual recognition or interaction outside a brief
    signing ‘ceremony’.
    ‘Marriage’ – will have virtually no criteria at all – to the extent
    that SSM is diminished to the level of an automatic joint parent licence
    and a public oath of fidelity to one’s sexual orientation – not one’s
    There’s no marriage there!!
    As such a ‘contract’ will include none of the corresponding canonical provisions to conform for validation among the baptised
    [previously marriages among baptised non-Catholics going through a
    civil ceremony were automatically validated - this will cease to occur
    and lead to thousands who would have been heretofore married - living in sin]

    - and as it intrinsically contravenes the very nature and end of marriage itself – it makes it an intrinsically unjust law- we can’t get away with merely equivocating it away as an unjust law we have to deal with
    - we’re not allowed to formally or proximately materially co-operate with it at all.

    But under Section 75 of the 1949 Marriage Act no couple can have a
    religious marriage without its corresponding State-recognised civil
    validity?! i.e. Church marriage and civil marriage are inseparable – you
    cannot clandestinely have one without the other.

    But The Catholic Church in this country does this every day through
    Radical Sanation – Convalidation of ‘marriages’ where two unmarried
    baptised confirmed their life-long relationship by being together until a
    spousal death.
    We declare marriages as valid [irrespective of any civil contract] all the time.Surely our legal experts and canonists must have known this?

    So let’s get this straight:
    If Catholics are forbidden from co-operating with an intrinsically
    unjust law [e.g. participating in a civil marriage which directly
    contravenes and negates and is further diammetrically opposed to one's
    prospective nuptial vows]…and in full conscience could not conspire with
    such a scandalous intrinsically unjust law..
    …they would be forbidden by law to have a sacramental marriage in Church?!!!

    So if we follow a strict moral adherence of CDF & Papal directives…
    Catholics are about to be banned from getting married in any way at all?
    Their consciences preventing them conspiring with an anti-matrimonial
    marriage laws [e.g. state endorsed indiscriminate sexual license and serial adultery]
    …laws to which they must adhere in a process they must undergo to legally go through a sacramental ceremony?
    This is a potential nightmare…and why hasn’t anyone commented on this to either confirm or dismiss and allay one’s fears over the issues?

    Has the Government inadvertently declared war against the Catholic Church?

  • Jonathan West

    I notice that (as usual) they have been very vague as to what these supposedly “grave risks to freedom of speech and freedom of religion” actually are, and haven’t stated what (apart from not passing the bill in the first place) would satisfy those concerns.

  • Julian Lord

    Quite, pp

  • Julian Lord

    Not pass the Bill in the first place — yep, that’s the right thing to do.

  • NatOns

    No, nor of the object struck at by our local media – only of those who have, in their own good conscience, publicly admitted any such wrongdoing. And note well, this is not a new phenomenon – corruption among the highest officers of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church is a perennial problem.

    “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves..” 2 Pet 2 : 1.

    It is laxity, nonetheless, that provides the broad avenue for such behaviour. Laxity in leadership also that permits it to poison the moral fabric of the Church. And, sadly, laxity in responsibility that seeks to avoid the painful task of dealing with it – as a deadly infectious agent, for treatment of which more than smiles, kind words, or reassuring soothing gestures are at times needed

  • Jonathan West

    Ah, but the bishops have two quite separate demands. One is not to pass the bill, but the second is that if the bill is passed, to include greater safeguards for freedom of speech and religion.

    So what are those additional safeguards that are wanted?

  • Tridentinus

    How true.

  • Tridentinus

    I would have thought it would have been obvious even to someone like you. If you were a registrar would you like to be compelled to preside at a ‘marriage’ between a man and his brother, a woman and her sister, a man and his son, a mother and her daughter? The reasons for banning incestuous unions would not apply in these situations so would you have any objections to marrying them?

  • revelationman

    My concern is forcing people who do not believe in same sex marriage to accept it, also to force other faiths to do marriages, even though it contradicts their beliefs, that scares me ,our faith our beliefs are important to us, and that should be respected. I do not believe no Catholic Priest or any other Christian faith should be force to marry same sex couples there should be respect by the state on this matter.
    This what I feel on the matter, and I leave at that ,

  • AlanP

    I have been puzzling over your list of “scandals” (CAFOD? My favourite charity. John and Lizzie? Sounds like a pub). I am still waiting for a single example of anything publicly stated by our archbishops which is contrary to Catholic teaching, as set out in the Catechism.

  • Yorkshire Catholic
  • paulpriest

    Although moderated off given its invoking awkwardness/embarrassment; I did respond – so check your e-mail.
    I should not wish anyone to think that your suggestion – that we’re creating clouds of smoke where there’s no fire – was vindicated by not being countered.

  • PaulHalsall

    But you already do this when you meet people who have been divorced and remarried.

    Civil marriage is not the same as Catholic marriage or Jewish Marriage. It is a function of civil law.

    Would, for example, you go up to the Duchess of Cornwall and call her an adultress, or say that she has no marriage with Prince Charles?

    I do not think clergy should be forced to marry anyone, but note that already they do not have to marry divorced people.

    Thank goodness for the United Reformed Church.

  • revelationman

    apples and oranges,

    My point is a Christian church should not be forced to marry same sex couples, and this goes with other faiths also, Islam etc.

    I do understand the church position on divorce, but as my Priest say the church is understanding that some marriages do dissolved due to circumstances:

    It is a tough thing to talk about and it’s a very sensitive subject but I will always feel, the Gay community should not expect everyone to accept their views on marriage, We all have our viewpoints,, and they should be respected, were I do cross the line if those viewpoints are express in a violent way. that I do not agree with.

    This might be different but in Toronto a father took at case to court to not have his son be taught Catholic Theology whist being in a Catholic school. Now that sounds pretty silly, but having a Christian Church Catholic my Pentecostal Baptist be forced to go against their beliefs is not right and that is my point Paul , that these believes should be respected,

    That is my worry Paul when the state forces the church to do something that totally contravenes their belief system.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    Both the people of God and the secular state have an interest in the production and rearing of future citizens, if for no other reason to provide our nations with our future workers, statesmen, fighting forces, and taxpayers (rate payers). Without these in sufficient numbers, and sufficiently reared and educated to serve Queen and country with eagerness and devotion, (or my country ’tis of thee), our nations are finished. It grieves me to speak of our future generations as if they were but a commodity – like soy or alfalfa – but in our utilitarian and materialistic culture, it seems the argument that this is what *works* seems to be the only one that many people are willing to consider.

    The research strongly indicates that, all other things being equal, children fare *best* on all counts in a home with their biological mother and their biological father married to each other and living together. Children are more likely to do better in school, to stay out of prison, and less likely to become addicted to drugs or alcohol, or to indulge in risky sexual behavior, and more likely to form stable homes and rear children to adulthood, when they grow up in a traditionally-married parental home, more than in all other possible arrangements. Not that other arrangements cannot produce good outcomes for children; they can and they do. But the *optimal* arrangement for the preservation and promulgation of the species for many generations to come is in a home with their own mother and father, living in a lifelong commitment to each other and to their children.

    This is a major purpose of marriage, religious or secular – like the care and feeding of the very life’s blood of any future we might hope to have.

    It is a wise society – religious or not – that promotes optimal conditions for the building and maintenance of the nation’s agriculture, its economy, its transportation infrastructure . . . how can the conditions for the care and feeding of its future citizens be an exception? To define what is a properly prepared field, a well-laid foundation, a sound economic program are indispensable to our nations’ futures; why should the nexus in which future generations shall come to be, be any different? And why should the secular state ignore these conditions, on which its very future depends? To do so would be to guarantee its own extinction.

    If various persons wish to form devoted living arrangements with each other, arrangements which cannot possibly do for the state what married couples are able to do, then let the state indicate that such alternative arrangements will not be interfered with. But these cannot possibly be of any interest to the state; they are private affairs, of interest only to the adults involved. Let the state continue to hold traditional marriage as the arrangement par excellence for the formation of stable homes in which our future citizens may best thrive.

  • George

    As a former gay, now born again believer, I can see the threat that this proposal of gay marriage will pose to our religious freedom. The selfishness of homosexuality must not be ignored. We often claim superior intellectual qualities within the gay community, but in terms of the “stability” and “duration” of an homosexual relationship I do seriously question the issue and necessity of having a “Gay Marriage”. Gay men change partners on a regular basis and they enjoy new and younger ones as they grow old. In a gay relationship there is only one word “take” and if even there is a “give” it is always to get back. Gay Marriage will not confirm a “long lasting relationship” only a mockery of a divine institution, an immature provocation against heterosexuals and religious people. We live in a society where even heterosexual – alas – despise marriage and prefer cohabitation, why then homosexuals want a “marriage” in a “less-marriage -oriented society”? I am not homophobic, but on the basis of my previous life, I can identify the weaknesses of the gay individuals. They are insecure and need approval, because of a false myth about their sexual identity: “I was born like this..”
    Was I born gay? No. Gay people fear Christianity and hate it because they do not understand its message. Forgiveness is available in Christ. If we think of the days of the Apostles in the then Roman Empire – famous for its immorality (just look at Pompei forbidden houses and frescoes) Paul must have addressed so many gay at the time in Athens, Corinth and other places. It was an accepted practice, yet it was not love. Many became Christians when they realized the love of Christ. The gay community should not impose a “gay marriage” on the heterosexual community: it will only backfire on them. Their attempt to impose “recognition and acceptance” will only result in resentment and brewing hatred (among non religious heterosexuals) to their cause. If they limit themselves to civil partnerships – from a totally secular viewpoint – they will maintain a peaceful status quo, should they pursue a “marriage bill” they will gain nothing in the long term except less acceptance and disrespect.

  • whytheworldisending

    Well said – and you speak with authority.

  • Timotheos

    What a relief. Someone who cares about facts and calls a spade a spade. You make some good points.

    On a related note, I find it interesting that the US Dairy Associations are now lobbying the FDA to alter the definition of ‘milk’ to Include the artificial toxic sweetener Aspartame. Isn’t that an instructive parallel to the re-definition of ‘marriage’? These revolutionary re-definers are the real ‘swivel-eyed loons’ of our time, clowns in public office whose venality and unprincipled ambition blinds them to some the most elementary and unchanging definitions of nature.

  • andy

    Dear brother, you seem so entrapped by ‘catholicism’ & it’s thousands of written rules. There is only ONE ANSWER to this found in ONE BOOK. God calls homosexual behavior a “detestable thing, a thing He hates”. see abomination, that is why He destroyed soddom & gamorrah. Homosexuals today should stop shouting at us to ‘accept’ them. The word also states, “love the sinner, hate the sin”, or “love the person, hate the behavior”. I am not homophobic, i choose not to be or practice homosexuality. I think some of this ‘race of people’ are heterophobic & I for one do not feel they have the right to ‘demand’ access to children. There is much ‘negative’ proof of the harm to children done by this minority, yet they will not share this as it is detrimental to the agenda. As for the church, any church, if it backs homosexuals & their demands, then they have become anti-christs, as our Lord said, “if you love Me you will keep My commandments, words”. That does not give us the right to ‘condemn’ these souls, they need compassion & real love to break the deceptions they have succumbed to. It is our job, as God’s children to share the gospel with them, if they accept God will lead them by His Holy Spirit, if they reject this, then it is ‘they’ who have chosen destruction. As for governments, read your bible, I hope you have one, & you will clearly see all these things ‘MUST’ come to pass. No to the homosexual lifestyle, no to promiscuity, no to ‘acceptance of such behaviors, no to telling me “i must accept/tolerate this nonsense”. I personally don’t care what they do, I will inform them of Jesus & His promise of eternity, it is their choice which eternity they enter, no ‘gov’t policy can save them. Marriage belongs to God He invented it, I suggest ASK HIM.