Church rallying call to defend marriage
Publication Date: 2012-07-13
Bishops announce August 26 as ‘Support Marriage Sunday;’ Scottish Government stalls for time
The Catholic Church is to dedicate a Sunday next month to stopping same-sex ‘marriage’ as the Scottish Government continues to procrastinate on the issue.
Sunday August 26 has been designated ‘Support Marriage Sunday’ in Scotland’s 450 plus parishes in the hope that Catholics will donate £100,000 through a special collection. The money will help fund the Church’s campaign to save traditional marriage.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien said he and the rest of the hierarchy would do anything in their power to resist change to marriage.
“The bishops of Scotland are so concerned by threats to marriage that Sunday August 26 has been set aside as ‘Support Marriage Sunday,’” he said. “We will use this opportunity to remind Catholics of the importance of marriage as a union of a man and a woman and to urge them to be generous in contributing to a special collection which will be used to support a range of initiatives in defence of marriage. Marriage is under threat and politicians need to know that the Catholic Church will bear any burden and meet any cost in its defence.”
Scottish Government decision
The Scottish Government’s decision on whether or not it would put forward legislation to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’ had been expected on Tuesday but a spokesperson told the SCO on Tuesday that the decision had been delayed.
“There has been some slippage in the expected timetable due to the huge volume of responses, 77,000 in total, and the time taken for these to be analysed and properly considered by the cabinet,” the spokesperson said. “The cabinet has had a first discussion on this and has asked for some further detail. We fully expect to be in a position to publish the way ahead this month.”
Before launching the consultation on the issue last year, the SNP Government said it was of a mind to go ahead with changing the law.
The money raised by the Catholic Church in the Marriage Sunday collection will be used to help offset legal and advertising costs associated with the Scotland For Marriage campaign. The umbrella group has a range of professional advisors and secured the support and financial backing of a broad range of religions, from evangelical Christians to the Muslim community, in opposing the proposed change in the law defining marriage.
On Marriage Sunday, priests in every parish will be asked to read a strongly-worded letter from the Scottish hierarchy and which will spell out the fears and concerns about changing the law.
Although some media reports have already claimed the Scottish government has decided to legalise same-sex ‘marriage,’ John Deighan, the Scottish bishops’ parliamentary officer, told the SCO this was nothing more than a form of propaganda.
“This is just the other side trying to put pressure on the First Minister,” he said. “No one knows yet what the result will be.”
There is also increasing evidence this week that same-sex ‘marriage’ is overshadowing the SNP’s campaign for independence as a new poll found half of Scots want the legal definition of marriage to remain as a union between a man and a woman.
The ComRes survey, on behalf of the Scotland for Marriage group, showed that 55 per cent of those polled agreed that ‘marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman’ while 38 per cent disagreed.
The poll also found that 50 per cent of Scots want the matter to be decided by a nationwide referendum rather than the Scottish Parliament.
The poll of more than 1000 adults across Scotland found that 39 per cent believed the matter should be decided by Holyrood while 12 per cent said they did not know how the issue should be addressed.