BY Ian Dunn | September 16 | comments icon 1 COMMENT     print icon print

5A-BISHOPS-ON-MARRIAGE

Bishops warn against marriage redefinition

Scottish hierarchy speak out strongly over government’s proposals to legalise marriage between homosexuals

The Bishops of Scotland have made their strongest objections yet to the prospect of marriage between homosexuals being legalised in Scotland.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow and Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley all made public statements last weekend warning of the dangers of same sex marriages. Their remarks came in response to the recently announced a 14-week public consultation on the issues which comes after the Scottish Government said it was minded to support the redefinition of marriage.

Protecting marriage

Cardinal O’Brien said an article for a Sunday newspaper that legalising marriage between homosexuals would have ‘huge implications’ for society and would represent a ‘grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right.’

He also accused ministers of being ‘disingenuous’ and of ‘staggering arrogance’ over suggestions that churches would not be obliged to solemnise gay marriages. The cardinal promised that the Catholic Church would do everything it could to ‘protect’ marriage.

“As an institution, marriage long predates the existence of any state or government,” he wrote. “It was not created by government and should not be changed by them, instead recognising the innumerable benefits which marriage brings to society they should act to protect and uphold it not attack or dismantle it.”

The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland added: “The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is crystal clear when it says that marriage is a right which applies to men and women, it goes on to state, that ‘the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.’ This universal truth is so self-evident that it shouldn’t need to be repeated. If the Scottish Government attempts to demolish a universally recognised human right, it will have forfeited the trust which the nation, including many in the Catholic community, have placed in it, and its intolerance will shame Scotland in the eyes of the world.”

Meaningless marriages

Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow described in a letter to a national newspaper any marriage between homosexuals as ‘meaningless.’

“In a proposed consultation regarding the redefinition of civil partnerships, we are talking not of human rights or of civil liberties, nor of legal or fiscal equalities, but of redefining a particular relationship to give it a meaning it doesn’t possess,” Archbishop Conti said. “We would use a word which carries huge significance, and render it meaningless in respect of one of its essential attributes, its capacity to create a natural family—I mean of course marriage.”

Withdrawal of support?

Bishop Tartaglia of Paisley also made public his submission to the Scottish Government’s public consultation in which he said the government could not expect the support of Scotland’s Catholics in future if it took this step.

“A government that favours and allows for same sex marriage does wrong,” he said. “It fails in its duty to society. It undermines the common good. It commits an act of cultural vandalism. Such a government does not deserve the trust which the nation—and including many in the Catholic community—has shown in it.

“Marriage has always existed in order to bring men and women together so that the children born of those unions will have a mother and a father. For that reason, same sex unions cannot fulfil the nature and purpose of marriage. Marriage, therefore, should not be treated as an equality issue. Article 161 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights operates on the clear principle that marriage is a union of a man and a woman.

“To dismantle this understanding is to undermine the framework of existing human rights legislation. The duty of government is to recognise marriage and to protect it for the common good. But governments do not have the authority to say what marriage is or to change its nature or to decree that people of the same sex can marry.”

PIC: PAUL McSHERRY

Comments - One Response

  1. Maritrez says:

    The Popes have made it clear that it is a violation of justice to divert to others the community resources belonging by right to marriage and the family. It is thievery.
    So I am glad the Scottish hierarchy are speaking out strongly against this. Marriage was defined down when they stopped speaking out against co-habitation.

    In 1975 Clydebank Council already stated on the Councuil House application form “Cohabitees enter M as married.” This was blatant injustice to those who had “paid their dues” , an injustice which rapidly depleted the social housing stocks as such casual associations break up three times as often as legalised relationships.
    Understandably we were anxious to prevent recourse to abortion, but that fact was exploited.
    The textbook case for child abuse is the single parent with a “live in.” National Children’s Homes (who have to deal with the consequences) recommended back in Thatcher’s day that single mothers be given hostel accommodation where they can have the companionship and support of mums in the same situation.
    In spite of all the ostensible concern about “Child Protection” this has been studiously ignored over the years by councils and governments.

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