July 30 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Marriage law leaves English Catholics in an ‘alien land’

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth says the Church supports and loves homosexual people, but, despite new laws at odds with Catholic values, stands by traditional marriage as a union between a man and a woman

The legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’ has left English Catholics in a ‘strange land’ filled with ‘unfamiliar customs,’ the Bishop of Portsmouth has said.

Bishop Philip Egan (above) added that with the greater use of contraception, the unitive and procreative aspects of sexual intercourse have become separated, leading to pleasure without responsibility and widespread sex outside marriage.

“We will certainly need to review our preaching, teaching and school curricula, which henceforth must recognise that our Catholic system of meanings and values is strikingly different from what secular culture now deems normal or acceptable,” Bishop Egan said in a statement released by his diocese.

The bishop reaffirmed that ‘the Church loves homosexual persons, even if we hold firm to our Christian conviction that sexual relations find their true place within [traditional] marriage.’

“As Catholics, like Israel in Egypt, we now find ourselves in an alien land that speaks a foreign language with unfamiliar customs,” Bishop Egan said. “For what we mean by matrimony, sexual intercourse and family life is no longer what today’s world, the Government, the NHS and policy-makers understand by marriage, sex and the family.”

The bishop said English and Welsh Catholics now faced a daily challenge to defend their Faith.

“Parliament’s Orwellian attempt to redefine marriage radically changes the social context and this presents a massive challenge to the Church in England and Wales: to those who wish to marry in our churches, to Catholic parents bringing up children, to teachers in our Catholic schools, and to the clergy engaged in pastoral ministry,” he said. “It may also be a legal minefield, although we will have to wait before the full implications of the new legislation take effect.”

He concluded with a call to the Faithful: “As Catholics, let us be on our guard, and continue compassionately to warn our society of the wrong turns it is taking.”

— Pope Francis’ message on pastoral support for homosexual people here.


Leave a Reply

latest news

Families are the net for fishers of men, Pope says

October 7th, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

In this morning’s general audience address, the Holy Father said...

Pluscarden Abbey to be re-dedicated

October 6th, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Monks extend invitation to Mass on November 5 with Bishop...

Synod of sympathy, not surprises

October 6th, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

First few days of the Synod on the Family set...

Our Lady of Mount Carmel pays tribute to former parish priest Fr Eddie McGhee

October 2nd, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Fr Eddie McGhee returned to the parish of Our Lady...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Archbishop Philip Tartaglia celebrates Red Mass for legal profession at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh
  • Archbishop Leo Cushley joins St Marie’s in Kirkcaldy for the parish’s 150th celebrations
  • Glasgow Council reverses it decision to increase distance for pupils to qualify for free transport to secondary school.
  • Interview with Frank McAveety, new leader of Glasgow City Council.

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO