October 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

6A-ALEX-SALMOND

Strong leaders stand up for what is right, not for what is fashionable

This week's SCO editorial.

News of progress after talks between Bishop Philip Tartaglia and First Minister Alex Salmond last week was promising. However, while the First Minister took on board the bishop’s concerns on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill, the problems with same-sex ‘marriage’—by and large overlooked in reports on their dialogue in our national press—remain clearly and painfully ‘unresolved.’

Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow has this week urged all Scottish Catholics to actively register opposition to the Scottish Government’s suggestion of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, coinciding with a national campaign against the introduction of same-sex ‘marriage.’

Archbishop Conti’s eloquent letter to all Scottish parishes on the issue included this key comment:  “Those in Government need to be respectfully reminded that a mandate to govern does not include a mandate to reconstruct society on ideological grounds, nor to undermine the very institution which, from the beginning, has been universally acknowledged as of the natural order and the bedrock of society, namely marriage and the family.”

Bishop Joseph Devine of Motherwell reinforced the message from Bishop Tartaglia and Archbishop Conti on Monday when he lent his voice to growing Catholic concern on the same-sex ‘marriage’ issue.

“This attempt to redefine marriage is, of course, nothing to do with ‘gay rights,’” he said. “All the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples through civil partnership registrations. This is everything to do with dismantling and rejecting 2000 years of Christianity.”

Archbishop Conti warned of the danger of the  ‘largely post-Christian society’ we live in and Bishop Devine also referred to the wider problem of secularisation in our society.

“We have reached the stage in Britain when in a landmark case the High Court in England was asked to rule on whether practising Christians were ‘fit people to adopt or foster children!’” Bishop Devine said.  “Nothing better illustrates the times we live in and the extent to which the historic Christian identity of Britain is under assault.”

The systematic dismantling of Catholic fostering and adoption in the UK under so-called equality legislation came home to roost last week in the same Conservative Conference speech by the Prime Minister in which he endorsed same-sex ‘marriage’ as an ‘equality’ issue.

If David Cameron is serious about tackling dire UK adoption figures, as he said he was at the Manchester conference, his priority should be re-enabling Catholic adoption agencies to carry out their vital work in finding loving homes for children, including the more challenging cases.

When faced with attacks on the foundations of our society—family, marriage and children—we need strong leadership to stand up for what is just and right, not leaders who will bend with the winds of fad and fashion, pandering for the sake of popular support.

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