October 28 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

11-MARRIAGE

Catholics must speak up and live our Faith as missionaries do

This week's SCO editorial.

It comes as no surprise that the validity of the Scottish Government’s consultation on same-sex ‘marriage’ has come into question, this time after a nationalist MSP said that he believed the Scottish Government is on track to redefine marriage even though the consultation period is ongoing.

Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart’s confidence in the fact that after the consultation ‘our government… will bring forward legislation which will ensure we will have equal marriage in this country’ follows Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon comments when she launched the consultation that ministers ‘tend towards the view that same-sex marriage should be introduced.’

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland raised concerns about the validity of the consultation period in their initial response to it in early September when they said: “It is not clear at this stage whether ministers have decided to legislate regardless of the outcome of the consultation.” At that stage, the bishops said they hoped that the government would respect the consultation process but the Church’s experiences on legislation, such as that which brought an end to Catholic adoption agencies, did not fill them with confidence. They feared this consultation might be ‘an exercise for justifying the campaign demands of a vociferous lobby group.’

Since then Bishop Philip Tartaglia has met with First Minister Alex Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, seeking reassurances. A spokesman for the Catholic Church said Mr Wishart’s comments were in ‘direct contradiction of what we were told personally by the First Minister.’ Last week, Scottish cabinet member John Swinney allayed fears that churches refusing to hold same-sex ‘marriages’ could be open to court action under current government proposals. This, however, does not change the fact the Scottish Government has set the wheels in motion to redefine what our society deems marriage is, a decision that has far reaching ramifications for our society and our way of life

Why, with civil partnership legislation already in place, is it necessary to even consider redefining marriage? The Catholic Church in Scotland is backing a postcard campaign encouraging parishioners to make their opinion on the Scottish Government’s same-sex ‘marriage’ proposals known. Recent developments make our responses all the more important.

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