Monday 12 September 2011

Bishop Philip Tartaglia; "same sex ˜marriage is neither warranted nor needed"

In a strongly worded submission to the Scottish Government on the Consultation on Same Sex ˜Marriage , Bishop Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley argues that; "Marriage is an institution which does not owe its existence or rationale to governments or legislatures" the Bishop adds; "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"

Archbishop Tartaglia argues that ignoring objections to same sex marriage because they are "based on religious values" is spurious since objections from the Catholic Church are primarily based on reason and logic, adding that dismissing objections because they come from a religious body is "tantamount to an incitement to religious intolerance"

The full text of the Bishops' submission is shown below.


Peter Kearney
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
G1 2DH
0141 221 1168
07968 122291

Submission to the Scottish Government Consultation on Same Sex ˜Marriage 2011
In response to the Scottish Government Consultation on the introduction of Same Sex ˜Marriage , I submit the following observations.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Marriage is an institution which does not owe its existence or rationale to governments or legislatures. Marriage is a human reality which is prior to politics and positive law. 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.

4. A Government which favours and allows for same sex ˜marriage does wrong. 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.

5. The Government s intention to permit religious bodies to register same-sex unions and celebrate same sex ˜marriages , however disingenuously framed, constitutes pressure to initiate these practices, and, as such, is already beginning to infringe legitimate religious freedom. As I wrote before in a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, Government should know with absolute certainty that the Catholic Church will never register civil partnerships nor celebrate same-sex ˜marriage , not now, not in the future, not ever .

6. Government should not be persuaded by voices which declare that any opposition to same sex ˜marriage is the result of homophobic bigotry. This is not only false, but is itself an illiberal and undemocratic intolerance which only seeks to close down rational argument and to intimidate people into acquiescence.

7. Similarly, the Government should not be impressed by arguments which claim that opposition to same sex ˜marriage is based on religious values which do not come from reason and therefore relate only to the private good of persons. Such arguments are tantamount to an incitement to religious intolerance. In point of fact, faith and reason cannot be set against each other so readily. In his acclaimed address at Westminster Hall last September, Pope Benedict XVI gave voice to the intuition of the Catholic tradition that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of revelation. In line with this insight, it is possible to affirm that the truth that marriage is a union between man and woman comes both from reason enlightened by faith, and from faith understood by reason, and is therefore a truth which is intrinsically able to be articulated in public discourse about the common good. In fact, in all the great religions marriage between a man and a woman has from time immemorial been considered to be part of the natural order and intrinsic to the public good.

8. Moreover, with the introduction a few years ago of civil partnerships for same sex unions, people of the same sex do not need marriage to live as civilly recognised couples who enjoy the same legal protections as married couples. This conclusion comes into even clearer focus when note is taken of the fact that the number of civil partnerships has actually been in decline in Scotland. The Office for National Statistics records that in 2006 there were 1047 civil partnerships, in 2007 there were 688, in 2008 there were 525, in 2009 there were 498 and in 2010 there were 465. While it is true that the number of marriages is inclined to fluctuate year on year around the 28,000-30,000 mark, these statistics for civil partnerships suggest that the case for disturbing the settled nature of marriage is at best unconvincing even from the point of view of bare statistics about the likely numbers of same sex people in Scotland who wish to be legally committed couples.

9. In conclusion, I contend that same sex ˜marriage is neither warranted nor needed, and I urge the Scottish Government not to proceed with legislation for same sex ˜marriage .

Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley  

1 Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights:
     (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race,      nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are      entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
     (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the      intending spouses.
     (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is      entitled to protection by society and the State.

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 124 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Funeral Arrangements for Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O?Brien RIP

| 22 hours ago | Blogging

The Requiem Mass of Cardinal Keith Patrick O?Brien RIP will take place at the Church of St Michael, Westmoreland Road, Newcastle on Thursday 5 April at 1.00pm. As requested by the Holy See, the main celebrant and homilist will be His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. Donations to SCIAF?s Lenten campaign in lieu of flowers please. ? ? The internment of the body of the late Cardinal O?Brien will then take place at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Edinburgh on 6 April at 1.00pm The Cardinal?s body will be laid to rest in the grave of his mother and father. This was in accordance with wishes expressed by Cardinal O?Brien himself. ? ? ENDS ? ? Notes to Editors: ? ? For more information, call David Kerr, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh on 07903 621232. ? ? ? The funeral arrangements were agreed following consultation with the family of Cardinal O?Brien, the executor of his will, and the Holy See as represented by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. ? ? At the request of the family, there will be no stills or video photography and no audio recording during the Requiem Mass. A media representative will be in the church to report on a pooled basis. Details of this arrangement to be confirmed soon. The text of Cardinal Nichol?s homily will be issued to the media too.? ?...

Dunkeld Priest to become Spiritual Director of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome

| 3 days ago | Blogging

Fr James Walls, currently parish priest of St. Pius X parish in Dundee, has been appointed by the Scottish Bishops’ Conference as Spiritual Director of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome.      Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Stephen Robson, the Bishop of Dunkeld said:       “I am absolutely delighted that the Bishops have decided to appoint Father James Walls as spiritual director to the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. As a former Spiritual Director in Rome myself, I can recognise great qualities, spiritual, intellectual and moral in Fr Jim’s priestly ministry.  He has been well trained in spiritual direction and accompaniment, and together with his pastoral experience as parish priest in a large North Dundee Catholic Parish Community, I believe him to be an ideal choice to serve the community of seminarians there and as an effective collaborator with Fr Fitzpatrick the Rector and Fr Parkes the Vice Rector.”        Bishop Robson added;       “Fr Jim will be going to Rome, Salamanca and for training in the USA from the end of May onwards and will take up his new role in September. Fr Jim has my full support and I wish him many blessings and congratulations.”        Reacting to his appointment, Fr. James Walls, said:       “I would like to give thanks to God, and the bishops of Scotland, in appointing me as Spiritual Director in the Scots College. I would also like to give thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for taking my mum into their home; without this generosity, the decision would have been much more difficult. I look forward to getting to know those men who have generously put themselves forward for the priesthood.”       Responding to the appointment, Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick, Rector of the Scots College said:       “I am very grateful to Fr Jim for generously accepting the post of spiritual director here at the Pontifical Scots College. He brings with him his experience of parish ministry, spiritual direction and priestly life. I am sure he will find great joy and fulfilment in his important role of helping the men here in the College discern and prepare for service as priests in Scotland.  As the community gets ready to welcome him, I would also like to thank Fr Mark Cassidy, our departing spiritual director, for his hard work, enthusiasm and positive contribution to our seminarians and to the College during his seven years here. Our prayers are with him as he returns to the Diocese of Dunkeld and I would like to thank Bishop Stephen Robson for his on-going support for the College.”       ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291   Note to Editors:   1. An image of Fr. Walls can be downloaded here:

Scottish bishops offer condolences to Cardinal’s family and friends

| 4 days ago | Blogging

The President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Bishop Joseph Toal have offered their condolences on the death, earlier today (Monday 19 March 2017) of Cardinal Keith O’Brien.     Archbishop Tartaglia said;     “We have received the sad news of the death of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Emeritus Archbishop of  St Andrews & Edinburgh.  On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland I wish to express my sincere sympathy on the death of the late Cardinal to his family and close friends. I ask for prayers for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.”     Bishop Toal said;     “I will pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, who died early this morning – may he rest in God’s peace. I extend my sympathy and prayerful support to his family, friends and all who mourn his passing. With constant hope in the Lord’s goodness and mercy.”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291

Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Death Notice   Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP     At 1am on Monday 19 March 2018, His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne surrounded by family and friends and fortified by the rites of Holy Church. RIP. He was 80 years old.     Commenting upon the news, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: “In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion – in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.” ENDS Notes to Editors: 1.   For more information, contact David Kerr, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, on 07903 621232 m.     2.   Archbishop Leo Cushley will be available for interview at 11am at the Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BB.     3.   CV of Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien: Born at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland, 17 March 1938, educated St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton, Holy Cross Academy, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh (BSc, 1959; Dip.Ed., 1966); St Andrew’s College, Drygrange; ordained priest at Edinburgh, 3rd April 1965, assistant priest, Holy Cross, Edinburgh 1965- 66; St Bride’s, Cowdenbeath and Chaplain to St Columba’s Secondary School 1966-71; St Patrick’s, Kilsyth, 1972-75; St Mary’s, Bathgate 1975-78; spiritual di- rector, St Andrew’s College, Drygrange 1978-80; rector, St Mary’s College, Blairs 1980-85; nominated Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 30 May 1985, and ordained by Cardinal Gordon Gray, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, at Edinburgh, 5 August 1985. Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Argyll & the Isles 1996-99; created Cardinal 21 October 2003. Resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013.     4.   Following a series of allegations relating to his personal life, Cardinal O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013 and issued a media release on 3 March 2013 in which he announced his retirement from public life, stating: “I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland." With the agreement of the Holy See, he subsequently moved to the north of England. 5.  Following an apostolic visitation to Scotland led by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Holy See announced on 20 March 2015 that Pope Francis had "accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the rights and duties of a Cardinal". The Holy See Press Office O'Brien stated that Cardinal O’Brien would not take part in future papal elections, act as papal adviser, or take part in Vatican congregations and councils and would lose other roles of a cardinal. 6.  Funeral arrangements for Cardinal O’Brien are still to be finalised but will be done so in coming days in consultation with the Holy See and Cardinal O’Brien’s family. 7.    Suggested commentators and potential interviewees for the media;       * Ian Dunn, former Editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer. Ian was 10 years with the Scottish Catholic Observer until January 2018. Tel: 07908 871858   * John Deighan, former Parliamentary Officer for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. John worked alongside Cardinal O’Brien for many ...