scmo_banner_news.jpg


Sunday 2 September 2012

Cardinal O'Brien raises "fears and concerns" on Same Sex Marriage

In an opinion article in today's Mail on Sunday newspaper, Cardinal Keith O'Brien will raise a range of "fears and concerns" over the Scottish Government's proposed Same Sex Marriage legislation.

The Cardinal will argue that previously mentioned concerns have been widely ignored and have not formed part of the political or public debate which should have taken place before the Government's decision.

He will cite the recent case in Brazil, where a civil partnership between three people has been officially recognised in the state of Sao Paolo, the vote in the Danish Parliament in June to force churches in the established Evangelical Lutheran Church to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies and a proposed new law in the State of Kansas, which would mean that if a church has a parish hall that they rent out to the general public, they could not discriminate against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party.

Cardinal O'Brien will argue that all these developments vindicate fears raised by the Catholic Church and others and undermine assurances proposed by the Scottish Government.

The full text of the Cardinal's article is shown below.

ENDS


Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168
07968 122291  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org



Cardinal O'Brien - Mail on Sunday - Sunday 2 September 2012


In the course of recent months the debate on Same Sex Marriage has ebbed and flowed to little real effect. The Scottish Government set itself on a course to redefine marriage and notwithstanding the inconvenient truth of a public consultation on the matter, which returned a 65% no vote; it remains set on that course.
 
We are told that the parliamentary process involved will require action by both the Scottish and UK parliaments and a raft of new guidance for employers and others. This is because the administration actually promised two things: legislation permitting same sex marriage and protection from compulsion for those opposed.  
 
Amongst the most overused replies to the Catholic Church s opposition to marriage redefinition is the hackneyed; no church will be forced to carry out same sex marriages Incredibly, proponents of the change seem to think that by simple repetition this empty phrase will somehow develop meaning. The Church opposed the Abortion Act passed in 1967, and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act passed in 1990, even although none of these legislative acts imposed any requirement or burden on the church it opposed them vigorously and completely. Why? Simply because it cares for society and humanity. This includes a deep concern for the vast majority of our fellow human beings who are not Catholics
 
The religious identity of the tens of thousands of women who have had abortions over the past 45 years is irrelevant to the church as is the religious affiliations which countless thousands of embryos might have enjoyed had they been allowed to survive into child and adulthood rather than ending up in laboratory waste. The Church addresses the great human suffering they all represent. It is motivated by compassion for life, all human life.
 
The Catholic Church cares that across the Western world young men and women, but especially men, who are coming to terms with same sex attraction, are being prematurely locked into what may be a passing phase in their sexual identity, and are being encouraged and even urged into potentially harmful patterns of behaviour, which even our own NHS Scotland admit leave them, disproportionately affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
 
Earlier this year I suggested that the disingenuous attempt to marginalise church concerns by repeating the mantra you won t have to take part was a bit like Government legalising slavery with the words you won t need to keep a slave It would be hypocritical. Many, then and since chose to mischievously and maliciously misquote my comments and suggest I had equated homosexuality with slavery “ which I demonstrably hadn t. This deceitful dissembling however did cause me to draw a very serious conclusion; many of those who support Same Sex Marriage do not want to engage in detailed debate on the subject, rather they prefer to attack, to marginalise and to misrepresent.
 
I take this opportunity to restate some of the concerns of the Church, concerns which have previously been ridiculed or ignored.  
 
Along with others, we have asked what can stop further erosion and destruction of the meaning of marriage once it ceases to be the relationship between a man and a woman and becomes the recognition of a commitment made by adults who love one another? Such redefinition must surely, logically allow for multiple partners to enter into marriage we have warned.  
 
Our warnings have been dismissed. Yet, earlier this week we read reports from Brazil, where a civil partnership between three people has been officially recognised in the state of Sao Paolo. The relationship between one man and two women was passed by public notary Claudia do Nascimento Domingues, who said the trio were entitled to family rights adding "What we considered a family before isn't necessarily what we would consider a family today," The notary said in granting the wishes of the man and two women, that there was nothing in law that prevents such an arrangement.  The trio have lived together in Rio de Janeiro for three years, and have a common bank account and share bills and expenses.
 
Along with others, we have warned that opt outs from legislation can easily be overturned. If Parliament votes to protect religious celebrants from being compelled to conduct Same Sex Marriages it can just as easily vote to overturn that protection.
Earlier this summer the Danish Parliament voted to force churches in the established Evangelical Lutheran Church to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies inside their sanctuaries, although one-third of all the denomination s priests say they will not participate in such rituals.  
 
Denmark s Parliament voted by an overwhelming 85-24 margin to compel churches to carry out unions for same-sex couples that are identical to heterosexual marriage celebrations. The law took effect in June, overturning the previous decision to allow churches to opt out. Interestingly and worryingly, in this context the Scottish Government s rhetoric has focussed on protecting religious celebrants rather than churches.
 
Along with others, we have warned that even if religious ceremonies are not forced on churches allowing the use of their premises may well be. In April of this year - The city council of Hutchinson, Kansas, considered enacting a new statute adding sexual orientation and sexual identity to the city s non-discrimination policy in all public accommodations. The measure would specifically include churches that rent their property to the public.  
 
According to a city spokesman; If a church has a parish hall that they rent out to the general public, they could not discriminate against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party, such as a same-sex ceremony or reception.
Religious facilities, including churches, would not be able to discriminate against gay and lesbian or transgender individuals, Meryl Dye, a spokeswoman for the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, confirmed. Unless the city council includes an exemption for churches, it would generate a discrimination complaint for the gay couple and it would be investigated “ and possibly lead to a fine.
 
Each of these cases confirms and expands on the fears and concerns we have expressed. They show where this debate is going and our media and our politicians have almost universally ignored them.
 
Launching a National Marriage Sunday in the Catholic Church last week, I said that
the Church's teaching on marriage was unequivocal; it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that Governments, politicians or Parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality.

While I pray that our elected leaders will sustain rather than subvert marriage, I can assure the Scottish Government that together with Scotland s silent majority, we will continue to do everything we can to convince them that redefining marriage would be wrong for society.

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 123 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

Bishop calls on UK Government to sign and ratify Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

| 25th May 2018 | Blogging

25 May 2018   Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and President of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, will tomorrow (Saturday 26 May) at 12 noon join other Church leaders and campaigners in calling for the Secretary of State to sign and ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.   Taking part in the Pentecost Witness at Faslane Naval Base alongside representatives of the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Nolan will call on the Secretary of State to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the Treaty.   Commenting ahead of the event tomorrow, Bishop Nolan said:   “We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against God’s creation.”   The Treaty opened for signature at the United Nations on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, it will make the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law.   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Notes to Editors: 1. Full text of the letter sent to the Secretary of State is copied below 2. An image of Bishop Nolan is available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/25508101134/in/album- 72157666531058155/ Full text of Letter Dear Secretary of State, As you are aware, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at the UN on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, this treaty will make the possession use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law. We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being and that nuclear weapons violate that dignity and threaten that life. It is evident that the use of nuclear weapons would have indiscriminate and devastating humanitarian consequences that would extend beyond the borders of any single nation state. The World Council of Churches has stated ‘that as long as such weapons exist, they pose a threat to humanity and to creation’. Pope Francis has condemned not just the threat of use, but the possession of nuclear arms as they serve to create a culture of fear for all humankind and consume vast amounts of human and financial resources that could be better used for human development. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against creation. Those signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons agreed not to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer or receive nuclear weapons. The 122 governments so far who have signed the Treaty recognise along with countless numbers of people throughout the world that we have lived with these weapons for far too long and that they must now be outlawed and eliminated. Successive governments of both major parties have affirmed their commitment to multilateral disarmament for the last 50 years, however the decision by Parliament to spend billions of pounds renewing the UK’s arsenal of mass destruction in times of austerity is not a commitment to peacebuilding and is contrary to our commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The British Government, by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, would be taking a positive step towards fulfilling those commitments. We, the undersigned, ask you to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity. We pledge to continue to do our part to realise a world without nuclear weapons. Bishop William Nolan President of the Scottish Catholic Bishops’ Justice and ...

New Safeguarding Manual comes into force

| 21st May 2018 | Blogging

In a letter sent to all Catholic parishes over the weekend, Bishop Joseph Toal, who is responsible for Safeguarding on behalf of the Bishops ofScotland,has marked the publication of new national Safeguarding standards which come into force on Monday 21stMay.   In his letter, Bishop Toal commends the publication of ‘In God’s Image’, a new and extensive manual which offers comprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church.   On behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, he writes:   “Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.”   The publication of these new materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been implementing the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in 2015, with rigorous oversight by an Independent Review Group chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell.   Bishop Toal states that engagement with survivors will continue to be an important task for the Church:   “For some years now, each Bishop has been meeting with survivors and will continue to do so. Given the profound and sensitive nature of this issue, such encounters take place discreetly, at times and paces suited to the needs of survivors.”   Adding:   “Through the protection and care we show to all, and through the compassion, healing and justice we offer to those who have survived abuse, we must continue to renew, rebuild and restore faith and hope in the church by offering faith and hope to one another. “   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org     Notes to Editors:   The new manual can be viewed here:    https://ingodsimage.bcos.org.uk/      Full text of the letter sent to parishes is copied below.   Pastoral Letter for distribution to Congregations on Pentecost Sunday 2018   My Dear People,   I write, on behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, to draw your attention to the publication of our Church’s new Safeguarding materials which come into force on 21stMay 2018.  These include ‘In God’s Image’, the document which offerscomprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding, including compliance with new Safeguarding standards.  This hasbeen shaped by the recent experience and developing expertise of those involved in the front line of Safeguarding in the Church, both in Scotland and internationally.In ratifying this publication, the Bishops have taken the opportunity to repeat and renew apologies made to those who have suffered any form of abuse, at any time, by anyone representing the Church.     Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.  We are most grateful to the teams of Safeguarding personnel in all Dioceses and to over 9,000 trained volunteers who support the work of parishes and religious congregations across Scotland.     The publication of these materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been working quietly, but tirelessly, to implement the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in August 2015.     Since 2013 we have published annual audits of allegations reported to us each year. Last month, we also published a historical review of non-recent cases of abuse, covering the period 1943–2005. The publication of our annual audits, the historical review and our new Safeguarding materials demonstrate our ongoing commitment to openness and transparency.     We recognise, however, that pu...

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia backs ‘journalism of moral integrity’

| 10th May 2018 | Blogging

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, has written to all 500 Catholic parishes this weekend (12/13 May) to mark World Communications Day.     This year, Pope Francis has chosen ‘Truth’ as the theme of his Communications Day message and bemoaned the persistent spread of “fake news”. In his letter, based on the Pope’s theme, Archbishop Tartaglia writes:     “Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good and beautiful.”     Pope Francis has urged Catholics to:     “…contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and of rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.”     Calling on Catholics to be partners in this quest for truth Archbishop Tartaglia says: “Truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather truth involves our whole life…it carries with it the sense of support, solidarity and trust. Journalists are called to be protectors of news and to promote the truth”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org Notes to Editors 1. Full text of Archbishop Targtaglia Letter is copied below. 2. Full text of Pope Francis message for World Communications Day is copied below. My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ In his message for Communications Sunday this year, Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. But he warns us, that when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can distort our ability to communicate. The capacity to twist the truth is a human failing. Today we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as “fake news”. This has caused the Pope to make truth the theme of this year’s communications message, when he urges us to: “contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.” The term “fake news” refers to the spreading of disinformation online or in the traditional media based on non-existent or distorted data designed to deceive and manipulate the reader by mimicking real news. Social networks can allow untrue stories to spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage. Such disinformation can discredit and demonise while fomenting conflict and spreading arrogance and hatred. Preventing and identifying the way disinformation works calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. So how do we defend ourselves? The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth. In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather, truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust. We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves us. This alone can liberate us, as in the words of the Gospel according to John: "The truth will set you free". To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness. I would like to quote at length from the Pope’s message and urge you to read his text in full which is available on the website of the Catholic Media Office at www.scmo.org. The Pope says; 'The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people...

Archbishop Leo Cushley celebrates first ever Mass in Scottish Parliament

| 28th March 2018 | Blogging

28 March 2018     Today, 28 March, at 12.30pm Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh, will celebrate what is believed to be the first ever Mass in the Scottish Parliament. All MSPs are invited to attend mass, which takes place during Holy Week.     Commenting on the occasion, Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:     ‘The celebration of Holy Mass, the summit of Catholic life, is an opportunity to express prayers for the work of our elected representatives and for the common good of society. Of course, Holyrood means Holy Cross, so in that sense, parliament is a most fitting place for this historic celebration.’       Archbishop Leo Cushley said:     "It is a great privilege to be officially invited to offer Holy Mass within the Scottish Parliament, the first such invitation since the parliament's re-establishment 19 years ago. It is a generous gesture which seems to recognise that Catholics are valued participants in the civic life of contemporary Scotland, where we seek to work with others in advancing the common good."      ENDS   Peter Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org       Notes to Editors: 1. Images will be available from Paul McSherry on at paul.mcsherry@ntlworld.com or 07770393960....