Saturday 4 October 2003
Speaking in response to Archbishop Conti's pastoral Letter on the Family, to be read at all masses in the Archdiocese of Glasgow on Saturday 4th and Sunday October 5th, 2003, Cardinal-Elect Keith O'Brien, said;
"In addressing the place of the family and marriage in today's society Archbishop Mario Conti provides insightful guidance to us all. His comments are relevant not just to those in the Catholic community but also to all people of goodwill, concerned with the future stability of our society and the welfare of our children.
Today marriage and the family face many threats; a growing unwillingness on the part of our young people to form lasting relationships, the prospect of legislation equating same-sex partnerships with marriage and a dramatic fall in our birth rate as couples choose to postpone children or prevent them altogether.
Archbishop Conti rightly restates the view of the Church that marriage "resembles Christ's self-giving." adding "we need to ensure the careful preparation of couples for marriage". This is timely advice, reflecting the wider concerns of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. Recently, together with my brother Bishops and our pastoral advisers we have given detailed consideration to how best the Church can support and uphold the family in Scotland today.
As a Bishops' Conference we will continue to speak in support of marriage and family life. I echo Archbishop Conti's call to all our priests, religious and laity to pray and ponder, "what further steps we need to take to support married couples in their fidelity to one another and in the up-building of their families"
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