Catholic Bishops issue comprehensive statement on Marriage and the Family.

Catholic Bishops issue comprehensive statement on Marriage and the Family.  

Quarter of a million (250,000) leaflets containing the text of a comprehensive statement on Marriage and the Family will be distributed to Scotland's Catholic community this weekend (31 Jan & 1 Feb).  

The widely-distributed statement follows a pledge given by Cardinal Keith O'Brien in December of last year when he promised that Scotland's Catholic Bishops intended to make 2004 a year in support of "Life and the Family".  

In his December 2003 letter, Cardinal O'Brien said; "It is in the best interests of Scottish society, and is therefore a duty incumbent on all who are active in public life, to respect and foster family life. All legislative and fiscal policy must take account of the effect that it will have on this core institution of our society and ensure that it is strengthened and not undermined."  

Referring to the leaflet being distributed this weekend, he added; "I hope you will use this material as the focal point of debate, discussion and initiatives in your homes, parishes, schools and workplaces, aimed at supporting marriage and the family and building a Culture of Life'. I assure you that my brother bishops and I are fully aware of our responsibilities to you and to the society in which we live, it is our desire, especially at this time to ensure that there exists a proper Christian environment in our homes and in our communities for yourselves and for your children."  

Note to Editors:  

There are 450 Catholic Parishes in Scotland  
The full text of the A5 leaflet is shown below  
ENDS  

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




Marriage and the Family  
Bishops' Conference of Scotland  
Feast of the Presentation ­ 2 February 2004  


The Feast of the Presentation records the visit to Jerusalem of Mary and Joseph who presented the infant Jesus in the Temple. They thanked God for the gift of life as so many parents continue to do; they recognise in their child someone made in the image and likeness of God. Mary's child was unique. He was the son of God, but in his humanity he was like us in all things ­ but sin. In the Holy Family we have a unique model for the Christian family.  

Marriage is a unique institution, a gift from God to his creation. It has been respected, honoured and supported by most civilisations at most times in human history. The three great monotheistic religions ­ Judaism, Christianity and Islam - honour marriage between a man and a woman as the foundation of the family, the building block of society. They attach supreme value to its function of providing a stable environment for the expression of human love and for the education of children.  

Marriage is the committed partnership of two people, a man and a woman, equal in dignity, created in the image and likeness of God. They are called to be united in heart, mind and body - two in one flesh. They complement each other through their communion of life, expressed and nourished, in their conjugal love. Marriage binds them to be faithful to each other and to be open to sharing in God's work of creation.  

In Catholic teaching marriage is an exclusive, lifelong union of husband and wife. Between baptised persons, according to Catholic teaching, marriage is given the dignity of a sacrament. Joined by God in marriage, a man and a woman become a sign of the love between Christ and the Church. Their union cannot be dissolved by any purely human authority.  

Since it is given by God, the Church upholds the sacredness of human sexuality. The intimate embrace of husband and wife consummates their love for each other, expresses their complete commitment to each other and the earnest desire that their love should bear fruit in the birth of children. The Church strives to protect the dual purpose of sexual intimacy which binds husband and wife to each other and allows them to share with God in bringing children into the world.  

The Church is concerned whenever the gift of sexual expression is demeaned. In the Apostolic Tradition any use of the sexual faculty outwith marriage is sinful and dishonest, for of its nature it can only find true expression within the covenant of marriage. Likewise the contraceptive mentality prevents the gift of love between husband and wife from being true and complete by deliberately seeking to exclude conception.  

While upholding marriage as the basis for family life and a stable society, the Church compassionately acknowledges those who through bereavement or desertion are suffering and feel a deep sense of loss. Alone they labour heroically and with great dignity to bring up their children, provide for their needs and educate them in the knowledge and the love of God. The generous support of others, often members of the extended family, is a cause of great admiration.  

The Church is deeply saddened when some marriages, for various reasons, fail. The Church in Scotland provides sensitive and compassionate pastoral care for people who find themselves in difficult marriage or family situations and is committed to encouraging their participation in the life and mission of the Church, in the first place through involvement in their own parishes.  

Those intending to marry deserve a high standard of preparation for marriage and for all that family life involves. The Catholic community has much to offer in the area of education about the authentic meaning of marriage, the family, love and sexuality. What the Church offers should not be restricted to the time of immediate preparation for marriage. It should begin in secondary school and continue throughout a couple's life together, giving special support at important moments, such as the birth of children or illness in the family.  

We give thanks for the beautiful gift of married love and family life, for the witness of so many married couples in our country, also for the witness of those who have been widowed, for those whose marriage despite their best efforts has failed and for those who despite the hurtful experience of a broken marriage, live out their faith as fully as possible in the various, sometimes painful circumstances in which they find themselves.  

Together we all make up the family of God and we pray that God will help us to celebrate our joys, face our troubles with courage and continue to be faithful to the will of the One who "created (us) in his own image and likeness, male and female." (Genesis 1:27)  

DAY FOR LIFE  

On 31 May, the Feast of the Visitation, the Catholic Church in Scotland will celebrate a "Day for Life 2004"


Published by the Catholic Media Office,  
5 St. Vincent Place, Glasgow, G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
mail@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 142 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 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

Scottish Bishops welcome Pope’s call for Synod in 2023

| 01st June 2021 | Blogging

    Scottish Bishops welcome Pope’s call for Synod in 2023 1 June 2021   Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have welcomed a call from Pope Francis for a Synod on the theme of Synodality, to be held in 2023. Commenting on the announcement, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said;   “Last Sunday the Church celebrated the Feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and our Lady at the very beginning, the birthday, of the Church. We gave thanks for the gifts of the Holy Spirit that first Pentecost but also celebrated the ongoing gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Mindful of these gifts the Bishops of Scotland welcome the initiative of Pope Francis to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church, to the People of God, to listen to one another, and to make that Synodal journey together of communion, participation and mission.”   Bishop Gilbert added;   “The Pope has called for a very participative process, engaging all the faithful, which will prepare for this Synod. The Bishops of Scotland welcome the Initiative for a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission. As the principle and foundation of unity in our dioceses, the Bishops look forward to the launch of the Synodal journey, a period of consultation and discernment in our local Churches, on Sunday 17th October of this year, and preparations are now being made for that event. We ask all the faithful to pray for the success of this initiative in the life of the universal and local Church, and above all to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit and listen to the Holy Spirit speaking through all of us in the Body of Christ.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Note to Editors:   The Synodal process will conclude in Rome in October 2023....

Scottish Bishops establish a“Care of Creation Office”

| 17th May 2021 | Blogging

Scottish Bishops establish a“Care of Creation Office” Monday 17 May 2021   Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have announced their intention to set up a “Care of Creation Office” ahead of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow later this year. Commenting on the decision, Bishop William Nolan, the Bishop of Galloway and President of the National Justice & Peace Commission said:   “On Pentecost Sunday (23 May 2021) we mark the 6th anniversary of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on care for our common home. It reminds all Catholics of their responsibilities towards one another and the world we live. Inspired by the Pope’s letter and in preparation for the COP26 conference taking place in Glasgow in November, the Bishops’ Conference has decided to set-up a “Care of Creation Office” this year.”   Bishop Nolan added:   “The Office’s aim will be to give practical advice and guidance: helping dioceses and parishes assess their carbon footprint and discern how to work towards carbon neutrality, it will be headed by Fr Gerard H Maguiness the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference.  God has honoured us by giving humanity the task of being a co-operator in the work of creation we hope our lives enhance and build-up that creation and pray that the meeting of world leaders in Glasgow later this year bear fruit for our planet.”   The announcement of the new office coincides with a National Pastoral letter from Scotland’s Bishops being distributed to all parishes for Pentecost Sunday (23 May 2021) on the theme of caring for creation. The letter marks the Sixth Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on the environment, Laudato Si’ and draws attention to the Christian message, that “we are all part of one human family and that we share a common home, means that our earth’s resources must be shared and used for the benefit of all”.   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Note to Editors:   The full text of the Pentecost pastoral Letter appears below:   Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of Scotland on the Sixth Anniversary of Laudato Si’ Pentecost 2021   God saw all that he had made and indeed it was very good.[1] God’s creation is a great gift to all humanity, and humanity itself is an integral part of that creation. We are blessed by having the earth for our common home. It is a place of great beauty, teeming with life of all kinds, a world full of wonderful resources which enable us not only to live but to enhance our way of life. In nature, God’s glory is revealed for all to see.[2] St Francis of Assisi was prominent among the saints in giving praise to God for the wonder of creation.[3] We have been entrusted by God with the care of the earth,[4] but sadly we have not just used the earth we have abused it. We are destroying the seas, polluting the atmosphere and consuming the abundant but limited resources of this world while neglecting the needs of our poor brothers and sisters and showing no concern for tomorrow. The earth, our common home, is given to all of humanity and its resources are not just for us to use now but to be preserved and passed on to future generations.[5] As Christians we thank God for gift of creation, but, because we have taken that gift for granted, when we look at creation as it is now we are conscious of the failings of humanity; we are conscious of the need for what the gospel calls “metanoia”,[6] not just sorrow for the abuse of creation, not just a change of heart, but a change of life and how we live our lives.[7] A very solid scientific consensus[8] tells us that human activity has brought the earth to a crisis point and that action is needed that is both urgent and deep rooted, particularly due to CO2 emissions. Governments have a responsibility to work together, and with haste, to reduce emissions to a safe level. Governments als...

Scottish Bishops establish a“Care of Creation Office”

| 17th May 2021 | Blogging

Scottish Bishops establish a“Care of Creation Office” Monday 17 May 2021   Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have announced their intention to set up a “Care of Creation Office” ahead of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow later this year. Commenting on the decision, Bishop William Nolan, the Bishop of Galloway and President of the National Justice & Peace Commission said:   “On Pentecost Sunday (23 May 2021) we mark the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on care for our common home. It reminds all Catholics of their responsibilities towards one another and the world we live. Inspired by the Pope’s letter and in preparation for the COP26 conference taking place in Glasgow in November, the Bishops’ Conference has decided to set-up a “Care of Creation Office” this year.”   Bishop Nolan added:   “The Office’s aim will be to give practical advice and guidance: helping dioceses and parishes assess their carbon footprint and discern how to work towards carbon neutrality, it will be headed by Fr Gerard H Maguiness the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference.  God has honoured us by giving humanity the task of being a co-operator in the work of creation we hope our lives enhance and build-up that creation and pray that the meeting of world leaders in Glasgow later this year bear fruit for our planet.”   The announcement of the new office coincides with a National Pastoral letter from Scotland’s Bishops being distributed to all parishes for Pentecost Sunday (23 May 2021) on the theme of caring for creation. The letter marks the Sixth Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on the environment, Laudato Si’ and draws attention to the Christian message, that “we are all part of one human family and that we share a common home, means that our earth’s resources must be shared and used for the benefit of all”.   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Note to Editors:   The full text of the Pentecost pastoral Letter appears below:   Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of Scotland on the Sixth Anniversary of Laudato Si’ Pentecost 2021   God saw all that he had made and indeed it was very good.[1] God’s creation is a great gift to all humanity, and humanity itself is an integral part of that creation. We are blessed by having the earth for our common home. It is a place of great beauty, teeming with life of all kinds, a world full of wonderful resources which enable us not only to live but to enhance our way of life. In nature, God’s glory is revealed for all to see.[2] St Francis of Assisi was prominent among the saints in giving praise to God for the wonder of creation.[3] We have been entrusted by God with the care of the earth,[4] but sadly we have not just used the earth we have abused it. We are destroying the seas, polluting the atmosphere and consuming the abundant but limited resources of this world while neglecting the needs of our poor brothers and sisters and showing no concern for tomorrow. The earth, our common home, is given to all of humanity and its resources are not just for us to use now but to be preserved and passed on to future generations.[5] As Christians we thank God for gift of creation, but, because we have taken that gift for granted, when we look at creation as it is now we are conscious of the failings of humanity; we are conscious of the need for what the gospel calls “metanoia”,[6] not just sorrow for the abuse of creation, not just a change of heart, but a change of life and how we live our lives.[7] A very solid scientific consensus[8] tells us that human activity has brought the earth to a crisis point and that action is needed that is both urgent and deep rooted, particularly due to CO2 emissions. Governments have a responsibility to work together, and with haste, to reduce emissions to a safe level. Governments als...

Scottish Bishops offer support to Catholic Church in Ireland

| 28th April 2021 | Blogging

Scottish Bishops offer support to Catholic Church in Ireland   28 April 2021   Commenting on the recent decision by the Irish Government to enact restrictions which do not allow public worship, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert has issued the following statement:   “As the Catholic Church in Scotland this year celebrates the 1500th Anniversary of the birth of St Columba who brought the faith from Ireland to Scotland in the 6th century, the thoughts and prayers of the Church in Scotland are now directed to our brothers and sisters in Ireland.”   “Recent developments that penalise the celebration of Holy Mass have been disturbing not only to the Irish Bishops’ Conference but also to the Bishops of Scotland. We all recognise the need for restrictions to protect the common good of all people in a pandemic but to enact legislation that criminalises those who gather to celebrate Holy Mass is indeed extreme and unjust.”   “May the strong bonds between the Catholic Church in Ireland and Scotland established by St Patrick, St Columba, the Celtic saints and the faith of our forebears reassure our brothers and sisters in Ireland that they are not alone and are always in our prayers.”   ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org      ...