Church promises “strenuous opposition” to attempts to redefine marriage

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Catholic church promises strenuous opposition to attempts to redefine marriage.

At their meeting in Edinburgh today, Scotland s Catholic Bishops released a statement underlining their opposition to any attempt by the Scottish Government to undermine or redefine the meaning of marriage. The bishops made clear that the Catholic Church will respond to the consultation and urged Scotland s Catholic community to do the same.  

(The full text of the statement is shown below)

At a homily to be delivered at a Mass for Politicians in Edinburgh this evening (Wednesday 7 September) Cardinal Keith O Brien will ask MSP s to accept that the family and marriage existed before the State and are built on the union between a man and woman.

Reminding politicians It is part of their vocation as politicians to work towards this common good Cardinal O Brien added; Any attempt to redefine marriage is a direct attack on a foundational building block of society

(The full text of the Cardinal s homily 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

Note to Editors:

1. Cardinal O Brien will celebrate a Mass for Politicians at St.Patrick s Church, Cowgate, Edinburgh at 6.30pm on Wednesday 7 September.     St. Patrick s is the Catholic Parish of the Scottish Parliament, situated a short distance from the Parliament buildings. You are invited to send a photographer/reporter/camera crew.

 

 

STATEMENT ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE CONSULTATION

 

Issued by the Bishops Conference of Scotland 7th September 2011  

"The Catholic Church will study the consultation document in detail and

respond to it. The view of the church is however clear, no government can rewrite human nature; the family and marriage existed before the State and are built on the union between a man and woman. Any attempt to redefine marriage is a direct attack on a foundational building block of society and will be strenuously opposed."

" It is not clear at this stage whether ministers have decided to legislate regardless of the outcome of the consultation. If a decision to legislate has been taken, it is not clear what purpose a consultation serves. If not then it is to be hoped that the Government will accept that any consultation must permit proper, balanced reflection of the arguments and not just be an exercise for justifying the campaign demands of a vociferous lobby group."

Lastly, we share the concerns which have been raised about the efficacy of Scottish  Government consultations. Assurances must be given by the Scottish Government that only voters resident in Scotland will be able to participate and the response mechanisms should ensure this."

Individual members of the Bishops Conference will make their own contributions to the consultation and urge the Catholic community to do the same.

 

Mass for Politician s 7th  September 2011 “Homily, Cardinal Keith O Brien

 

Today s readings recount the beatitudes where our Lord offers consolation to the weak, suffering or marginalised people of society. The warning to those who live amid plenty and enjoy good fortune calls us to ponder carefully the things that make for justice and to consider carefully the path that we choose to tread as we make our way through life.

 

Each of us will one day give account for every aspect of our life and of how we have responded to the possibilities and situation in which we find ourselves. The reminder of this in considering the rewards of the just and the punishment of the unjust does of course prompt us to consider our own commitment to justice. The Church has always upheld the importance of each person s responsibility in this regard which is ultimately a question of our faithfulness to conscience.

 

It is in our conscience that each human person finds himself alone with God. Blessed John Henry Newmann, beatified last year on the Pope s visit to the UK, called conscience the aboriginal Vicar of Christ . It is all persons, not just Christians that internally perceive a voice which commands our assent to choose good and avoid evil. In a world where many competing voices and pressures compete; particularly for those in positions of authority, for leaders, there is a need to remain true to one s conscience which needs to be listened to in a dispassionate and reflective manner. It is conscience which reflects the dignity of every person and which cannot be sacrificed to any human power.

It is upon the reflection of conscience that we build a social order based on an understanding of what is right and wrong which we discover together in community.

 

The values which underpin such a society are not the monopoly of one part of society or of one generation. It is this fact that requires us to cooperate in working to build a better society. It is part of your vocation as politicians to work towards this common good and it is a challenge which has to be taken up anew in every generation and in every life as we refine the lessons of our own lives, societies and reflect on them alongside the lessons learned by those who have gone before us.

 

We approach such work with an openness to the other, from which we can benefit. It is almost a year since Pope Benedict spoke on this subject to representatives of civil society in Westminster Hall and he affirmed that politics and religion have nothing to fear from each other, when he said;

the role of religion in political debate is ¦ to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles.

Without the corrective supplied by religion, though, reason too can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology, or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person.

¦Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a  vital contributor to the national conversation.

(Pope Benedict Westminster Hall Address 17 Sep 2010)

I assure you of the Catholic Church s spirit of cooperation in pursuing the task of bettering Scotland. We pursue justice together whilst respecting our own competencies and autonomy. As a Church we aim to inculcate the virtue of justice in the persons of our society whilst recognising that it is the work of politicians to ultimately secure justice in society.

 

We cannot overlook the importance of nurturing virtues of every person which takes place firstly and most directly in the family and for such reason we uphold the importance of the family which is the first building block of every society.   Equally, the church esteems the institution of marriage as the most stable building block upon which any family can rest. The view of the church is clear, no government can rewrite human nature; the family and marriage existed before the State and are built on the union between a man and woman. Any attempt to redefine marriage is a direct attack on a foundational building block of society and will be strenuously opposed."

  Tonight is the vigil of the Feast of the birth of Mary the Mother of Christ. Her life was one dedicated in faithfulness to God from which the fruitfulness of her self-giving to God s plans flourished in the birth of Our Lord, the redeemer of Mankind. Jesus took his place in a family and spent long years of hidden life under the authority of a mother and father and thus presented a prototype for all families.  A strong and successful Scotland needs strong families on which to build, it needs a spirit of cooperation between the voices of politics and of the Church and faith communities. Together we strive for the Common Good supported by God s grace as we face the challenges of our common future. Tonight the work of politicians is especially borne in mind as we offer our support to them in the crucial task that they give in serving our nation.

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 167 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      ...