Friday 7 October 2011  
 
Speaking after his meeting with the First Minister, Bishop Philip Tartaglia said; I am grateful to the First Minister, for the opportunity to have raised these matters with him in a personal way. I share the concerns of the Scottish Government that sectarianism should be eradicated from Scottish society. Fears that the wide remit of the ˜Offensive Behaviour Bill might impinge on the freedom to hold and express otherwise inoffensive views appear to have been recognised and are being addressed.
 
Archbishop Tartaglia added; I particularly welcome the First minister s commitment to track and analyse sectarian crime on an on-going basis using all data relating to Section 74 of the Criminal Justice Scotland Act 2003. Clearly, we cannot tackle a problem without first measuring it.
 
Archbishop Tartaglia concluded; Our discussions also afforded me an opportunity to reiterate the Catholic Bishops publicly stated commitment to strenuously oppose any moves towards ˜same sex marriage . This matter remains unresolved for the moment since the consultation is on-going. I thank the First minister for his assurance that the Government has not reached a final decision on this issue.
 
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 <https://www.scmo.org>  
 
Notes to Editors:
 
1.During the week beginning Sunday 16 October, the Catholic Parliamentary Office will distribute 100,000 postcards to Scotland s 500 Catholic parishes urging Catholics to complete a declaration in defence of marriage. Responses will be submitted to the Scottish Government s consultation.
 
2. Archbishop Tartaglia, the Bishop of Paisley has this week issued a Pastoral Letter to all parishes in his Diocese it will be read at all masses on 8 & 9 October, it is titled In Defence of Marriage a copy of the letter will be given to all parishioners. In his letter, the Bishop says;  
 
Same Sex Marriage is wrong in principle because marriage is uniquely the union of a man and a woman, which, by its very nature, is designed for the mutual good of the spouses and to give the children who may be born of that union a father and a mother.     A same sex union cannot do that. A same sex union should not therefore be called marriage.  
 

Same Sex Marriage is unnecessary because the State recognises same sex unions in the form of civil partnerships. In civil partnerships, therefore, same sex partners have all the rights and privileges of marriage, except the right to be called a marriage. There is no good reason to change that.

 

The introduction of Same Sex Marriage into law will have undesirable consequences for the common good with regard to the public understanding of marriage and of parenting, with regard to the religious and moral education of children and young people, and with regard to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

 

The full text of the letter is shown below.

 

Pastoral Letter “ October 2011  

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation in which they propose that same sex marriage should be introduced in Scotland.
The Catholic Bishops of Scotland have expressed their unanimous opposition to this proposal. I have made public my own submission to the Scottish Government. You can read it on the website of the Diocese of Paisley at www.rcdop.org.uk <http://www.rcdop.org.uk>  
I have also given radio and television interviews in which I have defended the institution of marriage as uniquely the union of a man and a woman, and stressed the foolishness of the Government s proposal to re-define marriage to accommodate same sex unions.  
I now ask you to respond individually to the Government Consultation and say that you are against the introduction of same sex marriage.
 
Same Sex Marriage is wrong in principle
Nature, reason and religion concur that marriage is uniquely the union of a man and a woman, which, by its very nature, is designed for the mutual good of the spouses and to give the children who may be born of that union a father and a mother.  
For obvious reasons, a same sex union cannot do that. A same sex union should not therefore be called marriage. Same sex unions are different in nature and purpose from marriage. Same sex marriage is therefore not an issue about equality or human rights. It is an issue about the nature and meaning of marriage in our society.  
It is very important to realise that opposition to the introduction of same sex marriage is not, as some so stridently assert, ˜homophobic bigotry , but is the assertion and defence of the nature and meaning of marriage which has been universally recognised by all cultures and all the great   religions, and which has sustained humanity since time immemorial.   It is therefore wrong and foolish to undermine this understanding of marriage.  
 
Same Sex Marriage is unnecessary
The State recognises same sex unions in the form of civil partnerships. In law, same sex partners have all the rights and privileges of marriage, except the right to be called a marriage. Same sex marriage is therefore unnecessary. Moreover, to call a civil partnership a marriage is to play a childish but dangerous game with language, in which people make something mean whatever they want it to mean.
 
Same Sex Marriage will have undesirable consequences
1.     Same sex marriage will change the nature of parenting. The normal mother and father model of parenting will   be replaced in law and then gradually in culture by a non gender-specific model of parenting which will deprive children of their right to have a mother and a father, and which will have negative implications for the sexual identity of children, creating in the long run a society in which more and more people will not be able to identify their sexuality, something which will further damage marriage and family, and be to the detriment of the common good.

 

2.     The introduction of same sex marriage into law will have detrimental effects on education. The new models of sex education, of marriage and of parenting will certainly become mandatory in public schools. While Catholic schools in Scotland have autonomy in religious education programmes, the ideological and bureaucratic pressure on teachers and schools to conform to the new coercive orthodoxy could become unbearable, creating a climate of confusion, mistrust and fear in education and in schools, as teachers and educators are cajoled and bullied into teaching what is contrary to faith, reason and common sense.

 

3.     Once the definition of marriage is changed to accommodate same sex unions on account of equality and human rights, Government will have no good reasons not to extend the definition of marriage to other combinations, such as three or more partner marriages. The problem will be that Government will not be able to give a principled answer to requests for polygamous marriage. It will not be able to say, This is not allowed because it is not right . It can only say, This is not allowed because it s not allowed , and this is clearly unsatisfactory and ultimately unsustainable.

 

4.     The redefinition of marriage to include same sex unions will bring with it State-sponsored discrimination and penalties in the courts and in the workplace against anyone who dares to question the rightness of same sex marriage, thereby riding roughshod over freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

Civil Partnerships and Same Sex Marriages in Church
The Government s assurance that it will not require religious bodies to register civil partnerships or conduct same sex marriages is disingenuous. The Government could not require the Catholic Church under any circumstances to conduct civil partnerships or same sex marriages. In a democracy, any such attempt would be a serious infringement of religious liberty. So as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, this assurance is worth nothing. It is a complete red herring.
 
However, what the Government s assurance may do is to create the expectation that religious bodies will register civil partnerships and conduct same sex marriages, thereby heaping pressure on religious bodies which are uncertain which way to go and sowing the seeds of dissent and disunity among Church memberships. It would have been much wiser for the Government not to have attempted to interfere in the legitimate freedom and self-regulation of religious bodies.  
 
Conclusion
The Government Consultation remains open until 9th December 2011. Please contribute to the consultation and tell the Government that you do not want same sex marriage to be introduced in Scotland because it is wrong in principle, it is unnecessary in practice and will have damaging consequences for the common good.  
Yours devotedly in Christ,
 
X Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley
 
Notes
You can respond to the Government consultation in two ways:
1.     By filling out the postcard from the Catholic Parliamentary Office, which will be delivered soon to your parish.

 

2.     By accessing the on-line response form on same sex marriage at the Scottish Government website:  

 

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/09/05153328/0  

 

You can email your completed response to familylaw@scotland.gsi.gov.uk <mailto:familylaw@scotland.gsi.gov.uk>   or you can print it off and send it by post to Sandra Jack, Scottish Government, St. Andrew s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG.

Subscribe to Updates

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

Subscribe to Updates

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

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

Recent Posts

Catholic Bishops announce resumption of communal worship

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Thursday 9 July 2020Catholic Bishops announce resumption of communal worshipScotland’s Catholic Bishops have welcomed the First Minister’s comments today (Thursday 9 July) on places of worship and have announced the resumption of communal worship in Catholic parishes from 15 July. Commenting on the move, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert said;“Over the past month, our parishes have been preparing for the safe resumption of communal prayer and the celebration of Mass, which is at the centre of the life of the church. To have been unable to attend Mass for many months has been a source of real sadness for Scotland’s Catholics and I am sure there will be great joy at the prospect of returning.”“Thanks to the widespread implementation of the church’s Infection Control protocols, Catholic parishes will begin the resumption of public Masses and other communal activities from 15 July.”Bishop Gilbert added;“The bishops are extremely grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly to prepare our parishes for public worship and to those who made their views known to their parliamentary representatives and the government on the subject of communal worship.While thanking the Scottish Government for listening to these calls, we would remind parishioners that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended and ask those who return to do so in accordance with the infection control measures in force in each parish, mindful always of the need to protect themselves and others.”ENDS Peter Kearney 
Director 
Catholic Media Office 
0141 221 1168
07968 122291 
pk@scmo.org 
www.scmo.orgNote to Editors:The Infection Control Working Group’s Report can be viewed here:https://www.bcos.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/COVID-19%20Infection%20Control%20Advice%20230620.pdf...

Bishops welcome Review Group’s Annual report

| 26th June 2020 | Blogging

Bishops welcome Review Group’s Annual report Friday 26 June 2020   The Second Annual Report of the Independent Review Group (IRG) monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the McLellan Commission by the Catholic Church in Scotland has been welcomed by the Bishops’ Conference. The report, published on 26 June is available at: https://www.bcos.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/IRG%20Report%20June%202020.pdf   Commenting on the publication, Bishop Joseph Toal, President of the Commission for Pastoral and Social Care said;“On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, I thank the IRG for their work and welcome the publication of their second annual report, which will be given careful consideration.”   Bishop Toal added;   “Safeguarding remains at the heart of the church’s mission and the maintenance of high standards is only possible through independent scrutiny of an autonomous body like the IRG that works separately from the Catholic Church.”   ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org      ...

Bishops appoint new Vice Rector for Scots College

| 12th June 2020 | Blogging

Bishops appoint new Vice Rector for Scots College 12 June 2020   A new Vice Rector has been announced for the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. Fr Nick Welsh (36) was chosen for the post by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and is expected to begin the role in September.   He is currently parish priest at Our Lady and St Andrew, covering Galashiels, Melrose and Selkirk, and Vicar Episcopal for Education for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.   Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: “The Bishops thank Fr Nick for accepting this role and acknowledge the big change in having to leave his parish to move to Rome. “I am confident he will do an excellent job in forming our seminarians. It’s both challenging and rewarding and, when he returns, our diocese will greatly benefit from his experience.”   Fr Nick attended the college as a seminarian between 2007-14 and has a licence in Theology.   Reacting to his appointment, Fr Nick said: “To go back to Rome is certainly an exciting thing for me. I love being a priest and it is life-giving to be around people who want to be priests. I look forward to contributing to the formation of the seminarians and helping them become good priests. But I will also leave the Borders with a heavy heart and wish to thank all parishioners there.”   College rector Fr Daniel Fitzpatrick said: “We look forward to welcoming Fr Nick who will have a key role in the day-to-day running of the seminary and accompanying students as part of their formation. He succeeds Fr Stuart Parkes who gave us three years of service and enjoyed contributing to the life of the college. We wish him all the best on his return to the diocese of Motherwell.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Note to Editors:   An image of Fr. Nick Welsh is available to download here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157714673928877  ...

Catholic Bishops say Immigration Bill will “drastically alter opportunities” for migrants

| 09th June 2020 | Blogging

Catholic Bishops say Immigration Bill will “drastically alter opportunities” for migrants. Tuesday 9 June 2020   In a strongly worded joint statement sent to opposition party leaders at Westminster, Catholic Bishops from Scotland and England & Wales have encouraged the UK Government to consider amendments to the Immigration Bill currently before parliament.   The Bishops’ call for; a time limit on detention, together with “a significant permanent reduction in the use of detention will allow us to properly protect people’s health and human dignity”, they also propose, that the minimum income threshold for family visas should be reduced and for repeal of the offence of illegal working, since “fear of prosecution currently deters people from escaping abusive employment practices or presenting themselves to the police”.   The statement also calls for changes to the clergy visa system. Scotland’s lead Bishop for migrants and refugees, Bishop William Nolan, said; “Most Catholic dioceses previously used Tier 5 Religious Worker visas for priests to come here on essential supply placements, allowing Catholics to continue attending Mass, the new Tier 2 visas have more than doubled the costs incurred by parishes arranging supply cover.” “Furthermore, seminaries that conduct formation in English are not necessarily recognised by the Home Office as meeting the English language requirement under the Tier 2 route, meaning that many priests who have been educated to post-graduate level in English are nevertheless required to take a language test with extra logistical and cost implications.” Bishop Nolan concluded; “We strongly urge the Government to accept amendments addressing these important issues and hope that MPs from all parties will take this opportunity to help create a more just and humane immigration system.”   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 statement is shown below: Catholic Church statement on amendments to the Immigration Bill The Immigration Bill currently before parliament will drastically alter people’s opportunities to build their lives here and contribute to our society. The UK’s Catholic population is made up of people from across the world including a significant number of European citizens. Around 60% of Europeans living in the UK are Catholics. We therefore recognise the profound impact that ending free movement will have on so many families and communities. While we do not agree with the principle of making European citizens apply for their existing rights in the UK, the Church is working to raise awareness of the Settlement Scheme and help those who are at risk of losing their status. However, no scheme will reach all European citizens in the UK. Even if a small proportion do not make an application by the June 2021 deadline, this could leave thousands of people without legal status. We encourage amendments to the bill that will create a meaningful safety-net including options to extend the deadline. At the same time this bill and the development of new rules present a chance to make several positive changes to our immigration system: Introducing a time limit on immigration detention The UK remains the only European country without a time limit on detention. This has devastating consequences for the wellbeing of vulnerable individuals who find themselves detained including some victims of torture, survivors of trafficking and people fleeing religious persecution in their home countries. It also has a significant impact on families who are separated with no indication of when they might be reunited. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted serious health risks in crowded detention centres. While we are grateful for the emergency steps that were taken to reduce infection and save lives, only a significant permanent reduction in t...