news-2


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 155 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

Independent Safeguarding Audits welcomed by Catholic Church

| 30th January 2020 | Blogging

Thursday 30th January 2020   An independent audit of safeguarding processes in the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh and the Diocese of Galloway published today (Thursday 30 January 2020) has been welcomed by both dioceses.   The audit was commissioned by the Independent Review Group (IRG) established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland in 2017. Its role is to help ensure the implementation of recommendations made in a comprehensive report into safeguarding in the Catholic Church in Scotland by the McLellan Commission in 2015. The IRG is an autonomous body that works separately from the Catholic Church and is chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell.   Two of Scotland’s eight dioceses are chosen randomly and audited each year, so that all of them are audited over a four-year period. The audits are designed to support the ongoing commitment to safeguarding improvements within the Catholic church.   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 welcome the publication of the IRG report and thank the IRG for their work. I know the audits have been both thorough and rigorous and that they will be studied carefully by both dioceses.”   “Safeguarding is at the heart of the church’s mission and the maintenance of high standards is only possible through independent scrutiny and a commitment to implement any recommendations proposed.”   A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh said:   “We very much welcome the work of the Independent Review Group for Safeguarding and the external review that SCIE has completed for our Archdiocese. We found the process helpful and constructive.”   “We are reassured and encouraged that the safeguarding improvements we have implemented over the last six years have been recognised and validated and we look forward to developing these processes further to ensure that our churches continue to be safe and welcoming places for everyone.”   Archbishop Leo Cushley said:   “It is the responsibility of all people in our church community, clergy and laity alike, to ensure the church is a safe and welcoming place for everyone and that children and vulnerable adults are protected.”   “Each of our parishes has a safeguarding co-ordinator, working with approved volunteers, who support our priests and I extend my thanks to them for their excellent work. Safeguarding in the church is a priority and I believe that is reflected in the processes our Archdiocese has implemented and continues to develop.”   A spokesperson for the Diocese of Galloway said:   “The Diocese is pleased with the final report and believes it will be a valuable and constructive tool. The aim of the audit was to work with the Diocese to support safeguarding improvements and all those involved, believe that this has been achieved.”   “We are pleased that the report has reflected the fact that while safeguarding has always been important, it has become a higher priority strategically within the Diocese during the past three years.”   Commenting on the report Bishop Bill Nolan said;   “I am grateful to all those who work so tirelessly with Galloway Diocese to ensure our safeguarding standards are as high as possible and am particularly gratified to note that our Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser has been commended for working “well beyond what is expected in order to achieve the outcomes currently seen.”   “The Diocese is committed to supporting best practice in all its safeguarding work and shares entirely the auditors’ conclusion that “a focus is now needed on sustaining current improvements”.   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956  pk@scmo.org  www.s...

PUBLICATION OF THE PROFESSIONAL AUDITS OF SAFEGUARDING IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF ST ANDREWS AND EDINBURGH AND THE DIOCESE OF GALLOWAY

| 30th January 2020 | Blogging

In January 2019, the Independent Review Group established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland to ensure the full implementation of the McLellan Commission on the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the Church announced that professional audits of two randomly chosen dioceses would be carried out by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Children in Scotland (CiS). This process would be repeated each year until all 8 Dioceses had undergone rigorous investigation.  The purpose of these audits is to monitor progress on the McLellan Commission recommendations as well as seeking to ensure a robust system of safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults in the Church that can be measured against the best international standards.   No exercise such as this has been carried out by any other organisation in Scotland although 42 have been carried out in the Church of England and SCIE also audited the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham.  A proven methodology, the “Learning Together” approach, has been used in this process. The different legal, social care and safeguarding systems between Scotland and England slowed the process, but now that the methodology has been adapted, two further dioceses will be audited in 2020, these will be the Diocese of Motherwell and the Diocese of Aberdeen.   The final audit conclusions for each diocese, unamended, are attached to this release.  There is also an appendix detailing the skills and background of the members of the Independent Review Group.   Helen Liddell, Chair of the IRG said:   “It takes courage to expose yourself to the kind of rigorous audit published today, and to be the first is even more difficult, so I am grateful for the cooperation of the Dioceses and the support of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland (BCOS).   This is a learning exercise, and, although we can never take away the pain of those who have suffered abuse, hopefully survivors of abuse will be reassured by the rigorous exploration of how each diocese handles safeguarding and by the willingness to learn lessons and change procedures that have, in some cases, developed over decades.   All of us who have been involved in this have learned a lot, and there are many we have to be grateful to, none more so than those survivors who came forward with their own experiences to help guide the conclusions. The IRG will meet with each diocese within six months of this publication to review progress in considering the issues raised in the audit and action taken.   We owe a debt of gratitude also to those in the dioceses, both clergy and laity, who sometimes had to face up to examining some actions in the past that they had no part in but had to live with the consequences, sometimes with deep pain.   As this first stage concludes, the IRG acknowledges the sheer determination of all who have participated in this to make sure those who are vulnerable are as safe as possible. Never again will we assume that the vulnerable are safe. Never again will there be a hiding place for the abusers of those we love.”   Ends   CHAIR AND MEMBERSHIP OF THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW GROUP   Helen Liddell (Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke) Chair, is a former Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Scotland. She is a member of the House of Lords.   Bartolomeo Biagini is an educational consultant. He was formerly a lead HM inspector of education with responsibility for inclusion across all sectors of education and was involved in child protection inspections. He also held senior leadership posts within education authorities in Scotland, including a depute director post as head of learning communities within South Lanarkshire Council.   Gordon Jeyes OBE was the UK's first Director of Children's Services and was the first Chief Executive of Ireland's Child and Family Agency (Tusla).  He is currently engaged in governance assurance reviews and chairs the National Children'...

Statement on the Appointment of the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland

| 14th January 2020 | Blogging

14 JANUARY 2020   The Bishops of Scotland have appointed Fr Gerard Maguiness to be the new General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. Fr Maguiness is currently Parish Priest of St Ignatius’, Wishaw, in the Diocese of Motherwell. He succeeds Fr Jim Grant who was appointed in 2018.   Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said;   “I am delighted to welcome Fr Gerard to his new post and together with all the members of the conference, look forward to working with him in future. I extend our warmest thanks to Fr. Jim Grant for his service and to Bishop Toal for his willingness to support the conference and its work by lending one of his priests as General Secretary.”   Reacting to his appointment, Fr Maguiness said:   "I look forward to serving the Catholic Church in Scotland as General Secretary to the Bishops. I am grateful to Mgr Michael Conway and my parishioners from St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish, Wishaw, for their support and prayers for this new challenge."    Bishop Joe Toal, Bishop of Motherwell said:   “I am grateful to Fr Grant for the time and dedication he gave to the role of General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. I have asked him to take up the post of Parish Priest of St Francis Xavier’s, Carfin, following the illness of Fr Francis McGachey, who stood down as Parish Priest of St Francis’ Xavier’s last year.”   Bishop Toal added;   “I am pleased that the Diocese of Motherwell can continue to contribute generously to the National Church by allowing Fr Gerard Maguiness to serve as General Secretary.  I am sure he will bring his many talents to that role and I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide him as he accepts this new challenge.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Note to Editors:    Fr Maguiness’ appointment will take effect from 7 February 2020. Fr Grant will take up his appointment in Carfin on 8 February.   Fr Gerard Maguiness – CV   Attended Our Lady of Lourdes Primary and Saint Bride's High, East Kilbride; Studies at Pontifical Scots College and Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome 1987-94; Ordained 4th July 1994 Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride; Assistant Priest St. Columbkille's, Rutherglen 1994-1996; Chaplain to Fernhill School 1994-1996; Assistant Priest St. Ignatius of Loyola, Wishaw 1996-1999; Chaplain to St. Aidan's High, Wishaw 1996-1999; Doctorate in Theology, Alphonsianum, Pontifical Lateran University, Rome 1999-2002; Assistant Priest St. Monica's, Coatbridge 2002-2009; Primary Religious Education Advisor, Diocese of Motherwell 2002-2008; Vicar Episcopal for Religious Education 2008; Lecturer in Moral Theology, Scotus College, Glasgow 2003-2009; Parish Priest St Edward's, Airdrie 2009-2012; Parish Priest St Ignatius of Loyola, Wishaw 2012-2020; Chaplain to St. Aidan's High, Wishaw 2013-2018...

Christmas Messages from the Catholic Bishops of Scotland

| 17th December 2019 | Blogging

17th December 2019   Bishop Hugh Gilbert – Bishop of Aberdeen and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland   May I wish everyone a joyful Christmas and all good things for 2020! We don’t know the future, but we do know that God is with us – always, everywhere. And that changes everything.   What can we wish for others, for our family and friends, for ourselves? What about change? That might sound rude. But not if it’s meant well. Christmas – God with us – changes everything and something can shift in us through celebrating it. Something new can enter and change our standard selves.   At Christmas – at the Annunciation, to be precise – God changed. God became something he was not: a human being. He did this freely, out of love for us. He did not change who he always is, one God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He did not change his ‘character’. He didn’t stop being God. But the Second Person of the Trinity took on a human nature, ‘added’ humanity to himself. He embraced it, married it. He was born of a mother, died on a cross, rose from the dead – all as a real human being. Now, humanity is part of God - the Son of God - forever. Unbelievable! Yet this is our faith.   At Christmas, God changed. He changed so as to change us. He took on us so that we can take on him. God lived a human life so we can – unbelievably – live a divine one. What does this mean? Not throwing our weight around; God doesn’t do that. But with the help of the Holy Spirit and in the limits of our humanity, trying to reflect the goodness of God - freely, out of love. Trying to humble ourselves, like God. Trying to serve one another, as Jesus did. Trying to make a good gift of our own life, as the Father gifted his Son and his Son gifted himself. We can try to be ‘with’ one another, carrying each other’s burdens as Christ carried our cross. God could have forgotten us, as we had forgotten him. But he didn’t. In the Child Jesus, he remembers each one of us. And that changes us. Perhaps one simple life-changing gesture for Christmas is to remember – in prayer and contact - someone we might otherwise not. Couldn’t the whole world then become aflame, changed by love?   May Mary’s Son bless us all!   + Hugh Gilbert OSB Bishop of Aberdeen President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland December 2019   Bishop John Keenan – Bishop of Paisley and Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland   I wonder if you, like me, enjoy the prayers in our Christmas Masses in this festive season.   After the long watching of the Advent season and, finally, all is at last made manifest, we can now enjoy the great promise in which we dared to hope.    Then, praying the prayers of the Christmas Liturgies, we find ourselves caught up in the marvel of the Bethlehem scene with Mary, Joseph and the newborn Messiah, below the choir of angels, accompanied by the shepherds and alongside the stable animals.   As we peer into its curiosity the prayers raise our minds to the astonishing truth of it all: In the wonder of the incarnation Your eternal Word has brought to the eyes of faith a new and radiant vision of Your glory.  In Him we see our God made visible, and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see.   It is so much to take in that the Liturgy allows us Twelve Days of Christmas to savour the astonishing truth of what interrupted our human history two thousand years ago in the arrival of that tiny Child.   The liturgy of the Feast of Saint Stephen, on the day after Christmas day, reflects upon how God took on human form so that we would not need to go look for Him in temples of stone but find Him very near in warm flesh and blood like our own.  The Feast of John the Evangelist contemplates the sheer wonder of the Incarnation where God comes so close to us that we can even touch Him with our hands and see Him with our eyes. The Feast of the Holy...