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Catholic leader tells Scottish health minister that gay marriage will be ‘harmful’

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  1. Prove it. Or shut up, to be honest. Now, given that the Prop 8 people in California spent millions trying (and failing) to prove that marriage equality is bad for society. And give that is has existed in other countries for a decade or so with no actual detriment being demonstrated I think that the opinion of the church can safely be binned as meaningless dogmatic crap.

    1. They dont accept the academic proof that same sex marriage (ie equal status) actually benefits heterosexual marriage

      A number of eminent Scandinavian reports demonstrate this

    2. Katie Murphy- family ex cath 5 Dec 2011, 12:42am

      The church cannot accept anything other then their own ideas because they are absolute truths.

      and the church knows that to allow any change begins to open the eyes of their people that what they say is not true in all cases.

      And then it snowballs and the church becomes a ghost town. Which btw is about whats happening in much of europe and Latin America.

      There is a war going on – between freedom to live as you want to live . And religious dogma that feeds millions of leaders of churches world wide.

      Who forget that jesus went around in rags.

      1. If the church wantted to protect marriage it would be screaming from the towers about the divorce rate and all the people not marrying at all.

        Of course the church tried a lot of scenes like the Mormons do. It hadsex with the underage kiddies to test them out.

  2. auntie babs 26 Oct 2011, 10:53am

    Auntie Babs tells Scottish Health Minister that listening to Religious twiddle twaddle will be “harmful”.

    1. HAAAAhahahahahaha

    2. Love it Auntie Babs!

    3. I think you should arrange an audience, Auntie Babs

  3. auntie babs 26 Oct 2011, 10:57am

    He said that churches would “actively campaign” to block marriage rights for gay people and warned that the move would create “larger divisions” in society.

    Shame they can’t push that energy and money into doing something useful.

    1. hmmmm. Active campaigning – that sounds like a taxable activity.

      1. I wish I could I give that comment more than one thumbs up,

    2. how about putting some of that effort into bringing child raping priests to justice rather than moving them around, enabling further rapes, or shipping them off to some remote monastery.

  4. Personally, I agree that religious groups that don’t want to perform gay marriage should NOT be forced to perform gay marriage. Despite what people want to believe, the common Catholic interpretation of the Bible is that homosexuality is a sin, and they should not be forced into performing acts that they consider sinful. They do NOT however have the right to campaign against gay marriage and try to bring it down. Marriage is NOT a Catholic or a Christian thing, so they have no right to act like they have control over it and can make the rules for it.

    1. I disagree. I think that religious groups should be required to perform gay marriages if they perform any marriages at all. A shop can’t get out of selling things to gay people because it is run by conscientious homophobes. A university cannot refuse gay people admission because it is run by conscientious homophobes. A church should be no different – if it is providing a service then it must be bound by exactly the same rules as every other service provider. If they feel so strongly about not performing gay marriages then they have a way out – don’t perform any marriages at all.

      I’m sick to death of this stupid idea that just because religious people have deeply held beliefs they should be exempted from the laws of the land and allowed to practise bigotry and sustain inequality where nobody else is allowed to. Religion is not special, it should get in line like everyone else.

      1. Would you expect a Catholic priest to perform a Jewish wedding or a bar mitzvah? No, because the priest has their own beliefs and they’re protected by so many laws and regulations the world over to not be forced to change that. If you’re gay and want to get married, there are plenty of people and even plenty of churches who’ll do it and do it gladly. If there’s a few that don’t want to perform it, then fine, don’t let them perform it. They’ll have to come around eventually anyway. If they get a reputation as being the only church opposing gay marriage, then over time people will start going to them less and less, and eventually will receive a “cult” status. Really, letting a homophobic backwards church continue doing what it does is the best thing for us, because they’ll get ostracized from the rest of the world and will have to disband, but if we force them to conform, then people will rally to their protection and they’ll get more followers.

        1. I mean, look at the Westboro Baptist Church as an example. They’re one of the most homophobic and outspoken churches in the world, yet no one likes them and/or cares about them. However, if they were forced to disband then that would be in violation of their rights and some people would come to their defence. Just ignore them and they’ll have to stop eventually

        2. Why do people only use silly arguments like that for religions? Why are the services they provide somehow special, and every other service provider has to toe the line? One could just as easily say that there ae plenty of other shops you can buy your groceries in if a homophobic shop refuses to serve you, or plenty of other places you could work if an employer refuses to hire you because you are gay. You could go on to say that those homophobic shops and employers would then get a reputation and people would start going to them less and less. Why do we not argue thus in those situations, and insist on goods and services regulations, but when it comes to religion we are more than willing to bend over backwards to accommodate what is nothing more than hateful bigoted prejudice? Why is religion allowed an exemption? Because people feel strongly about it? But homophobic people feel strongly about their homophobia in non-religious contexts too. Religion does not deserve special treatment.

          1. John Antrobus 26 Oct 2011, 8:59pm

            VP, I totally agree with you.

          2. With religion, beliefs are their ‘service/goods’, in grocery shops, beliefs are definitely NOT on the selves. What you are saying can easily be compared to forcing grocery shop owners to stock up on a particular vegetable even if they refuse to. If grocery shop owners don’t get sued for not stocking up on carrots, why should churches be when they do not want to perform gay marriages?

      2. VP – I think it is impossible to force cults to perform marriages.

        You cannot force irrational people to behave in a reasonable manner.

        I think that cults should be free to marry whoever they l;like but that these cult ceremonies have no legal recognition whatsoever(just like in France – religious marriages have no legal recognition and that if you want to be legally married then you have to go to a registry office.)

        1. It would be better if it were that way, sure, but while it is not there is no excuse for letting religious people off the hook. If we keep the current system where certain religious marriages are legally binding then it is nothing more than permitting government-sanctioned discrimination to allow the churches doing them to refuse gay people. Or divorcees for that matter. Or anyone else.

          Also, while religious groups offer marriage services commercially, for financial gain, they should be subject to the goods and services provisions like anyone else. These are not private, non-commercial transactions – the churches are making plenty of money doing this. That money should also be taxed just as heavily as any other commercial income, and not given charitable exemptions, but that’s another issue.

          1. de Villiers 26 Oct 2011, 2:08pm

            VP, freedom of association means respecting other people’s religious rights. I may disagree with the church on gay marriage but I would not be prepared to use the power of the state to force churches to marry gay people. It would involve a disproportionate use of force, martyring priests who would rather go to jail and become a cause celebre and it would result in significant antipathy and hatred towards gay people.

          2. I wouldnt want to force religious groupings to marry a gay couple.

            I agree with David (not in everything!) that marriage should be a civil act – where couples would find value in a religious element to their celebration then that should either be a bolt on or separate element.

            If the religious group is happy to perform the religious both on or separate aspect fine – if not, then I would judge few gay couples would want to engage with that religious group. If I valued a religious element to my marriage (I dont) then I would not want to feel the church were doing it under duress, but because they valued my relationship and commitment.

            If the powers that be deem that churches etc can continue to marry … then I still would not make it complusory because I wouldnt want them forced and “marrying people through gritted teeth”

      3. Miguel Sanchez 26 Oct 2011, 2:56pm

        VP what have you been smoking mate? I’m Protestant turned Catholic and I have heartburn with the church’s views on homosexuality, birth control and marriage. That being said I also agree with their RIGHT NOT to perform same sex marriages in the church.

        Where someone ties the knot IN NOT important as long as they get all of the rights and privledges as hetero couples.

        The laws need to be changed NOT where the ceremony is performed.

    2. Issa – religions are not obliged to marry anyone. They have complete freedom in deciding who can marry (try getting a catholic wedding if you are divorced for example). That will remain.

      What this evil monster Philip Tartaglia is trying to do, is to undermine our democracy by interfering in the civil rights of people who do not share his belief system.

      Civil marriage has NOTHING to do with religion.

      Tartaglia is a hate-filled, vile bigot.

      1. Oh go on you love him really, he’s such a sweety :[

      2. Again, I agree with you David

        Unusual – we are normally robust in our debate with each other

        I think Tartaglia is an embarrassment to the RC church (or certainly ought to be) – his arguments are false and a distraction from the issues of equal civil marriage …

        If he wants to discriminate on how he and his church celebrate marriages – that is his concern … but that should not impact on how those people who choose not to follow his churches teaching (or even those who do but reject this element of their teaching) are able to celebrate relationships of their own or others they care about in society ….

      3. John Antrobus 26 Oct 2011, 9:06pm

        ‘religeons are not obliged to marry anyone’

        People keep saying this, but it’s wrong. The Chuch of England has to marry people with a qualifying connection to a parish, whether the want to or not, as longs as there is no legal impediment to their marriage, eg one or both of the couple is not already in a marriage or civil partnership.

        1. I know of several occasions where Church of England vicars have refused to marry couples … on grounds of it not being appropriate to solemnize such a wedding in a church

        2. Tim Hopkins 27 Oct 2011, 8:44am

          In Scotland (which after all this news story is about) no church is obliged to marry anyone.

  5. Harmful? in what way is same sex marriage harmful to society and the government exactly, it’s too easy to say something you are completely biased against is harmful, provide some examples please and some legitimate research to back up your claims Philip Tartaglia or else STFU.

  6. Philip Tartaglia’s empty scaremongering and not so very veiled blackmail threats to the government is what we have come to expect from representatives of the Catholic Church.

  7. Harmful??? This coming from the Catholic Church, where millions die from Aids in Africa because of it’s anti-condom stance? There are even more investigations of child abuse as we speak.

    1. Bill (Scotland) 26 Oct 2011, 11:44am

      Indeed! The mind boggles at the bare-faced effrontery of these people.

    2. Sexual Abuse is not only in the Catholic Church…

  8. jamestoronto 26 Oct 2011, 11:17am

    The only divisions to society are the ones being created by the dogmatic churches such as the Catholics. No one is going to be forced into performing any ceremony contrary to their beliefs. How many times does this have to be said. The essence of the Scottish proposed legislation is clear enough to anyone who will take their blinders off for a minute to read it. The only religious response to here in Canada and anywhere else has been yes or no to performing services for those that wan the religious aspect. I defy the bishop to name ONE religious group anywhere that has been compelled to perform a marriage ceremony.

  9. Utterly disgusting that this ‘church’ prefers to keep divisions in society.

    Visiting friends recently their 8 year old son said to me that ‘when you (and your partner) marry…’.

    I said to him we were not able to marry in a church because we do not have the same rights as other people. I asked him write to the Prime Minister and say ‘you’d like your friends to marry, why can they not?’

  10. The leader of an organisation says a minority group are evil. Then someone from that minority group is burnt to death. Then they wonder why deaths like Stuart Walker in Ayrshire happen. Maybe it’s time for the vatican to keep its nose out of the scotland’s business.

    1. Past time!

  11. Mumbo Jumbo 26 Oct 2011, 11:22am

    “…..proposals to legislate for same sex marriage would be harmful to society….”

    No. Raping children and covering it up is harmful to society.

  12. larger divisions then the fact that marriage isn’t available to all?
    @Mumbo Jumbo – exactly

  13. paddyswurds 26 Oct 2011, 11:27am

    Exactly what moral authority does an organisation riven with sadists and paedophiles and led by an ex Naz! who does everything in his power and beyond to protect those same criminals, have to advise any Government about anything, moral or otherwise. When the RC church cleans up it’s own house and is seen to be beyond reproach then possibly they should be asked for their opinion. No organisation has ever done as much harm over the last several hundred years as the church of Rome and its paedo and sadistic clerics, has done to the children and young people over which it had duty of care.

    1. To be fair on Ratzinger (which is more than he’s ever been to us, but still…) his involvement with the Nazis was pretty much limited to joining the Hitler Youth, which all boys of his age in Germany were required to do anyway. He’s not Pius XII, who signed the Reichskonkordat. With all the horrible things and backward views Ratzinger has presided over in his career, we really don’t need to play the Nazi card there.

    2. Right on!!!

  14. Christine Beckett 26 Oct 2011, 11:28am

    Well, Blair’s government bought into the “Catholic block vote” lie, which was why so much of the equality legislation was watered-down

    We can only hope that Scotland do not fall for it too.


    1. Don’t worry, Chrissie – we are nae sae daft!!!!

    2. concernedresidentE3 26 Oct 2011, 7:12pm

      steady on. There were wone or two examptions but very little was ‘watered down’. And it wasn’t the Catholic block vote but rather the Anglican House of Lords stranglehold that did for that.

  15. But it’s OK to molest young boys.

    1. Actually it isn’t ok

      1. Yes but the catholic clergy have been raping children for generations and the catholic hierarchy has protected the rapists.

        1. As much as I would normally say such comments are inflammatory etc … I have to agree … The RC church has acted (or inacted) incredibly appallingly ….

          I once as a child protection officer in the police attended a case conference on a child who had been both emotionally and physically abused (and we suspected sexually but could not prove it). Also present at the meeting was the local RC child protection advisor. The key principles of case conferences are information sharing, honesty and transparency – and crucially that every child matters, and their interests should be paramount. It was laughable the number of times the RC advisor stated suggestions and actions were not in the interest of his organisation ….

    2. de Villiers 26 Oct 2011, 2:10pm

      And it is unfortunate to make a joke about it.

      1. was it a joke? it seems rather serious to me. a little sarcastic but spot on

  16. Actively campaigning to block gay marriage *would* create larger divisions in society.

  17. We would “create larger divisions in society”? Oh, you mean they’d hate us all the more if we had equal rights.
    Well tough. They never had the monopoly on marriage, they simply act as if they do.
    I’m in two minds about whether they should be forced to officiate gay marriages, as I wouldn’t want my special day marred by some homophobe staring daggers at me, though in principle I can see that they should offer the same service to all.
    Do they really think that gay marriage is the single hotbutton issue which will plunge the world into anarchy, cause if so they really should get out more.
    To quote Mandy Rice Davies “they would say that wouldn’t they?”

  18. Dr Robin Guthrie 26 Oct 2011, 12:07pm

    TRADITIONAL marriage must be saved.

    Would this be the TRADITIONAL marriage such as Jacob and his 2 wives had. ( Genesis 4:19 )

    Or the TRADITIONAL marriage whereby if a woman were to become a widow and had not given birth to a son, she would be required to have “relations” with her brother-in-law. ( Genesis 38:6-10 )

    Or could it be the TRADITIONAL marriage where if a man rapes a woman and she wasn’t married she can be forced to marry him. A man can rape any woman that he likes and they would be considered married. ( Deuteronomy 22:28-29 )

    Just which TRADITIONAL biblical marriage definition do you speak of Cardinal Bigot.

    1. Absolutely,…

    2. Marriages between a man and a woman will remain exactly the same, they don’t require saving, at least not from same sex marriage equality which is no threat at all to opposite sex marriage.

      1. John Antrobus 26 Oct 2011, 9:15pm

        Same sex marriage isn’t a threat to anyone at all, and there’s absolutely no evidence to the contrary.

    3. Mumbo Jumbo 26 Oct 2011, 1:38pm


      Traditional Christian marriage was never better explained than here:


    4. Succinct and to the point! . . .Exactly!!

  19. Really what are these people on, they really can’t stand losing power at all. They have always and will always be bully boys of the worst type and need to be thrown back into the past where they belong.

    1. They are following a directive from Vatican headquarters to oppose gay equality, they don’t think or reason, they just do as they are told by the boss of their corrupt “religious” business

  20. The only harm to straight marriage are straights themselves who commit adultery, philander and father children out of wedlock. Let this bigot prove his claim with factual evidence. Come on, Tartaglia, where is the evidence. Holland has had same-sex marriage for over 10 years. Ask the Dutch government for the facts please.

  21. It is utterly appalling that the government is consulting with organisations which are opposed to democracy when discuissing civil rights of a group of people.

    Civil marriage has nothing to do with religion.

    1. I have no problem with the government consulting with them, and giving their comments due weight and justifiable consideration … If we want true democracy then everyone has the right to express views to a governmental consultation …

      However, the amount of time that consideration and careful weighing should take by an honest and responsible government can be measured in milliseconds ….

  22. “Same-sex marriage
    The APA adopted a resolution stating that it is unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and to all its attendant rights, benefits, and privileges.[26] The APA later praised the decision and denied the existence of any “scientific justification” for a ban on same-sex marriage.[27]
    In August of 2011, the APA clarified their support of same-sex marriage in light of continued research suggesting that the same community benefits accepted as result of hetero-sexual marriage apply to same-sex couples as well, “We knew that marriage benefits heterosexual people in very significant ways, but we didn’t know if that would be true for same-sex couples,” said Dr. Clinton Anderson, associate executive director of the APA and director of the Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns.

  23. “Dr. Clinton Anderson, associate executive director of the APA and director of the Office on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns. would also go on to clarify the Association’s view on Civil Unions as an alternative to same-sex marriages: “Anything other than marriage is, in essence, a stigmatization of same-sex couples. Stigma does have negative impacts on people.”

  24. Henry and Elizabeth Tudor had the right idea.

    1. Huh? Henry married six, divorced two and beheaded two of his wives, and Elisabeth didn’t marry at all not counting a brief flirtation with a bloke from Essex. Are you saying different folks different strokes or what?

      1. Henry VIII decoupled the English Church from Rome and when Catholics tried to kill Elizabeth Tudor she made it very clear that that crap would not be tolerated Google “Catholic plots against Elizabeth I.”

        1. Thanks for explaining it Merlyn
          The Scots and the Irish have suffered because of their relationship with Rome. And it goes back a long way.

  25. I’m an expat living in a catholic country that allows same sex marriage. I took advantage of that earlier in the year and got married.

    Suprisingly society in this country has not collapsed, and the government is still functioning. In fact is is concentrating on what is really important to the population, fiscal management and unemployment.

    The chuch should stick to religion and leave human rights and polotics to the government, and that holds true in any country.

    1. de Villiers 26 Oct 2011, 2:11pm

      I agree. I am amazed that Church Ministers and Priests interfere with politics in the UK. You need a secular revolution.

    2. Congratulations, Philip – hope you had a great day ,….

      I am amazed how stupid the RC bishops seem to think we all are …

      Has the introduction of same sex marriage had a negative impact on Spain, Norway, Argentina, New York etc etc? The answer according to all balanced and authoritative reviews is an absolute NO

  26. I’m sorry, but why should “all views be listened to”?

    Does the government consider banning contraceptives, because SOME religions are sex-phobic?

    So why the hell should the government listen to a bunch of homophobic bigots in regard to something that doesn’t concern them in the least? no one is demanding that catholic priests conduct same-sex weddings.

    1. I get what you are saying, Mikey …

      In the interests of impartial democracy I think everyone should be able to have their views heard in a government consultation …

      The government then SHOULD give appropriate weight to each of the opinions – meaning milliseconds of consideration to the views of the RC church in this case …

      Unfortunately, they have granted bishops special access to ministers (who else has been granted such access?) and this seems to suggest appeasing the RC church and its bigoted views …

      Even though the government is minded to approve same sex marriage in Scotland and England – that does not mean that the consultation should appease any interest group – particularly one with vacuous, bigoted views on the policy being considered …

  27. The ministerv from rc church does not (and cannot ?) say what harm will follow can he !

    NO HARM will come

  28. The state should allow for same sex marraiges to happen and then those who want to carry out a religious same sex ceremony are allowed to and those that don’t do not have to.

  29. I imagine everything Tagliatelle says is just noise in the air.

  30. Harmful to society??? The fact that those two guys/girls who live in No 72 are MARRIED isn’t going to mean diddley-squat to anyone, let alone harm them; unless of course the ‘anyone’ happens to be those strange people who dress in frocks with loads of lace trim and insist they have a right to poke their interfering noses into other people’s business!!
    Now if Bishop Tartaglia wants to consider what really IS harmful to society … he could start with child abuse and then, perhaps, move on to the systematic covering-up of child abuse!!!

    1. the guys in lace frocks and incense are quite nice til they open their mouths …

      Perhaps they should be quiet.

      1. AMEN!

  31. If these bishops go around the world creating “serious chills” the way they are doing, they will catch a serious cold and lose even more credibility than they have already in Catholic countries through covering up child abuse.

    1. I’ve got chills, they’re multiplying and I’m losing control.

      1. lol, you’d better shape up

        1. . . . sounds like you – “need a man”

  32. Archbishop Conti et al

    NO Church or Faith group is being FORCED to officiate at same sex marriages!!! What part of that do they not understand?!!!! They just do not want to understand.

    Even the Bible is ambiguous – Male and Female He created THEM in HIS(?) own image? God does not have a gender – it’s matter of translation and interpretation and anyone can make any text say whatever they want it to say to suit themselves.

    This is an enabling piece of legislation which will permit those faiths who support gay marriage to perform them.

    I am finding it very hard to be civil about these “men in frocks” who DARE to prevent the rest of civilised society from living their lives in peace!!! Let’s face it – how many closets have they all been in (and out of)? This is a very hypocritical stance in my view and one which the majority of RC members in Scotland do NOT agree with – they will go their own way regardless of these Papal pronouncements! – the Church will be the losers in the end. 17

  33. “Ignore the 17 at the end of my previous post – it was cut off before I had finished it!”

    We do not live in a Roman Catholic dictatorship and they should remember that!!!

    PAX OMNIBUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Are you sure?

  34. I notice he can say totally without irony that he will be campaigning against equality, and then complain that it will cause divisions.

  35. Personally I think that the law of a Catholic priest to remain celibate should be abolished!!! It was not made by God, it was made by the Popes of the past to stop the high maintenance drain to the Church’s coffers created by priests who had fathered dozens of children – the Church couldn’t afford to support them and their families so they brought in the edict of celibacy! Talk about the “pot calling the kettle black”?

    Put the Catholic Church’s affairs in order before you tell the rest of the God-fearing country what to do!!!!

  36. They’re wrong…
    Gay marriage does not cause “larger divisions” in society, religion does!
    Why have we not heard this crap from the truly peaceful and loving religions like buddhism i wonder?

    1. buddhism is not always peaceful (see violence between buddists and christians in central asia) then again much like christianity there are many sects of it heh

      1. Educate yourself sweetie

  37. And they wonder why there is so much anti-catholic sentiment. What a pity the Catholic Emancipation Act was ever legitimised? Why hasn’t Ms. Sturgeon asked Tartaglia et al for the evidence to substantiate their claims? Where is it?

    1. Amen to that brother!

    2. It’s no secret that theology of any kind is built on untestable propositions.

      1. But he is talking about civil marriage, Jonpol so therefore it is reasonable to ask for evidence …

        In the same way when I was a child protection officer I would not accept theological arguments from a religious body, either they provided me with evidence of access to information or they faced the consequences for not doing so …

        Therefore, if they want to make inflammatory statements such as same sex marriages being harmful, within a government consultation – it is reasonable to expect them to produce evidence …

        Of course, they can’t as the evidence is to the contrary …

        Of course, they don’t really understand the concept of evidence either … or so it appears …

        1. @Stu

          I don’t think Jonpol is saying it’s unreasonable to ask them to provide evidence. He’s saying that theology is unprovable, therefore they can’t provide evidence for their claims – exactly what you are saying! I’m not having a go at you, I just don’t really understand your reply to Jonpol when you both appear to be saying the same thing.

          1. @BennieM

            Ok I see what you mean, I think I misjudged where Jompol was coming from as I thought he meant there was no point in asking religious leaders for evidence … I accept thats not really what he is saying

  38. Guys Guys….why get so worked up over this contiued issued….if the Catholic church wasnt so scared of the equality bill then they wouldnt be making the isssue…they are not as fast cleaning up there own back yard on child abuse….the church is man made…more gay priests in the Catholic church than any other institution…..I should know ive slept with a lot of them…

  39. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 26 Oct 2011, 4:40pm

    Oh, get him! A’bish Conti said that churches would “actively campaign” to block marriage rights for gay people… so presumably 200 sinners will contact their local MPs… big deal. You aint got much of a congregation anymore!!

    Got to love the threat by Bish Tagliatelli as well… that legislating for same-sex marriage would be “harmful to the government”… We live in a democracy now, not in the 1600s when you thought you ruled the world…

    The only divisions in society that are being made are the ones these clowns are causing. It’s time to end their influence in our communities by reducing their churches to rubble and selling off their assets to feed the poor.

    If Scotchland is smoted like in bibblical timezzzz, I’ll be the first to vote Tory! Honest… Erm, not really! ;-)

  40. Father Ted 26 Oct 2011, 4:47pm

    Maybe the bishops are afraid there will be a manpower shortage if gay men are no longer forced to remain single and seek a job (e.g. the priesthood) that gives one’s family a justification for remaining single.

  41. Rabbi Mark Solomon 26 Oct 2011, 4:49pm

    While I agree completely with the general tenor of Dr Guthrie’s post, in the interests of accuracy it should be said that the Deuteronomy passage does not say raped women should be forced to marry their rapist, but that the rapist should be forced, if the woman consents, to marry their victim. This seems utterly shocking to us, but in a patriarchal society where men expected to marry a virgin, a woman who had been raped might be condemned to a life without husband and children. Her best chance of a “normal” family life might be to stay with the man who had violated her, and possibly got her pregnant. As I say, unimaginable and revolting to us, but probably humane legislation for those days (and in many ancient societies marriage by ritualised rape or abduction was the norm).
    But on the more general point, I agree that the very meaning of marriage has evolved greatly throughout history, and we are now witnessing – and helping to bring about – the next great stage in this evolution.

    1. Fair commentary, Rabbi Mark

    2. great biblical exposition Rabbi Mark – thanks.

      I disagree with the evolution notion – the exclusive coming together of man and woman, detailed in the same Torah, in lifelong union, was part of YHWH’s grand design for the good of society and still is.

      1. I’m with the Rabbi on this one … that the intention of the writers was to express the world as it was at the time .. not now …

        Not that I hold much weight by Biblical words – but having explored the texts, one needs to understand what the author is trying to say … and the contextualise

        To my mind its irrelevant but interesting …

        1. you are right in recognising the need to understand and contextualise. Clearly, the type of society that existed in Moses’ day is so different from today and that has a big bearing on how to apply scripture – yet some precepts are axiomatic, universal and eternal and marriage, as introduced in the creation account, is one of them.

          As for relevance, if the Bible is true i.e. it is the word of God then it is highly relevant to all but if not then it is barely relevant to all.

          1. But given the was polygamy, servants etc then arguing that the Bible says marriage is jsut male/female one partner is risible, it doesnt

          2. Not sure what the “servant” point is but I agree polygamy was widely practised in the OT, including by men God approved of e.g. Abraham, Jacob and David.

            I still maintain that the ideal is one man and one woman, exclusive and for life. Nowhere do I see any sanction for same sex sexual relationships.

          3. @JohnB

            Discovered last night that my new painkillers dont like me having a glass or two of pinot noir at the same time – no more alcohol for me for the next few weeks – hence my slightly garbled message above.

            You might not see any support for same sex relationships in the Bible, I see no condemnation of them …

            If we only practice behaviour the Bible endorses, then how do we deal with cars, aircraft, space travel, IVF, etc etc

            Then how do we justify shellfish, women wearing hats, Mixed fibre clothing since they are condemned in the Bible

            I choose to live by my own moral standards and seek to support those I care for (and those I dont know) … I don’t need a book of rules where I have to think long and hard about what it really means, because being fair – some of the Bible is riddles ..

  42. These sorts of threats may scare Australian politicians into paralysis, but they don’t scare the Spanish, Portugese, and Latin American governments, nor the Irish or Scottish governments.

    I’m pretty sure making angry threats like these is counterproductive for the church in several ways.

  43. This is desperate talk from Tartaglia, and part of an elaborate dance of pretence which both parties well understand.

    A bishop in a church which is literally dying out is desperate to show his bosses that he is advancing their anachronistic agenda, hopefully earning himself promotion. I wouldn’t be 100% sure that Tartaglia himself even believes the guff he’s spouting. So he pretends that he “leads” Catholic opinion. (Rubbish: he does what he’s told and most Catholics disagree anyway, as they do on contraception.)

    In return the Scottish govt pretends it’s listening – as, soon, will Cameron and Co – but I have no doubt that same-sex marriage will be legal both north and south of the border within five years, and probably sooner if the Lords get over their C19th mindsets.

    Also worth remembering that Blair’s remains the only govt in history to put a gay rights measure in a Queen’s Speech. Any other progress we’ve made on equality came from the backbenches, never the govt itself.

    1. Churchill initiated the Wolfenden report.

      1. Father Doreen 27 Oct 2011, 10:37am

        Didn’t act on it.

  44. Peter & Michael 26 Oct 2011, 5:09pm

    The catholic church needs to clean up it’s own ‘backyard’ before they start lecturing governments and populus about stigmatising LGBT people. We are not second rate citizens anymore, if one listened to the church, they would have us burnt at the stake!

  45. Father Doreen 26 Oct 2011, 5:11pm

    If they are going to interfere in secular matters, then maybe the state should start applying the laws that relate to the common decency of treating people equally in employment to the church. Such as making the ban on women priests illegal.

    1. Father Doreen 26 Oct 2011, 5:16pm

      Absolutely, I look forward to the government having a “listening exercise” on removing the Catholic ban on women priests, inviting the atheists and humanists along too of course!

      1. Father Doreen 26 Oct 2011, 5:17pm

        Damn, now I’m talking to myself. But then so is Tagliatelle.

    2. Good job by the Church! Marriage is a sacrament between a woman and a man with God in the union. If the homosexuals want civil unions, okey-dokey, that’s a government thing, but marriage is not for gays.

      1. Marriage is not a sacrament. RELIGIOUS marriage might be a sacrament, but civil marriage is NOT.

    3. jamestoronto 26 Oct 2011, 6:41pm

      Or make them pay taxes if they want to interfere in secular affairs that are none of their business.

  46. Good job by the Church! Marriage is a sacrament between a woman and a man with God in the union. If the homosexuals want civil unions, okey-dokey, that’s a government thing, but marriage is not for gays.

    1. Get back to your cave, Cronos! Civil Marriage has NOTHING to do with religion. If your cult wants to use the one man one woman mantra, then you should also be supporting a ban on straights who don’t want to or cannot procreate from marrying altogether and ban divorce too, cretin. Religion doesn’t own marriage, the state doesfor both religious and civil. Without a government issued certificate of marriage valid for one year in the UK, you can’t get married. Religious cults don’t issue them, cretin.

    2. Marriage does not belong to any current iteration of religion – unless you are sacrificing to Sumerian goods or carrying your bride over the threshold while praising Aphrodite. In fact, the christian church was later to the party – and really only because it realised that there might be a bit of cash in it. Simple truth – people are just as married in St Paul’s with a bishop officiating, or on the penalty spot at Old Trafford with a secular celebrant dressed as Eric Cantona. The conduct of the relationship and the words used are irrelevant, it all comes down to signing a bit of paper because “marriage” is a civil contract. All the god and other christobabble BS is meaningless.

    3. Oh but it IS for GLBT people. We don’t need the approval of bigots. Whilst you sit mired in the 20th Century BC, the rest of us will move forward.

    4. Cronos: I’m not surprised this is not one of the more popular posts :-)

      But I for one am inclined to agree with you. Marriage was defined way back in the times of Adam and Eve and, in the main, society ever since has gone along with that definition and have assented that by upholding this institution this is for the good of society.

      What is happening now is a move to redifine marriage which of course the civil authorities are at liberty to do. But make no bones about it – this is not marriage in the original sense and no where do I see it having divine endorsement.

      However, I am aware of the feelings of anger when folk who visit these forums read posts like ours. While no doubt reasonable arguments are put forward as to why marriage should be redefined, I for one do not feel at liberty to go along with these.

      As for the Catholic church making the strong statement they do, I can say as a non-Catholic, good on them (the church is not there to sit in holy huddles but rather be salt and light in a sinful world) – I only wish other churches would do the same.

    5. Cronos… funny u choose a pagan god? just sayin;-)

  47. These cults, RC and C of E alike can vent all they want, They’re going nowhere and they know it. The Roman cult is a minority in the UK and most Brits don’t even worship regularly, one of the lowest in the EU. This is entirely a civil matter, nothing more.

    1. you wish :-)

      1. Marriage is a civil matter. All marriages require civil registration. Some may also have a religious aspect, but that does not mean they are not civil marriages. The church has no say in how a registry office conducts itself, and nor should it. Marriage is not a religious preserve. Religious organisations and their members are entitled to their opinions of civil marriage, but they are not entitled to dictate about how marriage should be. (incidentally many members of churches are pro- equal marriage, regardless of the machinations of their leaders).

  48. Har Davids 26 Oct 2011, 6:13pm

    The ‘larger divisions’ will be the work of the Bishops’ Conference. Why are these politicians still paying attention to these fancy-dress Bigots? State and Church have their own things to attend to.

  49. Hmm. it hasn’t even happened yet, so how can they say it will be harmful? Has Mr Sky Lurker told them, or just a stupid prediction?

    I detect a massive bout of paranoia.

  50. Why do the SNP keep meeting with the Catholic Church on this issue? First it was First Minister Alex Salmond inviting Tartaglia to a meeting a couple of weeks ago and now Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is doing the same thing. I’m pretty sure the good Bishop will have said exactly the same thing about gay marriage on both occasions so why the need for the Scot Gov to hear it twice in as many weeks and to keep pandering to the Catholic Church?

    Also, Nicola Sturgeon “gave an assurance that all views will be listened to.” So I think this makes it pretty clear that they are taking on board what the Catholic Church are saying and not simply going through the motions and subsequently ignoring it.

    A couple of comments already on this story say that the Scottish Government won’t be bullied by the Catholic Church on this issue, but I’m not so confident.

    The idea that the SNP have not made up their mind on this matter and are waiting for the results of what is no more than a public vote is pretty disgusting. Either they are in favour of equality for gay people or they aren’t. If the SNP honestly “tend towards the initial view that same-sex marriage should be introduced” (which is hardly a ringing endorsement in the first place) why did they not simply bring forward legislation for same-sex marriage? They have a majority in Parliament so even if all the other MSPs from the other parties voted against it (which wouldn’t have happened) it would have passed. Or can’t the SNP count on all it’s MSPs to vote for it?

    It also means that the SNP could still drop the matter if more of the consultation responses are against same-sex marriage than for it.

    While any move towards legalising same-sex marriage is a good thing, the SNP are not coming across as being 100% committed to gay equality.

    1. Check out the BBC report on this same story. It goes into a bit more detail than the Pink News article, which has edited Nicola Sturgeon’s comments, leaving out the bit where she says “no final views have been reached and no decisions have been taken.”

      1. Can’t criticise a minister saying during a consultation that no final decisions have been made, otherwise it renders the consultation pointless …

        1. @Stu

          The point I’m making is why have they made no decision and why the need for a consutlation in the first place? Surely someone is either in favour of gay equality or not? It doesn’t say much for the SNP’s stance on gay equality if they’re waiting to see what everyone else thinks first. They should be taking a firm stance one way or the other – preferably in favour of full equality for gay people. Instead they say no decisions have been taken and keep meeting with the catholic church to hear their views. How can I, as a gay man in Scotland, have any confidence that same-sex marriage will definately happen? The Scottish Government could still decide to drop the issue, it’s not a done deal.

          1. @BennieM

            I agree that this really didnt need to be subject to a consultation in the first place …

            However, for whatever reason, it has been decided that there will be a consultation …

            It undermines out campaign for equal marriage if we then complain that a consultation is anything other than open and transparent.

            If we say that now there is a consultation that ministers should say that there will be marriage and how that will be organised etc, then we are asking for a biased and unfair consultation …

            Given that there is a consultation, make sure as many people as possible contribute to it and ensure the bigotry of those who do not support equal marriage is exposed.

            I didnt want a consultation – I got one, lets make the most of it and use it as leverage to get what we want

          2. @Stu

            I see your point about the consultation being unbiased, but with the catholic church vowing to nobble it, it could very well return an inaccurate result which will then be used by the Scot Gov in deciding whether to proceed with same-sex marriage or not.

            I just can’t understand how they can claim to be in favour of marriage equality yet still put it up for discussion and wait for the result of a public vote before deciding what to do. If you believe in a cause, you do whatever you can to make sure it happens.

            I’m just so angry that the SNP didn’t take a firm stance on this in the first place and simply draw up legislation rather than put our human rights, as gay people, up for discussion and a public vote.

            Every time I hear a Scot Gov Minister say no decisions have been made or see them meeting with the catholic church, it reinforces in me the feeling that it may not happen in the end. Can you really blame me for being so worried about it?

    2. That’s because the SNP is scared of losing a massive chunk of the Catholic votes in Scotland!!!!!

  51. The scottish parliment of human rights and equal rights should not be listening to the very people who call themselves christians and have been the predators of sexual assaults all over our nations and violent murders and wife beating such as greene, and ted haggard and jimmy swaggart and a ton of other false prophets like david karesh in waco and the warrens ranch davidian horror and now the amish murders in their religion, and the false prophets found in hotels across the country dead without their famiilies, and most of the republcan bible carrying bad old boys caught alone with a mayor for taking little boys in hotels marriots philip hinkle and puretor rico, and the republican so called christian men arrested for beating thier wives an sexually assaulting women an a few other hetersexual men in the parliments an white house, not to mention all these hetersexual men killing thier wives everyday including some high prophile, an a horrific ninety percent trying to by and sell children

  52. you have got to be kidding me The Catholic churhes has about few hate churches in them the most of the spanish people are already civil rights and human rights people, and have a massive amount of gay spanish people in them, i personally have a gay spanish priest friend who told me its only a bad few of them who carry out hate attacks and try and get the other ones to follow along he said him and other priest left them and opened other catholic churchers for gay catholics and other human rights catholics and their famiies, The archbishop in the US just got arrested for kiddy porn on his and the entire priest staff computer in the church and for going along with the hetersexual priests that where sexually assaulting little boys and not reporting it or stopping the rapes just like the vatican, now who is a danger to children and families, other than the evil violent hetersexual pedefile

  53. Another Hannah 26 Oct 2011, 9:42pm

    We have a problem in the UK that so many of the Labour party are Catholics. This is almost certainly why they are so backward about Gay rights. I personally wouold like to see them kicked out of the country and sent of to Italy, which is apparently so great that they put it and the vaticans leaders before their own British ones. Roman Catholic church OUT of our secular politics.

    1. BNP member?

      1. Jock S. Trap 13 Nov 2011, 11:06am

        Probably living in the real Britain! You know the one you chose to ignore.

    2. Going to Italy for the Rest of my life sounds great to me, I get to hear Mass from the best Pope after JPII twice a week… Go Holy Father (Pope Benedict, you rock!!!!)

  54. Johnny33308 27 Oct 2011, 1:41am

    No religion should interfere in Civil Society and should never ever be allowed to impose any sort of ‘belief’ upon our secular society. We have a long history of such things and they never turn out well for anyone except that ‘religion’.

  55. Sigmund Fraud 27 Oct 2011, 6:31am

    Catholics are harmful to all people,

  56. I have had enough of the catholic church with its views on many issues, including homosexuality. They need to stop imposing their beliefs on others. They also need to realise that they are a minority in this country and as such, need to realise that they do not have the huge influence on people that they wish they did.

  57. Father Doreen 27 Oct 2011, 11:10am

    Lay Catholics who disagree with funds being spent on cover ups and opposing marriage equality should do what people are doing in other countries and withold donations and finance from the church. There are far more important things to spend money on, and the way to protest is to hit them in the pocket. oh and withdraw tax exemptions too as they are politically campaigning.

    1. I know a couple who like to put a colored condom in their collection envelop instead of cash.

      Same difference !!

  58. I hope that the health minister (right portfolio after all) told him that believing in invisible spirits who tell you to repress and fear your own sexuality and cover up the abuse of children by some of your adepts is very unhealthy and harmful indeed. Doubt it happened, though.


  60. New HEADLINE –
    ”GAY COUPLE save Twelve year old Choir boy from Closet Bishop!”
    ……. extract from Vatican Times!

  61. I think that the Roman Catholic Church needs to clean up its own house before pointing fingers at other people. I also think that now is the time for the Roman Catholic Church to keep silent as their advise is not needed on anything except in matters concerning child abuse in which they are well experienced

  62. Let’s see ……… Gay marriage is bad for society …….. But, it is OK for Catholic priests to rape children ……

    Two words for the Catholic church: F##k Off!

  63. Catholic Church Owns German Porn Company

    Here’s How The Catholic Church Is Profiting In The German Erotic Novel Industry

    One of Germany’s largest publishing companies, Weltbild, has over 2,500 erotic novels in its online catalogue. Its owned 100 percent by the German Catholic Church.

    Worldcrunch, summarizing an article by German newspaper Die Welt, says that for over 10 years Catholics have complained about the company, which has been owned by the church for over 30 years. The high point of this opposition came in 2008, when a 70-page report on the book sales was sent to bishops.

    Read more:

  64. Cont’d…

    Catholic Church Owns German Porn Company

    Die Welt reports that the situation came to light after a report this month mentioned the erotica distributed by Weltbild. The publication also said that over half of the bishops who were sent the report in 2008 failed to acknowledge receipt of the document.

    Weltbild has an annual turnover of €1.7 billion ($2.4 billion) and has a 20 percent market share when it comes to selling books. That makes it the second largest online retailer of books behind Amazon.

    The church also owns a 50 percent stake in publishing company Droemer Knaur, which also produces pornographic books.

    Read more:

  65. Jock S. Trap 13 Nov 2011, 11:05am

    Nothing more than projection. Replace Gay with Religion and their we have the true dangers of this world.

  66. the only thing that will be harmed is the catholic church’s reputation.

    As the people discover that everyone can go about their own business, gays marry and it wont hurt anything

    Re the catholic church its reputation wont go to zero after gays can marry.

    Its already Minus 50%, and will end up near Minus one hundred %

    Free at last free at last, free from the monster that eg gave the world the hatred of Jesus own people

    which ultimately led to the holocaust by an Austrian catholic madman.

    We’ll have reached the promised land when the whole church is bankrupted and most of its building rubble

    The kiddies will applaude if they havent yet committed suicide tks to the church’s policy on sex and the priesthood.

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