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Letter: Archbishops write to Catholics urging them to oppose equal marriage

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  1. When you have lost the argument .. you have tried reason (even though your argument is not reasonable) … when your traditional support is dwindling … when even the political animals that did support you are opposing you … when vurtually the entire media recognises the emptiness, inhumanity and invalidity of your argument … when you and your very few remaining allies are being exposed for telling lies and using subertive means to promote your dodgy message … when all else fails … What do you do?

    Indoctrinate, demonise some more, urge guilt trips, threaten, cajole and engage in more deception, thats what you do …

    Well done Archbishops for showing how utterly reprehensible you are!

    1. I write to draw your attention to the following Catholic propaganda because it deeply disturbs me. I know that compared with the rest of the world, the UK is a relatively good place for LGBT people to live. However, I believe the catholic church is an international organisation that needs to be opposed in every way possible:

      Please find below specific quotes from an official vatican leaflet that is distributed in the UK via the Catholic Church, titled “CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS”.

      The UK leaflet is distributed via and the content of this leaflet is listed in full within the following official vatican webpage:


        “Section II. POSITIONS ON THE PROBLEM OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS”, Bullet Point 5 (end of 2nd paragraph)”

        “Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of EVIL is something far different from the toleration of EVIL”


        10. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.
        When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

        When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known;

        1. it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided. This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.

  2. His argument is still deeply flawed. Marriage is not about procreation, never has been and never will be! Marriage is about two people who love each other making a public commitment to each other.

    Has he heard the term flogging a dead horse? Well this man is seriously flogging! Time to put your energy into something else you vile, hateful little man!

    1. Staircase2 11 Mar 2012, 9:28pm

      Actually, a large part of the historic legal concept of marriage IS about contracting two people together in order that children they may have are legally included….

      (however, as we know this has been quite disgustingly used as an excuse over the years to not deal with the issue of ‘illegitimacy’ re inheritance etc etc.)

      I don’t care if marriage has been (often) over the past 1000 years about bringing up kids or not – the point remains that people get married because they CHOOSE to – and whether they have kids or not is a CHOICE.

      Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender people deserve that same right – simply because it IS right that they do so…

  3. When will this man please realise that marriage is not about procreation and about two people who love each other making a public commitment to each other.

    Has he heard the saying flogging a dead horse, we’ll this man is truly flogging!

    Put your energy into something loving you vile, hateful little man. That is, if you have any love in you?

    1. I am sorry to disagree. Marriage IS about procreation and always has been. It just hasn’t been ONLY about procreation. The Catholic Church has NEVER stopped women beyond their child-bearing years from getting married, the church may believe that a childless marriage is less fulfilled than one with children but they have never believed that it is not a valid marriage.

      Gay couples do already have children. They get them by 3 means; assisted-reproduction, adoption and previous heterosexual relationships. The idea that there are gay couples who would have kids by assisted-reproduction or adoption if they were married but not if they were Civil Partnered is simply farcial. (Also it would be very un-Catholic suggest that it would be better if some children had never been born). Similarly, the idea that gay-men or lesbians in heterosexual marriages with children don’t get divorced (or if they do, they remain single) because they can only get Civil Partnered not married to a same-sex cont.

      1. Cont.

        partner is also absurd. Accepting that Catholics believe that children are best raised in a heterosexual relationship, stopping gay marriage simply won’t stop children being raised by gay couples.

        I am sure that the Archbishops are perfectly well aware they are flogging a dead horse, unfortunately their boss in Rome continues to deny reality.

        1. Ok so couples, who get married that chose not to have children or are infertile, how do you view them? Should they not be allowed to marry then. As you say marriage is just for procreation so these couples aren’t going to create new life.

          We will have to agree to disagree on this. I am in a civil partnership with my husband for love, not because of either of us wanting to have children (we don’t by the way)

          I’ve said it before, marriage was hijacked by religion in the middle ages and turned into something religious. Prior to this it was a civil matter and in terms of same sex marriage, there is apparent evidence of Egyptian Pharoes marrying their gay lovers!

          1. @fred – what no coherent reply to D.McCabe? – the silence says it all

          2. @D.McCabe

            I think you have misread Fred’s comments. He clearly says:

            “It just hasn’t been ONLY about procreation.”

            I think its fair that for some people, a part of their marriage has been about proceation.

            I think its fair to say that for most couples for whom procreation is part of marriage, it is not the only issue – love, commitment, support etc are also part of it.

            It think its fair to say that marriage is not ONLY about procreation – especially so for those unable to have children or who choose not to have children (whatever the orientation of those involved in the marriage).

          3. @D.McCabe

            I agree with the Catholic Church, in that I believe marriage is not ONLY about procreation. Like the Catholic Church I don’t have a problem with married couples not having children. Unlike the Catholic Church I do not have a problem with same-sex couples.

            I am also in a Civil Partnership. Similarly i entered into it for love.

            I think you have a fair point that the church took over marriage in the middle ages. I simply think you are very mistaken to believe that marriage wasn’t closely connected to procreation prior to that.

            You appear to believe that believing that procreation is important to marriage and believing in same-sex marriage is incompatible.

      2. Hit the thumbs down in error, meant to agree with you!

      3. It just hasn’t been ONLY about procreation.

        Quite right, for most of its history and in most cultures it is also at least as much about property and tribal alliance and the maintenance of households.

  4. A lot less “hateful” than some of the bile spewed at the Church by some LGBT people over the last week.

    1. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2012, 10:40am

      Yet if this letter had been this negative about race he would have been in court. Why are we so different become easy targets for bigotted homophobia?

    2. Are you comparing what people write on website forums with the public announcement of official policy? A bit of a difference, isn’t there?

      1. To be honest if we base the opinions of individual people and what they say on the internet (by that I mean what the general public says) as being the official statement of a group I would like to direct you to the case of Jessica Alquist who successfully managed to have a banner endorsing prayer in school removed due to being unconstitutional. Turns out the folks on Facebook and Twitter didn’t like that much and wished a whole multitude of things on her – most of which followed along the lines of execution or grievous bodily harm by either God or some other Christian – so you can see why there is a problem with following what the internet says. Tends to bring out the crazy in people…

    3. aawwww Carl were the nasty evolved people mocking your godywody never mind. maybe you could ask him to smite us

    4. Ahh the “help help I’m a victim” card, commonly played by bullies who don’t like it when the people they have been picking on swing back.

  5. edward Prendergast 11 Mar 2012, 10:07am

    The church rarely comments on world pover.ty or corruption. It is obsessed with sexual issues about which the rest of the population cares little

    1. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2012, 10:41am

      Exactly. Something states their obsession smells badly of a bunch of closet cases.

    2. And I have a REAL problem with someone telling me how to live my sexual life when they are meant to abstain from sex and having children, let alone marrying, themselves!

  6. Cathy Norman 11 Mar 2012, 10:11am

    He should be urging them to be more like his Christ not hypocrites, end of story!

  7. Why do we care what he thinks. Neither he nor his church can legally marry anybody in this country. A catholic church wedding is only legal because of the presence of the state registrar (unlike a CofE wedding). So he and his church can carry on doing whatever they like but thankfully the rest of this country has moved out of the dark ages.

    1. I did not know that. I am now smiling, I am not sure why though

      1. yes – Henry VIII had a lot to do with it! Only Church of England and Church of Wales clergy can act as registrars (not sure of postion in Scotland). All other religious ceremonies have to have the local registrar in attendance to make it legal (or do a separate civil ceremony)

        1. Tim Hopkins 11 Mar 2012, 12:57pm

          The position in Scotland is that religious celebrants, including Church of Scotland ministers, Catholic priests, rabbis etc, and Humanist celebrants, are approved by the state to conduct marriages, without a registrar needing to be present. That’s what the law in Scotland calls “religious marriage” – “civil marriage” is when a registrar conducts the ceremony. Apart from the ceremony, there’s no legal difference between the two.

        2. @PB

          Not entirely accurate.

          In England there are a small number of Methodist ministers who are entitled to act as registrars. My cousin was married by one and did not require a registrar to attend or a separate registry office ceremony.

  8. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2012, 10:38am

    Disgusting. If this letter had been about race these people would have been in court. So why are we any different.

    This is homophobia plain and simple. The church sees us as easy targets to discriminate. Maybe it’s time our voice was heard….Louder!!

  9. This from a bunch of pedophiles!

  10. I love this story:


    Sadly, whilst it may be satire – it rings remarkably true …. but isn’t that the strength of good satire, it speaks from a basis of truth.

    Clearly, the RC church do believe homophobia is the glue which gels and unites society. How wrong they are!

  11. GingerlyColors 11 Mar 2012, 11:05am

    Listening to the Catholic Church is like having my teeth drilled. Boring and agonising.

    1. mindleftbody 12 Mar 2012, 1:57pm

      It’s probably worse…getting your teeth drilled gets rid of decay, whilst listening to the church produces it.

  12. Bible spew, spew, spew… unbacked assertion, spew… true meaning of marriage.

    “Understood as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, and for the creation and upbringingof children, marriage is an expression of our fundamental humanity.”
    – I don’t see straight couples being forced into /lifelong/ commitment, nor forced to bear children. And what if one or both partners are infertile? No-one says they can’t get married.

    “we also want to recognise the experience of those who have suffered the pain of bereavement or relationship breakdown and their contribution to the Church and society.”
    – this includes many religious gay people, and many, many victims of homophobic violence perpetuated by this sort of policy. Should they not be recognised? Be welcomed into the flock? No, you are saying we are damned by what we are, and the Church will have no truck with us demons, in its mercy for those born “the true way”.


    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Mar 2012, 12:28pm

      In the case of the infertile heteros, in the eyes of the roman cult, it’s all about the complimentarity nonsense, you know, the “icky” penis in the vagina thing they can’t even spell out because they’re so repressed about sex, full stop.

  13. “Another sad chapter of history to which the sons and daughters of the Church must return with a spirit of repentance is that of the acquiescence given, especially in certain centuries, to intolerance ….”(78) This refers to forms of evangelization that employed improper means to announce the revealed truth or did not include an evangelical discernment suited to the cultural values of peoples or did not respect the consciences of the persons to whom the faith was presented…”. Memory and reconciliation: The church and faults of the past.
    At the rate the church is going, it will have to issue Memory and Reconciliation part 2 soon.

  14. Well, that was entertaining!

    Have never been to a RC mass before (when I rarely went to church as a kid it was CofE!).

    I expected the notices and the letter to be read out pretty near the start of the service, but no, I had to sit through almost all of the service (well 45 minutes of it anyway!).

    I have to say the modern band were quite impressive musically but the sanctimonious commentary really riled me.

    Though it was fantastic when they started reading out the letter and got to the bit where the letter said “our present law does not discriminate unjustly when it requires both a man and a woman for marriage”, I must admit I was surprised not to be the first to stand up and walk out!

    It was a congregation of around 80 people and 9 of us walked out. Others looked uncomfortable – whether that was with the letter or the protest, I could not be sure.

    I had intended to quiet and reserved and just make my mark by walking out and then writing to the church (which I will still do).

    1. Others though shouted “bigots” and another shouted “You bring shame on the people of Britain”.

      Someone, who I presume to be a church leader, ran out after us and tried to persuade us to come back in and discuss the matter. I liked a woman who was probably in her mid 30s and there with a guy in his late 20s response. She said “Will you treat my brother here who is gay equally and honour his relationship wiith his partner who is currently fighting for Britain in Afghanistan? Will you allow him the same respect as you would allow me and my boyfriend to get married?”. There was no response. The girl continued “Until you stop treating one of our heroes as less worthy and less human than someone like me who works in a bookies – then I will think your church is evil and stinks of corruption” We all walked away and I am meeting them for a drink tonight.

      Hope similar stories have been repeated across the country today.

      1. LOL this is so obviously made up. Name of the church?

        1. Why do you think it’s made up?

        2. Jock S. Trap 12 Mar 2012, 12:15pm

          Why because no all religious people like you are homophobic bigots… yeah how dare they… moron!!

      2. @Carl

        I think you will find it is the Catholic church that need to resort to lying not me.

        The church was Our Lady of Grace in Manchester.

        1. So mass is as popular as ever then, with 80 people. The catholic church is just a minority of maniacs. Hopefully their viewpoint on gay marriage will be the straw that breaks their back in this country. And once and for all we can get rid of vatican city interfering in our politics. I wish I’d gone to mass now and protested.

    2. Seems you weren’t alone

  15. The sentence “present law does not discriminate unjustly” is the heart of this message. Catholics and other church leaders thinki that discriminating gays and lebians is right and they want to continue it.

  16. Yet he fails to mention marriage specifically between a man and a woman was ‘defined’ not by public opinion, not by God, but by the top dogs of the religion back in the day. Marriage has never been and never will be an exclusively Christian institution, it even pre-dates Christianity. Why can’t they get it into their thick skulls that marriage is not theirs?

  17. There is certainly a feeling that this argument is finally coming to a head. As expected, religion is on the losing side. I hope that the Government and all the other supporters (The Times etc.) stay steadfast in their approach. Contrary to what certain religious bigots have said, I think it will be a very proud moment for this country when full equal marriage is written into law.

  18. The catholic church has a Child Fetish .

    1. not to mention a sex fetish … their own illicit sex and other people’s sex.

    2. Poo on the! 12 Mar 2012, 2:45pm

      It is the HOMOSEXUAL paedo priests that are committting the crimes

  19. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Mar 2012, 12:24pm

    Notice how this bigot deliberately omits reference to infertile couples and those who aren’t catholic but who decide prior to marriage not to have children a case for annulment in the roman cult which would mean that an honest catholic couple asking for a religious marriage would be denied one if they revealed they didn’t intend having children. This proves howi irrational and bigoted the cult really is. Since when do so called “celibate” men the majority of whom have NO personal experience of human relationships in a sexual context get to dictate to a woman why and when she should have children? It’s none of their damned business. If she chooses not to have any, so be it.

  20. JJ Formento 11 Mar 2012, 12:34pm

    Dear and Most Reverend Nichols, brother in Christ, thank you for your letter urging your congregation to oppose equal marriage. However, I pray all of your listeners will hear the true message of Jesus that loves us all in our diversity. I don’t know what God’s will is about this matter, but I do know we will all come before Him to account for ourselves individually. I do beliveve that He will embrace all of us who put Him first above all, regardless of our short-commings, and in His Kingdom we will all live together as one. I hope we can start to practice this now on earth.

  21. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Mar 2012, 12:35pm

    There are some catholic priests who have fathered children, yes, catholic priests also give in to temptation. Once it becomes known, the church kicks the priest out for violating celibacy rules. Just proves how hateful and anti-family they are. I don’t think for a minute there are many priests even those in the hierarchy who haven’t even masturbated after becoming clerics. They’re all a bunch of hypocrites of the worst kind who represent or resemble anything Jesus Christ advocated. In fact, they are the anti-christ. Wasn’t it Jesus who said if anyone wants to be a follower of his, sell all you have and give to the poor? So what is the Vatican doing I wonder? Billions of dollars in assets, art treasures, real estate, investments in the stock market and paying next to NO taxes. Need I say more?

  22. “The Church starts from this appreciation that marriage is a natural institution, and indeed the Church recognises civil marriage”

    Yeah, but “Civil Marriage” does NOT recognise religion: no hymns, no candles, no prayers… just the love & commitment of the 2 people involved.

    if a marriage fails, who sanctions and fully implements the legality of a divorce? The state.. and always the state. Therefore, by this logic, marriage is indeed owned by the state.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Mar 2012, 4:04pm

      And importantly, procreation is NOT a mandate of civil marriage.

  23. Paddyswurds 11 Mar 2012, 1:37pm

    @……This could be an exact copy of the impassioned plea made by the bishops in 1843 when slavery was about to be abolished and was trotted out again when the ordination of women was mooted. Fortunately these dinosaurs are on their way to the dusty archive of history. As more and more people become enlightened this sort of veiled hatred will become a curiosity of the past.

  24. Hmmmm… Same-sex marriage is legally recognized nationwide in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. In the United States, same-sex marriages are in 8 states now. In Mexico, same-sex marriages are only performed in Mexico City, but these marriages are recognized by all Mexican states and by the Mexican federal government.[67] Israel does not recognize same-sex marriages performed on its territory, but recognizes same-sex marriages performed in foreign jurisdictions. In Brazil, the state of Alagoas performs same-sex marriages. Also, in other states, a same-sex couple may convert their civil union into marriage with the approval of a state judge. If approved, that marriage is recognized in all the national territory. And the world for the people living in each of these places hasn’t changed one bit, or torn the “fabric of society.” Your words are a sham, Archbishop.

    1. Absolutely, the RC church (and other extremists) seem to forget these countries and that civil marriage being equal is already a reality.

      Many more US states are heading in the direction of equality.

      Other nations are moving in the direction including Denmark, Colombia, Chile, Nepal, Mongolia, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, Uruguay, Nicaragua ..

      They are entitled to exercise their right to choose to be wrong. The RC church and their extremist friends (such as Mugabe) have chosen to be wrong, chosen to be subvertive, chosen to lie, chosen to subvert human decency, chosen to dehumanise an entire segment of society …

      They are wrong and they will be shown to be wrong.

      They have chosen which side of history they want to be on.

    2. NudeDancer 11 Mar 2012, 3:13pm

      What all this really tells us is that the Church is getting desperate becaue it KNOWS it’s going to lose!

      Articles like this used to make me facepalm but now I’m beginning to realise that they are an indication that we are actually winning the fight and that great steps forward in equality are being made at a rate that not even an organisation with the traditional might of the Church can prevent.

      This is actually good news, folks! Jesus would be proud…

  25. Just seen a bit on Sky News about this. A few interviews with the church goers regarding this. Every one of them in the later stages of life which I think is to be expected. I sincerely believe a lot of the younger generation are far less fussed about this than the old yin’s.

  26. I see the BBC are reporting the Church of England Bishop of Bath & Wells saying this:

    Bishop Peter Price said the church needed to recognise there are many Christians who accept the reality and validity of homosexual relationships.

    He said: “There are both heterosexual and homosexual couples who deeply believe God has brought them together and want that union blessed.”

  27. Dear Reverends Nichols & Smith,

    Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and yours stink!

  28. “and indeed the Church recognises civil marriage.” …. SINCE WHEN ????

    1. Andy, of course the Church recognises civil marriage and has done for it’s 2000 year history. Although, maybe that’s something to do with the fact that it took the Roman Catholic Church approx. 1300 years before they bothered to make marriage a holy sacrement sanctioned by God. I note that they didn’t include that little footnote to the excerpt of the Catechism included in their letter.

  29. I have just received the following email from the RC Bishop of Lancaster which responds to my concerns about the letter read out in Catholic churches today:

    “Dear Ben,

    I have just read your rather angry email – and I will certainly reply.

    Rather than the Catholic Church simply opposing gay marriage we consider gay marriage to be impossible. The issue for us is not gay rights but a wonderful truth of our humanity which is that we are animals: rational and spiritual animals open to sharing the life of God. In the sacraments, the fundamental dramas of our bodily life are blessed and become open to God’s grace: birth and death, eating and drinking, sex and illness. St Thomas Aquinas says that grace perfects nature and does not destroy it.

    For us in the Catholic Church we believe that marriage is founded on 1) the glorious fact of sexual difference and 2) its potential openness to life – even if this is not always physically possible due to age or infertility. Without this there

    1. would be no life on this planet, no evolution, no human beings, no future. Marriage is a plastic institution and takes all sorts of forms, from the alliance of clans through bride exchange to modern romantic love. We have come to see that it implies the equal love and dignity of man and woman. But everywhere and always it remains founded on the union in difference of male and female. Through ceremonies and sacrament, this is given a deeper meaning which for Christians includes the union of God and humanity in Christ.

      Ben, it is true to say that the God of love can be present in every true love. But “gay marriage” is impossible because it attempts to ‘cut loose’ marriage from its grounding in our real biological life. If we do that, we deny our humanity. It would be like trying to make an omelet without eggs or wine without grapes.

      Politicians are quite right to say the Churches do not have an exclusive right to determine who can marry – but nor does the State, because we cannot

    2. simply decide by some mental or legal act what it means to be a human being. Our civilisation will flourish only if it recognises the gift of our bodily existence, which includes the amazing creativity of sexual difference, lifted up into love. Giving formal recognition to this through the institution of marriage in no way disparages the blessings brought to us by gay people and in this regard the letter this weekend was very careful.

      Ben, please be assured that the Catholic Church is not attacking anyone – and gay people are always welcome in our Church but we must also remain true to ourselves and to our teaching which we hold in good conscience and in the freedom of religion that is ours.

      God bless you always Ben,

      +Michael G Campbell OSA

      Bishop of Lancaster”

      1. Not one convincing word in that patronising letter. Airy fairy nonsense from beginning to end. When will one of these idiots actually come up with one example of what ACTUAL harm marriage equality would do to anyone???

    3. Needless to say I think LGBT people have a right to feel extremely angry about the actions of the RC church over the last few weeks in particular.

      I think the Bishop entirely misses the point and clearly seeks to undermine LGBT people and believes human rights are not important.

    4. Robert in S. Kensington 11 Mar 2012, 4:15pm

      Ah, so I see they’re now sneaking in hetero marriages beyond child bearing years…..I’ve said this and I’ll say it again. It’s the penis in the vagina plumbing that they’re really more concerned about, then childless couples’ marriages are justified. On the one hand, sexual intercourse according to the catholic church must take place only within marriage and it must lead to procreation at all costs, whereas they’re condoning sex among married heteros who are either infertile or beyond child bearing years. Now if that’s not a conflict and a pure case of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is. Their statements are becoming more absurd the more they rant from one day to the next. What would a catholic bishop or cardinal know about sex and human relationships I’d like to know. They live abnormal lives as it is. You mean to say none of them even masturbate?

  30. chris lowercase 11 Mar 2012, 5:17pm

    the times hit the nail on the head for me when he talked about circular reasoning. i try and look at information from anybodie’s perspective but i cant find any single argument that could convince anybody against marriage equality. that was a game over story for me, and i think more people buy papers than go to church. hell i even buy the mail when i want a completely different view to my own, and it turns out even they agree with me.

    i have my issues with the press but i cant help but feel the press speaking for the people is much more legitimate than the way some church leaders speak for their god.

    1. Perhaps the Archbishops should get their own house in order, celibate priests so frustrated they abuse young boys. Celibacy is not normal in any circumstance. Presumably it is ok for procreation outside marriage? Their bullying tactics have been the produce of so much population increase, especially in under-privileged countries, because of unprotected sex because that is not allowed. Excuse me, which century are we living in!!!

  31. Spanner1960 11 Mar 2012, 5:38pm


    Is that a real word or are they making this stuff up as they go along?

    1. Well they make everything else up, why should vocabulary be any different?

  32. On a lighter note, not my work, but I wish it was.. new catholic bar in the village in Manchester known as ‘Cardinal Sin’

  33. So the RC church were saying we need to be treated sub humanely today, and in other news – it was the Gay Wedding Show:

  34. Completely as expected…
    Arbitrary assertions claiming exclusive characteristics for straight marriage observable in many other relationships;
    Vague stuff about ‘complementarity of male and female’, both undefined and with no explanation about why other forms of complementarity are less significant(typical of a patriarchal outlook); the usual mantra about straight marriage being the best context for raising children; and, of course, the assertion of a socially constructed institution ‘as fundamental to our nature’ by ideologically motivated celibates!
    Very weak stuff, and, one hopes, the last gasp. But I doubt it.

  35. Robin Evans 11 Mar 2012, 7:28pm

    If marriage is so noble and holy then why are so many of there frock wearing pedophiles not doing it… They are freaks, why should society listen to them…???

  36. I see the CofE Archbishop of York is wading in again and trying to create false obstacles to equal marriage. I think he is trying to deliberately mislead. I think he is lying.

    ““They have got a problem because the definition of marriage is in the 1662 Prayer Book and Article 30 of the Church of England, which are both Acts of Parliament,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

    However, legal experts questioned the Archbishop’s claim. “I can’t see why Parliament would need anyone’s approval to change the definition of marriage,” said Adam Wagner, a barrister and editor of the UK Human Rights Blog. “Parliament is sovereign, it can legislate what it likes.””

    1. What a load of rubbish….

      1. The Archbishop of York is spouting a load of rubbish, but then that is usually what he does with regards gay issues.

  37. Richie S-G 11 Mar 2012, 8:52pm

    WOW did not think I would agree with any of this letter, but …..

    There are many reasons why people get married. For most couples, there is an instinctive understanding that the stability of a marriage provides the best context for the flourishing of their relationship and for bringing up their children. Society recognises marriage as an important institution for these same reasons: to enhance stability in society and to respect and support parents in the crucial task of having children and bringing them up as well as possible.

    The thing is, I’m a gay man, with a hubby and 2 children and that statement applies to my relationship too.

    As for the rest of it what a load of tosh. Civil marriage is none of the churches buisness and they should keep their noses out of it.

    This is shaping up to be an epic battle. The men in frocks vs the men who make frocks fabulous

  38. Has the Catholic church ever approved of any major LGBT advancement?

    It’s a losing battle with them. I agree with LF to agree to disagree. I think most people have come to the conclusion that it’s pointless discussing LGBT issues with the catholic church. The CofE seem to be just as archaic.

    I think the battles are within the church itself. Obviously there are a lot of moderates within the church who hate all this but sadly they are never the ones that get the big publicity.

  39. Staircase2 11 Mar 2012, 9:21pm

    Blah blah blah blah bleurgh!

    I tried to read it all – honest I did…

    BUt I got so bored after a couple of paragraphs I gave up!

    So apologies if what Im about to say may in anyway just have simply got the wrong end of the stick…

    “Forgive them – they know not what they do (although some of them (clearly!) do not what they know!!”

  40. Father Dougal 11 Mar 2012, 10:49pm

    The BBC news at 10 tonight devoted a major amount of time to this item, but devoting 90% of the time to the Catholic opponents, and gave Peter Tatchell about 10 seconds in reply. Didn’t strike me as balanced.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 12 Mar 2012, 10:09am

      What can we expect? Its run by a catholic!

    2. Jock S. Trap 12 Mar 2012, 12:17pm

      Exactly. The BBC yet again is bias towards religion. They don’t do equal/fair reporting esp with it comes to Marriage equality.

  41. It’s just horrendously offensive to both gay couples and to childless straight couples. How can they that there is such a thing as ‘just discrimination’? No one is forcing them to change their definition of marriage, but can’t they at least show some respect for the faiths that do recognise same sex marriage?

  42. Har Davids 12 Mar 2012, 7:51am

    It must be hard to find way to keep the flock in check, with only the gays available as the proverbial scapegoat, and even they are gathering support, albeit slowly.

    Christianity in its present form has had a good run for almost two millennia, keeping people ignorant, poor and scared. Why don’t they just bow out gracefully and become a oddity in today’s world, where people sometimes become more accepting of others?

  43. I’m sorry, I CANNOT resist! Vincent Nicholls was of course the Bishop of Birmingham before he became Westminster…

    This old favourite sprung to mind:

    The naughty old bishop of Birmingham
    buggered two boys whilst comfirming ’em
    as the knelt before god
    he pulled out his rod
    and pumped his episcopal sperm in ’em

    1. Keith,,,hiv free always!!!. 12 Mar 2012, 2:42pm

      Another HOMOSEXUAL child rape!

  44. An interesting exercise with this debate: take any newspaper article or speech and remove the term “same-sex” and replace it with “black” or “asian” or “white” or “inter-racial” or “Christian & Muslim” and what you have is an extremely racist document which by any western court would be deemed illegal. Yet for some reason we are still having this debate about allowing same sex marriage … it’s about time that the definition of marriage should be described as two PEOPLE who wish to share their lives together….. simply remove gender from the legislation and all will be resolved — well actually removing the churches ability to perform the legal aspect of marriage would also be useful – make people get married at the Town Hall before having their religious celebration.

  45. Janet Lameck 12 Mar 2012, 2:39pm

    I’m a catholic and I support equal marriage laws.

    1. Keith,,,hiv free always!!!. 12 Mar 2012, 2:41pm

      Well you know what Jesus said about a house divided against itself!

  46. What struck me about the letter is that the church’s argument never cites scripture!

    Probably has something to do with the fact that most of the marriages in the Bible were polygamous.

    And while their entire argument is about nature, they never once mention that same-sex couplings can be found among nearly every animal species.

    Fortunately, lay Catholics completeley ignore the church’s teachings about marriage and sex. They know that the Catholic clergy are uniquely unqualified by their supposed celibacy to teach them anything at all on either matter.

  47. I saw the response above from another Catholic Bishop to an email someone else sent, so I sent an email to the Bishop of Middlesbrough as I am leaving the RC church due. This letter was the final straw for me. The response I got was this:

    “Dear Mr Marshall,
    I received your message via the website. I am sorry you have taken such offence at the Pastoral Letter which was read out at Mass in all the Roman Catholic churches of England and Wales today. The purpose of the letter was to underline the fundamental importance that the institution of marriage plays in our society. Marriage is one of those concepts that the vast majority of people instinctively understand and have understood for millennia as being the union between a man and a woman which is open to the procreation of children and for their nurture in order that they develop into responsible adults. This way the institution of marriage contributes to the building up of society and future generations.
    You raise the issue of

    1. procreation and the fact that children can be nurtured and brought up in other sorts of relationships. While this is true, research has shown that the best environment for a child to grow up in is of one man and woman bound to each other for life. That is why society has always given special recognition to marriage as opposed to any other form of human relationship.

      The Church is not saying that people of a homosexual orientation are dammed. Far from it. Church teaching as set out in the Catechism states: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” The Catholic Church in England and Wales supported the decriminalisation of homosexual acts when the Woolfenden Report was published in 1957.
      You express your belief that one day all will live in God’s kingdom together. That too is my hope, but God’s kingdom is a kingdom of justice and truth as well as a kingdom of peace. I cannot stand back

    2. and accept something which the vast majority of human kind holds to be a self-evident truth, i.e. the institution of marriage is the union of a man and a woman open to the procreation of children, without offering guidance to the people for whom I am responsible. That is what I will be judged on when I appear before God. Nor can I accept that it is in the power of any government to redefine marriage. What I also find an injustice is that this policy is being introduced without due process – no Green Paper or White Paper, just a consultation as to how to introduce it, not whether it should be introduced in the first place.
      I am sorry that you have decided to walk away from the Church. I have to say that I was working in a parish this weekend and no one walked out at any of the three Masses I celebrated. I stayed and talked to the people there for at least an hour after each Mass and the only comments I heard were that the government’s actions appeared to lack common sense.

    3. You talk about Cardinal O’Brien deliberately misleading in relation to the reality of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. I find the Government’s thinking misleading in interpreting equality to mean that everything is the same and everyone is the same. It does however mean that different people should have equivalent provision. Hence the Government’s pursuit of the Civil Partnerships Act of 2004. The minister responsible at the time explained that the aim of the act was “to mirror as fully as possible the rights and responsibilities enjoyed by those who can marry.” In this way it used civil marriage as a template for the processes, rights and responsibilities that go with civil partnership.

      In the end my strong conviction is that the meaning of marriage embraces not just the couple but also their children. We should value and treasure marriage because it is key to family stability. There is no need for change.

      X Terence Patrick
      PA to Bishop of Middlesbrough

      1. I am disappointed and saddened that the church continue to see that treating my love as second class is something they seek to endorse.

        1. Well I am not a church goer. I’m Pagan so rarely step foot in such places. But I can understand your sorrow at this as this is a place you are meant to be made to feel welcome. A place where they are not meant to judge you and they do.

          I am saddened myself that a church who cannot see it’s own wrong doings and feels the need to dictate to me and others how I should live my life and imply that I am incapable of rearing a balanced child due to my sexuality.

          I think very highly of you for standing up for what you believe in I really do.

  48. Interesting blog in the Telegraph about the mess the church are in over equal marriage:

  49. “by its nature is ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring”

    I didn’t realise that A: my partner isn’t my spouse but most importantly B: that as a gay woman Or gay man we were sterile and so there for unable to have children!

    Some do gooder actualy said that procreation was between a man and a woman and so did not need a third party to intervene, unlike homosexual couples who CANNOT have children with out such involvement! And so that was the main reason same sex couples shouldn’t not be allowed to marry!

    Maybe we should ban any man and woman from marrying who are sterile and so NEED a third party to intervene!


  50. Like I said on the Youtube video (posted by Kris here), what is more wrong? Two consenting adults who are gay loving one another or some sex starved Priest messing with children? I think these people need to get their priorities right myself!

  51. Could it possibly be that the RC church are being so concerned about UK attempts to ensure fairness, transparency, equality and integrity in marriage when equal marriage is introduced because of their experience here:

  52. If marriage is merely about procreation, then surely people who are sterile, impotenet or postmenopausal shouldn’t be allowed to get married either. I think they seriously need to re-think.

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