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Comment: Catholic Archbishops misled the faithful on equal marriage plans

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  1. Thank you for this article Peter.

    I think you are overly generous when you suggest that the Archbishops letter may have just had a careless omission. Clearly the Archbishops intentionally and deliberately mislead their congregations. They lied.

    I was one a several who walked out of mass in my church on Sunday. I was astouded and shamed that the church should think that they could believe it was right to deny people equal civil legal status purely due to their orientation. I was disappointed they sought to not only persuade others that such segregation was appropriate but DEMAND others support it. I was angry and alarmed that they lied and manipulated to try and ensure blind obedience.

    I wrote to my BIshop and he replied, clearly toeing the party line. He clearly demonstrated that gay people are viewed as second class citizens.

    Its the end of my relationship with the RC church and I am trying to locate my nearest Unitarian church to try.

    Jesus said Love your neighbour as

    1. yourself. If the Archbishops love themselves so much that they would encourage others to lie to them, to treat them as second class and to manipulate others to blindly oppose them – that is not the level of self respect I want for myself or others. I want to support others and be supported. The Archbishops do not offer that. They offer lies and deviousness.

      Count me in on any significant protests that might include the RC church. As a former Catholic, I will stand with enthusiasm against their hypocracy and evil.

    2. I wrote this document in response to that letter and handed it out after Mass on Sunday morning. The Coalition for EQUAL Marriage have linked to it and it is here on google docs if anyone wants to read it (it’s long). I agree, the archbishops did deliberately mislead. And they didn’t mention scripture because they knew they’d be scuppered if they did. Link:

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Mar 2012, 4:35pm

      Indeed they did lie, it’s nothing new of course, they’ve had an almost 2 millenia head start on that aberration, among many others too numerous to mention.

  2. I wrote this document in response to that letter and handed it out after Mass on Sunday morning. The Coalition for EQUAL Marriage have linked to it and it is here on google docs if anyone wants to read it (it’s long). I agree, the archbishops did deliberately mislead. And they didn’t mention scripture because they knew they’d be scuppered if they did. Link:

    1. Erckle sorry for double post!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Mar 2012, 4:37pm

      Tracy, thank you. Let’s hope it makes it to the major mainstream newspapers. Maybe Peter Tatchell will contact them, expose the liars and deceivers and their unchristian behaviour, violating one of the commandments, i.e. bearing false witness against one’s neighbour comes to mind.

  3. I’d be equally as fascinated as to if there were differing responses the church-goers gave once they found out there wouldn’t be any forced religious inclusion in the equal marriage proposals. If there were any “Oh, that’s very different then” or “Oh, well you can have yours and we’ll have ours so it’s OK”.

    The more sleazily subversive the Church becomes on this issue the more I have visions of Cardinals extolling the ‘virtues’ of marriage a la John Hurt’s character in V For Vendetta

  4. Keith Farrell 14 Mar 2012, 12:48pm

    I cannot understand why these people are not taken to court. I grew up as a cothlic and my husband is a catholic, we cannot go to church together because my husband loves his church and loves me but he cannot be with me and be part of the church. so he goes and I wait. This church is run by a bunch of bigots and child molesters (yes I was one of those children) but the church never said sorry to us, in fact the church does not even have people from South Africa who were molested. we got no help. so as far as I am conserned this church is condemed

  5. nd we are meant to be surprised that the catholic archbishops are liars.

    These men have spent most their careers protecting child rapist priests.

    They are the scum of the earth and cannot be trusted on anything.

    1. Actually that was the previous generation of Bishops that did that. THe current lot have actually done a lot to expose the tiny minoirty of paedophiles.

  6. I don’t, for one moment, believe that this was an act of careless omission. The concept of LGBT people seeking to kick down the doors of the churches to force them to act against dogma is a common – and utterly dishonest – smokescreen that has been in play for a long time.

  7. Locus Solus 14 Mar 2012, 1:02pm

    Why do they keep talking about the “Serious consequences” of allowing same sex marriage, without ever having stated what those consequences would be! Apart from “if gay people get married people will stop making babies!” which I think we can safely write off as coo-coo-bonkers. Although you can’t blame them for thinking that, we are talking about a bunch of old virgins who have only a vague understanding of sex, at least where it occurs between consenting adults…

    1. Absolutely! The Church does not put an upper age limit on marriage and I am sure couples marry who are too old to have children…There is no rational reason to oppose equal rights. Equality for women was widely opposed, it was still the right thing to do to pursue it, just as equal marriage rights should be pursued, whatever the opposition.

  8. Mumbo Jumbo 14 Mar 2012, 1:28pm

    Meanwhile, over at the Daily Telegraph, the madness continues apace:

    They just can’t let it go and reading the comments sections is like falling into a sewer.

    1. The terms husband and wife were disappearing not because of same sex partners being able to marry, but because of the damage that the heterosexual population brought to the institution of marriage!

      Partners is the common expression for those we are in a relationship with (regardless of orientation) because it is simple.

      Its no expression on eight centuries of law. Its no expression on individual perspectives of marriage. It is merely a simple straightforward phrase that recognises two people in a relationship together.

      The Telegraph seem to conveniently forget that where same sex partners have been able to marry legally the rate of heterosexual marriage has either had a slower rate of decrease, no change or an increase in the rate of opposite sex partners marrying since the introduction of same sex partners being able to marry.

  9. Mumbo Jumbo 14 Mar 2012, 1:36pm

    And, over at Jesus and Mo, something to make you laugh:

    There, that’s better.

  10. This article shows Peter’s profound ignorance of what it is Catholics teach. For example Catholics have a very specific definition of sexual love which it would have been worth researching before he wrote this article. Secondly people may have got the impression that Churches may have their hand forced on the issue but the letter never said that. They may be forced anyway due to current precedent law. Lastly why the comment about the Catholic Church saying everyone should get married. It specifically teaches the exact OPPOSITE of that! It teaches that some are called the marriage and that some aren’t and thus shouldn’t marry.

    So all this article is is a profoundly ignorance piece which doesn’t help the case Tatchell is trying to make. Poor.

  11. “And no dogma can stop it.” Love it.

    I e-mailed my mum’s vicar, politely, after she told me how upset she was over his vocal opposition to same-sex marriage in her CofE church’s Sunday service.

    I just suggested that he don’t mention it again, so as not to upset my mum and other people with the issue.

    The e-mail I got back was polite as well. It politely attributed ‘current social decline’ to issues like the legalisation of same-sex marriage. It politely reminded me of the bible’s teachings and how many respected Christians opposed same-sex marriage.

    For some reason, I struggled to agree with or see sense in ANY of his points. *sigh*

    As far as I can see, for a Christian, a Hindi couple getting married is just as sinful as two men getting married. So what is their REAL issue?

    I think this:

    The fact that one vicar will support same-sex marriage and one will oppose it suggests to me that it is all down to opinion. And what informs the opinions of the opposition is homophobia.

    1. you should promptly email you mum’s vicar again, and demand he give specific examples of the Biblical proscription against same-sex marriage.

      if he replies with anything from the old testament, you can always toss back at him the no bacon, shellfish, lobster, haircuts, mixed fabrics, sex during menstruation, coveting, and lying rules, as well as the death-for-divorce rule, that are ALSO “biblical teachings”.

      ask when the church intends on imposing THOSE rules strictly?

      remember, the CoE was created as a means of bypassing the Catholic church’s no-divorce rule (which IS, by the way, something Jesus spoke against… unlike anything related to homosexuality).

      1. It’s funny that you say that: this was my reply….

        I would put it to you, as you have put your opinions to me, that all in all I’d say that the New Testament is pretty vague about homosexuality. The main Corinthians ‘inherit the kingdom of God’ verse is translated differently in different versions of the Bible. The phrase ‘homosexual offenders’ is translated from a word that some either think wasn’t the correct word, or a word that actually just meant effeminate (which clearly isn’t the same as homosexuality and is more related to patriarchal nature of the world that Paul lived in). If only Jesus had said something about it.

        However, it would be silly of me to argue scripture with a vicar, so I would implore you to have a chat with David Ison at St Paul’s about it.

        1. …. I do note though, that you don’t mention Mr Sentamu’s opposition to same-sex marriage in your reply. Today, his argument is that the Church of England owns the definition of marriage, similar to what you are suggesting here. One of my problems is in the inconsistency of the Church’s position on marriage. Followers of Hinduism worship and pray to, by a Christian’s definition, false idols. One of the 10 Commandments, that Jesus himself instructed you to follow, includes the commandment to not worship false idols. Yet here we are, in the UK, where Hindu marriage is legally recognised and the Church of England has no apparent problem with it. Do you see my issue? Two men marrying is equal to two non-Christians of opposite sex marrying.

          1. Probably worthless.

            I got this bit in too.

            “And because of the unquestioning, trusting relationship that you have with a lot of your congregation, I feel that peddling the petition is tantamount to exploitation of that position (consciously or not) and I fully recognise the gravity of that statement. I also recognise that you believe you are doing the right thing by promoting it and it is simply a matter that we must disagree on. “

  12. It seems in this article that some RC churches are ashamed to disclose whether or not they read the Archbishops letter this weekend (also mentions some cautious support from an MP):

  13. If I had the funds I would start a similar campaign in the UK against the anti-gay Institute

  14. Since the Archbishops would, I am sure, profoundly disagree with the idea that they didn’t know what they were talking about, then the only possible explanation is that they at best deliberately obscured the truth, at worst just plain lied. What takes place in a Register Office is outside the concerns of any Church, it is a purely secular matter. Now, as I understand it, Churches enjoy a very favourable and advantageous status with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs on the understanding that they are, in a sense, above such matters as politics. This letter is a clear political statement, indeed an anti-Government statement, and therefore the Roman Catholic Church should be immediately stripped of its tax benefits and be required to pay the full amount of tax just like the rest of us.

    1. Oh, that would be fantastic. Imagine over a thousand years of backdated tax…. Might sort out the economy a bit. Two birds, one stone and all that ;)

  15. Jock S. Trap 14 Mar 2012, 3:53pm

    Totally agree, Peter and I believe the message was a deliberate one.

    Let us not forget that it was these Archbishops telling all the government they were a dictatorship yet feel compelled to tell their ‘followers’ how it should think and what to say based on complete mis-information and damn right lies.

    Will these Archbishops give apologies for their mistake? I doubt it as it goes against what they are trying to do which in one word is to discriminate against love and those who wish to commit.

    This is completely un-christian and shows how desperate the Church is becoming to try and get it’s own way.

    It’s time the government made the public aware of these lies and show the Church up for what it is and what is is try to achieve.

    As for the Church itself…. shameful to be so misleading and deliberately lying to focus on it’s own control over society.

  16. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Mar 2012, 3:59pm

    Peter, I doubt if it’s in the RC Archbishops’ DNA to admit to their deliberate “sin” of omission.

    What nobody has bothered to ask any of our opponents is this. “What if CPs were available to heterosexuals, would you enter into such a union and if not, why?” If they were available, would a cleric from the two major denominations be willing to officiate? Of course they wouldn’t and we all know why. They’re not marriages, yet they claim they’re identical and sufficient for gay couples. NOT!

  17. Religion is like a p3nis. It’s fine if you have one, its fine if you’re proud of it. But please don’t whip it out in public and wave it around, and please don’t try to shove it down children’s throats.

    1. or only whip it out in public if the people around you also consent or whip theirs out too … ;-)

      1. Indeed.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 14 Mar 2012, 4:32pm

      Except if you’re a catholic priest of course who’ve been shoving it down children’s throats for almost 2 millenia. Not that it hasn’t stopped, either. It’s going on as we write our views somewhere in the catholic world. There is a tendency to think it was a “one-off” occurence.

  18. It seems the Catholics have been learning from the CIA how to spread black propaganda about LGBT people and make them look bad so Christians will fear them and cause more prejudice than before. The Christians are spending millions of dollars to spread their lies and propaganda about LGBT people, in fact this is how they stopped gay marriage in America. Demand an investigation be done into the Catholic and Christian churches for human rights violations as well as crimes against governments where they have violated the rights of the people.

  19. Janet Lameck 14 Mar 2012, 4:32pm

    The Catholic Church is based on omission and misleading people.
    Remember “Render unto Caeser that which is Caesers, render unto God that which is Gods”. The marriage laws are Caesers laws not Gods. God wouldn’t be charging you vast sums just to be married.

  20. It wasnt read in every Cathoilic Church…my parish priest refused to read it….

    1. The above is a great song “Probably Gay – the homophobia song”

  21. The link in the article to the Peter Thatchell Foundation is broken.

    This is the correct link:

  22. Andrew in Oz 14 Mar 2012, 7:11pm

    Religion peddles hate an oppression and should be classed as a Mental Illness.

    1. I actually do think that most religions are a mental illness. Buddhism is the only major one I have no real issue with.

  23. Lying and misleading from peddlars of religion? No! Really?

  24. I can’t stress how many times that marriage is not a religious thing. We’re asking for civil marriage, not holy matrimony. They need to realize that they don’t own it. Nobody is forcing them to marry any same-sex couples.

  25. No depth of depravity surprises me from the catholics, what does surprise me is why there are any gay catholics, are they that masochistic they need more abuse? It’s bad enough you believe, but why stay with such a vile religion?

  26. Obviously this site is already pretty decided when it comes to gay marriage, but I still think this could be a fruitful read…

    1. Great blog!

      Very direct, honest and supportive!

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