A Message for Marriage SundayThis is precisely the kind of unwarranted political interference that the Reformation and Act of Supremacy in England, and similar laws in Scotland, were designed to prevent.
26 August 2012
from The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
In all things, we as Catholics look to Jesus Christ as our model and teacher. When asked about marriage He gave a profound and rich reply: “Have you not read that the Creator, from the beginning, ‘made them male and female’, and said: ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one body’.” (Matthew, 19: 4-5)
In the Year of Faith, which begins this October, we wish to place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage. The family is the domestic Church, and the first place in which the faith is transmitted. For that reason it must have a primary focus in our prayerful considerations during this period of grace.
We write to you having already expressed our deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage. We take this opportunity to thank you for your past support in defense of marriage and hope you will continue to act against efforts to redefine it. We reaffirm before you all the common wisdom of humanity and the revealed faith of the Church that marriage is a unique life-long union of a man and a woman.
In circumstances when the true nature of marriage is being obscured, we wish to affirm and celebrate the truth and beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony and family life as Jesus revealed it; to do something new to support marriage and family life in the Catholic community and in the country; and to reinforce the vocation of marriage and the pastoral care of families which takes in the everyday life of the Church in dioceses and parishes across the country.
For that reason, in the forthcoming Year of Faith we have decided to establish a new Commission for Marriage and the Family. This Commission will be led by a bishop and will be composed mostly of lay men and women. The Commission will be charged with engaging with those young men and women who will be future husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and with those who already live out their vocation to marriage and parenthood in surroundings which often make it hard to sustain and develop the full Catholic family life we cherish.
We wish to support too, those who are widowed, separated and divorced and all who need to feel the Church’s maternal care in the circumstances in which they find themselves. The new Commission will promote the true nature of marriage as both a human institution and a union blessed by Jesus. The Commission will be asked to develop an online presence so that prayer, reflection, formation and practical information on matters to do with marriage and family life can be quickly accessible to all. It will also work to produce materials and organise events which will support ordinary Catholic families in their daily lives. During the course of the coming year we will ask for your support for these initiatives.
Our faith teaches us that marriage is a great and holy mystery. The Bishops of Scotland will continue to promote and uphold the universally accepted definition of marriage as the union solely of a man and a woman. At the same time, we wish to work positively for the strengthening of marriage within the Church and within our society.
This is an important initiative for all our people, but especially our young people and children. We urge you to join us in this endeavour. Pray for your own family every day, and pray for those families whose lives are made difficult by the problems and cares which they encounter. Finally, we invite you to pray for our elected leaders, invoking the Holy Spirit on them, that they may be moved to safeguard marriage as it has always been understood, for the good of Scotland and of our society.
This poor excuse for a Christian describes equal marriage rights as a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right". What human right is being subverted, Cardinal? None at all. As a celibate bachelor, what makes you an authority on what subverts a loving marriage?
The message reveals clearly the flaws in his argument on the matter. It describes the biblical account of Christ's teaching on marriage:
“Have you not read that the Creator, from the beginning, ‘made them male and female’, and said: ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one body’.” (Matthew, 19: 4-5)
Here Christ describes an example of marriage, he does not mandate this as the only form of marriage. Indeed, the question he answers is about divorce, not homosexuality, (Matthew, 19: 3). And he goes on to describe celibacy in various circumstances saying "He who is able to accept it, let him accept it". (Matthew, 19: 11-12). Christ teaches not one dogmatic rule which all must follow, but freedom to live a sexual life according to individual needs and circumstances, within a loving and faithful framework. What could better promote a loving and faithful sexual relationship than marriage?
Then the bishops say,
"The family is the domestic Church, and the first place in which the faith is transmitted. For that reason it must have a primary focus".
So there we have it: this is not about the good of society, or following the teachings of Christ, this is about evangelizing the Roman Catholic faith. Surely these men are calling on gay people to deny their sexuality, enter into deceitful heterosexual marriages and raise more child fodder for their church. Here we see the sordid, evil, subversive motives of the church laid bare.
But not content with subverting families and children to their own purposes, (a trait you will recall that is not new), they also hope to subvert the democratic process:
"Finally, we invite you to pray for our elected leaders, invoking the Holy Spirit on them, that they may be moved to safeguard marriage as it has always been understood...".
So you want your congregation to pray for god to overrule the consciences of the democratically elected representatives of the Scottish people, and do the dirty work of a foreign papal power? This is the 21st century - I mean: are you nuts?
But there is humour to be found in this rotten diatribe too:
"Our faith teaches us that marriage is a great and holy mystery".
Yeah mate, marriage may be a mystery to you bunch of alleged celibates. But the real mystery is the reason you think that anyone should listen to a bunch of sexually repressed paedophile-protectors in dresses on matters of love, sexuality, marriage and family. You guys are about as unqualified to speak authoritatively on these matters as it's possible to be.
So perhaps this kind of papal vitriol is a sure sign you guys in Scotland are heading in the right direction. Keep up the good work!