Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Archbishops Speak


Better late than never, here is a statement from our two London Archbishops

Statement on the government response to the same sex marriage consultation

Bishops Conference of England and Wales 

'The meaning of marriage matters. It derives that meaning from its function as the foundation of the family. The union of one man and one woman for love and mutual support and open to procreation has over the centuries formed a stable unit we call the family.
Marriage is the enduring public recognition of this commitment and has been rightly recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection. The government has chosen to ignore the views of over 600,000 people who signed a petition calling for the current definition of marriage to stay, and we are told legislation to change the definition of marriage will now come to Parliament. We strongly oppose such a Bill.
Furthermore, the process by which this has happened can only be described as shambolic. There was no electoral mandate in any manifesto; no mention in the Queen’s speech; no serious or thorough consultation through a Green or White paper, and a constant shifting of policy before even the government response to the consultation was published today.
We urge everyone who cares about upholding the meaning of marriage in civil law to make their views known to their MPs clearly, calmly and forcefully, and without impugning the motives of others. We urge all parties to ensure their Members have a free vote. It is not too late to stop this Bill.'

Our MPs are disinclined to listen to arguements made "clearly, calmly and forcefully, and without impugning the motives of others". Their Graces are right the consultation  has been shambolic, our Prime Minister and MPs have ignored a petition over 600,000 signatures, so why would they bother with another round of letters?

I am glad to see Their Graces are so optimistic I look forward to seeing over the next few days the unveiling of their plans on just how the Bill can be stopped.

9 comments:

Unknown said...

With an Established Church, the meaning of Marriage in law is as it is defined in the Book of Common Prayer 1662. It has always been clear that, just as the State recognises Church marriages as legal marriages, so the Church of England recognises Registry Office (&c) Marriages as legally equivalent. Some strain was put on this parity by the divorce law concessions but it is surely undermined totally by a marriage which is not heterosexual. In short, if the State persists, disestablishment cannot be far away, not to mention pressure on other communities to respect equality legislation.

Andrew Bunrham

StevieD said...

Even one MP mentioned God and Scripture in his objections. What a pity that their Graces didn't feel it necessary. God help us.

nickbris said...

The BBC has been gleefully announcing that 14,000,000 people in this country have no religion,that is about the same number of those who can't read & write properly due to the poor education system.

No mention at all of the 50,000,000 who do believe in God

johnf said...

If the Queen agrees to this legislation how does it affect her Coronation Oath?

2nd June 1953:

Archbishop Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

Queen All this I promise to do.

Deacon Augustine said...

"Our MPs are disinclined to listen to arguements made "clearly, calmly and forcefully, and without impugning the motives of others". Their Graces are right the consultation has been shambolic, our Prime Minister and MPs have ignored a petition over 600,000 signatures, so why would they bother with another round of letters?"

True words, Fr Ray - their desire "not to rock the boat" renders their opposition ineffectual. We must move this up a gear and start a serious campaign of civil disobedience if this is going to be stopped. January 31st may be too soon to get things organised, but a "Tax strike" on that day would make them notice. Even if people only delayed paying their taxes by one week, the fines would not be too great, but the effect on the exchequer could be enormous. It would be enough to rattle the international bond markets, and the government would definitely take notice of that.

Rabies Theologorum said...

Why have catholic bishops not said that they will refuse to let Catholic priesta to act as registrars of a catholic marriage? You can go to any county archive in the uk and find records of catholic priests recording sacramental marriages in little notebooks. As a matter of interest you often find bewteen sacramental records some recipes for cures for coughs and other interesting information. Have a look at Orlebar. Catholics Missions on archive . org if you don't believe me. Regards,

Genty said...

Nicely nuanced as ever, but on the Devine Scale - 2.

BJC said...

Meoow! Flashman and his friends will be shaking in their boots.

Supertradmum said...

Thank you for posting this. It is now on my blog and of course, I gave you credit, Father, for the heads up.