In receipt of Royal Assent.

Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Au...

Queen of United Kingdom (as well as Canada, Australia, and other Commonwealth realms) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Below is a copy of the statement put out to the media by the Catholic Church of England and Wales on the new legislation passed in the Commons which allows for gay couples to be married in England. The original text is found here.

 

In receiving Royal Assent, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act marks a watershed in English law and heralds a profound social change. This fact is acknowledged by both advocates and opponents of the Act.

Marriage has, over the centuries, been publicly recognised as a stable institution which establishes a legal framework for the committed relationship between a man and a woman and for the upbringing and care of their children. It has, for this reason, rightly been recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection.

The new Act breaks the existing legal links between the institution of marriage and sexual complementarity. With this new legislation, marriage has now become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family unit, are no longer central. That is why we were opposed to this legislation on principle.

Along with others, we have expressed real concern about the deficiencies in the process by which this legislation came to Parliament, and the speed with which it has been rushed through. We are grateful particularly therefore to those Parliamentarians in both Houses who have sought to improve the Bill during its passage, so that it enshrines more effective protection for religious freedom.

A particular concern for us has also been the lack of effective protection for Churches which decide not to opt-in to conducting same sex marriages. Amendments made in the House of Lords though have significantly strengthened the legal protections in the Act for the Churches. We also welcome the Government’s amendment to the Public Order Act which makes it clear beyond doubt that “discussion or criticism of marriage which concerns the sex of the parties to the marriage shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred”. Individuals are therefore protected from criminal sanction under the Public Order Act when discussing or expressing disagreement with same sex marriage.

In other respects, however, the amendments we suggested have not been accepted. We were concerned to provide legislative clarity for schools with a religious character. This was in order to ensure that these schools will be able to continue to teach in accordance with their religious tenets. Given the potential risk that future guidance given by a Secretary of State for education regarding sex and relationships education could now conflict with Church teaching on marriage, we were disappointed that an amendment to provide this clarity was not accepted. The Minister made clear in the House of Lords, however, that in “having regard” to such guidance now or in the future schools with a religious character can “take into account other matters, including in particular relevant religious tenets”, and that “having regard to a provision does not mean that it must be followed assiduously should there be good reason for not doing so”. These assurances go some way to meeting the concerns we and others expressed.

We were disappointed that a number of other amendments to safeguard freedom of speech and the rights of civil registrars to conscientious objection were not passed. But Ministerial assurances have been made that no one can suffer detriment or unfavourable treatment in employment because she or he holds the belief that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

The legal and political traditions of this country are founded on a firm conviction concerning the rights of people to hold and express their beliefs and views, at the same time as respecting those who differ from them. It is important, at this moment in which deeply held and irreconcilable views of marriage have been contested, to affirm and strengthen this tradition.

An example of excellent apologetics.

Piers Morgan interviews a pretty remarkable Ryan Anderson about his views on marriage . Ryan displays tenacity, and doesn’t waver under  pressure and derision from the interviewer, Suze Orman and the studio audience.

http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/26/video-ryan-anderson-debates-marriage-with-piers-morgan-suze-orman/

Same-sex marriage: impact on education

Reblogged from the Hermeneutic of Continuity:

c4mbookletcover

The Coalition for Marriage have produced a booklet which indicates that if the “Equal Marriage Bill” is passed schools would have a legal requirement to teach about “same-sex marriage”.

Section 403(1A)(a) of the Education Act 1996 imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to “issue guidance” to ensure that pupils “learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children” as part of sex education.

If the legal definition of marriage changes, the law will require that children learn about gay marriage as part of sex education…

This is obviously far more serious than the right of teachers to object on an individual basis. This would affect all the nation’s children. The C4M booklet gives a number of sample pages from books such as “Daddy’s Roommate”, “Hello Sailor”, “Josh and Jaz have Three Mums” etc. They are aimed at young children. Here is a link to download a copy of the booklet.

With materials that might be put before secondary school pupils, we are in a bind because some of it is too disgusting to detail. It is more important than ever that parents insist on seeing exactly what materials are shown to their children, whether in school – or outside school by agencies that have gained trust (and contact details of young people) by being invited into the school. From a link in Laurence England’s excellent post Schools and Same-Sex Marriage, I have just read a booklet from the Terence Higgins Trust which I wish I had never seen. “Called The Bottom Line. All you’ll ever need to know about your arse and his.” it gives detailed instructions on various forms of anal sex along with the diseases and injuries that commonly result from it – as though these are just hazards we have to accept in life.

The THT has a page asking “Why should Terrence Higgins Trust come to my school?” If you are a teacher opposed to same-sex marriage or a parent who wants their child protected from such instructional material, you may soon be unable to ask that question without legal consequences.

 

Truly:- like a sheep thrown to the wolves.

These quotes are from Biblia.com (a wonderful resource at to have at the tips of your fingers) from the New Revised Standard Version: – Father Jonathan referred to this quote during his homily this morning. It’s so apt for what you will witness in the video clip below.

Coming Persecutions

(Mk 13:9–13Lk 21:12–17)

16 “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.

marriage

From the outset of the ‘interview’ or rather the ‘attack’, Anthony O, (can’t catch his name) a representative from the SPUC, is besieged with stares of horror and gasps of disbelief. I found their behaviour so interesting, and to be frank I feel pity for them. What they heard Anthony say really shocked them. By their reactions he seemed to be talking about marriage from a bygone era on another galaxy. They are products of the perfect examples of people who exist in the secular culture in which we live.

It seems obvious to me that having Anthony O. on the programme was not because they wanted to hear or somehow understand an inkling of what he was sharing but rather to highlight that there is someone or rather a society of people, who do not support the redefinition of  the  institution of marriage which has always been accepted as one adhered to by heterosexuals  for the purposes of cohabitation and the intrinsic need for a partner and ultimately (God willing)  procreation.

I feel an affiliation to most of what Anthony had to say but felt rather let down by some of his retorts. His attempts at refutation and qualification were inadequate towards the end of the interview. Why oh why would anyone agree to discuss a topic such as this on morning t.v?? Bravo Anthony for having a go and I can say for sure that he fared much better than I ever would.  An eleven minute slot on morning t.v is definitely not enough time to convey sound Catholic teaching on the dignity and purpose of the Sacrament of marriage. As a result, the presenters and the recruited journalist ended up throwing knives thick and fast giving very little space for Anthony to answer any question fully.

I am shocked that Kally Rose (journalist) went as far as calling Anthony homophobic. What an insult. Anyone who is not in the know about what’s been going on in Britain regarding this debate will most probably also deem Anthony to be a barbarian from another time.

Just to set the record straight on what I know about issues raised:-

  1. People with same-sex attraction have always been on earth. This is no new phenomenon.  Sadly they have endured  and continue to endure verbal derision , attacks on their lives and discrimination because of the lifestyle choices they make.
  2. Even in the most ‘enlightened’ circles, the topic of same-sex attraction manages to ruffle feathers, get people moving and shifting or even departing. No matter how the press want to portray an ‘accepting all inclusive, all-embracing society’, this is still a topic which can cause arguments and embarrassment.
  3. Devoted, practising Catholic parents would accept their child with same-sex attraction with arms open wide, with absolutely no intention of forcing them to change. It’s impossible to change something inherent. It is their duty as Catholic parents to encourage their child (who may be a practising Catholic/or not as the case may be) to live a chaste life, just as other siblings may be encouraged to do the same as heterosexuals. It would be their duty to do this, but to continue loving their child.
  4. It’s important to know that there is another choice available out there for gays who don’t want to live a homosexual lifestyle. Believe it or not, there are gays who feel this way! I happen to know of a fair few. I started  following a blog written by this guy who has decided to live a life of chastity. Yes he is Catholic, and he calls himself Steve Gershom.  Pretty amazing is an understatement! His blog is a must-read.

Men in black: Vanguards of the Faith.

Men in black.

Men in black.

This is the letter which appeared in today’s Telegraph from a thousand English priests:

Sir,
After centuries of persecution Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country.

Legislation for same sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.

It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time.

The natural complementarity between a man and a woman leads to marriage, seen as a lifelong partnership. This loving union – because of their physical complementarity – is open to bringing forth and nurturing children. This is what marriage is. That is why marriage is only possible between a man and a woman.  Marriage, and the home, children and family life it generates, is the foundation and basic building block of our society.
We urge Members of Parliament not to be afraid to reject this legislation now that its consequences are more clear.

The signatories are here 

I take my hat off to these leaders of the Faith, for having the courage to say what needs to be said in a united way. It gives me courage too. ‘Thank you’ to all of the signatories. We will follow by your example.

It’s a matter of coming back to the drawing board time after time.

Image@faithworks.org

 

Two happy, festive celebrations.

Over the past two-week period we have had the pleasure of attending two engagement parties and both engagements were celebrated by our fabulous neighbours: Basel and Anwar and their family. They have three children and their daughter and one of their sons got engaged a week apart from one another. Their daughter Innes enjoyed festivities  under a beautifully decorated marquee, with guests popping in throughout the day  in order to congratulate the happy couple, their parents and siblings. These celebrations lasted well into the night and continued over the course of the following week, with visitors arriving from far-flung places across Britain. We were warmly welcomed on our arrival and were invited to help ourselves to the most delicious selection of desserts one can image. Our glasses were kept full to the brim and we were made to feel most welcome and very much part of the festivities. We have become good friends over the past ten years. It was an honour to be part of a joyful occasion. This was the first engagement party we have attend here in the UK and I can’t remember the last one we did attend. I think it goes as far back as 27 years, and that was our party!

The week after one celebration we attended the second engagement party, that of their son, Haidar. This was held at a hall not far from where we live. And what a wonderful celebration that was too. It included a decorated seating area just for the special couple which  included items of special significance. The bride-to-be wore a beautiful shimmery long dress with flowers in her hair while the future groom walked around as proud as a peacock, looking just as dapper in his shimmery tie and carefully selected suit. It was just lovely to be part of this joyful occasion.

An engagement is s special preamble to the BIG event of marriage and should rightly be given our full attention and recognition. The couples mentioned above have not lived together and their anticipation of their marriage is palpable. I look forward to attending never to be repeated celebrations of  the huge events of marriage in the coming year.

Image taken by 1catholicsalmon

Catholic Dating : 12 Safety Rules

I came across this advice here, and wish I had been given this advice when I was a teenager.My mother is not Catholic and my father was not a practising Catholic.

 

iMAGE@http://lifeteen.com/7-catholic-dating-tips/

Follow these rules and make sure your companion keeps them too, then you will be able to look your children in the eye when you have to guide them on their way to marriage and family life. If your companion isn’t willing to keep the rules they are not the person you thought they were, and if they are going to let their passion run wild with you, then maybe they would have done that before – and are not the Catholic you think they are.

 While dating is part of life it should, like marriage, not be your only social outlet. Even marriages require that the spouses keep their outside friendships to prevent the spouses becoming stale and narrow, and while friendships must never dis-empower a marriage, dating should not dis-empower friendships.
1.  Be sure your life is based firmly on prayer, reception of the Sacraments and scripture reading so that you have the spiritual strength to fight temptation.
2.  Never be alone together or sit alone together in a car: such seclusion only gives space to say or do something you wouldn’t say or do in front of your parents or your priest,  which probably means they shouldn’t be said or done at all. Instead, spend time with one another’s family: get to know your date in a family context; go out as part of a group; get to know what your date is like socially. Seclusion, remember, is a precursor to what is intimate and sensual.
3.  Watch your conversations: they can be used to convince one another that you are not doing wrong; while innuendo’s introduce talk of sex in a hidden (occult) way.
4.  Make your time together active times: go to a dance, to a walking day, to a fairground etc. and always have a back-up plan so that you are not left with an unexpected space to fill. The devil finds work for idle hands…
5.  Make sure your activities are wholesome: sensual activities or watching erotic films even in a group can arouse the passions.
6.  Dress appropriately and modestly; dress to look good, but not in order to make your body a focus of attraction: that would be to arouse lust and to use lust as a magnet.
7.  Avoid actions that cause arousal: if you don’t want to get burned, don’t arouse smouldering embers. Passions are powerful and lead us astray: don’t be ruled by your feelings but by your head. Inflamed emotions are hard to extinguish.
8.  Be honest about yourself: do not ‘act’ as you think a man or woman should act; that is to deceive: be truly who you are. If you try to impress by ‘acting’, you will have to maintain that act throughout life to keep them happy.  If you aren’t genuinely devout, don’t act as though you are; if you are genuinely devout, don’t act as though you aren’t.
9.  Be honest with yourself: we are all weak and broken, and we endanger our own soul and that of our date if we think we are strong enough to go ‘this far but no further’.
10. Keep any kisses to a quick peck; keep mouths closed, and don’t let a quick hug become a cuddle.
11. End it as soon as you realise this is not the person for you.The purpose of dating is to find your lifetime spouse, so as soon as you are aware that you cannot live with your date’s attitudes, values, habits, dynamic etc., end the relationship -first of all, it cannot go where you need your life to go, and second of all, it is unjust to lead your date any further on.
12. Don’t be secretive about your dating: let your family and friends share in your joy; after all, what has to be kept hidden is not of God. Also, secrecy provides an intensity between you that is not actually about you but about the dating; the secrecy becomes the bond but can be misread by you both as being about you, when it is not.

Attacked by Tolerance in America

I first watched this at Catholiclibertarian.com The volunteers at the Society of Tradition Family and Property are the victims here of public derision, violence and vitriolic hatred. The fierce attacks shocked me to my core. What really affected me deeply is the obvious hatred of Our Lord displayed by these attacks.

Bring sexy back!

A new website supporting natural family planning is breaking new ground and filling a gap in the market I think. I’m in support of this idea as well as NFP, so I’m sharing the news with you.

Image@1flesh.org

This is but one of a few eye-catching logos promoting NFP. Take a look at some more at 1Flesh.org

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