Saturday, 3 March 2012

Cardinal Keith O'Brien Lambasts Same-Sex Government Marriage Proposals

Deo gratias. Please, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, if Your Grace needs some oil for his lamp, get the oil from Cardinal Keith O'Brien, while there is time...

Courtesy of The Telegraph

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, says the proposals to allow same-sex unions are “madness” and a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”.
The cardinal’s intervention, in an article for The Sunday Telegraph, is the strongest criticism yet from any church figure of the plans, which are due to be unveiled this month by Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister.
He accuses ministers of trying to “redefine reality” and change long-standing laws and traditions “at the behest of a small minority of activists”.
Cardinal O’Brien, the only British Catholic to be part of the College of Cardinals, the body which elects popes, accuses ministers of showing “intolerance” and coming up with plans that would “shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world”.

He writes: “Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but rather is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.

“Same-sex marriage would eliminate entirely in law the basic idea of a mother and a father for every child. It would create a society which deliberately chooses to deprive a child of either a mother or a father.”

Ministers have assured church groups they will not be forced to accept same-sex marriages – a pledge which does not impress the cardinal. He writes: “Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that 'No one will be forced to keep a slave.’

“Would such worthless assurances calm our fury? Would they justify dismantling a fundamental human right?” 

For full article, click here.

Why does there seem to be such a public disparity between the 'Braveheart' rallying cries from Scottish Bishops and the eerie sound of silence from the Bishops Conference of England and Wales? For the full, fantastic article written by Cardinal Keith O'Brien for The Sunday Telegraph, click here.

'We cannot afford to indulge this madness'. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Your Eminence. That, that, my Lords, is how you grab a headline (front page no less!) and proclaim the Truth. May all your lamps my Lords, and indeed all our lamps, be lit, when the Bridegroom comes.


Anonymous said...

This is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. You can hear the full fury of God's words inside of him. The money changers are being taken by the scruff of the neck and being thrown out the temple - as should be.

The money quotes for me are the bits about the "tyranny of tolerance" and the "madness of politicians" being indulged. It's great stuff from beginning to end and has everything the Holy Spirit has given to us: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord


Celia said...

Thank God (yet again) for Archbishop O'Brien.

Where is the 'guidance' promised from the England and Wales bishops' conference? Still awaiting a few more nuances?

Incidentally, when I tried to post a comment on the BBC website item about this just now, the item had already been closed for comment! Wonder why?

georgem said...

Well I never. An Archbishop who has had the courage to stick his head above the parapet and not only question but rout that false god "public opinion". The Holy Spirit has certainly been working in him.
The unvarnished truth is what we Catholics have been longing to hear.

Lynda said...

No one has the "right" to have a homosexual relationship recognised by the civil law. Such a relationship does not exist in the Natural Law, rather, it contravenes the Natural Law, thus making any law that purports to recognise it, necessarily invalid. Promoters of homosexuality and homosexual relationships in society aim to confuse and intimidate (and it's been to a large degree successful in doing so) by using the language of human rights in respect of such relationships. But it is false and ought not be given any credence. Persons have rights, such as right to share property with another, or the right to give one's property to another on death (provided any spouse or child is catered for). No rights arise naturally out of a disordered sexual relationship qua a sexual relationship, unlike the natural institution of marriage. Married couples have natural rights. Mothers (or fathers) have a natural relationship with their children, and as with marriage, these natural relationships must be recognised by the law. These relationships are essential to the good of the individual and society; homosexual relationships are detrimental to both. There are no human rights that are "homosexual rights": they simply do not exist. A person with homosexual inclinations does not have rights that no other has, he has the same rights, such as the right to marry a consenting person of the opposite sex, once certain requirements are met. Persons do not have a right to be a mother or father to children, other than those to which they are naturally mother or father. Marriage normally has children, as a result of marital relations. Unnatural sexual relationships cannot give rise to children - they necessarily preclude children.

Patricius said...

A worthy successor to Cardinal Winning!

Evagrius said...

The reason for the disparity is simple: this sort of blustering plays very well to those already agin homosexual marriage, but is neither convincing nor engendering sympathy for our position from those either on the fence or in the other camp.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: this is not America. There isn't a large core of socially conservative people in this country to whom this sort of bluster can act as a rallying cry. All this does is make the Church look hysterical and devoid of real arguments against the motion.

So, yes, let's all celebrate the Cardinal's fortitude and clarity - because thanks to his words we have lost what little hope we had of blocking this.

I'm not saying the bishops of England and Wales are doing well, mind you - they manifestly aren't - but no action is better than action that actively makes things worse.

The bishops need to seriously consider who they are talking to and why before they open their mouths, because this sort of grandstanding plays brilliantly in the Catholic blogosphere and disastrously everywhere else. It has polarised and alienated a lot of fence-sitters and the indifferent and increased rather than reduced the gap between us and our opponents. It's brilliant ammunition for the Church's opponents, making us look irrational, afraid, unreasonable, pushy and controlling. So, yes, well done Cardinal O'Brien - that was the finest shot to one's own foot I've seen in a long while.

Lazarus said...

@ Evagrius

This debate has been running a little longer in Scotland (the consultation period has ended and we're currently awaiting the results in April).

But the opposition to same sex 'marriage' here has tried everything. We've had government MSPs politely suggesting that there should be conscientious opt outs. They're shouted down as homophobes. We've had internationally recognized philosophers arguing that same sex 'marriage' is wrong. They are shouted down as homophobes. And throughout, there is the constant drip, drip of liberal comment in the media and politics saying that there are simply no rational arguments against same sex 'marriage'.

The Cardinal is absolutely right to make the Catholic Church's position clear. If we can now get a hearing for a more extended rational argument, that'd be great. But (encouraged by the pretty craven response of many of the Church of England and some Catholics on this) many people think that the churches are in the process of changing their minds on homosexual activity and same sex 'marriage'. At least there can be little doubt that the Catholic Church, in its official teaching, is absolutely clear on the subject -thanks to the Cardinal.

Think of him like a tank. He's burst a hole in the enemy's lines. Now it's up to us to charge through it with a more detailed message.

Evagrius Ponticus said...

Lazarus, thanks for the extra info. You're right that the Cardinal is deserving of praise for stating the Church's position; my issue is I don't think he's done it very well, and comes across as hectoring and hysterical. Far from being clear, he has been muddled, overly-aggressive and opened us up to accusations of hate and fear, which is the exact image we should be trying to counteract.

I fear he is less like a tank and more like an artillery piece shelling the enemy lines. All he's done is harden their defences, make them bunker down even more, and warned them that we're coming (worse, he's warned them of a firestorm they are equipped to fight very well, but we are not remotely able to handle, and, yet more disastrously, will lose through simply inaction and inability to muster troops.)

I'm afraid this battle was lost from the moment we failed to take control of the media narrative on it last year.

About the only thing left that might halt this - temporarily - is either a defeat in the Lords (which this government is unlikely to allow), or else Cameron intervening against it (also unlikely).

Lazarus said...

Evagrius, I don't think there's anything that a Cardinal could say or any way that he could say it which would avoid being perceived as hectoring in this area whilst remaining true to Church teaching. The softly, softly approach has been tried by the English hierarchy. Was that working?

I'm not sure how we can take control of a media narrative when the media are controlled by people who aren't suddenly going to wake and accept the Catechism's teaching on same sex relationships. Where I think you do have a point is that we can't rely simply on explosive ad hoc interventions like this. We are fighting a long term culture war. The Church needs to be seizing the intellectual high ground and that means a constant attempt to explain its theology and philosophy rather than buying into the fideism of Protestantism or the relativism of the secularists. I wish we'd started that long ago. But given that we haven't, at least the Cardinal is setting out our stall clearly. And that's a start.

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