A LETTER from the Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland
opposing the Scottish Government's plans to introduce same-sex
marriage was read out in RC churches in Scotland on Sunday.
It stated that "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." The letter outlined plans to set up "a new Commission for
Marriage and the Family" to "promote the true nature of
The RC Archbishop of St Andrews &
Edinbugh, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who has suspended direct
communication with the Scottish Government on gay marriage (
News, 24 August), said on Wednesday of last week that it was
"wrong that governments, politicians, or parliaments" sought to
"alter or destroy" marriage's unique character.
A spokesman for the Scottish First
Minister, Alex Salmond, said: "We intend to proceed with plans to
allow same-sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil
partnerships because we believe it is the right thing to do."
In the Scottish Episcopal Church, the
Provost of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, the Very Revd Kelvin
Holdsworth, last Friday invited "anyone who wants to be able to
worship in a church where gay people are welcomed and not
marginalised" to attend on Sunday. "The rhetoric that is currently
coming from the Roman Catholic Church on this topic can be hugely
negative." In his sermon on Sunday, the Provost said: "The good
news is that we can beat back bigotry wherever we find it, even
when it comes from the pulpit."
On Thursday of last week, the Bishop
of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson, appeared in a video on the Out4Marriage website, in which he
said: "I wish we could get our head round blessing gay people's
relationships. It all comes down to how we see gay people and how
we see God. We don't actually believe gay people are sick, or
stunted, or criminal. We don't believe God is an angry old man out
to get us. Let's stop behaving as though we did. Recognising gay
people are equal means they won't dilute or spoil marriage, but
potentially enrich it."