UK Apostolic Nuncio urges bishops to fight assisted suicide and gay marriage legislation

In his address to the Bishops of England and Wales the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, has urged them to fight forthcoming legislation on assisted suicide and homosexual marriage. The Apostolic Nuncio explained the motivation behind undertaking this uphill struggle to change government policy on life and the family:

‘Why this insistence? We don’t want to quarrel and we know that it is not easy to obtain changes in the direction of governmental policies about the family or about life. We all know that we are swimming against the tide. But we must not be afraid because we are confident that Our Lord continues to love and support his Church. Our people need us to witness to a new way of judging the situations of our world. One of our first tasks is to educate our Christian people in a new way of judging the matters of this world, even when our witness may not be wholly accepted or completely successful.”

Archbishop Mennini singled out the threat posed by Lord Falconer’s Assisted Suicide Bill, which is being debated in January:

“Thinking about the poor and most vulnerable, it is not inappropriate to mention that an attempt is to be made by Lord Falconer in January next year to bring back to the House of Lords yet another Bill to legalise assisted suicide. We know well that we have a duty in love to emphasise yet again the rights and dignity of every human person, from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.”

Archbishop Mennini also called on the bishops to fight Government attempts to change the definition of marriage by following the example of the hierarchy in France.

He said: “We find that we are placed in a similar situation to the Church in France, where Cardinal [André] Vingt-Trois and the French bishops have issued a spirited appeal to the faithful asking them to do all in their power to resist so-called ‘same-sex marriage’. We surely can do no less and I thank all of you for your strong testimony.”

In France Archbishop Vingt-Trois has called gay marriage “a fraud” and said: “It will not be a ‘marriage for all’. It will be marriage of a few imposed on all.”

Cardinal Vingt-Trois has accused the government of trying to rush through gay marriage without a debate in French society about its implications, especially for children who would grow up without a clearly identified mother and father.

He said: “Has it asked citizens if they agreed to no longer be the father or mother of their child, but only an undifferentiated ‘parent A’, or ‘parent B’?”

The French bishops have also reinstated the traditional “prayer for France” in response to “grave” social changes, and Pope Benedict XVI has urged French bishops to defend marriage as the “foundation of social life”.

Protect the Pope comment: Archbishop Mennini realistically spells out the challenges facing the Church in this country in defending the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.

He hits the nail on the head when he says that the first necessary step is a massive re-catechizing of the people of God in the English and Welsh Church. As he puts it,’ One of our first tasks is to educate our Christian people in a new way of judging the matters of this world, even when our witness may not be wholly accepted or completely successful. ’ Too often Catholics have accepted the media’s politicization of the Church, which sets things in terms of opinion polls and compromise. We need to be educated in God’s way of judging the matters of this world, which sometimes means witnessing to the truth even though it means inevitable crucifixion and seeming failure. The one thing necessary is being faithful to the truth and love revealed by God. The time of political calculation and compromise is over, it was never legitimate in the first place.

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3 comments to UK Apostolic Nuncio urges bishops to fight assisted suicide and gay marriage legislation

  • Frances

    May God send courageous bishops to the vacant sees!

  • Michael Petek

    “One of our first tasks is to educate our Christian people in a new way of judging the matters of this world.

    Funny you should say that, Nick, but I’ve been getting on with just this over the past couple of weeks.

  • Michael Turner

    I am perplexed over the Governments stated urgency in rushing through same sex marriage legislation.
    Why is it being rushed through ? Why has there been no wide public debate on the subject ? Why have the questions raised by the many in opposition not been answered ? When this folly was announced, why did the Government have prepared answers to questions that were not being asked.? why did the Government focus on their own statement that the church will not be forced to carry out gay marriage when this was not the issue ? There are many more unanswered questions too numerous to go into here.
    The Government state that the rational for this destructive proposal is based upon equality. This is utter nonsence, there are I suspect much deeper unstated reasons behind the proposal.
    Nothing has been said about the disastrous impact this will have on our relationships with many other countries. Our media has over a number of years been infiltrated with a disproportionate number of homosexuals which affords too much power. In anticipation of legislation one can already witness the virtual marketing of homosexuality as a desired state in our media. Young people with normal hormones are beginning to look at homosexuality as a lifestyle choice. I have spoken to dozens of friends and contacts on this matter and simply cannot accept that a majority are in favour of such a momentus change in our society.
    If the Government are foolish enough to push this legislation through in a very suspect manner without proper public debate and explanation then I will be joining the many who will quite simply refuse to recognise it as legitimate. Whatever may be presumed from my comments I can assure that I am not homophobic I have no phobias that I am aware of. I am in total favour of legal partnership as adequate measure. Survival of the species via procreation is what marriage is about, not the sexual gratification of those amongst us who are unfortunate enough to be hormonally unbalanced.

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