Archbishop Peter Smith warns same-sex marriage may force our schools to close or secularise

Speaking to a meeting of lay Catholic groups concerned about David Cameron’s same-sex legislation Archbishop Smith of Southwark warned that same-sex marriage may force Catholic schools to close or secularise in the same way we lost our adoption agencies:

Hilary White of LifeSiteNews reports:

At a meeting with concerned Catholic lay groups this week, Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark said he remains unconvinced that the government’s promises of a “quadruple lock” in the bill will stand up in court. He warned that Catholic schools might face a similar fate as the Catholic adoption agencies that were either closed or forced to secularise when the government enacted the Equality legislation requiring them to consider same-sex “couples” as adoptive parents.

Archbishop Peter Smith, Vice President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued the following comment today in response to the news that the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has been introduced in Parliament.

It is deeply regrettable but not unexpected that the Government has chosen to proceed with introducing a Bill to change the definition of marriage. Alongside many people of all faiths and none we will be vigorously opposing the Bill.

Marriage has an identity distinct from any other relationship, no matter how much love or commitment may be involved. Marriage is and always has been the union of one man and one woman, for love and mutual support, open to procreation. Marriage has, over the centuries, been the enduring public recognition of this commitment and it has rightly been recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection. It furthers the common good of society because it promotes a unique relationship which benefits children. The fundamental problem with the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is that it will radically alter the meaning of marriage for everyone and therefore undermine the common good. This is what is at stake. The Bill also raises very serious questions especially about religious freedom and freedom of expression, the effect on teaching in schools, and the work of chaplains and others with religious convictions involved in the delivery of public services.

There is no electoral mandate for this Bill and last year’s consultation process was shambolic. We welcome the promise of a free vote for MPs, and hope the Bill will be defeated. We will be producing a briefing on the Bill once we have studied it in detail with our legal advisers.

Protect the Pope comment: When are people going to wake up to the threat that David Cameron’s same-sex marriage poses to our way of life. Once the gay activists have achieved this next goal in their social engineering campaign do people seriously think they’ll stop there? In the same way they used the Equality Act to destroy or subvert our adoption agencies they’ll use Equal Marriage legislation to do the same thing to our schools. They will not tolerate our freedom to teach the truth about marriage to Catholic children in Catholic schools. Wake up Catholics if you want to keep your schools.

24 comments to Archbishop Peter Smith warns same-sex marriage may force our schools to close or secularise

  • Michael B Rooke

    People who have not already contacted  their MP should do so.

    The  Catholic Bishop’s Conference have a link to find the email address of your MP.

    • Michael Petek

      Sorry, folks! My MP is about as useful as Shane McGowan’s dentist.

      • ms Catholic state

        I agree. My labour MP would probably whoop with delight if Catholic schools shut down. Mind you….most Catholics in my area probably vote Labour anyhow….so I guess they have to tread VERY carefully on this issue.

        • ms Catholic state

          Also, our MPs can’t really do much…no matter what assurances they give. As I understand…it will be the Courts and (unelected) judges that will decide this matter.

          So much for democracy eh?! It is a covert dictatorship we live under. (The people be damned!)

    • Michael B Rooke

      I have a Labour MP and have written as below.

      I am writing to you as my Member of Parliament concerning the proposed legislation on the forthcoming vote on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

      I urge you to vote against this Bill for the following reasons.

      Changing the meaning of marriage will have a considerable effect on the whole Nation.

      Such a move would break the the fundamental connection between marriage and child-bearing and disregard the importance of male and female complementarity in reproduction.

      It would reduce the meaning of marriage solely to the commitment of the two people involved and in doing so have a major and profound impact on freedoms both religious and secular.

      Any changes will have numerous unintended consequences

      In schools, for example would a teacher should be sacked for refusing to endorse gay marriage in the classroom ?.
      Would parents who disagree with redefining marriage be banned from withdrawing children from school lessons which endorse gay marriage?.
      Would they be prosecuted if they did so?.

      In the workplace would NHS/university/armed forces chaplains lose their job for supporting traditional marriage ?.

      In the case of fostering would couples be banned from fostering children if they disagree with gay marriage?. Already gay adoption discriminates against the human rights of children to have a male and female role model. Would such a Bill result in only gay adoptions being legal ?

      The European Court recently ruled that public sector workers can be forced to act against their beliefs of conscience about marriage. Any change in the Law would have the effect of unleashing a new “reformation” in which a small number of secular activists would use the Law to persecute religious belief. The strife from the Reformation lasted hundreds of years and its echoes have still not yet fully subsided.

      It might also be asked as to how are the rights going to be protected of ordinary people who are not church members and yet believe in traditional marriage.?

      Will this new intolerance permeate to village halls that are Council run and will Churches be excluded from them if they refuse to conduct gay weddings?.

      The British public, as a whole, did not seek this change. None of the mainstream political parties promised it in their last election manifestos. Nor when the government launched its consultation did it ask whether the law should be changed; instead it asked how the law should be changed.

      In publishing this Bill the Government has ignored the views of over 626,000 people who unlike the Government’s consultation had to have a valid UK Post Code signed a petition opposing the change and the submissions of many others to the consultation. In its response to the consultation, the Government even chose to ignore many of the findings therein.

      There is no mandate for this change and the Government appears to be rushing the Bill through Parliament against the strongly held views of the public, and without pausing to properly think about the consequences of such a change.

      This is a major constitutional change and the British public should and must be consulted.

      I will email you to request a meeting with your good-self to discuss your response to the Government Bill.

      With all good wishes

      Yours sincerely

      I have not as yet had a response to my letter or email requesting a meeting.

  • Rifleman 819

    I think that this possibility is a very real one.The gay lobby will not dare confront Muslim schools over equality ….Anglican structures are in their terminal death throes….so that leaves just us.

  • aindelal

    Yes Indeed: Wake up Catholic England.

  • aindelal

    And Scotland And Wales too, of course

  • Haslam

    I don’t see much of an issue here to be honest. Simply teach the facts about marriage as understood by the church and the facts about marriage as understood by the state. The two things have been different for a very long time. Presumably schools currently teach that second marriages are not recognised by the church but may be by the state.

  • planechant2

    Sorry, you cannot have given this matter any real thought. Major issues include the obligation on schools to teach homosexuality; the issues of conscience facing Catholic and others who refuse to condone/comply in their work with so-called equality laws relating to homosexuality;the overall ‘grotesqueness’ (Cardinal O’Brien was spot on in using this word)and perversity of the concept of same-sex marriage; the agenda of the State to ‘control’and minimise the authority of the Catholic Church by denigrating the value of traditional marriage and the family, so important for the faith. Consider what has happened to the Catholic Adoption agencies as a result of unequal ‘equality laws’- there are virtually none left. The same thing could happen to Catholic schools – see Arch Peter Smith’s recent warning. Yet you are saying that there is not much of an issue here! Wakee,wakee..!!

    • Haslam

      If the law changes and gay civil marriages are allowed, then Catholic Schools SHOULD acknowledge that reality. You don’t need to approve of gay marriage to factually teach that it exists. You don’t need to condone gay marriage to explain the arguments for and against. In fact you can’t explain the Church’s objections to gay marriage without teaching about what it actually is and the legal framework which enables it.

      The idea that we should shelter children from realities in the world in which they will have to live as adults is foolish.

      • Spesalvi23

        Laws in Nazi Germany were twisted and evil. But, they were the law. Created and enforced by an elected government.
        Children were brainwashed, citizens intimidated and persecuted and killed for not going with the law, or speaking up against it.

        At some point, the legitimation of man made law ends.
        If a regime installs laws which are immoral, evil or driven by ideology, we have the OBLIGATION to oppose.
        It’s too late afterwards to go… ‘why did we let this happen?’
        No more acting like a tired herd of cows.

        • John Dare

          Are you even very remotely comparing the Uk with Nazi Germany Spes?

        • Haslam

          But surely teaching about Nazism would be neccesary in order to oppose it?

          • Spesalvi23

            Oh please.. I won’t regard that as a serious question.
            The point was very clear.

            Haslam: yes!! Absolutely!! But any teaching about it was illegal! That’s part of the point!
            Nazism was the law!

            That’s why we have to apply the lessons we’ve learned!
            Bogus laws which are restrictive and aim to bully people into silence, can’t be accepted without opposition.

      • Chris

        For somebody who has no experience of Catholic schools you have very strong views about what it should do.

  • Michael Petek

    No, but the Queen has.

  • ms Catholic state

    There’s no doubt about it….there is tremendous hostility towards Catholic schools….but only among a certain atheistic/Elite band of people. After that….most people are happy to have them, even if grudgingly.

  • Gurn

    If I was a militant secular humanist I would want to keep Catholic schools open, most of them in this country are a strong case for non belief for the pupils that attend them.

  • Kate

    I’m with Haslam on this. Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and explain the difference to the children/catechumens/congregations. We should not seek to impose a theocracy on people any more than we should accept tyranny ourselves. Personally I found the adoption agencies issue far more offensive than what’s going on now. And, having attended both kinds of school I think there are pros and cons to both – sectarianism isn’t all that much nicer than secularism.

    • Karla

      No, Christians have a duty to defend their faith in the public square and to speak out against intrinsic evils and wrongs such as gay ‘marriage.’

      Gay ‘marriage’ is not only 2 people of the same gender getting married, it has consequences for religious freedom as has been seen by the many lawsuits in countries were it has been legalised, for cake makers, photographers etc who decline to participate in a gay ‘wedding.’ It has consequences for education and teachers religious freedom. It has consequences for the Church. And it undermines the true meaning and purpose of marriage

  • Chris Hobbs

    What an excellent opportunity to get rid of superstition-based schools. Had we known that it was this easy, I think we would have done it yars ago.

  • Bob

    Same sex marriage is available in many many countries and states in the USA. So it should be very easy for you to show evidence of schools being affected by SSM. Or is this the usual scaremongering by the religious? Certainly looks like it.

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