Pro gay marriage Prof Tina Beattie will deliver lecture for Archdiocese of Westminster in ten days time

Prof. Tina Beattie argued for Catholics supporting gay marriage in The Guardian newspaper on the day the House of Commons voted for David Cameron’s same-sex marriage legislation. Prof Beattie will deliver a lecture in 10 days time for the Archdiocese of Westminster as a contribution to its Year of Faith lecture series.

28 comments to Pro gay marriage Prof Tina Beattie will deliver lecture for Archdiocese of Westminster in ten days time

  • Karla

    Aghhhh. And after what happened in the Commons yesterday, is this some kind of horrible joke!!

    • Catholic Blogger



      1. In recent years, various questions relating to homosexuality have been addressed with some frequency by Pope John Paul II and by the relevant Dicasteries of the Holy See.(1) Homosexuality is a troubling moral and social phenomenon, even in those countries where it does not present significant legal issues. It gives rise to greater concern in those countries that have granted or intend to grant – legal recognition to homosexual unions, which may include the possibility of adopting children. The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element. The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience.(2) Since this question relates to the natural moral law, the arguments that follow are addressed not only to those who believe in Christ, but to all persons committed to promoting and defending the common good of society.


      2. The Church’s teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose.(3) No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.

      3. The natural truth about marriage was confirmed by the Revelation contained in the biblical accounts of creation, an expression also of the original human wisdom, in which the voice of nature itself is heard. There are three fundamental elements of the Creator’s plan for marriage, as narrated in the Book of Genesis.

      In the first place, man, the image of God, was created “male and female” (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female. Sexuality is something that pertains to the physical-biological realm and has also been raised to a new level – the personal level – where nature and spirit are united.

      Marriage is instituted by the Creator as a form of life in which a communion of persons is realized involving the use of the sexual faculty. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24).

      Third, God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the woman with the words “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Therefore, in the Creator’s plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage.

      Furthermore, the marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:32). This Christian meaning of marriage, far from diminishing the profoundly human value of the marital union between man and woman, confirms and strengthens it (cf. Mt 19:3-12; Mk 10:6-9).

      4. There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts “close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”.(4)

      Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity… (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition.

      Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided”.(7) They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity.(8) The homosexual inclination is however “objectively disordered”(9) and homosexual practices are “sins gravely contrary to chastity”.(10)


      5. Faced with the fact of homosexual unions, civil authorities adopt different positions. At times they simply tolerate the phenomenon; at other times they advocate legal recognition of such unions, under the pretext of avoiding, with regard to certain rights, discrimination against persons who live with someone of the same sex. In other cases, they favour giving homosexual unions legal equivalence to marriage properly so-called, along with the legal possibility of adopting children.

      Where the government’s policy is de facto tolerance and there is no explicit legal recognition of homosexual unions, it is necessary to distinguish carefully the various aspects of the problem. Moral conscience requires that, in every occasion, Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. Therefore, discreet and prudent actions can be effective; these might involve: unmasking the way in which such tolerance might be exploited or used in the service of ideology; stating clearly the immoral nature of these unions; reminding the government of the need to contain the phenomenon within certain limits so as to safeguard public morality and, above all, to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that would deprive them of their necessary defences and contribute to the spread of the phenomenon. Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization of evil is something far different from the toleration of evil.

      In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.


      6. To understand why it is necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions, ethical considerations of different orders need to be taken into consideration.

      From the order of right reason

      The scope of the civil law is certainly more limited than that of the moral law,(11) but civil law cannot contradict right reason without losing its binding force on conscience.(12) Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person.(13) Laws in favour of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.

      It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behaviour, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behaviour as a private phenomenon and the same behaviour as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour”.(14) Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage.

      From the biological and anthropological order

      7. Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involv- ing a grave lack of respect for human dignity,(15) does nothing to alter this inadequacy.

      Homosexual unions are also totally lacking in the conjugal dimension, which represents the human and ordered form of sexuality. Sexual relations are human when and insofar as they express and promote the mutual assistance of the sexes in marriage and are open to the transmission of new life.

      As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood. Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized also in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case.

      From the social order

      8. Society owes its continued survival to the family, founded on marriage. The inevitable consequence of legal recognition of homosexual unions would be the redefinition of marriage, which would become, in its legal status, an institution devoid of essential reference to factors linked to heterosexuality; for example, procreation and raising children. If, from the legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good. By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts arbitrarily and in contradiction with its duties.

      The principles of respect and non-discrimination cannot be invoked to support legal recognition of homosexual unions. Differentiating between persons or refusing social recognition or benefits is unacceptable only when it is contrary to justice.(16) The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.

      Nor can the principle of the proper autonomy of the individual be reasonably invoked. It is one thing to maintain that individual citizens may freely engage in those activities that interest them and that this falls within the common civil right to freedom; it is something quite different to hold that activities which do not represent a significant or positive contribution to the development of the human person in society can receive specific and categorical legal recognition by the State. Not even in a remote analogous sense do homosexual unions fulfil the purpose for which marriage and family deserve specific categorical recognition. On the contrary, there are good reasons for holding that such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.

      From the legal order

      9. Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition. Homosexual unions, on the other hand, do not need specific attention from the legal standpoint since they do not exercise this function for the common good.

      Nor is the argument valid according to which legal recognition of homosexual unions is necessary to avoid situations in which cohabiting homosexual persons, simply because they live together, might be deprived of real recognition of their rights as persons and citizens. In reality, they can always make use of the provisions of law – like all citizens from the standpoint of their private autonomy – to protect their rights in matters of common interest. It would be gravely unjust to sacrifice the common good and just laws on the family in order to protect personal goods that can and must be guaranteed in ways that do not harm the body of society.(17)


      10. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.

      When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.

      When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided.(18) This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.


      11. The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

      The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, in the Audience of March 28, 2003, approved the present Considerations, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered their publication.

      Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003, Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and his Companions, Martyrs.

  • Presumably this means that Archbishop Nicols is complicit in dissent? It certainly means that beyond any shadow of a doubt Beattie has got the Nicol’s stamp of approval.

    I knew the pointless triumphalism would come to an end after he moved the Soho masses on. It did not take him long to get up to his old tricks.

    Speaking as a relatively young(ish) Catholic I expect strong leadership from Archbishop Nicols.

    Don’t bother complaining anymore to the Archdiocese – do what I did and contact the Nuncio directly (who is well aware of all that is going on).

    Request that a faithful orthodox Roman Catholic candidate is put forward to be our Cardinal and that you have had enough of all this non-sense.

  • Daniel

    Has the Archbishop of Westminster been asked to intervene? If he has been asked and has refused to, I trust this will be brought to the attention of the Nuncio and Rome. How can the Catholic Church have any credibility in the public square if dissenters like Ms Beattie are not called to book?

  • Rifleman819


    Prof.Tina Beattie will deliver Year of Faith Lecture in ADW……..Papal Nuncio warmly congratulates ++ Vincent Nichols on his appointment as Archbishop of Labrador and permanent Episcopal Evangelist to the Inuit.

    Vatican tailors Gammarelli rumoured to be converting potential red hat to a more suitable furred -mitre version in keeping with the new job.

  • Mike2

    Ms Beattie lecturing on sacramentality! Ms Beattie lecturing on anything with the approval of the ADW would be scandalous but allowing her to lecture on ‘sacramentality’ is just mindboggling given what she recently declared about the Mass.

  • While a prophet may not be favoured in their own country the reverse would seem to apply to heretics!

  • Joseph Matthew

    And what about those “Catholic” politicians who promoted gay marriage : John Gummer, Ian Duncan Smith, Daniel Kawczynski etc ? Surely they should receive the Tina Beattie treatment ?

  • Mersey Mercy

    “Vatican tailors Gammarelli rumoured to be converting potential red hat to a more suitable furred -mitre version in keeping with the new job”

    With poor ++ Patrick Kelly’s health problems, I’m sure he can be persauded to lend his ‘mersey friend’ a Christmas mitre which is made from red and white fur with baubles hanging down at the back for lapets. Rumour has it that he carried it round in a plastic bag and put it on when he wasn’t going to be photographed. Which would account for the fact that we only ever saw it at Christmas Midnight Masses from the Met when they werent televised. But it does exist. I’m sure the Inuit would love it!

    Anyway it won’t be long before La Beattie is invited to speak in Liverpool – I know many Liverpool Archdiocesan priests who would welcome her and her views with open arms.

    • Rifleman819

      Dear Mersey Mercy,

      Only one solution ……..dig Rowan Williams out of retirement and get him to wow them all with a deeply thoughtful theological piece on “Brazilian Rain forests as a post-Kirdegaardian metaphor”….followed by canapes and Fairtrade wine from Zululand.

      Might give our Tina food for thought-and a bit of competition!

      • Mersey Mercy


        Very droll!

        Or perhaps we could ask Fr Kevin Kelly to give the inaugural ‘Canon Jimmy Collins Lecture’ and make it an annual event – I’m sure that would attract tens of people!

  • Peter

    The Nuncio has very little ecclesiastical authority over the bishop or the bishops conference. Peter

    • Rifleman819

      Peter , But the man currently wearing Peter’s Ring actually does have the authority.

      ++Vin: Tu es Petrus?

      +++++BXVI: In officio, ita vero

      ++ Vin: Supplico pro galero rubro

      +++++BXVI: In bicyculo tuo! Ite ad Terram pinguinorum.Et tecum cape pallium!

  • Christopher

    If anyone is interested one can write to:

    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.(

    Issue a complaint.

    God Bless.

  • Rifleman819

    Again , slightly off -topic but in a similar vein with the final ceremonies of Richard 111,… with the new ABC Justin Welby….trailed as the “105″th Archbishop of Canterbury ….and the same soi-innocent sweep of the Anglican hand…when we know he is only the 35th CoE prelate of that title, the last Catholic in communion with Rome being Reginald Pole who died on 19th Nov 1558.

    Our Church by Law Established can sometimes be a little lacking in the “actualite” from time to time, can’t it?

  • comte de Frebonius

    Bishop Davis must be due a diocesan shift soon; what about Westminister?

  • Rifleman819


    “Ecce Homo” -behold the man!

    After ++ Vin has finished doing his 14th penguin census and contemplates the varied shades of snow in northern Labrador…he might reflect on the different leadership styles on offer at Westminster and Shrewsbury that have brought him to his new world..
    But Tina will come and visit him like a latter- day Heloise on snow shoes.
    Deep joy!

  • Michael B Rooke

    Frequently those who advocate  gay ‘marriage’ validate the proposition by saying the individuals love each other.

    As so expressed  love  is used as verb. The verb does not validate the object. 
    For example 
    1 Tim 6:10
    For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.

     Mt 6:5
    “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

    Micah 3:3
    you who hate what is good, and love evil?..

    Ps 52:5
    You love evil rather than good…

  • Nicolas Bellord

    Notable that Tina Beattie is lecturing under the title of “Lumen Gentium”. I wonder whether she has read it or perhaps she is going to tell us that Vatican II got it all wrong when it said things like:

    In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking. (para 25)

    Dear me, submission to the Roman Pontiff even when not speaking ex cathedra! Doesn’t sound like the spirit of VII to me.

  • Deacon Nick,

    I have just contacted various offices at Westminster. Apparently Archbishop Nicol’s is convalescing from surgery for the next 2 months. Bishop Hopes is away until the 14th. Only Bishops Arnold and Sherrington are available. However, I was told that they have taken over the archbishop’s remit. These two bishops are effectively the ones which can say either yes or no to the Tina Beattie lecture.

    Rather than concentrate on Abp Nicols maybe the two bishops names could be mentioned so that those who still want to complain can go direct to them.

    Bishop John Arnold
    020 7798 9151

    Bishop John Sherrington
    020 7798 9075

    Vicar General (Monsignor Seamus O’Boyle)
    020 7798 9151

  • Robin Leslie

    Well Vincent Nichols has some real problems. What is he going to do about Ian Duncan-Smith’s
    vote for ‘gay marriage’. Given Cardinal Burke’s clear statement he will have to issue an unambiguous prohibition on the reception of the sacrament by this politician! If he doesn’t
    it is going to look very shabby indeed.

  • I went on to the St John Vianney parish website and had a look at the newsletter for last Sunday. Therein it is written: “I draw your attention to the article by Tina Beattie which is available. It gives the essence of what she will be saying on Saturday 16th February, here in the parish. Her talk is on chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium: The Vatican II document on the Church, i.e. the place of Mary, the Mother of God in the plan of salvation. You may be aware that there is considerable controversy about having such a speaker, but if others have difficulty, really it’s not my problem!!” Signed by one “Fr Joe”, presumably the Fr Joseph Ryan who elsewhere on the website describes himself NOT as Parish Priest but as “Fr Joseph Ryan, Co-ordinator”.

    Perhaps it might be a good thing, especially for his parishioners, if we make all this HIS problem. He may be contacted at: And note that email address: NO indication that it is a Catholic parish, rather the name of the street in which is to be found the presbytery, don’t know about the church.

  • Rebecca

    Good on Ora Pro Nobis for suggesting some good positive ‘manly’ action regarding this matter. I spoke to a person at the Papal Nuncio’s Office regarding this matter and he said if we go through the proper procedures regarding this matter i.e. contacting the Bishops of Westminster firstly, then we should write a letter to Rome, not email, since they will tend to ignore it, since they receive so many of them.

    H.E. Msgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    Piazza XII, 10
    00193 Vatican City, Italy, Europe

    Let’s step up to the plate.

  • Lola


    Father Joseph Ryan is listed as Parish Priest by RCDOW here:

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>