Friday, 25 January 2013

Archbishop Peter Smith issues statement vigorously opposing same-sex marriage


Comment on behalf of the Bishops by Archbishop Peter Smith, Vice President of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales:

“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.”

Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

Urgent action is needed this weekend to oppose Government's same-sex marriage bill

The government's same-sex marriage bill has been published today. The critical Second Reading date has been announced: Tuesday 5 February. We must persuade MPs to vote against it.

Urgent action is therefore needed - not least, this weekend in churches throughout Britain.

a) Please write, phone or email your MP and ask him/her to oppose the bill on 5 February. It is also very important to ask your MP to oppose the “programme motion” (which seeks to limit debate on the bill). Ask your friends and relatives and pro-life contacts to do the same.

b) Support the Catholic Bishops’ “Speak Out for Marriage” postcard campaign

Archbishop Peter Smith has launched a campaign asking people to sign a postcard and send it to their MP. The postcard is headed: “Speak Out for Marriage”, and asks MPs to oppose the redefinition of marriage. Archbishop Smith has sent supplies of the cards to all parishes in England and Wales. (These should reach parishes by Saturday 26 January.)

Please help your local churches distribute the cards this weekend (26/27 January). They could help to influence MPs before the second reading on 5 February. However, next weekend will probably be too late to post the cards to MPs before 5 February, so next weekend, please ask people to telephone or email their MP on Monday 4 or on Tuesday 5 Feb (the votes will be at about 7pm). People can still send the postcards, but they are not likely to reach MPs before the votes.

SPUC wrote to priests (on 23 Jan) in support of the “Speak Out for Marriage” postcards. This is how we suggest the campaign should be organised:
  1. Hand cards to mass-goers as they arrive for Sunday mass.
  2. Priests celebrating mass speak about the importance of defending marriage and of the bishops’ postcard campaign in their homily or at another appropriate moment.
  3. The name of the local MP (or MPs) should be mentioned.
  4. Pens & stamps – providing pens for people to fill in the postcards before they leave church, and stamps they can purchase to post them will encourage people to act.
  5. If this is not possible, please strongly urge people to post the postcards to their MP immediately upon returning home.
  6. Further details about the postcard are available at: http://www.catholicchurch.org.uk/Home/Featured/Speak-Out-For-Marriage
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page

  1. Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Novena to Our Lady of Good Success is launched in defence of marriage

For my Catholic and Orthodox visitors, in particular here's an important message from Kevin Rowles:
"Dear Friends ... Regarding the Government’s proposal to introduce legislation for same-sex marriage. It seems that the threat grows. [See my post today reporting on the government's publication of the bill tomorrow]. The second reading of the government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill will be on February 5th. Prayer is needed. Don’t forget that the Feast of the Purification on Feb 2nd is also the Feast of Our Lady of Good Success (a devotion with full ecclesiastical approval) – please try to make the novena in preparation, from Thurs 24th Jan to 1st Feb and include the same-sex marriage threat intention in the novena, or make the novena specifically for that intention. Our Lady of Good Success promised particular graces and helps for those who invoke Her under this title, in these times. Regarding the threat to the Sacrament of Marriage in our times, Our Lady said:- “The sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with the Church, will be thoroughly attacked and profaned. Masonry, then reigning, will implement iniquitous laws aimed at extinguishing this sacrament.”
Novena to Our Lady of Good Success
Hail Mary, Most Holy, Beloved Daughter of God the Father,
through the intercession of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres,
grant Thy good success to this request (name your request)
~ Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be ~
St Michael, pray for us
Hail Mary, Most Holy, Admirable Mother of God the Son,
through the intercession of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres,
grant Thy good success to this request (name your request)
~ Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be ~
St Gabriel, pray for us
Hail Mary, Most Holy, Most Faithful Spouse of God the Holy Ghost,
through the intercession of Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres,
grant Thy good success to this request (name your request)
~ Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be ~
St Raphael, pray for us
Hail Mary, Most Holy Temple
and Sacrarium of the Most Holy Trinity,
St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael, pray for us
Our Lady of Good Success, Thou who art the all-powerful intercessor before the Most Holy Trinity, deign to hear and answer my request,
so long as it contributes to the salvation of my soul, and the glory and exaltation of our Holy Mother, the Church.
Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen)


Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

Abortion includes D&Cs and deliberate pre-viability inductions

The Irish pro-life movement is currently fighting an unprecedented threat to Ireland’s pro-life laws. In this very dangerous situation, it is important for pro-life commentators to avoid explicitly defending what is in fact abortion – even as a means of preventing much more widespread abortion. Thus deliberate pre-viability inductions, for example, should not defended, least of all by Catholics, as they are squarely contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church - see my blogs:
Some Irish pro-life commentators (see examples further below) have defended, not just legitimate treatments that target the woman’s own body (like a damaged womb or fallopian tube) but deliberate pre-viability removals and even D&Cs (dilation and currettage). These latter procedures specifically target the unborn baby with its own living tissues. Their comments are partly inspired by the Irish Medical Council's guidance (see section 21.4 of Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners)

There is a real danger that such statements will result in people in Ireland being misled into explicitly endorsing defective proposals regarding abortion. There is massive opposition to changing Ireland’s abortion law; however, some Irish pro-lifers have already indicated possible support for legislation, guidelines or clarification of the law. Instead, the Irish people need to keep on saying loud and clear to their elected representatives: leave our pro-life laws alone!

Here are some examples of the worrying statements I mention above:

Dr Eoghan de Faoite, representing Youth Defence in a hearing of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament), said:
"Irish obstetricians and other specialists will always intervene to save the life of a mother when she has a life-threatening complication of pregnancy. This practice of intervening, which includes premature delivery of the baby even when the baby has little of no chance of surviving, is permitted in Ireland today. It is permitted under Irish law and by the Medical Council's ethical guidelines and is within pro-life principles."
Greg Daly, an Irish Catholic blogger, wrote:
"As far as I can see, Galway University Hospital would have been fully within its legal rights to have induced a preterm delivery -- or foetal evacuation -- in an attempt to save both mother and child. Indeed, not merely would it have been within its rights to do so, doing so would have been normal medical practice.

This is exactly the sort of thing that Dr Berry Kiely talked about back on what was an uncommonly good Vincent Browne show back in the Spring -- you induce a preterm delivery, thus saving the mother, and you do everything you can to try to save the child. You almost certainly fail, but you try."
Catholic Comment, the Irish version of Catholic Voices (UK), issued a statement saying:
"[F]or the hospital to have induced labour with the intention of saving Savita would have been in accord both with Irish law, normal Irish medical practice, and with Catholic teaching."
And as I blogged in December Mary Kenny, outgoing Master of the Catholic Writers' Guild, wrote:
"In truth, we do not know whether a termination of her pregnancy would have saved Mrs Halappanavar’s life, but there certainly has been pressure – rightly – to clarify the situation legally so that should it arise again, doctors may perform an abortion."
David Quinn, director of the Iona Institute, wrote in November:
“When a woman is miscarrying, there are three normal courses of action. The usual one is to let nature take its course. If nature is not taking its course quickly enough and the life of the mother is being endangered as a result of blood loss and the possibility of infection, then there are two other possible courses of action. The first is to induce labour and the second is to perform a D & C which essentially evacuates the contents of the womb, including the foetus. Why isn’t either of these two courses of action tantamount to abortion? The reason is that the intention is not to kill the baby.”
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

MPs must reject government bill vandalising marriage

The government's Marriage (Same Sex Couples) bill will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday 5 February, at '2nd reading' (the first main debate on a bill). The bill was introduced ('tabled') today and the bill's text will be published in full tomorrow (25 Jan.)

Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, told the media today:
"Throughout history the core of marriage has always been a life-giving kind of union between man and woman even when no children may result. By replacing authentic marriage with a genderless relationship, the government is vandalising a timeless institution. It is like throwing away the treasures in the National Gallery and putting up copies instead. Same-sex relationships may have some of the outward appearance of a married relationship, but they lack the orientation to conceiving and bearing children which is at the heart of natural marriage.

Marriage as an institution protects children, both born and unborn. Statistics show that unborn children are much safer within marriage than outside marriage. Same-sex marriage represents an attempt to redefine marriage, thus undermining marriage. This undermining lessens the protection for unborn children which true marriage provides.

We call upon MPs not to be distracted by government claims that churches and conscientious objectors to same-sex marriage will be safeguarded under the bill. Both legal opinions and previous rulings suggest that such safeguards are likely to be ruled discriminatory by the courts. The bill is wrong in principle and must be stopped now."

We urge people to contact their MPs immediately to ask them to attend the 2nd reading debate and vote the bill down."
Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy

Monday, 21 January 2013

Another chance to watch SPUC's Anthony Ozimic debate same-sex marriage

Further to my blog on Saturday, readers in some regions wanted to see the video of Anthony Ozimic debating same-sex marriage but didn't have access to it, but they can now view it on SPUC's channel on YouTube or below.

Here is a selection of the comments which SPUC has received complimenting Anthony on his performance:
"Thank you for giving a voice to THOUSANDS of us whose voices are muted by the media minority"

"A very convincing defence of marriage"

"He did so well maintaining a calm and reasoned line of truth in the face of such shrieking, hysterical bigotry. Felt proud to be associated with SPUC"



Comments on this blog? Email them to johnsmeaton@spuc.org.uk
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy