Sunday, 10 February 2013

Christians won't be intimidated by Government on same-sex marriage, says Bishop Davies

Marriage belongs to humanity - not politicians, not the church, nor any religious group, Bishop Mark Davies, the bishop of Shrewsbury, told married couples yesterday.

The couples were gathered from all over the Diocese of Shrewsbury at the Church of Our Lady and the Apostles, Stockport, Cheshire, to celebrate landmark anniversaries at an annual Mass of Thanksgiving for Marriage.

In a homily just days after the House of Commons voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, the Rt Rev. Mark Davies repeated the teaching of the Church that the understanding of marriage as a lifelong, exclusive union between a man and a woman is written into human nature itself and cannot be changed by Parliaments.

And Bishop Davies challenged Christians regarding the government's claim that opponents of same-sex marriage are on the wrong side of history, saying ...
As Christians, we must never fear being on the wrong side of any moment of history but we do fear being on the wrong side of Eternity. And our society should surely fear placing its trust in passing ideologies.
The outspoken Bishop of Shrewsbury chided the government and gave a government minister a history lesson on Catholic witness in defence of human dignity and marriage over the centuries in the following words ...
Maria Miller, the present Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport tells us that those who oppose the government’s plans to change marriage are on the wrong side of history. The Gospel itself has been on the wrong side of history, perhaps more often than Mrs Miller realises. The Catholic Church has stood by the truth of marriage in every time and place. We have only to think of how the truth of marriage was threatened by polygamy or the treatment of wives as possessions of their husbands. And today the Church must defend marriage again, in the face of a false understanding of equality. As Christians we believe in a radical equality: recognising that every human person, without exception, is created in the image and likeness of God; is redeemed and loved by Christ, and called to eternal life. Our faith leads us to uphold the dignity of every human person, and condemn every form of injustice that undermines this God-given dignity
The witness of Christians to the truth of marriage will become ever more important if Britain continues to drift from its Christian foundations following the decision of Parliament to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, the Bishop of Shrewsbury said. Recognising the truth of marriage was not “an injustice to be remedied” and Bishop Davies predicted that soon it could even become an offence to repeat “the beautiful teaching of Christ” that marriage is the lasting union of one man and one woman which forms the foundation of the family.

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