Religious freedom was described by Pope Benedict XVI in January 2011 as the "the first of human rights" because it from it our other rights and freedoms flow. It guarantees rights for believers and non-believers alike. It is a freedom which flows from our innate dignity as God-created beings. Along with the right to life, religious freedom is the basic condition for all human rights; they are the condition for "the moral legitimacy of every social and legal norm".
Catholic Voices today formally submitted to the Government's 'Consultation on equal civil marriage'. Using arguments both from its own briefing paper, 'In Defence of Conjugality', and from the submissions of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales published yesterday, it told the Government (in the 200 maximum words allowed) why it was opposed to redefining marriage.
In detailed submissions to the Home Office, the Catholic Church and the Church of England have today detailed their objections to the Government's plan to introduce same-sex marriage, warning that it will "dilute" and "diminish" the significance of marriage to future generations, and endanger the welfare of children.
Last night's debate on same-sex marriage at the Emmanuel Centre, Westminster, co-hosted by Catholic Voices and the British Humanist Association, was vigorous but civil. Three speakers on each side spoke for or against the motion, 'This House would legalise same-sex marriage in England and Wales', which was chaired by the broadcaster, Roger Bolton.
Last month, Monitor reported on a judgement by the European human-rights court in Strasbourg that there was no human right to same-sex marriage and therefore no obligation on EU states to introduce it.
Pink News, the online ‘gay news service’, has again challenged the neutrality of a poll with unwelcome findings for the same-sex marriage lobby. This time, it was a cross-party poll of MPs carried out for the Coalition for Marriage by the award-winning polling company ComRes. The poll found that only 56 per cent of MPs believe that the Government’s proposals to redefine marriage are likely to succeed, with only 49 per cent of Government MPs believing that the proposal will become law.
I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men [and women] who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity - I wish...to enlarge [their] knowledge, to cultivate [their] reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth to truth, to learn to view things as they are, to understand how faith and reason stand to each other, what are the bases and principles of Catholicism...
Blessed John Henry Newman
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