More than 1,000 UK priests, bishops, abbots and other Catholic clergy signed a letter sent to the Daily Telegraph, warning that if Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to introduce same-sex marriage is approved, faithful Catholics could find themselves subject to the kind of persecution they faced after the Protestant Reformation.
The letter—apparently a grassroots effort and not an edict from the Vatican—also calls assurances that religious freedoms will be protected as “meaningless.”
“After centuries of persecution, Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country. Legislation for same sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.
It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time.”
Pre-marital sex is a sin in Catholicism—should it be outlawed in Britain, too? How about divorce, birth control or any number of things that are sinful but perfectly legal. Let’s revise the entire legal code to get it in line with religious teachings, shall we?
There is indeed a history of anti-Catholic discrimination in the British Isles: Until 1829, Catholics were banned from certain professions and in some cases even from congregating for worship. Ironically, the letter compares Cameron to Henry VIII, who broke from the Catholic Church in the 16th century in order to divorce Katherine of Aragon.
“That launched three centuries of great upheaval in English society, and from the Catholic point of view life was very difficult,” says Rev Dr Andrew Pinsent. “We fear that what is happening now is that a network of laws are being put in place which would violate our freedom of conscience.”
Gee, we though that marriage was a millennia-old institution that gays are only now trying to change. Thanks for debunking your own argument, fellas.