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English bishops urge House of Commons not to approve same-sex marriage

Catholic World News - May 17, 2013

Archbishops Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Peter Smith of Southwark are urging members of the House of Commons not to alter the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples.

“We urge members of the House of Commons to think again about the long term consequences of the Marriage (same sex couples) Bill in deciding how to vote at the report stage and third reading debates next week (20-21 May),” they said.

In a 400-175 initial vote, the House of Commons approved same-sex marriage in February. “Many people within and beyond the faith communities deeply believe that the state should not seek to change the fundamental meaning of marriage,” the prelates continued. “This proposed change in the law is far more profound than first appears. Marriage will become an institution in which openness to children, and with it the responsibility on fathers and mothers to remain together to care for children born into their family, is no longer central to society’s understanding of marriage. It is not too late for Parliament to think again and we urge MPs to do so.” “Furthermore, the Bill as currently drafted poses grave risks to freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” they added. “If the Bill is to proceed through Parliament we urge members to ensure it is amended so that these fundamental freedoms we all cherish are clearly and demonstrably safeguarded.”

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - May. 23, 2013 7:15 PM ET USA

    They seem to be giving into the same “addiction” that afflicts American bishops. Would they advise the “House of Commons” on what “they” “should” or “should not” do? Of course! But will they discipline high-ranking Catholic Englishman and politicians who publicly promote homosexuality yet continue to “practice” their faith as though their behavior did not matter? High doubtful.

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