Cardinal’s letter against gay marriage sent to parishes

A letter opposing plans to redefine marriage has been read out in all 500 of Scotland’s Roman Catholic parish churches.

The letter from Cardinal Keith O’Brien and other bishops criticised the Scottish Government’s plans for gay marriage.

It stressed the importance of marriage between one man and one woman, and it called on Roman Catholics to “act against efforts to redefine it”.


The pastoral letter, by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, also reiterated the Church’s “deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage”.

The Roman Catholic Church inaugurated ‘National Marriage Sunday’ on 26 August.

The letter also announced the creation of a National Commission for Marriage and the Family which will be tasked with promoting the “true nature of marriage”.


Cardinal Keith O’Brien, President of the Bishops’ Conference, said: “The Church’s teaching on marriage is unequivocal, it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that Governments, politicians or Parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality.”

He added: “While we pray that our elected leaders will sustain rather than subvert marriage, we promise to continue to do everything we can to convince them that redefining marriage would be wrong for society”.

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “We intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships because we believe it is the right thing to do.”


Tom French, of the Equality Network, accused the Church of trying to impose “an anti-gay agenda” on society.

Last week it emerged that the Cardinal had suspended meeting with the Scottish Government over gay marriage, because key issues are being “completely ignored”.

The Scottish Cabinet faced a protest by around 200 marriage supporters last Thursday because of its controversial plans to redefine the institution.