RC bishop: ‘marriage older than the state’

The family and marriage “existed before the state”, a Roman Catholic bishop has said as he criticised Scottish Government moves to consider redefining marriage.

Motherwell Bishop Joseph Devine warned that governments cannot “rewrite human nature”.

His comments chime with RC Bishop Thomas McMahon who warned that redefining marriage would change how the institution has been understood and valued “for centuries in our society”.


Bishop Devine said the view of the RC church is “clear” on marriage and he warned that the state was ‘mobilising’ to “enforce a new more aggressive position in support of same-sex marriage”.

The bishop commented: “No government can rewrite human nature; the family and marriage existed before the state.

“Marriage is a unique relationship ordained by God to form a sacred union between a man and a woman to love and cherish each other and to nurture the human race through the procreation of children.”


He said: “The institution of marriage should not be corrupted by the transient fashions of society or by malevolent forces seeking to undermine the place of religious faith in society”.

The bishop also cautioned about homosexual lobby groups, highlighting a previous campaign of theirs: “The small but vociferous secular gay lobby, aided and abetted by powerful political forces, successfully and selfishly destroyed Catholic adoption agencies that placed thousands of abandoned children in loving family homes.”

Bishop McMahon, who has been Bishop of Brentwood since 1980, praised traditional marriage for providing the most stable environment for children.


Bishop McMahon commented that successive governments have “rather shied away from proper discussion about the structure and importance of family”.

And he said that “the stability of our society depends directly on the stability of family life”.

Earlier this month The Free Church of Scotland added its voice to the concern by warning marriage would be “undermined if the government effectively changes its meaning to include same-sex couples”.


In September the Scottish Government released a consultation on whether to change the definition of marriage for the sake of homosexual marriage.

The Government said its initial view is that it supports redefining marriage for homosexuals but that all views will be listened to.

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