Gay Marriage Could Signal Return to ‘Centuries of Persecution’ Say 1,000 Priests

I published a copy of a letter that was signed by over 1,000 priests and published in the Daily Telegraph in the UK.

Here is a follow up story about the same letter in the The Telegraph.

It reads in part:

Gay marriage could signal return to ‘centuries of persecution’, – say 1,000 Catholic priests

More than 1,000 priests have signed a letter voicing alarm that same-sex marriage could threaten religious freedom in a way last seen during “centuries of persecution” of Roman Catholics in England.

Gay weddings not the answer, Cameron told

The Coalition is due to publish its Equal Marriage Bill, allowing couples of the same sex to wed at the end of this month Photo: ALAMY

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor

9:50PM GMT 11 Jan 2013

In one of the biggest joint letters of its type ever written, they raise fears that their freedom to practise and speak about their faith will be “severely” limited and dismiss Government reassurances as “meaningless”.

They even liken David Cameron’s moves to redefine marriage to those of Henry VIII, whose efforts to secure a divorce from Katherine of Aragon triggered centuries of bloody upheaval between church and state.

They claim that, taken in combination with equalities laws and other legal restraints, the Coalition’s plans will prevent Catholics and other Christians who work in schools, charities and other public bodies speaking freely about their beliefs on the meaning of marriage.

Even the freedom to speak from the pulpit could be under threat, they claim.

And they fear that Christians who believe in the traditional meaning of marriage would effectively be excluded from some jobs – just as Catholics were barred from many professions from the Reformation until the 19th Century.

  • Bill S

    “They even liken David Cameron’s moves to redefine marriage to those of Henry VIII, whose efforts to secure a divorce from Katherine of Aragon triggered centuries of bloody upheaval between church and state.”

    Really????

  • FW Ken

    triggered centuries of bloody upheaval between church and state.

    Really, that isn’t accurate. Henry 8 was preceded by Henry 2 and that business with St. Thomas Becket. Even if you are speaking of the 16th century reformation era specifically, that didn’t begin in England, nor was it particularly bloody in England.

    What Henry 8 did trigger was 300 years in which being a Catholic was illegal in England, punishable by death. Since Henry, Parliament passes doctrine and church law, more recently in conjunction was the church synod. Right now, the Church of England internally rejected opening the episcopate to women, and Parliament, which had already passed the measure, is threatening an intervention.

  • Korou

    Are the priests planning on doing worse things that Fred Phelps? Because Fred Phelps is a free man and in absolutely no danger of arrest.

    • Tom

      Korou: Phelps is American, and free speech rights are more absolute here.

  • FW Ken

    I just noticed that the line about triggering centuries of body conflict is not in the letter. It’s just bad journalism.

  • Korou

    True, this is UK, not USA, but it’s the same principle.


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