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Sunday February 26, 2012

Reaching out to the nine million Catholics in the UK and Ireland every week £1.30 €1.75

Delivering a TV winner Page 28

Cameron set to face mass petition on marriage

Scottish duo turn on the kitchen skills

By Martha Linden

David Cameron is to face a mass petition opposing plans to launch a “hostile strike” on the traditional view of marriage, campaigners have pledged.

Christian groups backed by the Catholic Church and former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, have sent out 175,000 emails this week inviting people to sign a petition opposing the introduction of same-sex marriage.

The group Coalition for Marriage (C4M) has said the Government has no democratic mandate to introduce the legislation and has betrayed a promise made by the last Labour administration to maintain a distinction between civil partnerships and marriage.

Lord Brennan QC, president of the Catholic Union, said: “This is a matter of national significance. Many, many times in our public lives, Lord Carey and I have heard the phrase ‘let the people speak’, this is a classic

175,000 are asked to voice their concerns to Government over plans occasion for letting the people speak.

“We cannot afford to allow social engineering to take place producing the Orwellian results of ‘parent one and parent two’ instead of mother and father.

“Such changes are for the people to decide on.”

Lord Carey described plans to introduce same-sex marriage as a “hostile strike” and an act of “cultural and theological vandalism" against an institution dating back thousands of years.

“The avowed intention to widen the scope of marriage as we see before us is a hostile strike, which rather than strengthening marriage, will destroy its meaning and diminish its importance drastically,” he told a news conference in central London.

“The legal and theological definition of marriage is that of a man and a woman in a lifelong relationship.

“The Government has many difficult duties to perform on behalf of the nation it is elected to serve.

“But it is not in its gift to alter such a fundamental relationship.”

He added: “This matter is so serious and important for our nation, we cannot allow this act of cultural and theological vandalism to happen.”

The campaign is opposed to Government plans to legislate for same-sex marriages by 2015.

A public consultation on how to make civil marriage available to same-sex couples is to be launched next month.

The launch of the campaign was supported by Fiona Bruce, MP for Congleton and David Burrowes, MP for Enfield, Southgate.

Continued on page 3

Exploring the New Evangelisation - our major eight week series starts today Pages 17 to 20

Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O’Brien showed he was a dab hand in the kitchen on Shrove Tuesday, as he flipped pancakes with singer Susan Boyle and catering students at St Augustine's High School in Edinburgh. The culinary pair were raising awareness of SCIAF’s Wee Box, Big Change fundraising campaign, which is calling on people to give up their favourite treat during Lent and put the money they save in a SCIAF Wee Box to help tackle poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“It's going to be really tough giving up chocolate for Lent again, so it was great to tuck into a small feast with the young people,” said Susan.

“It’s been great fun and I know every penny raised will help people in need.”

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