Sunday 2nd September, 2012 www.thecatholicuniverse.com
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David Alton continues his personal exploration of our Celtic Christian heritage See page 15
On pilgrimage in Cornwall On pilgrimage in Cornwall Scotland joins rallying call to support family and marriage
Surely it’s time to end this divisive parades madness?
In a Pastoral Letter read out in all of their 500 parishes, the Bishops of Scotland have called on all Catholics to support the Church’s teachings. Here is the full text of their letter ...
To the Catholics of Scotland,
In all things, we as Catholics look to Jesus Christ as our model and teacher. When asked about marriage He gave a profound and rich reply: “Have you not read that the Creator, from the beginning, ‘made them male and female’, and said: ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one body’.” (Matthew, 19:4-5)
In the Year of Faith, which begins this October, we wish to place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage.
The family is the domestic Church, and the first place in which the faith is transmitted.
For that reason it must have a primary focus in our prayerful considerations during this period of grace. We write to you having already expressed our deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage. We take this opportunity to thank you for your past support in defence of marriage and hope you will continue to act against efforts to redefine it. We reaffirm before you all the common wisdom of humanity and the revealed faith of the Church that marriage is a unique life-long
TheThe Bishops of Scotland will continue to promote and uphold the universally accepted definition of marriage as the union solely of a man and a woman.
union of a man and a woman.
In circumstances when the true nature of marriage is being obscured, we wish to affirm and celebrate the truth and beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony and family life as Jesus revealed it; to do something new to support marriage and family life in the Catholic community and in the country; and to reinforce the vocation of marriage and the pastoral care of families which takes in the everyday life of the Church in dioceses and parishes across the country.
For that reason, in the forthcoming Year of Faith we have decided to establish a new Commission for Marriage and the Family.
This Commission will be led by a bishop and will be composed mostly of lay men and women.
The Commission will be charged with engaging with those young men and women who will be future husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and with those who already live out their vocation to marriage and parenthood in surroundings which often make it hard to sustain and develop the full Catholic family life we cherish. We wish to support, too, those who are widowed, separated and divorced and all who need to feel the Church’s maternal care in the circumstances in which they find themselves.
Continued on page 2
Syria – where Catholics still hold firm to their faith despite troubled and uncertain times Pages 16 and 17
After police officers in Northern Ireland were caught up in yet more violence last weekend, the head of the Police Federation has sent a blunt message to politicians to sort out the deadlock over contentious marches. Violence flared after Protestant bands defied restrictions put in place by the Parades Commission and playedTheSashoutside a Catholic church (above).
Terry Spence branded the current stalemate “ridiculous”.
“As things stand police officers are being put in a very difficult situation which could spiral out of control,” he warned.
Full story see page 6