Huffpost Religion

Catholic Church In Scotland Campaigns To Stop Gay Marriage

Posted: Updated:
Cardinal Keith O'Brien (L) and Reverend Monsignor Stephen Robson pose for pictures following a conference at Gillis Centre on May 8, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Pope Benedict XVI has today appointed the Very Reverend Monsignor Stephen Robson as the new Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. The new Bishop will assist Cardinal Keith O'Brien in the administration of the diocese. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Cardinal Keith O'Brien (L) and Reverend Monsignor Stephen Robson pose for pictures following a conference at Gillis Centre on May 8, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Pope Benedict XVI has today appointed the Very Reverend Monsignor Stephen Robson as the new Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. The new Bishop will assist Cardinal Keith O'Brien in the administration of the diocese. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(RNS) The Roman Catholic Church has sent a letter to its parishes across Scotland protesting a political race to legalize same-sex marriage.

The letter was read Sunday (Aug. 26) by priests in 500 Catholic parishes urging Scotland's political leaders to "sustain rather than subvert marriage" and to reaffirm that "marriage is a unique, lifelong union between a man and a woman."

Scotland is caught up in a debate over whether it should become the first segment of Britain to legalize gay marriage, ahead of England and Wales.

After the letter was read out in churches Sunday, the Scottish government insisted that it intends to legalize same-sex marriages and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships because "it is the right thing to do."

The issue is still in the consultation stage in England and Wales.

The letter from the Scottish Catholic leadership was part of its latest drive to keep marriage in the province on a traditional path. It called on congregations "to pray for our elected leaders ... that they may be moved to safeguard marriage as it has always been understood, for the good of Scotland and of our society."

Last week, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who heads the Catholic Church in Scotland, described same-sex marriage as a "grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right."

At the same time, O'Brien broke off talks over the issue with First Minister Alex Salmond, Scotland's political chief.

The Scottish government on Sunday staunchly defended its intention to make gay marriages legal. But it did add that "we are equally committed to protecting religious freedom and freedom of expression," while "ensuring that religious celebrants opposed to same-sex marriage do not have to solemnize same-sex marriage."

Around the Web

Catholic church in Scotland steps up campaign against gay marriage

Same-sex marriage: Scotland urged to resist Catholic church ...

BBC News - Scottish Catholic priests' letter condemns gay marriage

Scotland's Catholic priests blast gay marriage plan - Yahoo! News

Gay marriage in Scotland: Priests attack gay marriage in strongly ...

The real battleground between the snp and the Catholic Church ...

Scotland's Catholic Church steps up campaign in 'war' against gay ...

Catholic Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Catholic Online

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Mass Times > Home

Frequently Asked Questions about the Catholic Church

Home - The Catholic Church for England and Wales

U.S. Catholic Parishes Online Directory and Mass Times