Five million Catholics urged to oppose the redefinition of marriage

Mar 6, 2012

A letter will be read out at every Catholic parish church this weekend urging England’s five million Roman Catholics to resist the government’s plans to redefine marriage. The Daily Telegraph has seen a copy of the letter, and has published extracts in today’s paper.

The moderately-worded letter is signed by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, leader of England’s Roman Catholics, and Archbishop Peter Smith. It says the true meaning of marriage is in danger of being lost if the government changes its definition.

According to the Telegraph, a covering note also asks parish priests to encourage their congregations to sign the Coalition for Marriage’s petition against the government’s plans. Over 100,000 people have so far signed the petition.

In an editorial, The Daily Telegraph says the bid to redefine marriage will undermine family values. It says: “Where is the groundswell of opinion for such fundamental change to society’s central institution? David Cameron’s anxiety to appear a modernising party leader threatens to create a wholly unnecessary political headache while raising profound questions about the meaning of marriage and of the family.

“These are perilous waters for a Tory-led government.” It added: “Mr Cameron should think very carefully about the un-Conservative course on which he seems set.”

It is the second Telegraph editorial in two days urging the Prime Minister to pause for thought. In addition, the BBC’s Andrew Marr said on Sunday that redefining marriage could be to David Cameron what the hunting ban was to Tony Blair – a huge controversy that drags on far longer than expected and, ultimately, leads to regret.