Yes. It is with great shame and embarrassment that I have to admit I was wrong. I said that there was no way an English archbishop, not even one working for the pope, would ever send a letter to all the citizens of the Vatican living in England telling them to oppose our democratically elected government. But I was wrong. the Vatican is now so convinced that the West has returned to the times of Christendom when the Papacy could, and did, interfere in the politics of other nations, that it has allowed the Vatican ambassador to England to do just that.


The Catholic Church will urge its congregation to oppose same-sex marriage in a letter from the Archbishop of Westminster, which will be read out at every mass in the country, this Sunday.

The letter, signed by Archbishop Vincent Nichols (pictured) and his colleague the Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith, will be read aloud at 2,500 churches across England and Scotland.
It urges Catholics to oppose government plans to allow gay men and women to marry in secular ceremonies.

Will this influence the government? Not much as we seem to have a conservative prime minister with some integrity. What it will do is give the militant atheists in academia and the media another big stick to whack Christianity with (and in this case, they would be right to do so). Every Christian denomination in England, including the Quakers and members of the Metropolitan Church, will be damaged by the Vatican's bullying of their own citizens. This damage could be alleviated if the leaders of the English churches, especially the leader of the Church of England, spoke out in full support of same sex marriage and equality for gay people in all aspects of English life, including the episcopacy. But they won't do that and "he" certainly won't do that. I'm surprised, in fact, that he has not put his signature on the Cardinal's letter as well. Perhaps he has been to busy writing letters trying to sway due process in the matter of the dioceses voting on the Covenant. This is another prime example of the double speak he has become so renowned for, insomuch as one day he says that as Archbishop of Canterbury he represents all members of the Anglican Communion even if this means going against his own conscience, and then the next day he is excluding a huge proportion of the Anglican Communion by coercing the Church into voting for what he wants.

It's about time that the office of Archbishop of Canterbury became the same as the office of monarch of England - completely removed from party politics. And it's also about time that the houses were got rid of and it became one member/one vote at General Synod.



  1. A suggestion to UK Roman Catholics:

    When the letter is being read in your parish church, stand up in your pew & face the rear of the sanctuary. You don’t have to say anything, just turn your back on this “teaching” from the Vatican/UK Archbishop.

    Do not walk out (although tempting), and you don’t need to speak.

    If enough people stood up, do you think the hierarchy would see understand what we truly believe about the love of Christ??

  2. I think that they should translate it to Latin and read it in Latin. That way, only true, blue Roman Citizens will know what it’s about.

    Better still, translate it to Esperanto and do the same. Even the Priests won’t know what it’s about.

  3. On the morning of our wedding in 2008, a letter from the local Bishop was read out in Roman Catholic churches throughout the diocese advocating for passage of Prop8. BP was still RC and was in an unfamiliar church where a nasty priest embroidered the letter with comments about the evilness of gay people. To her dismay people in the pews applauded his hate speech.

    When I picked her up afterwards she was in tears. I asked why she didn’t leave and she said, “I wasn’t going to let him drive me away from Christ .” so defiantly she sat there, opened a Bible and read words of love as his “sermon” reverberated. Talk about doing spiritual violence!

    such letters have been sent by bishops routinely in the US in the marriage equality war: in Minnesota, in Maine, and in other states as well.

    It’s bullying, plain and simple.

    • Whose (RC) priest isn’t, Anon?

      [So comments thread now. Huh. This doesnt’ change the fact that I want my pop-up comments back! (Just because Holy Martyr JCF hasn’t proclaimed the kerygma for at least 48 hours now. Ach, my thorny crown!)]

  4. And it’s also about time that the houses were got rid of and it became one member/one vote at General Synod.

    If this happened, it would be more likely that odious bills would pass, as more often than not it’s a vote by houses that scuppers some idiotic idea. In Southwark Diocesan Synod, many years ago, Colin Buchanan proposed a motion calling for lay presidency in the Church of England. Although he was and is somewhat thoughtful, this particular motion wasn’t well thought out and needed to be defeated. Had the entire Synod voted as a whole, the motion would have passed. However, 10 of us stood up and asked for a vote by Houses, in which it was defeated in the House of Bishops by 3 votes to 1.

    The existence of voting by Houses is often a good check on the power of the Bishops.

  5. I’ve long heard non-Yanks say, of fearfully interfering US RC bishops, “they wouldn’t try that here.” Welcome to the Popoid future!