Marriage Preparation for Homosexual Couples
Blogged by James Preece on 14th September 2012
Archbishop Vincent Nichols is the president of an organisation going by the name of Catholic Marriage Care Ltd. An organisation that "offers support to people in their marriages, relationships and family life".
If you are the sort of person who likes to know where a million pounds comes from, you may be interested to know that in 2009-10 Catholic Marriage Care Ltd received £485,100 in grants from the government. In 2010-11 the "Strategic grant" from the Department for Education was £499,700 and made up more than half of their "Total incoming resources" for that financial year.
If you want to know how Catholic Marriage Care Ltd spend their money, you may be interested in this statement from the Chief Executive of Catholic Marriage Care Ltd. Mr Terry Prendergast...
he said that preparation for same-sex couples took place in private and not as part of a group with heterosexual couples. Mr Prendergast said: “We have offered them focused marriage preparation – private, and not in a group. This is about two people in love and one of our main aims is to support loving partnerships.”
[The Tablet, 15th September 2011, Page 34]
To clarify: Archbishop Vincent Nichols presides over an organisation that offers "focused marriage preparation" to homosexual couples.
A couple of years ago Archbishop Vincent Nichols was asked if the Catholic Church might have to show "flexibility" in terms of sanctioning gay unions. Archbishop Nichol's replied: "I don't know. Who knows what's down the road?"
It turns out that what was down the road was "marriage preparation" for homosexual couples presided over by Archbishop Vincent Nichols. This before homosexual marriage is even legal.
Meanwhile it's been over a month since Professor Tina Beattie (and twenty-six others including priests) signed a letter in The Times stating that "it is perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples" yet she remains in place as a member of the CAFOD Theological Advisory Committee. She didn't publicly support same-sex marriage, but she laid the necessary pharisaical framework for the Bishops to accommodate it...
It's a matter of conscience you see... and if a Catholic can support same-sex marriage then why shouldn't a Catholic Priest bless one?
The clear message to the government is that the Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales can and will find a way to accommodate gay marriage. There may be a bit of a "struggle" as the Bishops make their submission to the government's "consultation" and there might even be a strongly worded pastoral letter but in terms of actual action? No.
In much the same way as they did with contraception and divorce, the Catholic Bishop's of England and Wales will find a way to accomodate gay marriage.
In fact, they are already doing so.