Cardinal shame

In a BBC1 Scotland interview yesterday, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, best-known for comparing same-sex marriage to slavery, said it was immoral “just to ignore” those suffering as a result of the credit crunch.

Douglas Robinson and Michael Elsasser marry in New York Am I not a man and a brother?
Cardinal O’Brien thinks these two things are the same.

Yesterday, O’Brien said: “The poor have suffered tremendously from the financial disasters of recent years and nothing, really, has been done by the very rich people to help them. I am saying to the prime minister, look, don’t just protect your very rich colleagues in the financial industry, consider the moral obligation to help the poor of our country.”

Scotland for Marriage, the Catholic pressure-group to retain the ban on same-sex marriage, funded from who knows where, was favoured by Cardinal O’Brien with a lengthy speech in December 2011.

Tomorrow, Scotland for Marriage plans to provide every house in Glasgow with a leaflet at a cost of £15,000. For this they will have printed 300,000 leaflets. They want to let Glaswegians, rich and poor alike, know that they’re against two men, or two women, having the legal right to marry.

Positive Action in Housing is asking for help for 156 refused refugees who are being made absolutely destitute on the streets of Glasgow. For them, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has no help to offer. His moral obligation apparently extends only to preventing any of them marrying a person of the same-sex.

£500 goes towards the hardship fund for one week for vulnerable young women. What would £15,000 have done?

Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a leaflet against gay marriage?

Scotland for Marriage, backed by such generous funders as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, the Christian Institute, the Evangelical Alliance and Destiny Churches, also plans to use mobile advertising vans “to put across its opposition to same-sex weddings”.

I’m sure that’ll be very nice for the destitute, Cardinal.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, at noon today a much less wealthy group of religious people are planning to present a letter to Parliament: I don’t think they’ve got thousands to throw away on leaflets for every house.

Members of the coalition include, among others, the United Reformed Church, the Quakers, Buddhists and the Pagan Federation.

The coalition agrees that religious bodies that do not wish to conduct same-sex marriages should not have to.

But it argues that opponents of same-sex marriage are actually attempting to “impose their views on all other faith groups and the rest of society”.

In their joint letter, the coalition warns that it would “strongly oppose” any attempt to restrict same-sex marriage to civil-only ceremonies.

Instead, they are seeking assurances from MSPs that any proposed legislation will “protect and extend” freedom of religion and belief by giving religious and humanist bodies that do want to conduct same-sex marriage the right to do so.

But then, since Cardinal O’Brien’s been too busy opposing gay marriage to think much about Scotland’s refugees and asylum seekers just now (for about ten years or so), you could.

Such as:

No one’s ever been able to show me the verse in the gospels where Jesus says: Make sure gay people can’t get married… but Cardinal O’Brien seems quite sure it’s there.

Update: The Humanist Society of Scotland has a plan to pro-cycle (protest / recycle) the leaflets. They’re asking

Glasgow residents to decorate the leaflet with their own positive messages of support for same-sex marriage before sending them to HSS, where they will be counted, collected and “pro-cycled” into a display backing same-sex marriage.

HSS is supporting the Equality Network’s work to change the legislation to allow same sex couples to marry. The group wants the right to conduct same sex marriages to be granted to all relevant bodies, with the decision left to individuals within these bodies the choice to conduct same sex marriages, or not, according to their own beliefs.

The consultation on same sex marriage was the biggest in Scottish parliamentary history. The 2010 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found 61% of the public support same-sex marriage.


Filed under Charities, LGBT Equality, Religion

2 responses to “Cardinal shame

  1. A rather fairer view of the Church’s activity in this area would take account of the activities of the Scottish Catholic Justice and Peace Commission at

    Does ‘Equal Marriage Scotland’ devote no financial resources to its campaigns which could otherwise be better spent? I agree that the whole drive for same sex marriage is an unwelcome distraction from graver issues. But this is not a distraction of the Catholic Church’s making.

    • Actually according to The Sun “Scotland for Marriage” have spent over £40,000 now. Imagine what the charities to help the destitute could have done with that kind of money…

      “Scotland for Marriage” is a mean-spirited nasty little bigot’s campaign to try to keep a ban on same-sex marriage in Scotland. It clearly has a big source of income from somewhere – my guess is the Alliance Defense Fund, given SfM’s expressed concerns about “polygamy”. It’s in no way equivalent to the broad-based people’s campaign for equal civil rights for all in Scotland, including equal marriage.

      But this is not a distraction of the Catholic Church’s making.

      Really? So who did decide to start the “distraction” of this hate-mongering campaign against equal marriage, if not the Catholic Church – who certainly appear to be fronting it in Scotland?

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