The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, used the occasion of the annual Easter Monday Men’s Mass, at the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of St Chad, Birmingham, on 1 April, to reiterate the Catholic Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
The Archbishop of Birmingham stressed: “The Government’s legislation for same-sex marriage will further undermine this view of the family. Government policy cannot foresee the full consequences for the children involved or for wider society of being brought up by two mothers without a father’s influence or by two fathers without a mother’s influence. We first learn about diversity and acquire a respect for difference through the complementarity of our parents.”
Archbishop Longley said: “As Catholics we are not claiming to better than others, since we have the same struggles as everyone else to live a good life. But we have received from the risen Christ a light to show us the way and he has told us to share that light with others.
“The circumstances in which we live our faith as Catholics today are different from those of previous generations. The basic message of God’s love in Jesus Christ remains the same, but the challenges that we face are different. We have to prepare ourselves to face those challenges so that the message of the risen Christ is not ignored, distorted or undermined.”
Archbishop Bernard Longley emphasised: “The complementary love of father and mother is a precious gift that we should wish for every child. We know that many single parents courageously and generously look after their children and often struggle to give them a fine up-bringing.
“If it had not been for the understanding of St Joseph, Our Lady herself might have had to face the difficulties of being a single parent. Even so, the experience of growing up with our father and mother to teach and guide, to console and love us unconditionally is an invaluable blessing in life.”
The Archbishop of Birmingham was the Principal Celebrant and Preacher at the special Mass, promoted and organised by the Catholic Men’s Society, that has taken place each year in Birmingham since 1919.