Pope representative Archbishop Antonio Mennini has attacked government plans to legalise civil marriage for same-sex couples
The Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Pope’s representative in Britain, is urging all Christians, Jews, and Muslims to unite against gay marriage.
In a statement made to Catholic bishops from England and Wales, the Apolistic Noncio called for closer co-operation with other faiths in fighting government plans to legalise gay marriage.
At a meeting in Leeds held yesterday (27 April), he said: ‘I wonder if we shouldn’t ask for and look for more support among other Christian denominations and indeed, persons of other faiths.’
‘It seems to me that, concerning the institution of marriage, and indeed the sanctity of human life, we have much in common with the position of the Jewish community, the Chief Rabbi and many of the more significant representatives of Islam.’
Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith said there had been no formal contact with the Jewish community, but agreed it would be a good idea to create a united front.
He said: 'We will work with anyone who agrees with us that to redefine marriage is not a good thing for society and will lead to more confusion.'
Archbishop Smith attacked the government, saying the plans for civil marriage for same-sex couples were not in any of the political party’s manifestos.
Regarding the government consultation, Archbishop Smith added: ‘Out of the blue comes this most bizarre suggestion that people of the same sex should get married. It’s all nonsense.’
The Liberal and Reform synagogues have firmly given their support to same-sex marriage but rabbis within the main United Synagogues have expressed opposition. The retiring Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has refused to comment on the subject.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told The Telegraph that 'redefining' marriage is 'unnecessary and unhelpful'.
Lord Singh, head of the UK's Network of Sikh Organisations, also condemned the proposal, calling it a 'sideways assault on religion'.
Last week senior members of the Anglican Church wrote a letter to show their support and asked people to sign the Coalition For Equal Marriage.
It said: ‘We believe the Church of England has nothing to fear from the introduction of civil marriage for same-sex couples.’
Canon Giles Goddard, who instigated the letter, told Gay Star News: 'We were conscious there has been a lot of publicity opposing gay marriage, and we felt something had to be done to rectify this.'