March 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who leads the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, has come out in fierce opposition to plans to legalize homosexual “marriageā€ in England and Wales.

After publishing a ringing denunciation in Britain’s Telegraph newspaper entitled “We cannot afford to indulge this madness,” the cardinal went on BBC Radio’s Today program, hosted by John Humphrys, to defend his position.

Humphrys asked O’Brien to explain his affirmation in the Telegraph that homosexual “marriage” represents “a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” which would “shame the United Kingdom in the eyes of the world.”

“I think if the United Kingdom does go for and supports same sex marriage, it is indeed shaming our country,” O’Brien told Humphrys. “We’re taking standards which are not just our own, but standards from the declaration on human rights of the United Nations where marriage is defined as a relationship between man and woman and turning that on its head, and saying that marriage is no longer marriage.  We’re trying to redefine something that has been known and revered for centuries and making it something different.”

Asked about other countries that have created homosexual “marriage,” Cardinal O’Brien answered, “those countries where this is legal are indeed violating human rights. We know that, we know what the United Nations declaration (on human rights) states, and we know what follows on from something like this,” adding that “children have a right to have a mother and a father.”

“So countries like Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal South Africa, Spain, Sweden, I could go on, those countries are shaming themselves?” asked Humphrys.

“In certain ways they are shaming themselves in calling same-sex unions marriages. They’re not marriages, and you can’t redefine the word,” O’Brien answered.

Cardinal O’Brien’s condemnation of homosexual “marriage” is being echoed by Westminster Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who has often been ambiguous in the past about homosexualism and the homosexualist political agenda. He has authored a less-vigorous message likewise condemning homosexual “marriage,” to be read in all 2,500 parishes of England and Wales this Sunday.

“Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now,” write Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith. “A change in the law would gradually and inevitably transform society’s understanding of the purpose of marriage. It would reduce it just to the commitment of the two people involved. There would be no recognition of the complementarity of male and female or that marriage is intended for the procreation and education of children.”

“We have a duty to married people today, and to those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is not lost for future generations,” they add.

Related links:

BBC interview with Cardinal Archbishop Kieth O’Brien on BBC’s Today show, March 5, 2012

Full text of O’Brien interview

Letter to English Catholic parishioners by Cardinal Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith