By Gudrun Schultz

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, September 11, 2006 ( – Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of the Halifax Archdiocese and Administrator of the Yarmouth diocese urged parishioners to actively support reopening debate on the definition of marriage, in a letter issued September 8, 2006.

Writing to 16,000 Catholics in his diocese, Archbishop Prendergast urged people to contact their MPs and ask them to support reopening the issue.

“Parliament must have a second chance to vote on the matter, without partisan pressure on MPs,” Archbishop Prendergast wrote. “Whoever tells you otherwise is using arguments that are not based on the facts.”

“[T]he historical and spiritual significance of marriage was never properly debated. The sociological experiment that has been introduced was never adequately studied. All this affects vastly greater numbers of Canadians in ways still uncertain.”

Archbishop Prendergast called on Catholics first of all to pray: “Pray about our beliefs concerning marriage, pray for our country, pray for our leaders.”

“Pray especially for our homosexual brothers and sisters,” he said, “reach out to them, recognizing that as cherished children of God we all need the support of each other, on a journey that is sometimes difficult and uncertain.”

Secondly, he asked people to contact their MPs by personal phone call, email or letter and “share your convictions.”

“Some politicians have said that they have heard little about the subject of marriage over the summer…There is still time to show them how strongly we feel about the upcoming debate so that the age-old definition of marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman can be restored in Canada.”
  See a copy of Archbishop Prendergast’s letter: