Scotland, January 30, 2004 ( – In a media release dated January 28, 2004, the office of the Catholic bishops conference of Scotland has given a clear and unflinching exposition of the Catholic teaching on the sanctity of marriage, of its indissolubility and of the sinfulness of any sexual activity outside the marriage bond. It left no room for equivocation on the Catholic teaching on artificial contraception or so-called “gay” marriage.

A quarter of million leaflets containing the bishops’ statement will be distributed to Scottish Catholic schools and Scotland’s 450 parishes this weekend. Cardinal O’Brien, the Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh said, “It is in the best interests of Scottish society, and is therefore a duty incumbent on all who are active in public life, to respect and foster family life. All legislative and fiscal policy must take account of the effect that it will have on this core institution of our society and ensure that it is strengthened and not undermined.”  In a few compact words, the statement made clear that sexuality is seen as a sacred gift from God, “In the Apostolic Tradition any use of the sexual faculty outside marriage is sinful and dishonest, for of its nature it can only find true expression within the covenant of marriage.”

Calling marriage, “a sign of the love between Christ and the Church,” the statement made clear the Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, saying that it exists only between a man and a woman, and that the “union cannot be dissolved by any purely human authority.”  Condemning not only the use of contraception but the intention behind it, the statement said, “The contraceptive mentality prevents the gift of love between husband and wife from being true and complete by deliberately seeking to exclude conception.”  Cardinal O’Brien added, “I hope you will use this material as the focal point of debate, discussion and initiatives in your homes, parishes, schools and workplaces, aimed at supporting marriage and the family and building a Culture of Life”.  To read the full text of the statement:


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