The ‘disciple of Nero’: UK bishop castigates David Cameron over gay ‘marriage’ plans
LONDON, December 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a two-page letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, Joseph Devine, the Catholic bishop of Motherwell in Scotland, has compared Cameron to Nero, the Roman emperor who persecuted Christians, for his determination to bring forward “gay marriage.”
Cameron and his government are “devoid of moral competence,” wrote Bishop Devine, adding that that no one believes their promises that the churches will be immune from legal action by homosexualist activists if gay “marriage” is legalized.
Cameron is “out of his depth” and is speaking out of both sides of his mouth when giving assurances to British Christians, the bishop said.
Cameron told media this weekend that he is in favour of churches being “allowed” to conduct “gay weddings.”
The bishop also brought Cameron to task over his government’s pursuit of a legal case at the European Court of Human Rights against Christians being allowed to wear crosses at work. Such contradictions between Cameron’s words and actions, Bishop Devine wrote, “only serve to compound our perplexity about the imperfect fit between your statements and actions. You appear to be creating a political culture in which words mean nothing.”
“You vacillate, ambivalent about the role you wish to perform – the disciple of David or Nero,” the bishop wrote. “With such a contradiction between your statements and actions, on what basis can you expect anyone – Christians in particular – to trust or respect you?”
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Bishop Devine also had a sharp response to Cameron’s quip that the Church of England should “get with the program” after they voted against ordaining female bishops, calling the comment “indelicate to the point of being offensive.”
“And this from a Prime Minister belittling the nation’s established church. Hardly an example to set for society in general and especially for the youth of this country.”
Bishop Devine concluded, “While I cannot speak for other creeds, let me be quite frank with you. So far as the Roman Catholic Church…is concerned, you are out of your depth. We will take no finger-prodding lectures from anyone or any group devoid of moral competence.”
Leaders of the Catholic and Anglican churches have responded to an announcement by the coalition government that it will bring forward a bill to introduce same-sex “marriage” next week.
“I’m a massive supporter of marriage,” Cameron told the BBC, “and I don’t want gay people to be excluded from a great institution.
“But let me be absolutely 100 per cent clear, if there is any church or any synagogue or any mosque that doesn’t want to have a gay marriage it will not, absolutely must not, be forced to hold it.
“That is absolutely clear in the legislation.”
In a statement to be read out in all Catholic churches in his diocese, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, responded directly, saying Cameron “is luring the people of England away from their common Christian values and Christian patrimony, and forcing upon us a brave new world, artificially engineered.”
“By attempting to change the natural meaning of marriage, [Cameron] seems utterly determined to undermine one of the key foundations of our society.”
The plan to create gay “marriage,” Bishop Egan said, will “pervert authentic family values, with catastrophic consequences for the well-being and behaviour of future generations.” In the process, Cameron will “smother the traditional Christian ethos of our society and strangle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in Britain.”
Egan asked Cameron, “Will you exempt the Church, its preachers, resources and premises, from having to support your harmful ideology?” Egan asked whether Catholic schools will be legally protected “to teach the full truth of Christ and the real meaning of life and love.”
A statement from the Church of England issued a statement on Friday saying that their “insistence on the traditional understanding of marriage is not knee-jerk resistance to change but is based on a conviction that the consequences of change will not be beneficial for society as a whole.”
“Our concern is for the way the meaning of marriage will change for everyone, gay or straight.” The Anglican statement, however, followed with the disclaimer, “The proposition that same-sex relationships can embody crucial social virtues is not in dispute. To that extent, the Prime Minister’s claim that he supports same-sex marriage from conservative principles is readily understandable.”
“We believe that redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships will entail a dilution in the meaning of marriage for everyone by excluding the fundamental complementarity of men and women from the social and legal definition of marriage,” the statement said.