.- Cardinal Keith P. O’Brien has broken-off direct talks with the Scottish government in protest over their decision to back “same-sex marriage.”
“The Cardinal wants to maintain a dialogue with the Scottish government but that can be difficult when you feel that everything you have had to say, to date at least, has been completely ignored,” Peter Kearney, spokesman for Cardinal O’Brien, told CNA Aug. 20.
The cardinal’s actions follow the Scottish government’s move last month to legislate for “same-sex marriage,” despite nearly two-thirds of those who responded to their official consultation being against the initiative. In total, 64 percent of the 77,508 who replied said they did not want marriage redefined.
Meanwhile, Cardinal O’Brien’s subsequent call for a referendum on the issue was also quickly dismissed by the Edinburgh administration. He has now told the Scottish government that any future discussions on the matter should take place between officials.
“While this is an honest disagreement over policy, on a personal level relations between the First Minister and the Cardinal are extremely good,” said a spokesman for Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond. The spokesman also confirmed that the two men spoke over the phone this past weekend and added that “Mr. Salmond holds the Cardinal in the highest regard and will always do so.”
In June, leading Scottish lawyer Aidan O’Neill warned that “same-sex marriage” legislation will radically undermine religious liberty in Scotland.
He predicted that a change in the law could see employees sacked for opposing “same-sex marriage,” ministers and priests sued for refusing to allow “wedding” ceremonies in their churches, school children forced to attend homosexual history lessons and couples rejected as foster parents if they oppose the new legislation.
The Scottish government’s decision comes as the United Kingdom’s government, led by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, has just concluded its consultation on the same issue. It has already promised to legislate for “same-sex marriage” in England and Wales by 2015.