|Archbishop Nichols during a Mass for|
Married Couples in Westminster Cathedral
In his letter, the Archbishop reflects on the fact that the Feast of the Holy Family brings to mind the vocation to the married life, and all that that entails. Also aware of the threats currently facing marriage, Archbishop Nichols writes: “Indeed this is a time in which to speak up for marriage, between a husband and wife, as the heart of the family.”
Archbishop Nichols reiterates objective truths about marriage and the family, saying: “This vision of the family is rooted in the faithful love of a man and a woman, publicly expressed and accepted in marriage, responsible for the birth of the next generation and out of love working for the care and upbringing of their children. This is the vocation of marriage and parenthood, rooted in a natural bond, blessed by God and a sure sacrament in the life of the Church.”
Before specifically asking his people for their prayers, Archbishop Vincent Nichols continues, saying:
Today I ask for every family the blessing of God that you may be steadfast in your love and loyalty for each other, overcoming life's difficulties with a firm and trusting faith and great perseverance. I pray too for our country that we will maintain the importance of marriage between a man and a woman as the heart of family life and, while always retaining proper and due respect for all, resist the proposed redefining of marriage with all its likely consequences particularly in schools and in how children are taught about the true nature of marriage.A few weeks ago I happened to be at an event at which Archbishop Nichols commended a well-known Member of Parliament for his courageous and tireless work in defending traditional marriage. He specifically referred to the current proposals by the Government to redefine marriage to the extent that it will (my words) become but a glorified form of civil partnership.
At this time, we look to our Members of Parliament to defend, not change, the bond of man and woman in marriage as the essential element of the vision of the family. I urge everyone who cares about upholding the meaning of marriage in civil law to make their views known to their Members of Parliament, clearly, calmly and forcefully. Please do so as soon as possible.
Most Catholics will welcome the strong leadership now being shown by the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales on this most important of issues.
We must keep Archbishop Nichols and all the other bishops in our prayers, for those who speak the truth in love concerning these matters often come under great attacks from the Church's enemies: internal and external. We should also take heed of his invitation to make our views known to our MPs and political representatives -- as soon as possible!