New regulations allowing civil partnerships to be celebrated on religious premises "can have no effect on Catholic churches" because consent to allow such ceremonies must be explicitly given. But the Government should be pressed to give a more explicit reassurance, according to a Briefing Note sent to peers by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales last week.
The Note was issued in advance of a motion to be debated tomorrow in the House of Lords which disapproves of the new regulations, known as the Ali amendment, which came into force on 5 December.
I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men [and women] who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity - I wish...to enlarge [their] knowledge, to cultivate [their] reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth to truth, to learn to view things as they are, to understand how faith and reason stand to each other, what are the bases and principles of Catholicism...
Blessed John Henry Newman
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