Roman Catholic Bishops of England & Wales
Our bodies are not our own
Within the Church in England and Wales there can be a tendency to see marriage as a separate issue from issues such as the liturgy, education, working for the poor and oppressed, communication and the media(1) and overseas development.
However, how the family worships, what the family learns both as children and as adults, and how the family reach out to others nationally and internationally, are all part of the same Christian call. Sex education and sex outside marriage, abortion, homosexuality, contraception, sterilisation, STDs and infertility, adoption, violence and child abuse, experienced both in the world around us and within the Christian community, all impact upon marriage and family life. Unchaste, immoral, value free and explicit sex education, even for children as young as 5 years of age, the promotion of contraception and in particular the promotion of condoms and the pill, and indeed abortion, have contributed to leading many young and not so young people to separate
themselves from the Church, its teaching, the liturgy and the practice of their faith. Mother Teresa often said that families, nations, organisations and individuals which support and promote abortion are the poorest of peoples.
The answer is not for the Church - and Church organisations - to conform to the society in which it finds itself. On the contrary, the Church and its organisations are called by Christ to be a witness, a sign of contradiction, to be in the world but not of the world, and to call those who have strayed into darkness back into the wonderful light of Christ.
We see the Roman Catholic Bishop's 'Listening 2004' as ultimately a call to chastity, a call for renewal and a call to salvation.