The Bishop of Shrewsbury has hit out again at plans to legalise gay marriage – claiming the Government’s plans are part of a ‘gathering storm for believers’ in Christianity.
Leading Catholic Rt Rev Mark Davies said British society was going through ‘atmospheric changes’ in which there was a growing hostility to public professions of faith.
His latest comments follow controversy earlier this year when his strongly-worded criticism of plans to legalise gay marriage were condemned by gay rights group Stonewall.
The Government is looking to legalise civil marriage for gay couples before the next general election in 2015.
Same-sex marriage is not legal in the UK, but since 2005 homosexual couples have been able to enter into legally-recognised civil partnerships.
Bishop Davies made his latest comments at a mass in Chester involving the Catholic Women’s League and the Union of Catholic Mothers.
He said: “The determination of the present coalition Government to legally redefine marriage may soon present new questions of conscience and legal threats to those who continue to profess the truth about marriage as the lasting union of one man and one woman.
“It would be exaggerating to suggest Christians in Britain face persecution. However, it would be foolish to ignore atmospheric changes which may point to a gathering storm for believers.”
In February, the bishop claimed plans to legalise gay marriage would represent ‘nothing less than a seismic shift in the foundations of our society’.