The Gay Star News website has published a fantastic letter sent to Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, in which an anonymous parishioner takes him to task over the Church's ongoing fixation with the debate over gay marriage.

A letter from the Archbishop calling on Catholics to voice their opposition to the government's equal marriage legislation was recently read out in all Catholic churches, and it was this letter that prompted the parishioner, who is a 65-year-old former nurse from the north of England, to get in touch with Nichols.

The letter begins:

"Dear Archbishop

I listened to your letter of Sunday 3 February in which you asked us as a matter of urgency to either send a postcard provided or write to our local MP to request him to vote against the government’s proposed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. I came out of the church with two thoughts and one resolve. Firstly I thought ‘Lord pity and help any gay person sitting listening to that letter’ not a word a charity or understanding did it contain. Secondly I thought or asked ‘Where in that is the love of Christ for all humankind?’ My resolve was not to contact my MP."

The parishioner goes on to point out the many problems with the Church's stance on sex and relationships, and suggest that it would be better off following the teachings of Christ and focusing its energy on the true problems facing the world.

To read the full letter, visit Gay Star News. The website reports that the parishioner received a reply from Archbishop Nichols, although this "failed to address the substance of her comments".