Catholic Dissent: Do We Need More Of It?
A friend of mine has a boyfriend who has been refused bail and is now residing in prison for involvement in a demonstration at the grounds of a firm whose ethics he took issue with. According to my friend he is innocent of taking part any wrongdoing in what took place, but was caught up in the chaos and was charged, simply because he is a protester well-known to the authorities.
Catholic dissent seems to be on the decrease in the UK. We have all gone quite meekly into the night when it comes to peaceful, civil protest at laws enacted in the UK concerning Life issues, the Human Embryology Bill and local bye-laws which punish the very poor, such as begging and street drinking. Civil protest is our right and we have a right to have our voices heard when they are not heeded by the political process.
While St Paul encourages us to be subject to the law of the land, it is perhaps a worry that, for example, around the abortion clinics dotted around the UK there are no small, peaceful gatherings of faithful Catholics simply praying the Rosary outside. When or if the HFE bill gets passed, will Catholics pray the Rosary in peaceful protest outside companies using human embryos for scientific research into cures for diseases? I wonder what would happen if people did protest peacefully in these situations. While violence and criminal damage is not a good thing to be praised, it is a concern that Catholics in the UK are not prepared to put their necks on the line for the causes they know are right, but many other people motivated by a passion for justice are.