A Brighton and Hove City Council and NHS backed 'C-Card', a measure sure to create a generation of teenagers for whom sex is like getting top-up credit for your mobile.
I have had a letter from Bishop MacMahon. I would imagine he has quite a few people to whom he has to respond since the CES Balls up went nuclear so I am grateful for his relatively swift reply. His secretary must be working overtime. Here is a copy of his letter, which I found rather disturbing. There does appear to be a gulf between politicians' perceptions of life in the UK and what people experience 'on the ground'. Likewise, there does appear to be a gulf between our Bishops perceptions of life in Catholic Education and what Catholic teachers, parents and children experience, 'on the ground'...
Message sent on behalf of Bishop McMahon:
Dear Mr England
Thank you for your email of 23 February 2010.
The Catholic Education Service which I chair has been working very hard to secure the rights of parents and school governors as the Children, Schools and Families Bill passes through Parliament.
There is no question of the CES colluding with the Government. Negotiation is not collusion. I also believe that confrontation with the Government over this Bill would not achieve anything.
There has been much wrong information put about by campaigning groups and indeed the Government itself. The CES has had some of this corrected. As the Bill stands at the present time, it will not be made statutory for Catholic Schools to promote abortion, contraception and homosexuality.
Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Bishop of Nottingham
There was a man around 2,000 years ago who tried to 'cut a deal' with the authorities of his time concerning his Lord and Master. Of course, he didn't mean this 'negotiation' to lead to the cruel and agonising Crucifixion of the Son of God, neither was it necessarily 'collusion', but looking back it doesn't matter how you describe it, because pave the way for the Crucifixion of the Son of God it most certainly did. When asked whether he would hand the Son of God over for any price, he could have simply said, 'No!'
Similarly, the notion that this legislation will not lead to the crucifixion of both parental rights and Catholic education in this country as we have hitherto known it, is, at best, extremely naive and at worst, extremely deceptive.
For some interesting information on just how bad things are already getting in Catholic Schools, with regard to setting up 'confidential, drop-in advice services' courtesy of the NHS and its friendly, pro-abortion nurses, read this. With regard to Her children, the Church is, as it were, being encircled. It looks as if, thanks to the CES and those who lead it, Her enemies can smell blood and the feeding frenzy is about to begin. Let's pray that the House of Lords, who Labour wish to fill with the kind of estate agents who entered the House of Commons under Blair, put a gas cannister in the mouth of this beast, say, "Smile, you son of a b*tch" and blow it out of the water.
Unfortunately, when the Church climbs into bed with this Labour Government, a bit of affection, a kiss, a cuddle or even a useless fumble is not enough. Our Bishops need to recognise that when you climb into bed with this Labour Government, before you know it, they've ripped off not only your clothes, but Our Blessed Lord's clothes, divided them among themselves and nailed Him and the purity and innocence of His children to a Cross. After all, this Labour Government, as we must all know by now, do not do Christianity, do not do marriage and most certainly do not do chastity. Every time our Bishops get within breathing distance of this wretched Government they should think of it as an occasion of sin.
As the Holy Father astutely perceived, when it comes to the Church, this Labour Government has a 'one-track mind' and it will not stop until She goes 'all the way'. The Teaching of the Church, the Holy Gospel and the passing down of the Most Holy Faith to the Church's children is not a matter for 'negotiation'. That is what the CES should have said. That is what the Bishop in charge of the CES should have said to the organisation charged with the duty of protecting Catholic Education.
Our Blessed Lord Himself put it better, of course, when He said, "Let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil" and it pains every concerned Catholic to continue to draw this matter to the attention of those with Apostolic Teaching Authority (ATA!) within Holy Mother Church, but those who do so will continue, because we too are duty bound to "recognise dissent for what it is." The conduct of the CES is, a growing number of Catholics believe, a case of precisely this and the Shepherds do not recognise it! Given that those to whom those words were addressed appear have such difficulty in doing that, it is left to others, many of whom have no ATA, to remind them of the Holy Father's words addressed to them, personally, a little over a month ago.
You can email Bishop MacMahon at firstname.lastname@example.org