|"This will cost you, mate."|
His Lordship also said of the move, "We can’t just let this slide by and say we are not interested." His comments in defense of the institution of marriage are encouraging. It is important that the Government is never given "an easy ride" when either the Church, or the fundamental Christian values that underpin society are either violated or in danger of being violated.
The Bishop's comments support the defense made by Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, both of whom condemned the Prime Minister's very public coming-out in endorsement of homosexual marital rights. The PM appeared to suggest he supports the proposal "because" he is a Conservative. Quite what he is trying to 'conserve' if he cannot 'conserve' marriage as being between one man and one woman, one can only imagine. Perhaps he should focus on the economy, since, let's face it, that would appear to be a higher priority than redefining marriage. We can only assume that Mr Cameron is only interested in "conserving" the four-party love affair with Stonewall. It turns out, after all, that at the last general election a vote for the Conservative Party, for a Catholic, and a vote for the Green Party, for a Catholic, were both equally abominable to God and, henceforth, look as if they always will be.
Unless, that is, the Prime Minister can be persuaded that popularity for his cause has only minority appeal and that he is morally and politically absolutely in the wrong. Will he outdo his predecessor in his intransigence in the face of his own grievous error? Only time will tell. However, we have more than one Bishop making it clear that the Government will not be given "an easy ride".
|Be afraid, David. Be very afraid...|
Yet, for the life of me, I cannot see why the Bishops should make such a great exception for this. Was not the Civil Partnerships Act enacted under the Labour Government, also a "step too far"? Not, seemingly, for His Lordship, who maintains that even though such legislation was condemned at the highest level of the Church, for its approval of homosexual acts, the Civil Partnerships Bill apparently had the 'support' of the Catholic Church. His Lordship was described as believing, by The Telegraph that...
'...the Catholic Church supported civil partnerships, which confer the same rights to gay couples as marriage, because they give better legal protection to individuals in matters including inheritance.'
Now, it may be that, misguidedly and in the face of Vatican disapproval, the Bishops of England and Wales supported Civil Partnerships, but it is not true that the Catholic Church supported civil partnerships. Furthermore, and rather unfortunately, the Bishop's words suggest that whether the issue was Civil Partnerships Bill, the Equalities Bill, the Catholic's Early Sexualisation Bill (CES) proposed by Ed Balls, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, or the dreadful blueprint for the implementation of Nazism - the Mental Capacity Bill - all of them, bar Ed Ball's CES "easy rider", became the law of the land.
Did the Bishops allow those nasty pieces of legislation to be given "an easy ride" and did the Bishops Conference of England and Wales "let it slide and say "we are not interested"? After so many years of either acquiescence, indifference or scandalous support for anti-Catholic legislation under the Labour Government, in which the Church was either grossly naive about the intentions of those behind it, or indifferent to the consequences, why should any Government fear the Catholic Church because, apparently, this time, after all that evil legislation, the Church won't give the Government "an easy ride"? I am quite certain that the Government has far more trust in the Bishops Conference of England and Wales than do the Catholic faithful, sad as that may be.
|Vroom, vroom: The 1969 cult classic, Easy Rider|
Or, alternatively, are the Bishops saying that the Government will not be given an "easy ride" because they, personally, will be a thorn in the Government's side by making public pronouncements against the Government's plans and intend to speak out in various committees? I find it confusing. There is no point in making empty threats and gestures. Furthermore, we have been given reassurances by the Bishops Conference that we need not worry because they are "on the case" and are fighting on our behalf, or rather Christ's behalf, only to hear later of some degree of complicity, acquiescence or indifference among the Bishops towards the fight. I do hope and pray that His Lordship is right and that the Bishops will fight to conserve the institution of marriage as being between one man and one woman, but I, for one, am not filled with confidence. Perhaps, God willing, this will turn out to be a watershed moment for the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
|It looks like Mr Cameron has this one sewn up...|
The Bishops should require neither imagination nor the gift of prophecy to realise that unless this is defeated, Priests could be hauled before a court years down the line, once, as the 'lobby' intends, the refusal of marital 'rights' to homosexuals in Churches becomes illegal. What will the Bishops be saying then? That the Government won't have "an easy ride" on this one as we witness the car crash that is 'down the road'? They must realise that, aside from the surprisingly reasonable (on this subject) Peter Tatchell, the pressure groups advocating and campaigning for gay marriage will most likely not be content until this terrible situation comes to pass.
Doubtless this blogpost will attract criticism because once again I am posting on the subjects of homosexuality and gay marriage and I am obviously 'obsessed' with the subject. Yet, if the World were not so obsessed by it, the Church's Pope, Shepherds, Clergy and lay faithful would not feel so utterly compelled to react against it. I am sure others have written it before, but it is not the Pope or the Catholic Church that is obsessed with sex. It is the World that is obsessed with sex. Because the World is so obsessed with sex, the Church must respond when the World's obsession with sex becomes so dominant and out of control that even marriage itself is under threat and the obsession becomes so all-embracing of society that marriage itself is seen as in need of redefinition, just so that one vociferous minority group feels 'accepted', 'tolerated' and totally 'equal' to married, monogamous persons who bear fruit and raise children as befits the natural law.
There is no doubt that the Bishops of England and Wales, or at least those who have spoken out publicly against the move so far, are looking to find new ways in which to present the Church's view in the new debates taking place, especially among those with power and influence, over human sexuality and marriage. As A Reluctant Sinner has noted in his excellent blogpost on the subject today, Archbishop Vincent Nichols used a recent Catholic Voices event to argue the need for the Church to "reframe" the debate in the terms of "human ecology" used by Pope Benedict XVI. At the said event, two publications, both co-written by Austen Ivereigh, were launched to proclaim to the World the ineffable goodness of the Catholic Voices project and its new and intriguing vision of "Catholic humanism". The Archbishop must be commended for his stance and especially his public endorsement of Benedictine theology. Will this convince MPs that this is one 'road' down which they do not wish to walk?
|Our Lady of Fatima: Pray for us...|
The Church needs strong 'Catholic voices' now from the Bishops Conference, from the Priesthood, from Religious and from the Laity. Time, I would suggest, is running out. The Church, today, does not require Catholics to come out as gay and defend their homosexuality - there are already plenty of them who do. The Church needs Catholics who are gay, or who rather carry the Cross of homosexuality, to come out as Catholic and defend the Church from the grave errors of the World. These voices need to be coherent, strong, bold, brave, unflinchingly faithful to the Magisterium and they need to be heard from the lips of those who are ready to lose everything for Christ in this World, so that they may merit to keep their souls in the next.
If strong Catholic voices are not heard in defense of the Church now, when She is so under attack from the secular World, even a 'Christian' Prime Minister, then, believe me, those who are charged with a duty to defend Her, but who refuse, will not be given "an easy ride" by Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Last Day. Those charged with responsibility by Almighty God within the Hierarchy of Holy Mother Church to defend Her so far have, with only a few exceptions, proved themselves 'unfit for mission'. With God's help, may they learn from their grave mistakes and may we assist them with our prayers and our own supporting role in this new phase of the Church's battle for hearts, minds and above all, souls.
I suppose that one problem for the Archbishop of Westminster in his fight against this proposal might be those Soho Masses, what with one of the organisers of the said Masses, Martin Prendergast, being something of an apologist (to put it mildly) for the gay marriage rights movement within the Catholic Church. But really, we must now all "hold" our "tongues" because there is absolutely no contradiction between the 'pastoral work' of the Archdiocese of Westminster and combatting any forthcoming Government campaign to legalise gay marriage. Still, let us give the Archbishop time and see what is down the road. Maybe the Bishops should take a line out of David Cameron's Conference speech as he assessed the Conservative agenda for the economy and make it their own: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight. It's the size of the fight in the dog!" Go get 'em, your Lordships! You certainly have my prayers.