Sunday, 23 October 2011

Jon Cruddas MP Should Not Be Given a Platform at Blackfriars

Jon Cruddas MP: An inappropriate choice of Catholic speaker
That's my opinion and the opinion of a growing number of Catholics concerned that a Catholic politician who has a track record of voting for anti-life legislation is being given a platform to speak at Blackfriars Hall, the Dominican permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. I'll allow John Smeaton of the SPUC to fill you in on the details...

I hear that Mr Cruddas was dropped from the Catholic Internship scheme by the Bishops Conference precisely because of his public views on abortion, the Stonewall legislation, on the legislation that forced Catholic adoption agencies to close or deny their links to the Church. Good for the Bishops. Bravo...

'In December Mr Cruddas told The Catholic Herald that abortion:

"should be safe, legal and rare".
Since 2000, Jon Cruddas MP voted 18 times with the anti-life lobby, for example voting in favour of the anti-life Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act at second reading (which denotes approval for the bill's principles) - a law designed to kill millions of innocent human beings deliberately created never to be born. He also voted for the pro-euthanasia Mental Capacity Bill (now Act) at second reading and third reading (which denotes approval of the bill as a whole). Mr Cruddas has expressed his pride in his voting record in support of the homosexual agenda.* In this connection I draw attention to the June 2004 US bishops' document Catholics in Political Life which says:
"the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
[...] Jon Cruddas is due to speak at Blackfriars Hall, the Dominican permanent private hall of the University of Oxford. Organization for this event is led by the Las Casas Institute Halley-Stewart scholars Robert Heimburger and Marcos Medina. The event is entitled ‘The Modern State and the Kingdom of God’. Jon Cruddas is giving talk five Building Democracy.

It is appalling that a "Catholic" politician who holds pro-abortion opinions has been invited to speak at this event and on this topic.

Hear hear! I was passed a leaflet concerning this event today and lost it. If anyone can tell me any more about this man's rather scandalous inclusion at a Dominican event, do let me know and I will post it up. "Safe, legal and rare". You can read the rest of his dreadful interview as he attempted, in vain, to seek the Labour leadership here.

Catholic politicians approaching Holy Communion should be "safe" (in a State of Grace), "legal" (voting in line with a conscience informed by Holy Mother Church) and really, and truly, because it seems that a number of Catholic politicians in the UK care more for their careers than for the Gospel, and cannot therefore fulfil the first two criteria, Catholic politicians approaching Holy Communion should be "rare".


Left-footer said...

And I thought the Dominicans were "safe".

What can have possessed them?

Anonymous said...

"Jon Cruddas MP Should Not Be Given a Platform at Blackfriars"

I agree!


Juventutem London said...


Said flyer contained this basically:

Scout said...

Maybe this is an over-reaction? The Dominicans are not "endorsing" all of Jon Cruddas's views. They are just inviting him to a conference where, as an MP, he will give a talk about democracy. See here:

Why the need to shut Jon Cruddas out of the dialogue going on within the Catholic Church?

Patricius said...

One would hope that a pack of Dominicans would give him a grilling- although roasting might be better.

Juventutem London said...

You don't dialogue with terrorists.

If his voting record showed a 100% support of legislation in favour of killing foreigners, homosexuals - or Dominicans! - do you think that Black Friars would still give him a platform?

His support for killing babies is beyond question. Why is that different?

If you wanted to invite a top athlete to talk about sport at an event and it came out that he was in favour of killing ethnic minorities, the invitation would be revoked.

What is there to dialogue about?

I (in a personal capacity) wondered if it was an over-reaction, but the arguments in favour are specious and I think that the 'killing Dominicans' argument is convincing enough.

Juventutem London said...

Also this idea of a grilling is nonsense. Anyone who has been to a conference knows that - you get a paper for 45 minutes, then you have questions where it is socially unacceptable to respond after they have been answered.

Admittedly the Dominicans do have more of a discussion than at other conferences. But either way, this politicians is being given a platform to speak for (probably around) 45 minutes. He is not being brought there to be debated or to be grilled. He is being brought to give a paper, to which the audience will sit and listen respectfully.

Left-footer said...

Juventum London - I would perhaps listen disrespectfully, heckle, and get thrown out.

On a less serious note, the gestureCruddas is making, hand to neck, is used by Polish men to indicate silently that a lot of alcohol was consumed by them.

Paul Smeaton said...

Inviting somebody to speak suggests approval for their actions.

If Jon Cruddas had voted for and spoken in favour of killing Dominicans would he still be speaking at their conference?

People who think that somebody at Blackfriars is going to engage with him about his views and attempt to change them are hoping that's going to happen - there's nothing to suggest it will. If that was the case Blackfriars might come out and explain that they're inviting him to speak as a crafty way to speak to him about these major areas of concern. That would certainly be a novel way of lobbying an MP, but we've no reason to think that even that is happening.

Anthony Radice said...

This man should be excommunicated. Surely he would have been before now if there was any backbone in the English hierarchy. He is a scandal to the Catholic faith.

Scout said...

If Jon Cruddas was not a Catholic, would you still have a problem with him being at the conference? If you go down the route of refusing to engage with anybody who doesn't agree with you on abortion, then you are closing down dialogue with rather a lot of people.

Paul Smeaton said...

We haven't closed down dialogue - I'm not sure why you've got that idea. There's no evidence to suggest that those who invited him will him in dialogue about his pro-abortion views and encourage him to respect all human life. In fact, by inviting him they are suggesting they approve of his actions.

We're witnessing to the truth and thanks to our presence he will be reminded of the Catholic teaching on abortion. If we see him we'll be sure to talk to him.

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