Monitoring the Monitor II

The Battle of Lepanto, Catholic Voices style
As reported earlier, the Catholic Voices Monitor blog today published the following statement concerning abortion and the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales (and 'most Catholics'):

'But in reality, Catholics on campus have nothing to fear. The motion contains no definition of "pro-choice"; if it means simply someone who accepts that abortion should be legal, most Catholics -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban -- would fit that description.'

Astonishingly, perhaps due to the author or another party reading that passage or having read criticism of it, the Catholic Voices Monitor blog post has been amended. It now reads...

'But in reality, Catholics on campus have nothing to fear. The motion contains no definition of "pro-choice"; if it means simply someone who accepts that abortion cannot be prohibited immediately, most informed Catholics -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban -- would fit that description.'

Hmm...Someone in Catholic Voices is doing his or her level best to give Catholics the opportunity to exercise Christian forgiveness. Now, we can all sleep soundly. All of us, that is, except the unborn. There's still something about it that doesn't look quite right. If I were a journalist working for either the Catholic press or indeed any publication, I'd know my next question for Archbishop Vincent Nichols:

'Do you advocate incremental restrictions on abortion, but not yet a total ban and if so, why?'

I'd like to hear it from His Grace, because there's something about the co-ordinators of Catholic Voices I do not trust. For instance, whoever has written that blog post forgets that Bishops have not been called to issue statements or hold moral positions that take into account the political climate of the day. Bishops have a duty to teach, rebuke, uphold doctrine, proclaim the Gospel and call the whole society to repentance to the point that they publicly desire that all men and women turn away from sin and evil today and live for Christ today. I know the United Kingdom is a moral wasteland, but I would never suggest that abortion 'cannot' end today. It can end today, but there has to be the political and moral will for it to end. It will not end today because that will is not yet strong enough, but there is a vast difference between saying that it 'cannot' end and it 'will not end' today. For instance, if Her Majesty the Queen dissolved Parliament, repealed the Abortion Act (1967) and installed a pro-life Government then it would end. That most likely won't happen, but we cannot say that it cannot happen. If the entire Church did penance and prayed the Rosary it most likely would happen! After all, all the Church's victories have been achieved through Our Lady!

Saying it cannot be prohibited immediately is giving too much power to those with power who do not wish for it to end. It's a bit like the Holy League getting together and saying that the Battle of Lepanto should be fought so steathily and nicely that the Ottoman forces will mistake the Catholic fleet for tourists on pedaloes and that they should then try fighting the Islamic hordes with them. A massive group of pro-lifers marching through the capital with banners saying 'We want abortion to end incrementally because we know that there are a lot of vested interests in abortion's continuing existence and its not realistic to imagine it could end immediately' does not quite have the same ring to it as 'End Abortion Now' headed by a Catholic Archbishop leading the Faithful in the recitation of the Rosary. Know what I mean?

Comments

Nicolas Bellord said…
"the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban"

You say that does not look quite right. It certainly is not; surely our goal is a total ban and the Bishops should be saying that even if it is still far off. Am I wrong in thinking the first version may well be a more accurate reflection of the position of some bishops?
The Bones said…
I don't know if your wrong or right about the position of some Bishops. I think the question is definitely worth asking.
Anonymous said…
I saw this as well and put it down to a revealing freudian slip. It was all the more strange because the rest of the post was surprisingly good and seemingly anti-abort. Even with the amendment though its still very odd:

(1) It seems to be attempting to redefine the word "pro-choice" and make it alright.
(2) Implies Catholics including the BIshops of E&W are "pro-choice". That's news to me and I suspect to the "pro-choice" lobby as well.

Either this needs further redrafting (I'll be charitable) or its part of that pattern again ! i.e. redefine the word "parent govenor"; make sure clauses are omitted at crucial points in legislation so black can be claimed to be white etc etc....

To be fair to +Vin on this one though I've seen him come strongly out against abortion so I hope on this one at least he'll be out of step with CV.

BJC
Anonymous said…
Looking at John Smeaton's take on this I don't think there's any need to be charitable here. Any "ambiguity" is likely to have come from the dissenting pen/mind of Clifford Longley, Austen etc. Keep this up and I would reckon some people will walk out on CV.

BJC
Nicolas Bellord said…
It seems to have been amended again:

"But in reality, Catholics on campus have nothing to fear. The motion's definition of pro-choice ideology is so narrow and extreme, and its actions so brow-beating and authoritarian, that it will show informed pro-lifers who accept that abortion cannot be prohibited immediately -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but realise that a total ban is currently impossible to achieve -- to be the true advocates of moderate, rational and humane principle."

Dear me, are CV stooping to reading your blog? But CV are still not quite there in accepting that a total ban cannot be prohibited immediately. Of course it can; it is just unlikely.
Anonymous said…
They've changed the offending passage yet again!

BJC
Lynda said…
They're confusing principles with politics.