Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Definitely a Step Too Far!


While the victims of abuse and the Church itself have suffered terribly from the actions of some Priests and Clergy, whose treatment of children was horrific and scandalous, Our Lord said that it would be better for someone to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea, than scandalize 'any of these little ones.' Those who abuse children have to answer to God for their actions. The Church prays for the victims, the families and for the repentance of the abusers themselves. Pope Benedict XVI, himself, publicly and privately mourns for the victims and prays for the forgiveness of God. In every country he visits which has suffered from the scandals, he publicly apologises for the crimes of abuse that have taken place. The Church has always believed that the scandalisation of children is a great crime and to be avoided at all costs, even if some of Her members have done exactly that.

The above link is from The Telegraph today. Speaking as someone who struggles to stay in a State of Grace even for a few days, the fact that the values of our society are crumbling is not entirely surprising. It is because God has been removed from the statute book and is left out of the minds and hearts of those who construct public policy. Any sense of real goodness, truth and beauty are sorely lacking.

Yet, as I said earlier, so often, we have found the enemy and the enemy is ourselves, or at least within ourselves. Morality, it is true, is a private issue. But then, if our private morality is sinful it can and does have very public consequences. I am as guilty as the next man, perhaps guiltier for you never know who the next man is. However, the fact that we Catholics grapple with and often fail in overcoming our own sins does not stop us from believing in the Doctrine of the Church, nor shouting it from the rooftops, when the time calls for it. And the time does call for it. When it comes to an issue such as homosexuality, much like any other issue of sexual morality, such as masturbation, the use of pornography, adultery or fornication, the Church is clear and firm in Her teaching. In Confession recently (I realise the Seal of Confession is inviolate, but I can share advice given me) my Confessor told me that some personal sexual sins, while serious and grave or even mortal for the sinner, are potentially less serious than, say, sins against Charity and our neighbour. The Church is strict on sin, it is true, but She is soft on sinners, as is demonstrated by Our Blessed Lord's Parable of the Prodigal Son.

People are often surprised when I tell them I have no interest in attending Gay Pride in Brighton. Well, other than rather feebly trying to avoid occasions of sin, which that most certainly would be, I think that the worst thing about Gay Pride is that much of it takes place during the day and children are watching...and of course learning. Any good teacher will tell you that teaching involves modeling good behaviour, which children learn to imitate. One man who lives in a YMCA in Brighton told me that once he took his child to Preston Park, only for him and his child to discover two men at it in some bushes. Let us be clear. No child should ever have to be witness to what is a very graphic and very adult sexual scene. Meanwhile, some men and women at Gay Pride usually are behaving in an overtly sexual fashion, which while liberating for them, can be confusing or even disturbing for children. Let us allow children, who, though are not always little angels, still have an innocence of the adult world and all of the sexual complexities found therein.

Which leads me nicely back to this article published in The Telegraph. If we who are in the Church still fall into sin, how much worse are the social consequences, when Governments and policy makers do not even believe in its existence? The article in The Telegraph states that the leaders of the project at Exeter University, funded by public money, "have set themselves a goal of creating primary classrooms where queer sexualities are affirmed and celebrated".

So, it turns out, that if those who ran this project get it endorsed by the Government, which, knowing this Government they probably would, every week, month or year would have a Gay Pride day, affirming the value of homosexuality and showing the children how it all takes place, not just to secondary school teenagers, no, but to primary school children. That is children aged between the years of 5 and 11!

That is the nothing less and nothing more the than scandalisation of little children, making its sordid little way towards future education policy. Our Lord said, "Suffer the little children to come to Me." He did not say, "Make the little children suffer the sins of the adult world!"

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