Bizarre Big Questions Debate in Brighton

Catholic writer and broadcaster, Christina Odone
Thanks to All the Little Epsilons for drawing my attention to this. BBC's 'The Big Questions' was held at Patcham High School in Brighton this week, an event that passed me by completely, with combatively biased Nicky Campbell hosting a three-pronged debate among a throng of eccentric characters including guest speakers, Peter Tatchell, Sussex clergyman Rev Peter Owen-Jones and our own Christina Odone. Incredibly, all three guests either defended or promoted same sex unions of one kind or another with Christina expressing tentative 'concern' over  homosexual marriage because it goes against the 'rules' in 'my' Church.

The debate had the appearance of your average Church of England synod, with the voice of truth clamouring to be heard only to be drowned out by a veritable tsunami of liberal detritus. No surprises there. That is what daytime TV debates are all about. What was surprising was the woefully ineffective performance of our own Christina Odone. Having more or less praised Civil Partnerships, or at least failed to point out any moral problems that the Church has with homosexual unions and having repeatedly having made use of that hideous refrain, 'my Church', when speaking of the Church that belongs to Christ, Christina comforted the Ordinariate-considering Canon Beau Brandie of Forward in Faith during this little exchange with the show's presenter...

Nicky Campbell: "Christian Odone. 2011. The tide of modernity and modern values, British values, as the Prime Minister recently called them, liberal values comes to wash over many church men and church women. Are there other Churches, are there other denominations, other religions that need to change?"
Christina Odone: "Well, I'll tell you what I am concerned about is...that if you are coming to the Catholic Church because you don't want women bishops in the Anglican Church, the concern is, because of the evolution of theology, we may have women bishops too and what you will find is a Church that is exactly like the one you have left behind on that issue."

Oh dear. The whole show is penitential viewing to say the least. At 27:35 mins, following a lengthy debate on the ethics of the 'humanitarian' war in Libya, Christina pretty much takes a hatchet to the Church's teaching on sex, marriage and the need for the latter for the former to be sanctified. It isn't so much that she's trying to hack away at the Church's teaching so much as she's just not looking where she's swinging. She gives an Ivereighian defense of same-sex Civil Partnerships before failing abysmally to reach out to poor Canon Beau Brandie, drowning in the Church of England's relativism while still holding fast to sacraments and orders that have been declared 'utterly null and totally void'.

Still, at least Canon Brandie believes in Sacraments and defended the Resurrection and Virginity of Our Blessed Lady. Speaking of the Anglican Church (though let's face it, he could have been talking about the Catholic Church), the impressively sound Canon Brandie, in stark contrast to the self-styled Sussex celebrity vicar (who comes across as if he is smoking weed every moment the camera is off him) and the militant gay Peter Tatchell-in-clerical-collar-Anglican vicar who wants to get married in an Anglican Church, said, "We've always had people who denied the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection."

So have we Canon Brandie! So should you join the Ordinariate then I am sorry to say that you will still find these heretics in the Catholic Church, but the difference is that God has promised that the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against His Church built on Peter, the Rock and the Church in Her teaching, cannot err. The Holy Spirit has guided Her into 'all truth' and all Her Sacraments are valid. Rome sweet home! The grass really is greener, Canon Brandie, but there will always be weeds! We've also always had some abysmal public spokespersons for the Catholic Faith, though we seem to have more of them now than ever before. The truly strange debate on this topic begins at 45:30 mins. The disappointing message from Christina Odone (who should perhaps consider doing the dishes or the laundry next time she's invited to defend the Church on national TV) to those disaffected Anglicans considering a move to Rome then: "Don't bother joining the Ordinariate because liberal theologians are running the show in the Church and, you know, we'll maybe end up with women bishops too!"

Well done, Christina! Great work! Good grief! Whoever gave you the idea to say that!? Has the Vatican issued some press release on women's ordination that I missed? Does this 'evolving theology' of the Church have anything at all to do with the theology of the Successor of St Peter?  I don't think so. Not only that, but His Holiness is going to extraordinary lengths to send helicopters to disaffected Anglicans crying out to be rescued from the swamped carnage of their fragmenting battered church. His predecessor, Ven. Pope John Paul II, made the Church's position on this matter quite clear. On the nature of Christian marriage, on the inherent evils of same sex unions and on those conditions necessary for ordained ministry in the Church, the Church has spoken. Unlike some Catholic commentators, Canon Brandie, I'm no clairvoyant, but whatever Christina Odone may prophesy, it is highly, highly, highly, HIGHLY unlikely that the Church will ever ordain women as either Bishops or Priests. Nothing in Her Apostolic Tradition suggests that this will ever occur. This is the problem with people who use the phrase, 'my Church', when discussing the One True Church. They think that their pronouncements on daytime TV shows carry Magisterial weight!


Caroline said…
I thought of several things to say, but they sound pretty pompous. So I'm just sitting here shaking my head at Christina.... She would make a great Anglican.
Anonymous said…
That ruined my lunch. I'm beginning to think the good folk of the Tablet don't so much need a catechism as an exorcist.

Anonymous said…
How right you are! Cristina had a perfect platform to spread the values of the Catholic church and squandered it shamefully. Her confused and 'liberal' message flirted dangerously with ideas of tolerance and acceptance.