However, I don't only feel pessimistic about that. In a country as drawn towards atheism and secularism it is perhaps not surprising that the Government will be able to do in this country something which would, I believe, be far more difficult in a country like Poland.
As far as the Church's campaign for the defence of marriage is concerned, the problem is that not only has it failed to get the message of the excellent Campaign for Marriage out to people in the whole country, but it has failed to get across the message to people in the pews.
After Mass this evening, I heard some mutterings by a Catholic family on the way home, about 10 yards in front of me, who seemed to be saying something like, 'I agree with it.' I don't know whether they were talking about 'gay marriage', but I expect that they were. Perhaps I should have run up to them and said, "What did you say!?" but I thought that, frankly, if Catholic families are going to Mass and are still coming away with the idea that marriage and the family is the same under same-sex conditions, then why should I harangue them?
|'Greetings from Brighton: It's been a bit chilly, the food is okay...'|
As a matter of fact, the postcard idea, I thought, was pretty good, apart from the fact that the debate and vote are on Tuesday.
The family who are/might be in agreement with 'gay marriage' worry me, however, because it is likely that if they are supportive of the redefinition of marriage then it means that whatever happens on Tuesday (and we know pretty much what will happen on Tuesday) that already the battle has been lost. This family, presumably represent a proportion of Mass attending Catholics who have not only not been properly catechised on marriage and the Church's teaching, but most likely have not been properly catechised at all.
And, with the greatest respect to those who are not Catholic or Christian and who continue to advance their support of 'gay marriage', I, for one, do not consider that this family and the other Mass attending Catholics who support 'same-sex marriage' are fully in possession of the facts about just what this bill will do if it is passed into law.
If Catholics (and, in fact, most British people) understood the radical transformation this Bill will produce in education, in terms of what marriage means, the redefinition of their own relationships, what it means in terms of religious freedom, in terms of the ability of Catholics and others to teach in schools and other areas of public life according to their conscience, in terms of exactly what kind of material and literature to which school children will be exposed, people would not only not support 'gay marriage', but would, in fact, be livid about it. People are not livid. Why? Because they have not been told the facts.
Campaign for Marriage which has tried its best with limited resources to get the message into a media dominated by people who support the liberal, LGBT agenda.
Groups who support the redefinition of marriage have, along with a compliant media, been able to browbeat opposition to this measure with crude attacks grounded in the 'bigotry' and 'prejudice' of those who simply cannot bring themselves to accept that marriage can be redefined by the State to include same-sex couples who, without exception, are unable to bring new life into this World by natural means. For this reason, perhaps it was always going to be an uphill task to educate the British public with so much support from the media and from the celebrity world in favour of the most dramatic upheaval in public policy for hundreds of centuries.
This excuse, however, cannot be used for the Teachers and especially the Shepherds charged by Our Blessed Lord with the responsibility of teaching the Catholic Faith, guarding the lambs in their care and educating the flock in the Truth. We must acknowledge that the proportion of Catholics who are well-informed about the Catholic Faith and the deeply sinister consequences of this legislation are, in fact, a small minority. The public education, or indoctrination campaign (indoctrination is meant to be what the Church does), launched by Stonewall and others has been simple but effective, well-funded and ultimately, will most likely win, despite the fact that the consequences for those who cannot bring themselves to accept the widespread ramifications of this legislation, as well as the central concept of 'same-sex marriage', will be destructive, divisive and ultimately totalitarian in nature.
Venerable Fulton Sheen said, “Who is going to save our Church? Not our Bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops like bishops and your religious act like religious”.
Catholic bloggers - in the Priesthood and in the Laity, as well as the educational work done by Catholic organisations and others in the mainstream press - have consistently been working day and night to raise awareness of the dramatic threat this legislation poses not just to Christians but to all families and married couples across the United Kingdom. This is an earthquake that will be felt, in some way, by everyone. Somehow, there are families in the pew who most likely don't yet quite understand quite what is at stake here. Why?
Perhaps, their Lordships - who, with the exception of a handful in England, could not bring themselves to issue a ten, or, indeed, twenty or thirty point education pamphlet on exactly WHY this legislation is such bad news for Catholics (and indeed all British citizens who haven't yet realised what it really means) - should have just referred all parishes in their Dioceses to the Catholic blogosphere, where an army of writers have been telling the truth about this legislation since day one. I guess they couldn't have done that though, because, you know, '...I don't read blogs'...'bloggers are the problem'...when, in fact, all along we've been working hard, for free, to raise awareness of the inherent dangers posed by this legislation.
I'm sure I don't only speak for myself when I say that I don't want recognition. Catholic bloggers do, however, want to be able to communicate the message of the Gospel and the truth about what this legislation means to the widest possible audience of Catholics and other British people as possible. The truth is that the Bishops, all but a few, are frightened of bloggers, for some reason, while an army of men and women prepared to sacrifice much of their time for the Gospel is, in fact, a hugely untapped resource for the Catholic Church in England and Wales. We may not be the World's greatest writers, nor the most eloquent, but we are among the most passionate. We communicate the Church's message. Why would the Bishops not want to utilize people who are prepared to work for free in order to do this and, in particular, at this time when the institution of marriage is on the line and we are online defending it?
Anyway, enough negativity. I'm sure there are perfectly great reasons why the hard work of loads of Catholics online defending and educating people about the Faith is ignored by most Bishops, most Priests and therefore, most lay people left almost totally in the dark about the destructive consequences of the forthcoming legislation aimed right at the heart of marriage, the family, religious freedom and the Church.
Keep praying that sense may prevail in the minds of our legislators and that they will search their consciences and uphold the common good this coming week. Tomorrow, I don't have much on, so perhaps I'll just go into town and try and hand out some of SPUC's excellent campaign material on the consequences of redefining marriage for the Church, for society and for human freedom. I figure best do it now, because I dare say to try it in a year or two will lead to my arrest for 'homophobic and anti-social behaviour'. Perhaps me and Jason Evans will be both appearing in Crown Court on the same day for similar reasons. I don't know about you, but I've always thought those G4S tags were trendy...mad, bad and dangerous to know, eh?
Pray for our legislators, pray for our Bishops, pray for all involved in the battle for marriage and try not to think about parallels with Mitt Romney's election campaign. In the meantime, I've got a gay - a word that means 'happy' - marriage of my own to plan.
Update: Some good news: The Telegraph is running with the headline 'Archbishop Challenges Government on Gay Marriage'.
That's the Archbishop of Canterbury, in case you're wondering...