Thursday, March 22, 2007

Lords back SORs

Background briefing: this outcome is partly a result of the state of ruination to which the British parliamentary system has been brought, deliberately, by the Blair government. The House of Lords is traditionally a place in which independent and often expert voices could make themselves heard, and legislation could be improved. This is, alas, no longer the case, and the situation is unlikely to be improved by making the Lords a second chamber of elected political hacks. Readers may like to sign this petition, to voice their disgust to what has taken place. And to pray for the fortitude which will be necessary for faithful Catholics to live under these regulations.

From CFNews:
An eleventh-hour attempt from a Conservative peer to overturn controversial gay rights regulations was last night defeated in the House of Lords. The motion put forward by Baroness O'Cathain in objection to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations was defeated by 168 to 122 votes. As the debate was taking place, around 1,000 Christians gathered outside the Houses of Parliament to take part in a prayer vigil organised by Christian Concern for Our Nation against the regulations. (Left). Andrea Minichiello Williams, Public Policy Officer at the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, said the passing of the regulations marked 'the imposition of a new morality'. She said that ordinary Christians may now be sued if they refuse to provide a good or service to homosexuals on grounds of conscience. 'The new laws today will impose upon us a new morality and if we don't accord to that morality we will find ourselves falling foul of the law,' she told Christian Today. The LCF previously criticised the Government for passing through the regulations undemocratically, saying they had been 'rushed through Parliament without proper debate and proper procedure'. (See item below) Ms Williams, meanwhile, said the regulations indicated growing persecution in the UK and that the church needed to 'awaken' to the fact that Christians in the UK were being 'persecuted by a silencing across the church'. She said that Christians were being pushed out of the public square and were now unable to live according to their values, adding that the new regulations were a 'censorship' of Christian values. 'That is at the very least the beginning of persecution. And that is something we need to be very alive to,' she said. 'We are no longer able to live according to these [Christian] values and there is the beginning of oppression. Things that are against God's will are being legislated and it would be good if the church could wake up just upon hearing that and call the nation back to Christ, call for revival in this land.' The LCF said it would be looking to challenge the regulations and that it would defend Christians finding themselves taken to court under the new regulations. 'These are battles that we are going to have to fight,' said Williams. [Christian Today]

Just 3 out of the 26 unelected bishops that sit in the House of Lords voted last night over the government's Sexual Orientation Regulations. Forty-two lay members of the Church of England's General Synod wrote to the bishops last week urging them to turn up and voteagainst the SORs. [Ekklesia]


John Kearney said...

What really saddens me and perhaps will sadden God is that the Catholic Church did not lead this fight against the SOR`s. Most catholics just want a comfortable faith which the present band of bishops are too ready to give them. People who are militant upsent them and often the greatest enemies you have to fight are those you would expect to be supporting you. We need and umbrella organisation which will join our different battle together in one great push. What we need is leadership.

CAUK Webmaster said...

Thanks. The existing umbrella group which springs to mind is Pro Ecclesiae et Pontifice, although they are more focused on issues within the Church (such as Catholic schools). There are some good groups in the US, but nothing equivalent here. British Catholics seem to expect their bishops to act for them, but actually lay-led organisations are essential, as the government can't so easily blackmail them (with threats to Catholic schools and charitable status).

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Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen