Friday, December 21, 2007

Damian Thompson's summary of the year

Briefing: the bishops of England and Wales look pretty bad when one reads Damian Thompson's list of their failures to support the Pope's initiatives (the Motus Proprio and his encyclicals) and their support for a book attacking the Pope, since March when he started his blog. To this we might add the support given by a number of bishops to militant homosexual groups which not only demand that the Church's immutable teaching be changed to suit them, but describe the Pope himself as a 'homophobe': and allowing the Association of Catholic Women to be driven out of the bishops' own consultative body, the National Board of Catholic Women.

But to balance Thompson's list here is a list of good things bishops have done in 2007.

Bishop Roche of Leeds condemns abuse of the Holy Name by the media.

Scottish Bishops as a body plan legal challenge to the Sexual Orientation Regulations on behalf of their adoption agencies.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor makes an urgent appeal against the Sexual Orientation Regulations.


Scottish bishops as a body issue strongly-worded attack on the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

Bishop Devine of Motherwell calls on Scottish Labour to support Christian values.

Bishop Hollis of Portsmouth condemns the abuse of 'general absolution' and the giving of communion to non-Catholics.

Bishop Tartaglia speaks out against the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

Archbishop Nichols of Birmingham calls for lobbying of MPs to stop or modify the Sexual Orientation Regulations. For this he is pilloried by Stonewall as a runner up 'bigot of the year.'


Scottish bishops as a body call on Catholic voters to examine the pro-life credentials of candidates in elections.

the Bishops of England and Wales as a body reiterate the Church's teaching that human embryos should be treated with the respect due to human persons, against the proposed 'hybrids' bill and embryo experimentation.

Archbishop Smith of Cardiff says pro-abortion politicians should not receive communion.

Scottish bishops, as a body, call for a delay to the 'hybrid embryo' bill.

Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster rules out any compromise between Catholic adoption agencies and the SORs: rather than hand chidren over to homosexual couples, or hand them over to another body to do that, they will close.

Bishops of England and Wales as a body call on schools to withdraw support from the now pro-abortion Amnesty International.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor tells the rebel management of the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth that if the hospital won't be Catholic, it will be sold off and the proceeds used for Catholic purposes. The management finally backs down and accepts a new code of ethics.

Archbishop Nichols of Birmingham sticks his head above the parapet (again) to criticise the Government plan to allow two lesbians both to be described officially as 'mother' to a child.

Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster calls on Catholic schools to be truly Catholic, and lists the ways this must be done.

We don't want to give the impression that the Bishops have done nothing not open to criticism. But criticism must be made on the basis of the complete picture. Just as we say 'No to Pollyanna', we reject the view that the bishops never do anything right. In 2008 they have had their backs to the wall on a series of issues: euthanasia, the SORs and the adoption agencies, the hybrids bill, Amnesty International and abortion, and the growing threat to Catholic charities. Their response has not been perfect, but they are at least opposing the persecution of the Church and the destruction of the vestiges of legally enshrined Christian values. These issues will continue and they will get worse; we can only expect the bishops to carry on, and improve, on such issues if Catholics commend and support them.

What the bishops have failed to do is to put the Church in these islands into a position in which it can gather the strength to oppose these laws and begin to reconvert the country. The first and most important thing, the thing that only they can do, is to get rid of the openly dissident people who run pretty well everything the bishops are directly in charge of, from 'gay' Masses to the seminaries. Only when they do this will things start to improve: there will be more, and better trained, priests, and the Church won't constantly be attacked and undermined from within. The bishops seem to be fond of this ghastly crowd of professional dissidents, whose only qualifications seem to be membership of an 'in-group' with the same tedious attitudes of liberal dissent from Church teaching.

Please pray for the bishops.


Patricia said...

I always feel somewhat frustrated by this "let's balance out the bad with the good" mentality.
We didn't say, "oh well, Dr Shipman killed over 200 patients but don't lets forget he cured many a bad bout of flu!"
Words are easy and cost nothing. Our Scottish bishops have always been masterful in the way they could project themselves as sound bishops. Don't, please, be fooled by them. The same bishops who spout forth concern about the various moral issues asked the Scottish Government to fund improved sex education and they (unable to believe their luck) paid for a teacher to be seconded to the Scottish Catholic Education Service for a year. It is just not possible to "balance out" good and bad. Bad / evil must always be condemned. When they say the right thing, that is because they are SUPPOSED to say the right thing. We don't praise the bin men for emptying our bins do we?
Patricia McKeever,
Editor, Catholic Truth

Webmaster said...

Don't worry Patricia I'm not going soft. I'm not saying the bishops are heroes. I put this list in because it is useful to know the cases in which the bishops did their duty - or at least pretended to. For example, the fact that Bishop Kelly banned Quest from using the Liverpool University Catholic Chaplaincy facilities makes it easier to put pressure on Bishop MacDonald to do the same in Southwark.

And anyway, we all need to see the full picture. If Damian T. had done a list of good things, I might have made a list of bad things. ;-)

Patricia said...

I take your point, Webmaster, and I realise that the example you give (of Quest) is a very good one. I won't forgive you for that...Hate it when people get one over on me...!!!
Seriously, while that is an excellent point and of course I don't deny that we should give credit where it's due, in a sense, nevertheless I think we ought to avoid the term "balancing" because what people do then is say "oh well, right enough, they don't always do what is right but on balance..." And we're back full circle to Dr Shipman again.
Give in, Webbie. You're NOT going to get the last word on this one!
Hope you're coming to our May conference next May - where you won't hear a word about "balancing" the good with the bad. And if you speak of balance...we'll all know who you are!!! Brilliant. This guy just cannot win! That's the kind of men I love to bits!

Webmaster said...

Ok, Patricia, you win!

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

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