Saturday, July 26, 2008

Catholic Directory 2009

Action: letters to the General Secretary of the Bishops Conference (see below): the Catholic Directory, according to the Bishops themselves, should not have organisations in it which are not Catholic. Decisions on who is to be included in the new edition are made in August.

Most notable among non-Catholic organisations in the 2008 Directory are

Progressio: (listed among 'International/Third World Catholic Agencies', p680) it does not claim to be Catholic; it opposes Catholic teaching on condoms and AIDS; it supports pro-abortion groups in South America.
See our dossier, and several posts by John Smeaton, the National Director of SPUC

Marriage Care: wrongly called 'Catholic Marriage Care' in the heading on p652 of the Directory, where it has a section all to itself, it no longer calls itself Catholic. It opposes Catholic teaching on Civil Partnerships and homosexuality, seeing no difference between counselling homosexuals in an objectively immoral relationship and counselling a married couple. The Chairman, Terry Prendergast, is on record (in The Tablet) as being in favour of sex outside marriage.
See our dossier.

Catholics for AIDS Prevention and Support (CAPS): (listed among 'Catholic Societies of England and Wales', p670) founded by Martin Pendergast, it is closely linked to the Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. The LGCM explicitly rejects Church teaching on sexuality. CAPS shared a stall with the RCCLGCM at the recent LondonPride 'gay pride' march. It will not subscribe to a declaration of Church teaching on homosexuality. Pendergast tell us "Our line, whether in CAPS or the Lesbian and Gay Caucus, is that in reaching moral decisions as Catholics you respect the tradition of the church and listen to what its leaders are saying, but at the end of the day you have to reach those decisions yourself." (see here).
See our dossier.

In 2001 the Bishops Conference published a short document called 'Criteria for entry into the Catholic Directory', available from this page of their website, as a pdf (here). This tells us that 'ecclesiastical recognition is given to organisations so that they may be publicly known as both Catholic and of national significance'. It goes on to specify as the first criterion for entry:

'A fundamental commitment to the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church, particularly as expressed by the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.'

This is explained in more detail: 'The word 'fundamental' relates to the key objectives of the organisation as formally written and as corporately pursued. It is tolerant of some variety of emphasis in expression and in operation, but not of deviation from ultimate loyalty to the Church, nationally or internationally.'

It is patently clear that Progressio and Marriage Care, which explicitly state that they are not (any longer) Catholic organisations on their websites, do not fulfil this criterion. It is equally clear that CAPS, whose work in based on the rejection (or at least the ignoring) of Church teaching on sexuality, does not either.

Please point this out to:

Mgr Andrew Summersgil, General Secretary,
Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
39 Eccleston Square

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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