There in a scene described in the New Testament where Jesus, having been asked who will be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, calls a small child to him, and tells his disciples “This kid is, and you guys need to become more like little kids, and furthermore, anyone who hurts little kids should have a big stone hung round his neck and dropped into the deepest part of the sea, am I clear?”
No one knows how many priests in the Roman Catholic Church have abused children and are still active as priests in their communities. In each diocese, there are files on the priests who worked there which would make that clear if all of them were opened up, but the Catholic Church has steadily refused to do that.
Four hundred priests who have been accused of child molestation by the secular law authorities have been defrocked. I know of no instance where the Church has defrocked a priest and turned him and the evidence they had uncovered of his abuse of children over to the secular law authorities so that the legal authorities could act.
Well, I called it correctly six months ago when Barack Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage.
Yesterday Maryland and Maine made history: the first two US states to authorise equal marriage by referendum vote.
I asked some time ago why “Christian Concern for our Nation” was not concerned when Christians were being dragged from their prayers at the steps of St Pauls.
Giles Fraser was Canon Chancellor of St Pauls: he resigned because he could not tolerate the Church using the secular power of the state against protesters against economic injustice.
And he was nominated and won Hero of the Year at the Stonewall Awards by popular vote because he’d written in support of the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, but others have written in defense of the idea that Christianity’s central doctrine is not, as O’Brien claims, homophobia – Giles Fraser won because he is a hero: a Christian minister of religion who’d stood up to say that no, Christianity is not all about homophobia.
Stonewall has been holding a “Bigot of the Year” award, decided by popular vote, for six years. This year, unsurprisingly, the voters chose Cardinal Keith O’Brien.
Ed West in the Telegraph suggested:
Wouldn’t it be nice if Stonewall and other SSM supporters agreed to stop using such words, and in return opponents agreed to drop the dubious “slavery” or “Nazi” analogies.
In that West has it muddled. It has to happen the other way round. Someday, maybe, the Bigot of the Year award will be dropped because there won’t be enough write-in nominations because nobody’s publicly said or done anything bigoted.
On Sunday 4th November, BBC Sunday Morning Live is to debate “Is Stonewall’s ‘bigot of the year’ award inappropriate?” (You can register and vote Yes or No.)
In December 2009, the BBC’s Have Your Say staged an online debate on the question “Should homosexuals face execution?” After massive protest, the BBC changed the title of the debate to “Should Uganda debate gay execution?” but did not apologise for or retract the idea that putting people to death for their sexual orientation could be a matter for debate rather than condemnation.
Will Sunday Morning Live debate whether it’s “appropriate” for the BBC to allow a platform for bigots to discuss whether gay people should be killed or imprisoned for life?
Yesterday, all Catholic Churches in Scotland were directed to read out a “Pastoral Message on Marriage and Family Life” from the Bishops of Scotland on Marriage and Family Life from the Bishops of Scotland which was explicitly intended to let LGBT people in Scotland know that our families, and our marriages, are considered by the Catholic bishops to be unworthy and wrong. It announced a new Commission to “promote the true nature of marriage as both a human institution and a union blessed by Jesus” from which everyone not cisgendered and heterosexual is banned.
Cardinal O’Brien showed little faith in it, arguing that if same-sex couples can marry legally, this will “alter or destroy” the marriages of people to whom the Catholic Church is willing to provide pastoral support. (He doesn’t explain how.)
“The church’s teaching on marriage is unequivocal, it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that governments, politicians or parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality.”
“Time lies frozen there. It’s always Then. It’s never Now.” The Cardinal was afraid of Now, for Now has warmth and urgency, and Then is dead and buried. Now might bring a certain knight of gay and shining courage –
Crdinl Keith O’Brien has confirmed he will no longer use any of the letters in the word ‘gay’ and stressed
he was embarking on the phonetic moratorium because he did not want to be ‘prt of the problem’.
His spokesman said:
“Luckily ‘safe words’ include Jesus, communion, crucifix and Keith O’Brien.
“However he has had to change his job to title to ‘Crdinl’.
“Also, half the word ‘Mary’ is off limits so from now on he will refer to the Holy Mother as ‘Ethel’.
“It’s not blasphemous if it’s part of a bulwark against depravity.”
The spokesman added: “Golgotha comes out as ‘Oloth’ and Calvary is just ‘Clvr’, so Easter is going to be tricky. Especially if he’s calling it ‘Ester’.”
We confirmed with the spokesman that from now on the Crdinl says Continue reading
This blog is about love, fried chicken, incest, the Benedictine order, Saint Aelred, marriage, and the Bishop of Aberdeen. Not necessarily in that order.
The Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, entered Pluscarden Abbey at Moray in 1974 and was ordained a priest in 1979: he became Abbot of Pluscarden in 1992 and is celebrated for his support of Latin liturgy:
wonderful to see that … Aberdeen will soon have a pastor known for his understanding of liturgy and the “reform of the reform” currently sweeping through the Universal Church. The Divine Office and the Mass are both sung in Latin (using Gregorian chant) at Pluscarden, and devotees of the Extraordinary Form and traditional Catholicism have always been made to feel welcome there.
Gilbert left the monastery to be ordained Bishop of Aberdeen on Monday 15th August 2011.
“The rule of St Benedict says ‘prefer nothing to the love of Christ,’” he said. “I would like to think I take a firm sense of that with me, a sense of Christ and a certainty of Christ.”
On Friday 2nd September 2011, less than three weeks after Gilbert became Bishop of Aberdeen, the Scottish government launched their consultation on gay marriage. Monica Baldwin wrote a book about her experience of entering the secular world, I Leap Over The Wall: A Return to the World after Twenty-eight Years in a Convent – she entered her convent in 1914, a few months before WWI, and came out in 1941. In 1974, when Hugh Gilbert entered his monastery, the first international conference on gay rights was held in Edinburgh: sex between men was still illegal in Scotland, and had barely been decriminalised in England and Wales.
Dear Cardinal O’Brien,
I hear you have called on the Scottish government to hold a referendum on proposals to lift the ban on same-sex couples marrying, and you claim that a referendum would be justified because of intense public interest in the issue:
“The Scottish Government’s consultation on redefining marriage had three times more respondents than the consultation on the constitution, demonstrating clearly that far more people are concerned about fundamental matters of morality at the present time. Clearly, if it is sensible to hold a referendum on independence, it is crucial we have one on marriage. It is the only way the country can move forward on this issue. Let all those who have a view on this subject place their trust in the Scottish people and let Scotland decide.”
I suspect that what you have in mind is piggy-backing on the independence referendum in 2014 (or the EU membership referendum, which the Tories and UKIP are playing with) so that as well as asking “Do you think Scotland should be independent?” or whatever form of question we are to be asked, a second question on a separate slip is presented that I expect you would like to say:
“Marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”
Who could disagree with that? I agree that marriage should continue to be defined in that way – it’s simply that I, along with a majority of the people in Scotland, think that marriage should also be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a man, and between a woman and a woman.
How students at a Minneapolis-St Paul Catholic high school reacted to a presentation against same-sex marriage only a couple of months ago:
“The first three-quarters of the presentation were really good,” said [Matt Bliss, senior student at DeLaSalle High School]. “They talked about what is marriage and how marriage helps us as a society. Then it started going downhill when they started talking about single parents and adopted kids. They didn’t directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex. They implied that a ‘normal’ family is the best family.”
“When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset,” said Bliss. “You could look around the room and feel the anger. My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom.”
Bliss was one of several students who stood up to argue with the representatives from the archdiocese. One girl held up a sign that said, “I love my moms.”
In a BBC1 Scotland interview yesterday, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, best-known for comparing same-sex marriage to slavery, said it was immoral “just to ignore” those suffering as a result of the credit crunch.
Cardinal O’Brien thinks these two things are the same.