Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The CSF Bill and The Call of Truth

What has Mother Angelica got to do with the CSF Bill? Well, I have been thinking about this bill and the CES response, the amendment and an email I had this morning from a fellow priest. I sat down about 30 minutes ago and switched on the TV. I eventually found my way to EWTN and watched part of a Mother Angelica re-run. Coincidentally (God-incidentally) she was talking about the passion of the Church - how the Church is hated and reviled in our times, how she suffers and how she could so easily be betrayed by those within. Yet, she remains beautiful in God's sight.
She also spoke about sex education. There is too much of it, she said. "Why do they need so long to figure it out?" she asked. "My mother told me everything in five minutes. I got the whole thing in five minutes!"
As if this was not enough, Mother then went on to exhort us to be proclaimers of the Truth. At which point I switched off. I got the message. Catholics should know that we do not accept something is true because the Church teaches it, but that the Church teaches it because it is true. To say, "this is what Catholics believe children" as though what we believe has no relevance to anyone who is not Catholic is wrong. The truth is the truth is the truth, whether I am Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim or Zoroastrian. Yes we accept each person's right to believe according to their conscience. Yes we respect their freedom to follow a chosen path, but that does not mean we can or should deny the Truth. Catholics who have any sense know what the problem is here.
Not only that, as followers of Christ we owe it to others to defend true human dignity and true human rights, which begin with the right to life - the right to be human. We owe it to our non-Catholic brothers and sisters to defend and promote the Truth, which is the same as honouring Christ. If (God forbid) our bishops have agreed, done a deal with, (or just kept quiet in the face of ) Ed Balls and his cohorts, accepting an accommodation that will mean Catholics can no longer speak or behave as true Catholics in schools (in churches eventually?) then those of us who realise what is about to happen must protest and stand up to be counted. If it came to it, I would be prepared to go to prison. Even if the Catholic teachers next door are forced to teach things that are against their conscience and mine, I will contradict them in church. Because I am not a teacher, when I visit schools, I will tell the children the truth, and if someone comes to tell me to stop it they had better bring handcuffs and a gag.


  1. Well said Father.
    I am glad I no longer work in a Catholic School. I now have reservations about sending my children to them. What is the point? They will not only be not getting the full package but will have to learn things which are fundamentally in direct contradiction to the Teaching of the Church. The vile CES is no friend of Catholicism.

  2. I will try and support you all the way in this, Father; keep the message strong.

    This whole situation reminds me very much of the later days of Henry VIII, when people accepted and abided by the 'law of the land' and as a result the Church in England received the rewards, with the dissolution and destruction of all that was held as "the Faith".
    Isn’t history simply repeating itself once again?
    Should we be looking for, another Thomas More or John Fisher (with two High schools in the Diocese named after him), who might be prepared to stand up and be counted?
    Isn’t strong leadership at the highest level needed because if we do not see this, then how can ordinary Catholics in the pews be expected to respond to these threats?
    If the Catholic Hierarchy were prepared to speak out publicly for their Faith and possibly 'suffer' as a result, then their example might well strengthen and encourage the Faith of ordinary Catholics (including many lapsed). They might then be prepared to support them in other areas and the Church would develop and blossom with new enthusiasm.
    "Who is prepared to give up that which they cannot keep,
    in order to gain what they cannot lose"
    As Fulton Sheen said, “Wrong is still wrong even if everyone agrees with it and right is still right even when no-one agrees with it.”

  3. Well said Father! The time appears to have arrived for what theTablet ironically calls its faithful dissent although we are now pushed to dissent from state legislation which removes religious freedom - how diverse! It should also remind us of the power of celibacy. For instance I may tend to keep quiet as I provide for my family. With the papal visit in the offing our primate will find silence on the matter or a legalistic response unacceptable. As you say in the North a spade is a spade and it appears to be time to be honest and straightforward for the little ones. May God grace you Father with many more years of faithful ministry.