Monday, 27 February 2012
Ironically now when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriages I am imploring [and praying long and hard for] His Grace - and his obliging media-acolytes [ Catholic Voices etc] to put a sock in it!
In 2003 the CDF directive on same-sex unions made it quite clear, that irrespective of the appeals to natural justice that same-sex couples are entitled to legal protection via legacy/ownership/visitation rights etc - the very notion of a Civil partneships gives affront and scandalises the very nature of marriage by its inherent emulation. Cardinal Ratzinger was categorical that we had a duty to oppose Civil Partnerships.
In early 2004 the Bishops of England & Wales declared they 'strongly opposed' civil partnerships.
Hence when the legislation was brought in there were grave consequences for Catholics and like-minded Christians.
The forced closure of Catholic adoption agencies
The sacking of registrars and marriage guidance counsellors who refused on grounds of religious conscience to be involved with same-sex relationships.
The farcical situation of employees of Catholic institutions who had contracted civil partnerships being told by their bosses to engage in a 'Don't ask: Don't tell' policy.
[Of course this secrecy didn't matter if you were higher up the pecking order in professional lay-Catholic circles - one could then flagrantly display one's partnership status to the extent of having scandalous Church blessings or publicly snogging at Church social functions - without a single feather being ruffled or a word being uttered - there is always one law for the Westminster elite and another for the rest of us]
So faithful, orthodox, devout Catholics heard the unequivocal message opposing Civil Partnerships from Rome and our Bishops - and acted accordingly - even to the extent of losing their livelihoods in the process - or refusing to engage in the legal provisions within CPs
Catholic teaching on the issue of Civil Partnerships has been rewritten in a revisionist scandal of Stalinist proportions.
Now whether the new formulation was composed by Bishops or the laity or academics or commentators or a mixture ?
The consensus of a committee or the brainchild of one individual?
....is something only the privileged 'great and good' know at present.
Nevertheless - Archbishop Nichols [and presumably his supportive brother Bishops] , Austen Ivereigh & Catholic Voices [and like-minded associates] have decided that the 2003 CDF directive and the Joint Bishops Statement - DO NOT RELATE TO CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS - rather they are solely referring to Gay Marriage.
This "positive reframing" [euphemism for mendacious revisionism] is intended to 'win hearts - not arguments' , 'to shed light - not heat'...because 'people will not remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel' and the 'officially approved response' is composed in the classic 'thought triangle' structure
[i.e. only have three arguments and stick to them for grim death because you can't defend your position outside this sophistic-paradigm]
a] Marriage is a unique internationally recognised status - and it's about sex - and an appropriate structure for child-rearing. Civil partnerships have nothing to do with sex.
b] Civil partnerships are ok [ any justification is fine - +Vin goes along the line of embracing, welcoming and celebrating with gladness the expressed commitment of those in such unions]
c] The problem is that Civil Partnerships are not extended to other relationships [bring in the spinster aunts or two unrelated friends living together who do not have legal protection, power of attorney of inheritance rights etc]
Church directives are repudiated, denied and dismissed.
The Bishops perform a volte-face - 'strongly oppose becomes anything goes'
Church teaching is rewritten. [Wonder if His Holiness knows? Word from Rome suggests that he has and he is not altogether a happy bunny about it]
The Church-elite in England & Wales have reneged on the reasons why Catholic adoption agencies were forced to close.
Similarly they have gravely, sanctimoniously and ungratefully spat upon those Catholics who risked and sacrificed relationships, careers and livelihoods in order to uphold Catholic teaching which has now been abandoned in a fit of hubris by Apostles and those commissioned to speak for the Church in the media.
...and ironically in the process they have also demeaned and grossly offended the homosexual couples who have contracted civil partnerships by indicating that they are merely protective legal contracts that have nothing to do with a loving same-sex commitment - as they can and should be equivalently extended to any two people who want to have one [whether they're emotionally attached in any way is an irrelevance!!!??]
WELL DONE IVEREIGH !
WELL DONE +VIN!
By rewriting Church teaching at whim in order not to offend anyone...you've ended up OFFENDING EVERYONE!!!!
I don't know what's more embarrassing: The heterodoxy, the treachery, the ingratitude or the ineptitude?!!
...but now here's the crunch - after Andrew Brown reported +Vin's 'non-opposition to CPs' in his Guardian article last week http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/22/catholic-church-reject-uk-christians-persecuted.
The CBCEW have issued a 'clarification' which totally countermands/denies/repudiates the presumed position of non-opposition to one of strong opposition!
So where do we go from here?
Has anyone told +Vin that he's not speaking 'as one voice' with his brother Bishops?
Isn't +Vin the CBCEW President?
Maybe His Grace just fell victim to a seasonal 'emotional spasm' regarding doctrine and has now fallen back into doctrinal coherency?
...but I notice Catholic Voices are so far silent on the issue!