Monday, 27 February 2012

Lighting a candle in the darkness...

Last Saturday I attended a Catechetical training day for the Diocese of Northampton ; where we were introduced to a new [Maryvale backed] form of Introductory Catechesis: ANCHOR -  aimed at Catholics returning to the Faith... Anchor was created by Sr Hyacinthe of the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph - and don't let its minimalist simplicity [6 short lessons of ikon discussion, scriptural reflection, doctrinal discussion and prayer] hoodwink you into thinking it is watered down in any most certainly isn't!

I urge everyone to investigate this fascinatingly innovative form of introducing doctrinal basics around the structure of the mass, with prayer central to its structure - and an almost anachronistically wonderful return to fundamental apologetics by staing the simple tenets of the Faith and discussing the 'why and how' around them...

How do most modern catechetical programmes begin? With personal experience and one's own 'life story', with socio-cultural integration into an 'ascending christology' among the people of good 'we are church' etc...all counterprodictive bilge...

Rather they begin with the Fundamental grounds upon which all other Doctrine is built - THE TRINITY! With simple discussion and analysis of the Baptism of Our Lord with corresponding ikon...this is a catechetical aperitif - it is merely a welcoming...but for the first time in decades [and especially for the first time in E & W] there is a beginning...this is a spark...this is is no dumbing down or patronising of the faithful.

Now this is redolent of teaching one would find in the first paragraph in an old Catholic Evidence Guild pamphlet - it's merely a collection of lightning glimpses of orthodoxy - with scrupulous care towards finding that glorious simplicity beyond complexity...but it has that enticing ability to engage with people and call to them to participate...

Sr Hyacinthe - and her fellow WONDERFUL sisters - are truly about the Lord's work in this. Thanks be to God.

With Anchor - and many of the resources which will surely follow - we're on our way back....

Westminster Farce

When His Holiness was victim of a media witch-hunt mendaciously and libellously accusing him of covering-up clerical sex abuse - I desperately pleaded online and via e-mail with His Grace Archbishop Nichols to jump to the Pope's defence and say something...after months the Bishops finally arrived at a watered-down self-promoting weak-willed 'sort of' defence which was far too late to alter anything....

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

e.g. http://marymagdalen.blogspot.c...

...and now?

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? 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!!!??]


By rewriting Church teaching at whim in order not to offend'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

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! 

Has the Rubicon been crossed?

 In regard to the Extraordinary Form and Summorum Pontificum - the Bishops and
'professional' clergy/laity of this country defiantly attempted to
thwart those who desired it:

They lied about the composition of those desiring it [i.e. that they were all pre-vatican II octogenarians!]
They lied about the regulations,
They lied about what constitutes the composition of a stable group.
They lied about provision,
They lied about their ecclesiastical power to prevent them and provide them..

...and then turned round to Rome and...

...lied that nobody wanted them!

And the few who did want to say EF masses were all raging
sedevacantists or fascistic bullying priests who were forcing the  form
upon an outraged , distressed congregation!!!
e.g. The Tablet's character assassination of Fr Tim Finigan.
Need we go through the scandal at Allerton Bywater where a priest is dispossessed ,
aside-thrust, cast-out by the sheer might of Uncle +Arthur Roche's will? 

The generosity of His Holiness is rather directed at those who despise his Papacy and the entire Benedictine Revolution - renegade fifth-columnists within Holy Mother Church who seek to create a
NuChurch in their own image and to their own aggrandisement.
If I were the Pope I should have launched an inquiry into the validity of Diocesan
claims regarding Summorum Pontificum and see if the reality measured up
in any way!

Because we all know it doesn't!

For decades we have been drenched with a vomit-inducing, relativistic, pragmatic syncretist
oecumania regarding our 'separated brethren' - and we defiantly broke
Church regulations and papal directives and performed all manner of
sacrileges and scandals in the process...

We are now fully aware that these initiatives, programmes and tens of millions wasted was not
merely counterproductive and alienating - it was performed by
recalcitrant liars and hypocrites WHO DID NOT WANT OECUMENISM...

How can we deduce this?
By the scandalous way the Ordinariate have been treated by our
hierarchy and the 'professional' clergy/laity with their incessant
dismissal, ridicule, their whispering campaigns against them and their
outrageous refusal to comply with His Holiness's wishes in their regard.

When the Ordinariate was formed it was envisaged by Rome that after
Archbishop Nichols many, many 'obliging' trips to Rome to help formulate
the Ordinariate in secret with its main leaders...that once the
Ordinariate was instituted it would be provided with at least one
London-based Central Church with an effective administrative HQ - AND

Whispers from the ether suggest that a
certain gentleman in white was led to believe that as Westminster was
closing Colney it was going to be provisionally donated to the
Ordinariate with financial assistance and on-site help from perhaps a
few religious orders in its maintenance...

...only a few months
ago we were scandalised to discover that potentially the Ordinariate
were going to be provided with a glorified public toilet as their HQ!!!

and NOW?!!
+Vin's turned round and told them to get stuffed because 'you can't afford one
so we wouldn't want to financially and logistically burden you'


Which is hardly surprising:

Already we have the contemptible Stalinist revisionism of
'Civil Partnerships are ok' 
by +Vin  and Catholic Voices. [although the CBCEW seems to have had a wobble and 'clarified' that the position has not changed since the 'strongly oppose them' of 2003 (But has anyone bothered to tell +Vin or the CVeebies?)}

We Have a Bishops Conference which has endorsed:
Abortion via Connexions in Catholic Schoolc
Euthanasia via the Liverpool care Pathway
Employing those who advocate, promote and actuate the Culture of Death [even to
the extent of giving top jobs to pro-abortion ex MPs, population control
experts and the woman who sent the mobile abortuaries into Sub-Saharan

Conference conspired with the Mental Capacity act [a letter from Archbishop Smith duplicitously stating the Church 'had no problems with the bill' was read out in the Commons and halted a backbench rebellion in its tracks] , it deplorably attempted to make deals over the HFEA Bill and what's
probably the worst of all - had there not been an election we might now
be in a situation where Catholic moral teaching in a Catholic school
would be banned outside the religious education class - due to an HSE
bill which was joint-drafted by the CESEW!!!???

Does their Vichyite treachery know no bounds?

The despicable activity at the Vaughan and Warwick St - and even +Vin's
continuing refusal to sort out the abortifacient prescription &
abortion referrals - even sex-change operations - ongoing at the John & Lizzie ; they're small
change to these people....

What should His Holiness do?
Where does he start?
Does he order Conference to immediately dissociate itself from Connexions and the LCP?
Does he demand +Vin gets his act together, stops abortions being authorised
by the hospital in his auspices, stops rewriting Catholic teaching
regarding homosexual unions, stops allowing opportunistic media-hacks
and acolytes to do the same thing as they have done elsewhere
[especially regarding condoms] ; stops the Soho masses and Quest?

...and does he order +Vin to for God's sake give the Ordinariate a Church like His Holiness was led to believe they would?

Members of the Ordinariate gave up their security, their livelihoods, took
their families into penury living on the good-will of friends and
extended family and charitable Anglican and Catholic friends...

...and what have we done in return?
We've spat on them and told them they're not wanted!

May God forgive us - and if +Vin gets his red hat after this I hope he has
the decency not to be able to look in the mirror wearing it.

The Augean stables are now so large - where can one start?

Are we now at a stage where - given we've a Conference which allows
abortions in Catholic schools and has no problem with the sick and
elderly being starved & dehydrated to death... suspend - even abolish- the Bishops' Conference?

Canonically they've already broken so many laws it would take years of trials and tribunals!

Our hierarchy have technically - through negligence, arrogance and
downright refusal to obey the laws and teachings of Holy Mother Church -
have inaugurated what's tantamount to a civil war!

Lightening up..

I found a Lion & a Witch in my wardrobe today...

I asked them what they were doing.

"Narnia business" was their reply.

So far it's an F+/E- for [not so] Catholic Voices.

[Austen Ivereigh - proving that he's an 'invaluable' asset whose proffered epithets Holy Mother Church could well do without...]

Catholic Voices is a wonderful concept.

It is such a shame that its actuation and development has been so contrary to the claimed aims of its co-ordinators.

It stated it was to be of a 'Pauline' structure - taking ordinary Catholics from every walk of life of varied socio-cultural backgrounds to train them to speak for the Faith in a media environment.
Regrettably this is not the case and the majority are Oxbridge/London University graduates or members of the elitist professional lay 'establishment' via their careers, their associations/relationships/family ties or their belonging to Catholic institutions/Charities/quangocracies...

Rather than the 'team' being the main contributors within the media; of the score or more recent TV appearances a significant amount of these have involved the co-ordinators - predominantly Austen Ivereigh.

Even a peripheral read of the 'Catholic Voices' book will reveal that even though it is basically a cut 'n' paste rehash [without footnotes, references or any acknowledgements to other publications] - it is tragically ill-informed, poorly-researched and bereft of pertinent information on critical moral and ethical  issues on which it claims to be able to provide authoritative media representation.
It is also worryingly laden with unsubstantiated opinion devoid of factual or statistical evidence - on many occasions one will witness an argument's 'illogical jumps' justified by a single-sentence 'it isn't due to X- it's because of Y'
The authors are scarily ignorant of ethical terminology [e.g. in one place it declares that human beings are not to be treated as ends !!!?]
While spending many pages on the hiv/AIDS crisis it neither refers to the epidemiology of the virus nor the proven percentile effectivity/risk of condom use in preventing transmission [e.g. Cochrane 2007] - it nervously wavers around the Rhonheimer position and repeatedly makes a single unsubstantiated statement that condoms are effective in hiv transmission reduction among gay men and prostitutes [tell that to the 12.9% of gay men  in London who are hiv+] and rather than outrightly condemning anyone who is a victim of hiv [oh - wait a minute - that's politically incorrect - one must not refer to the victim of a disease as a victim - rather they are a "person living with hiv/AIDS"] engaging in sexual activity and risking their sexual partner's life ; they rather make 'appeals to guidance in forming one's conscience' on the issue.

It rapidly skates over the issue of euthanasia , ignoring the ethical arguments pro and contra [e.g. Rachels] and prefers to spend most of its time on assisted suicide [PVS-Bland and the back-door euthanasia of removal of nutrition & hydration [think Liverpool Care Pathway] are absent from the discussion]

When discussing contraception it all seems to the unobservant to be quite orthodox and straight down the line humanae vitae - until one sees the single word which turns the whole thing on its head - INTENTION! In other words it's not contraception in itself which is intrinsicaly morally disordered but the 'contraceptive intention' [Rhonheimer again!!!]

It's laden with inadvertent [and laughable] ironies [e.g. mentioning
Cafod while discussing Catholic teaching on homosexuality and
contraception] -  it doesn't understand the differences
between natural moral disorder, moral disorder and intrinsic moral
disorder [ e.g. it states NFP is ok and fails to mention that it is only
acceptable through the double effect]

It adds erroneous conditionals
[e.g. the Church sees marriage as solely between a man and a woman - for
the best interests of society!!!??]

There's inclusion of ++Hume's dodgy
homosexual comments [e.g. homosexuality is only morally disordered
because it's an inclination towards the genital acts - NOT the plain and
simple tragic fact that a poor homosexual cannot ever fulfil their love
physicaly and spritually with another and have that love overflow into
God's creative life] but then again it talks for pages on marriage
without ever considering the spiritual sacramental ontology of its very
nature - the two becoming one flesh and forming a spiritual union where
each partner belongs to the other! Maybe it's too awkward to bring in
such Doctrines?

When speaking of religious freedom it
doesn't mention Truth subsisting in the One, Holy, Catholic and
Apostolic Church,

When dealing with Anglicanism it doesn't mention the
invalidity of its orders.

discussing the clerical abuse issues it commits a grievous slur upon
His Holiness by quoting John Allen's opinion that the Pope was an
ignorant negligent cardinal 'in denial'[!!!!!???] before 2001, the
authors simply don't understand the crucial differences between
suspension and laicisation [and the canonical ramifications] ; they're
oblivious to the direct orders of Crimen Sollicitationis [1962]
commanding the reporting of abuse within 14 days under the pain of
excommunication and aren't exactly au fait with the intricacies of de
delictis gravioribus.[2001] One shameful mistake being the serious error
in dating the letter of cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal Jose Lara [where
he professes his frustration over the laicisation process] as 1998 when
it was actually sent on Feb 19 1988!!

Their oecumenical diatribe regarding anglicanism fails to address
crucial issues and falls back into the fundamental heterodoxies of the
Cormac era - thus aggravating a situation by failing to be clear on the
boundaries and differences .

When dealing with embryology it makes a
fundamental error of not understanding the reasons behind the 14 day
limit for embryological experimentation - talking of the 'primitive
streak' like some dodgy fifties biology textbook. It makes categorical
errors in discussing viability [specious] and the scientific failure of
embryological stem cell research [what if it does start working?]

Who is Austen Ivereigh? A self-professed 'media expert' with an educational
background of political 'theology' [specialising in Argentinian
church/state relations].
He's neither an ethicist nor a moral
theologian; and it shows at every turn.
Jack Valero is a glorified town
planner with some internal Opus Dei training.
Kathleen Griffin is a
self-confessed 'liberal catholic' and we all know what that's a
euphemism for - so we should feel compelled to ask 'does she actually
believe half of what she's purportedly written in the Catholic Voices
book?' Maybe it's more a 'grin and bear it and hope for a new Pope with 'progressive policies'' scenario?
It's not libellous nor defamatory to suggest she may not be the most magisterially orthodox  if she
maintains the 'liberal' handle.

I truly wish Catholic Voices had
done what I'd suggested right at the start - doubled the number of the
team and have half as media spokespersons and half as researchers into
all the critical issues - then they wouldn't have made so many mistakes
and failed to recognise crucial facts and information which could assist
them in their arguments.

But then again take a look at their book - "win hearts not arguments"

I've usually found that sincerity, authentic dialogue and openness of
heart generally begins with the truth - not obfuscation, equivocation,
watering down of principles and the dismissal of differences.

One thing to be noted - this book certainly kept +Vin happy by failing to mention ,
let alone condemn the scandals of [secret abortion on demand]
Connexions in Catholic schools or the euthanasia mandating Liverpool
Care Pathway ; also keeping to party lines on issues like the Vaughan. [One should remember that Ivereigh advised Vaughan parents to basically get back in their box and shut up once they lost their court-case]

...other Catholic bloggers have reported major recent CV gaffes  - "The Church is not against condoms", "There is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay", "The Church does not oppose Civil Partnerships", "Marriage is not a religious issue" and the absolute doozie "if...['pro-Choice']...means simply someone who accepts that abortion should be legal, most Catholics -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban -- would fit that description."

...sure the last part was retracted and 'corrected' [twice!]
...and although as yet CV have been silent regarding the CBCEW clarification last week countermanding and repudiating their "the Church does not oppose CPs" position ; they must make a retracting statement at some time in the future.
...and other CVeebies have been quick to jump to the defence of their team members with qualifications and excuses that they have been inadvertently 'mis-speaking' or have been taken out of context...

{Incidentally the vitriolic online activities of some CV members have left a lot to be desired - I don't claim to be guiltless in my interactions with them; but their responses have fallen very short of the CV 'win hearts not arguments' paradigm} 

...but isn't it all indicative that "By their fruits shall ye know them" ?

If the entity is to continue it must learn from its grave mistakes and bring some informed, orthodox experts into the team to advise, inform and instruct regarding what Church teaching and praxis really is - rather than what a few autocratic loose-cannons want it to be....

Catholic Commentators: An Enemy Within?

Sadly I think the major problem amongst Catholic commentators  these days is ignorance and arrogant wishful thinking; they have a little [but not extensive] knowledge on what the Church teaches and therefore opine they can select certain parts they wish to accentuate [while suppressing the awkward aspects - sometimes to the point of dismissal] and combine it with their own version of a 'common sense approach' without any true recognition to what the Church truly teaches and why....
But this is where the arrogance sets in and it becomes "What REAL Catholics think.." and ultimately turns into a 'Don't be misled - this is what Catholics REALLY think about this issue"

If there was ever a time we needed the teaching of St Augustine - it's NOW!
For if you read/listen to Catholic Commentators and Journalists there are two pernicious poisons pervading their paradigms:

Donatism: A worthiness - a 'deserved' respect and a credibility to speak with authority and judge the issues according to their own standards and the actions/opinions/beliefs of others accordingly. Who they are and what they do gives them a right to be an arbiter. The sins or lowly positions of others automatically discredit their arguments.

Pelagianism: An earned respect - a record of proven devotion and 'sacrifice' and participation and belonging - giving them some tenure - credibility; and ergo those who do not participate/belong/can prove they have earned their position - have no right to either speak or question or argue with those who have 'given up so much and deserve their position'. Those who have not 'earned' their right to speak are automatically to be dismissed.

Hence the generic responses of these people revolving round two major fallacies:

For Donatism it's the The Last Man Standing fallacy - that they are the deserving, they are those in authority and those in positions of responsibility and therefore their position is the right one; their arguments must be given credibility and accepted unconditionally because of who they are and the temporal power and authority they wield. "We make the rules therefore they are axiomatically right."

For the Pelagians it's the reverse - the Martyr/Underdog fallacy whereby they have earned their position to speak and be given credence through their endurance, their struggle, their sacrifice, their poor oppressed position - their victimhood. They are the oppressed minority who has endured so much hardship against the oppressor and the cruel, uncharitable forces of temporal power, they stand shoulder to shoulder with the weak and vulnerable  - therefore they are axiomatically right.

Now previously in other ages Catholics usually veered towards or fell into one of these types - scarily doctrinaire authoritarian judgmental sexually repressive jansenists or or even more scary 'liberal' 'progressive' morally-pragmatic social - 'reformers'....
Yet ironically today there's no need to reside merely in one of the camps when both are such effective tools for enforcing one's position ; there's a schizophrenia at work where the 'new Catholic-lite commentators' dwell in both camps and appeal to donatist and pelagian positions either alternately or simultaneously according to the circumstances - brow-beating with their own authority and academic/training credentials while at the same time claiming  justification via victimhood or being on the side of the suffering underdog.

It's amazing how many appeals are made to 'what the Church teaches' by appeals to mere authority of individuals rather than the Magisterium [where invariably it is NOT what the Church 'wholly' teaches and is merely some aspect which may be extra-contextually imposed on an argument] while at the same time it is justified as a resolution to 'social justice' defending those who are oppressed in their victimhood or potential victimhood or the vague possibility that it might be detrimental, or uncharitable towards them.

To cover the cracks and hide all the flaws/gaping holes - Cover all this with a layer of the plaster of complacency , ignorance of the actual facts and a denial of anything which may be awkward or an enemy of unity which might cause dissension or a little boat-rocking or might be seen by an outsider as unjust and uncharitable.

And if that doesn't work?
There is now a prevailing form of sneering dismissal of Orthodox Catholics's grave concerns regarding certain bodies, charities, clerics, professional lay delegates/representatives, academics, journalists, media spokespersons  etc veering from, distorting or misrepresenting authentic Catholic teaching and praxis

When Challenged that their position is far from orthodox or moral; the new 'professional' Catholic declares: 

"The Church has not spoken on the issue therefore it is solely a matter of informed conscience & private prudential judgment"

Hence recently there have been online battles between Catholic commentators on issues such as Civil Partnerships and the Church's authentic position on them. Is the CDF 'duty to oppose' and the CBCEW 'strongly oppose' same-sex unions now defunct given Archbishop Nichols & Catholic Voices say they have nothing to do with Civil Partnerships and only refer to Gay Marriage? This has been even further obfuscated by the CBCEW statement early this year saying that the 2003 'strongly oppose CPs'  position has not changed and consequently +Vin and CV were 'mis-speaking'. The Catholic Voices position is now that THEY HAVE NO OFFICIAL POSITION on the issue've guessed "as Rome has not spoken this is a matter of discernment according to informed conscience and prudential judgment
The fact that Rome has repeatedly spoken on such issues does not prevent our being by our media         representatives - that it hasn't - therefore it's all up to you!!

Arguments over the due concerns over the euthanising capacity of the Liverpool Care Pathway.
Catholic Voices representatives and Catholic bloggers and healthcare workers say there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with the provisions within it. Therefore the accelerated death of the sick and terminally ill CANNOT happen; because Catholic medical practitioners and ethicists formulated the regulations and the Bishops endorse it - therefore we can get back in our boxes and not worry our pretty little heads about it and stop being so uncharitably divisive - and stop threatening the palliative care movement by suggesting there might be something wrong with it....

It is now at the stage where senior Church representatives and Catholic ethical spokespersons and media representatives are denouncing any opposition to the Liverpool Care Pathway as unconscionably reckless and dangerous - as it risks legislators using our claims of 'backdoor euthanasia' as evidence of its being 'present normative practice' and thus inadvertently aiding and abettting future Euthanasia legislation

{For those unaware of the situation - CDF and repeated Papal directives  teach that nutrition and hydration are forms of natural care and not removable clinical treatment 
Yet the Liverpool Care Pathway v.12  states they may be removed when 'it is no longer tolerable' or 'in the patient's best interests'
The Liverpool Care Pathway has a 72hr prognosis-limit as the determinant for sedating opiate provision for analgesia rather than a needs-based pain-alleviation system - people are put to sleep; never to wake up again.
[Note that the terminally ill with non-cancer diagnoses are more likely to have their lives unnecessarily shortened by opiates (Gomes 2011, Trescott 2008) AND that Pius XII's allocutio to anaesthetists Feb '57 spoke of the deprivation of consciousness for unnecessary, non-grave reasons as 'a deplorable practice'..'repugnant to Christian sentiments' and ultimately evil!]}

Grave concerns over Contraception, underage sex and Abortions via Connexions in Catholic schools.
We are told yet again by the Catholic Voices representatives that we are scaremongering and promoting a conspiracy theory; that there are two sides to every story and the school has the right to impose a Catholic ethos over everything that happens within its walls - therefore contraception provision, abortifacient prescription and abortion referrals simply DO NOT HAPPEN - the Bishops would simply not permit it....Therefore we are told to shut up and stop trouble-making.
[The issue that we should never be funding an organisation which performs such grave violating murderous evils - even if they do not perform those functions in a Catholic school - is seen as an irrelevance]

Arguments over the Church's authentic teaching of what is required for the reception of Holy communion as taught by Pius X in Quam Singulari rather than the 'official position/code of practice' of Diocesan and parish quangos - We are told [yet again by the same 'authorative' 'catholic' commentators]  that obviously a Child needs to be fully instructed and it's cruel to force a sacrament on a poor child who doesn't know what's happening and the authorities know what they're doing and have a right to prevent violations of the can you let a child who has no notion of sin or guilt receive the sacrament of penance let alone go forward for first holy communion? - especially when they belong to a non-participating family...?
Therefore anyone who says " But Quam Singulari says they are all totally different issues and you can't..." etc
...can be dismissed as ignorant of the complexities and pastoral concerns within the issues. The Diocesan authorities know what they are doing.

[For those unaware of REAL Catholic teaching from Pius X on the issue - although the normative procedure is for those who have achieved the age of discretion to receive the sacrament of penance before receiving their first Holy Communion - for those who are limited/incapacitated and unable to achieve this position of moral responsibility and culpability - they are NOT to be denied access to the Blessed Sacrament if they can recognise it [even in the most peripheral basic way] as not bread and the real presence]

Therefore when it comes to any moral quandary or ethical issue relativism, situationism, pragmatism and preference utilitarianism now hold their sway with fallacious appeals to authority and appeals to sentiment....meanwhile what the Church TRULY, FULLY teaches can be dismissed, ignored or simply repudiated as irrelevant.... People who fervently declare that they are nothing but absolutely orthodox and defending/promoting what the Church teaches!!!

Previously we only saw this on the political scene - where Catholics who were more leftist would create a Socialist Utopian democratising homogenising view of the Church - those who were more economically neo-con libertarian would see the Church as ruggedly individualistic and the enemy of a society per se and more interested in the salvation and freedom of individual souls who should not be tyrannised by any collective enforcing they should contribute unwillingly...

But today this Trans-Cafeteria Catholicism has taken on overwhelming proportions - the teaching can be used and abused to be accommodated into any structure.
                               The self-delusion is endemic!

Civil Partnerships: False positions, false preaching and false motives

Primarily to Catholics marriages are made in Heaven - and I do not mean the gay nightclub - it is a sacramental institution - a union of souls becoming one flesh where one gives oneself totally to the other and becomes everything for that other - the physical and spiritual love overflows with the Grace of God through His Procreative Will into forming new life - a new unique encapsulated cosmos - the child becoming a new part of this spiritual and physical bond and increasing the love and the experience exponentially....

It's a reflection of natural reality - the telos towards the continuance of the earthly race; an inbuilt social, cultural and psychological entelechy towards that end - for love to overflow into a family and a community and the physical and spiritual links increase commensurately...

Now even if you remove the religious aspects of this paradigm you still arrive at a natural phenomenon - an evolutionary/genetic/endocrinological/neurochemical/psychological coercion towards this bonding and unifying and consolidating and becoming a protective, loving holism of a family.

The natural telos of lovemaking is exactly that - unifying and procreative - biologically, psychologically and for those with a non-positivist/secularist/mechanist perspective - a spiritual entelechy too.

That's the normative way - any way you wish to look at it - that's the inherent design and the ontological ideal.

Now introduce those who are sexually attracted to members of the same sex - why or how or through what process or potential biological/psychological/socio-cultural factors  is irrelevant for this argument - they exist.

Even though they possess an inherent procreative capacity they are unable to enter into the normative paradigm expressed above as they psychologically and spiritually limited from bringing that aspect of themself to fruition by unifying themselves with a member of the opposite sex.
No matter how unifying the intention of their sexual acts - they axiomatically [and for all intents and purposes if one aspires to the ideal scenario - unwillingly] preclude that generative aspect of themselves from their sexual partner.
No matter how crude or insensitive it may seem - the sterile sexual acts of homosexuals is mutual masturbation.
All the evolutionary, biological ,psychological aspects of themselves driven towards a procreative entelechy is automatically denied from them...

Hence there is a scarring - an intrinsic moral disorder within the acts unable to fulfil their designated purpose.
...and those with same-sex attraction possess an inherent 'natural' moral disorder and a social disorder - it's non-normative and non-categorical - it cannot be universalised without extinction.

Now within the infertile and menopausal there remains most of the entelechy except a procreative aspect which can still be personally, socially and externally vindicated and lead to a furtherance of that very entelechy by promotion of the very state or providing that holism to those deprived of it e.g. adoption, communal integration etc. They are married by natural and supernatural standards.

But for those within a same-sex relationship?
The best to which they can aspire is an exclusive loving union of disaffected friendship - the argument that sexual activity by its very incapacity to fulfil the overwhelming desires for fully unifying and being procreative is by its very nature damaging on so many levels and must be considered as intrinsically harmful and intrinsically morally disordered - cannot be merely dismissed with 'it's the optimal expression of physical love' - the limiting unifying nature of it axiomatically accentuates and aggravates and potentially corrupts and jeopardises the love within the relationship.

...and to this couple their relationship must be afforded social recognition and in the interests of social justice all legal rights reflecting their relationship should be implemented and upheld - joint property, rights of inheritance, power of attorney, hospital visitation etc.

So this same-sex partnership must be afforded specific rights.
The Church cannot condone and strongly advises against - for the couple's own sake- any sexual activity [but this does not preclude chaste emotional and exclusive physical intimacy to complement and compliment the "disaffected friendship']

Now the government - instead of merely altering all the legal aspects individually - chose to encapsulate all these legal rights into a Civil Partnership act which for all intents and purposes designates the same-sex couple as having the same legal status  as those who are married [yes I know - it is not called marriage - and it does not directly relate to those within a sexual relationship - but nevertheless the legislation has introduced a separate entity which possesses a congruency in statutory rights as marriage]

So where marriage's normative natural [and legislative supernatural] status is compromised by its existence.
For those in [most] religious bodies it scandalises the very nature of marriage's supernatural union of souls and the resultant spiritual family holism.

Therefore the Catholic Church...

[despite what you might hear from obscurantist renegades like His Grace Archbishop Nichols [whom don't forget was forced by the Vatican to clarify his position] or the posturing Catholic Voices]

...strongly opposes Civil partnerships by their very emulative nature. It does not oppose most of the natural social justice provisions within it - it opposes its encapsulation as a single entity which bastardises and scandalises the intrinsic nature of marriage. A same-sex relationship - however loving and unifying - IS BY VERY DEFINITION - not marriage.
To provide all the rights under a 'marriage-like' umbrella statute is erroneous and defiantly denigrates the normative aeons-formulated categorically-exclusively heterosexual nature of marriage.

...The Church cannot merely dismiss the awkwardness and accept the Civil Partnership provisions with the equivocation that it's a legal arrangement and not a recognition of a sexual 'consummated' partnership...

[How +Vin & the Catholic Voices team thought they could get away with that argument is beyond me - same-sex partners DO NOT ENGAGE in what the Church calls lovemaking - haven't they read the criteria of casti connubii & humanae vitae?
Compound that with the physical manifestation of the legislation - it is performed AS A MARRIAGE by its participants - and thus compromises the normative natural nature of Marriage and scandalises the Catholic sacramental supernatural nature of marriage]

Hence the 2003 CDF Directive where we have a 'duty to oppose' same-sex unions and the proscriptive 'strongly oppose' of CBCEW representative Bishop Hines's deposition to the CP consultation - apply!

So when during the Papal Visit [and repeated in Sep 2010] Archbishop Nichols declared 'we did not oppose Civil Partnerships'... [and as reported in the Nov 2011 Tablet ]

...His Grace was guilty of amnesia and [inadvertent?] misrepresentation of Church teaching - as he has been during recent months [hence the intervention of the Vatican in December - forcing him to clarify his position (which didn't really clarify anything - and those who denounced the Archbishop's position as directly contrary to the CDF directives and the 2003 Bishops' Conference position as ...and get this..."MISCHIEVOUS"!!!! ) ]

But here's the irony - when Andrew Brown reiterated the CV/+Vin's position [and its contrast with the Catholic Church elsewhere in the UK]

Suddenly The CBCEW issues a 'Clarification' where it states:

Following a Guardian report today, 23 February 2012, it is important to clarify the position taken by the Bishops' Conference in 2003 in response to the Government Consultation on "Civil partnership – A framework for the legal recognition of same–sex couples”. Civil Partnerships are now part of the framework of British law. The current debate is about the specific nature of the institution of marriage and its distinctive place in the fabric of society.
23. We believe the government’s proposals to create civil partnerships for same sex couples would not promote the common good, and we therefore strongly oppose them. They would in the long term serve to undermine marriage and the family for the reasons set out in paragraphs 9-12 above. They are not needed to defend fundamental human rights or remedy significant injustices for same-sex couples, as these have either already been substantially addressed or can largely be addressed by the couple entering into contractual arrangements privately. Moreover, the government’s proposals do nothing to tackle what is in fact a very much bigger issue, namely the lack of rights enjoyed by cohabiting heterosexual couples and their children, many of whom wrongly believe they are protected by ‘common law marriage.’ The government needs to publicise their lack of rights, and strongly advocate the obvious solution, which is marriage.


+Vin says "we did not oppose Civil Partnerships"
Catholic Voices Co-ordinator Austen Ivereigh informs members of the CV team that the CDF directive ordering a duty to oppose same-sex unions DOES NOT APPLY to Civil Partnerships and that Dr Oddie was 'exploiting the ambiguity'
Catholic Voices barrage the blogs and twitter with defence of this position to the extent that Greg Daly [The Thirsty Gargoyle] makes a ludicrous, farcical, sophist, fallacy-laden & ultimately utterly specious defence of Archbishop Nichols's position that a same-sex union is not the same as a same-sex union because the sexual aspect is not presumptive [ignoring that same-sex mutual masturbation is NOT doctrinally considered as lovemaking and cannot be applied]

...and NOW we have the CBCEW 'clarifying' that they DO actually oppose Civil Partnerships and always have done since 2003...

So where does that leave Archbishop Nichols & Catholic Voices?!!!

So far we have had nothing but silence from them.

Nevertheless Civil Partnerships exist [and the Church [despite our own hierarchy's obfuscation, wishful thinking and ultimately downright mendacity - even after a clarification which does confrm to the CDF] opposes them just as it opposes a vast array of other legislation]

It has a legal equivalence with marriage in every way except one - where it can be performed.

Now here's the crux of what's going on.
When the legislation for Civil Partnerships was being proposed - GLBT activists and campaigners declared all they sought was recognition and a resolution of all the social injustices and deprivations the law in its then state had against homosexuals - that it DID NOT WANT it to be considered as marriage - as... get this...

"Marriage is a redundant socio-cultural paradigm which offends all those who belong to a "post-nuclear family" relationship"

 [ironically you'll hear similar arguments from so-called Christian lobby-group Ekklesia who oppose any legal/financial bias towards the marital status]

In other words - the GLBT community recognised marriage for what it was - a timeless socio-cultural and religious construct which did not reflect the nature of their relationships. They did not want to be referred to as participants in marriage given its ideological and religious 'baggage'

So what changed?
Why all of a sudden do the Gay Activists demand 'Justice' & 'Equality' and an 'end to homophobic oppression' which can all be resolved by the legal designation of 'Same- Sex Marriage"?

Why are they being duplicitously deceptive - they have Gay marriage in all-but-name - so why do they want the name?

In 2001 GLBT Activist Ben Summerskill declared EXACTLY what the intention was behind it...

Simply to force every institution which performs civil marriage to perform same-sex marriage - any body which did not or could not [i.e. all the homophobic enemies of equality] must be legally forced to perform them or be excluded.

In other words - this is about punishing the 'inherently homophobic' aspects of religion
and legally ensuring they are not allowed to continue to provide 'institutionally homophobic' marriages.
If a Church, Mosque or Temple thinks it is going to get away with perfoming Civil marriages within their religious ceremonies and deny same-sex couples from the privilege?
They are very much mistaken - they are homophobic and should not be allowed to continue to affront GLBT dignity by being part of the legal system

So what is this all about?

Ultimately the removal of all religious bodies who cannot perform same-sex ceremonies from also participating in the civil marriage process.

Now make no mistake: Same-sex marriage will come.
Some religions will comply with the intensifying pressure to perform the ceremonies...

...meanwhile our Catholic hierarchy will handwring, bewail their lot, attempt to make dodgy deals with the encumbent government over exemptions and appeal to religious conscience rights etc.
...and it will all come to nothing - they'll be kicked out of the civil marriage process and there will be a legal enforcement of dual ceremonies; the religious ceremonies will need civil confirmation & recognition with separate vows/public declarations.

So why doesn't the Church do here what it has done in numerous countries elsewhere? e.g. India, Canada, Russia etc

Why doesn't the Church pro-actively appeal to the Vatican to remove itself completely from the Civil process and revoke the statutory provisions; throwing them back in the government's face?

Why doesn't it now - before being dragged kicking and screaming - act conscientiously and remove itself from the sullied process?

Well why give away a right you possess and still have an opportunity to cling to - maybe even for a decade or so?

If we're out of the process we lose our [illusionary?] bargaining chip and if we lose this fight we might get compensated by the government with something else we want?

Ohhhhh! We would be seen as 'institutionally homophobic' !!! [the LAST thing our hierarchy wants]

...and to quote our illustrious Archbishop Nichols "Who knows what's down the road?"

Maybe when this Pope dies we'll have new Vatican 'Policy'?
 [notice no deference to timeless magisterial teaching here]

A new Pope might be more 'pastorally sensitive/gay-friendly' and submit to social cultural developments and permit the blessing of 'disaffected chaste same-sex commitments' in Churches - a sort of marriage-lite? And we might be able to wing it and stay within the state system and placate all the gay pressure groups?

{and let's be honest here - they're already happening in secret or in public among professional establishment same-sex Catholic couples while our hierarchy turns a blind-eye - it's happening!!! The more it's done the sooner it will become more 'acceptable' ]

There's also financial considerations - who is going to pay for both a Church and a Civil ceremony? It could mean less money in our coffers if we can't provide an all-inclusive service

....but there is also one final argument as to why we shouldn't take the moral high ground and remove ourselves from the Civil marriage process...

Maybe being ousted by bully-boy browbeating and exiled from the civil process by those who wish to change the definition of marriage and rewrite history for their own selfish ends - is to be cowardly - and to abrogate our duties and responsibilities to our traditions and ancestors and every member of society of all faiths and none - if this is unjust - maybe compliance is the last thing we should do? Maybe we're here to take a stand and fight it all the way - the same way we are supposed to fight against any injustice and oppose every tyranny [even when it arrogantly wields the false banner of 'equality'] ?

Or in this world is it too much to ask the Church to ever do the right thing?

oh...and finally ; before I'm accused of being 'mischievous' - maybe any Catholic who wishes to respond might wish to refer first to

Will Archbishop Nichols retract his previous statements?
Will Catholic Voices retract and  remove its statements on the issue and reverse its contra-Catholic position?
Will homosexual activists admit that they already have gay marriage - and the only reason they want legal recognition of the term 'marriage' is to enforce 'equality' on those who refuse to acknowledge such unions to the extent of expulsion from the process i.e. casting religious institutions into exile?

I do not think so....