Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Catholic Church sways Scottish faithful away from Labour

While the leader of Scotland’s Roman Catholics, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, is away on matters sub-continental, it has fallen to the Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, to speak on behalf the Caledonian faithful in response to the Government’s decision to impose its anti-gay discrimination regulations upon Catholic adoption agencies. The Archbishop is not one for trivial posturing, and has threatened to instruct priests to use Mass in an attempt to influence the outcome of the elections for the Scottish Parliament in May.

When one considers the meaning of the Mass, the belief in and adoration of the real presence, and the theological centrality of the act of transubstantiation, to use the mesmerism of religious devotion in order to inculcate a political message is appallingly manipulative. This fusion of the religious with the political is certain to endanger Labour’s electoral hopes. They are already trailing in the polls, and are likely to lose control of the 129-member parliament to the Scottish Nationalists, who have now made a pledge to exempt Catholic adoption agencies from the Government’s legislation.

Now that David Cameron has come down in agreement with the Government (albeit accompanied by a free vote), there is little likelihood that the Scottish Conservatives will emit any pro-gay-discrimination utterances in favour of the church, so the SNP has become the last refuge of Scotland’s Roman Catholics.

This is quite convenient, considering Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s recent pronouncements in favour of Scottish secession from the Union. By directing the faithful towards nationalism, the Roman Catholic Church is making a politically aggressive manoeuvre towards the break-up of the United Kingdom. Such actions undermine the Throne, move to deprive Her Majesty of her title to the Crown of the United Kingdom, and are an affront to her dignity and privilege. Pope Pius V must be jubilant.


Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace you imbue the Roman Catholic Church with much influence - they are reactive rather than proactive on this matter. It is British Politicians who are duplicitous and mendacious. Was it not a London Govt that had Patten transmogrify the RUC into a purged policing organisation ?

Was it not John Major who returned The Stone of Scone withoyt discussion with Westminster Abbey ?

was it not Blair that brought a Scottish Administration to London and gave devolution to Wales and Scotland yet retained Secretaries of State for both in The Cabinet whilst abusing England with every affliction ?

I hardly think the Church of Rome can be cast as the devil of the piece, and more than when the Church of England implodes next year and Rowan Williams finds some Chair of Contemporary Religion in some Theological College and steps down.

The attack on the Catholics is part of Labour's assault on working-class institutions...these are the descendants of Irish Catholics working in the linen mills and the worsted mills of the North....whose poverty made the rely on the Catholic Church as the Methodists ministered to the urban poor the Church of England was too fine to consider.

The Roman Catholic Church has gained new life through Polish and Portuguese influx; yet it is the working class that hasbeen doubly affronted by the haute bourgeoisie in the Labour and Conservative and Liberal salonistes

The Union was destroyed by politicians and they have systematically betrayed their constituencies for decades. They must suffer the realignment which is coming.

31 January 2007 at 08:22  
Anonymous Abandon Ship! said...

Your Grace must remember the oath that His Majesty the late King (Henry) made subjects take, under pain of death, to acknowledge him as Supreme Leader of the Church. Methinks the Government's approach to the non-Islamic religions is an updated version of the late King's tyranny. It will not sit well with the yeomen of England.

31 January 2007 at 10:35  
Anonymous bob said...

Every Sunday Mass has a sermon. It is common practice for Catholic bishops to issue pastoral letters to be read in place of the sermon at a Sunday Mass. These pastoral letters generally cover matters of spirituality or morality. The imposition of the current laws in regard to adoption by homosexual couples is an issue of morality as much as it is a political issue. That Labour and the Conservatives have abandoned the concept of tolerance in favour of enforced acceptance is their own affair. That the Catholic Church should wish to speak out against that is it's own affair, and it's moral duty to do so.

31 January 2007 at 10:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Actually the reason the Church of England retained the Parish structure and Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church was precisely because the pulpit was how the Edicts of the King were made known to the people in a top down system of Bishops beholden to the King.

This is exactly as in Russian-occupied Poland where I have seen Ukase issued by the Tsar as they were read out by priests in Polish Churches. When the population was largely illiterate it was clear that this was the route of comminication

31 January 2007 at 11:28  
Anonymous Colin said...

"This fusion of the religious with the political is certain to endanger Labour’s electoral hopes."

Excellent. Except if His Grace is pro-Labour. In my humble view, the best justification for any religion is to protect the population from the aggression and injustices of its rulers.

It is contradictory to constantly complain about the illiberal policies of the government including its pro-gay agenda and at the same time to complain if somebody is fighting against it. To employ the now so fashionable use of phobia, please permit me to express my surprise about that fact that His Grace's Catholophobia appears to be stronger than his Leftophobia.

"to deprive Her Majesty of her title to the Crown of the United Kingdom"

We are all extremely worried that Charlie might be deprived of his Crown, aren't we?

What an horror if a country splits into smaller entities. The bigger the country the better. That's why we all endorse the bigger EU, don't we.

Alternative view: It gives everybody a chance to move to another similar country if his own government becomes too oppressive. It gives the people a chance to vote with their feet and to bring down an oppressive regime. Competition is the best protection against monopolies including governments.

31 January 2007 at 12:39  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

The conclusion to draw from your argument is that an Archbishop is capitalising on the spineless actions of the New Tory (or is it Newtory as in Neutered?) party by deliberately abusing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to forward his personal agenda to have the Union broken up. And that is the (presumably hidden) agenda of the Catholic Church by the so-called “politically aggressive manoeuvre towards the break-up of the United Kingdom”.

It could not have anything to do with being on the receiving end of successive legislation from Westminster to reduce the UK to its component parts, to attack Christianity and in the process, its schools, remember clause 28? (Even though Church Schools have repeatedly produced some of the best results in the UK).

Any critique or comment could not be the result of frustration consequential of the onward march to introduce euthanasia, stem cell research (they want to mix human and animal DNA now) and the euphemistically called “Morning After Pill” abortifacient for school Children. The law removing the right for Christian parents to be consulted if their child is to, or has had an invasive medical operation, or proscribed potentially carcinogenic medication. The law that allows boys to be buggered at 16 and the legalisation of hard-core pornography (and they stand slack jawed in horror when some debauched pervert rapes or kiddie fiddles).

The freedom and right to attend Mass unmolested without incensed Islamic hoards waiving offensive placards and shouting threats, abuse and insults under the protection and ever-watchful eye of the police. The abusive threats and visitations by police and council officials for daring to voice opposition to homosexual lobby by handing out leaflets containing biblical passages, pensioners are no object in our multi-faith, multi-ethnic brave new Britain. The removal of all, except life saving emergency NHS treatment for a pensioner objecting on Christian grounds to abortion. The forced re-education of Christian fire-fighters who refuse to take part in gay rallies under threat of losing their jobs, and the actual loss of pay and promotion for one who did. Intimidating calls by the Met Police for voicing on the radio objections to gay adoption. The daily court enforced starving and dehydrating to death of patients in the NHS who are considered beyond wasting further resources on.

This (all verifiable on the Web) and more in the oppressive atmosphere particularly vented against Christians in the post-Christian secularised materialistic UK could not possibly have anything to do with the statements made by the Archbishop.

Nope it’s all a plot by Catholics and their ever-sinister leader the Pope to get rid of the Queen because we have secretly held a grudge all these years for the reformation or 1688, or Culloden or the Battle of the Boyne, and see our chance. Good grief your Grace are you having a senior moment, you have lost the plot sir, you have lost the plot.

31 January 2007 at 12:54  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace is delighted to note the admission of the existence of a plot, even if His Grace has lost it.

31 January 2007 at 13:24  
Blogger tim said...

I'll second the question of just how powerful the Roman Catholic church is. Are there really many Catholics in Scotland today? Though, if Voyager's right, I see they may be recent immigrants.

Voyager--are you really saying that the desire for retaining the episcopal structure in the Anglican church was for promulgating royal edicts? I'd think it's more directly a belief in Apostolic succession and a conservatism with regard to church structure. Even in the Methodist church in America we have retained bishops, and that decision was made after our Revolution (and against Wesley's wishes, in fact).

Nevertheless, I agree that the Roman Catholic church is on the right side when it stands up to a government intent on spreading leftism into all private and religious spheres. We can debate the logic of their stance and whether they're really consistent (like the recent discussion here on homosexual Christiain adoption vs. heterosexual Moslem adoption). But if they're right on the issue, that's good for us, too.

As for instructing the faithful from the pulpit on how to vote...yeah, that's problematic. I don't have a problem in principle with a preacher giving his preference on a political issue that is directly about morality or church teaching (or in this case, church independence). But it's got to be done in such a way that it doesn't sound like a magisterial pronouncement or an order.

31 January 2007 at 14:16  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Voyager--are you really saying that the desire for retaining the episcopal structure in the Anglican church was for promulgating royal edicts? I'd think it's more directly a belief in Apostolic succession and a conservatism with regard to church structure.

Yes I am. The presence of John Knox in Scotland and of Jean Calvin in Geneva hardly suggested the indispensability of the episcopacy. The Bible taken to Plymouth Rock was not the King's Bible but the Geneva Bible with its republicanism.

The Church of England was a major landowner and the large agricultural estates were built from the abbey lands sequestrated by Henry VIII. The system of primogeniture saw the eldest son inherit, his younger brother enter the Church. The living was provided by the squire, the tithe funded the Church.

There was a social hierarchy constructed around the Episcopacy just as the Squirearchy was the local apex of a hierarchy which extended to Lords Lieutenant and Sheriff and Dukedoms.

There were very good reasons for keeping the Episcopacy in place and few of them were religious. In the case of Elizabeth I a well-advised monarch with a very good sense of what reublican turmoil could bring wanted the Realm firmly under control. Her family came to the throne through war, and her own mother had been beheaded, she faced French intrigue through her cousin Mary and had survived the antipathy of her half-sister Mary.

I think it was imperative to this Queen of England to retain all instruments of power. I suspect Tim you are American and need to read up on The Reformation and the politics of the Tudor/Stuart era

31 January 2007 at 14:58  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace

If Labour Party (lamentably with Mr Cameron's support) behaves with the same un-listening arrogance & intolerance that drove the Pilgrim Fathers to the Americas, isn't it right that the Catholics should vote against the Labour Party & indeed against the Conservatives to defend their (and our) religious liberties

.... indeed, isn't it time for all Christians to do likewise

If this Government can oppress Catholics with electoral impunity, they will be encouraged to persecute other Christians

I have the honour to remain Your Grace's obedeint servant etc

31 January 2007 at 18:37  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace is intrigued by some responses to this post.

The issue is not whether or not believers should abandon this God-forsaken Labour Government - of which His Grace has no doubt at all - but whether the Sacrifice of the Mass should be used to 'instruct' Roman Catholics on how they should vote.

His Grace thought that was quite clear.

31 January 2007 at 19:34  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Can His Grace provide another source for his allegation (in particular that of the Archbishop instructing priests to tell Catholics which way to vote at Mass) besides that of Pink News, whom I suspect most reasonable people may suspect of not being exactly impartial?

31 January 2007 at 19:47  
Blogger Doctor Syn said...

Can His Grace provide another source

If His Grace will permit, perhaps this source will be of benefit.

The relevant part of the article reads thus:
Asked whether church leaders would raise the issue at Mass and encourage voters to take account of it in May, a spokesman said: "Yes, of course. This is already a political issue, of course it is."

I do not claim that the Guardian is more reliable than PinkNews.

31 January 2007 at 21:33  
Anonymous Steven_L said...

I think religious organisations do have a right to get involved in politics.

Politcal campaign funds come from businessmen who want government contracts, changes to legislation or 'honours'. These funds are spent (as are taxpayers pounds through advertising government initiatives constantly) on influencing the way in which people think and vote.

Why shouldn't socially conservative organisations such as the Catholic Church try and influence the mindset and values of the voting public? Surely they have a right to protect their stake in society when it is apparent that certain elements wish to destroy it completely through law-making?

If we abandon all of our religion based moral values we open the door to anything big business and the political classes can sell us instead. What behavioural practices will become 'equal' in the future if we have no moral reference point? Sex with animals? Animal marriage? Someone having a sexual relationship with a dog allowed to adopt a child?

31 January 2007 at 23:57  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Thank you for your link. I looked at it carefully and this and all I found was Smoke and mirrors:

"Senior Catholic officials said"
"the church said"

This is the only authoritative quote in the whole piece and it is telling

"The letter sent to the prime minister and members of the Cabinet was made public yesterday. Although it does not overtly refer to the Scottish elections"

Just to repeat

"Although it does not overtly refer to the Scottish elections"

However undaunted the Guardian, ever ready to twist the truth to for its own use, continues in the same vein:

"Catholic spokesman made clear"
"a spokesman said"
"The spokesman added:"

What we have is a game of Chinese whispers; un-sourced comments published by the Guardian as fact. Haven’t we got past believing the "A source in No 10 Said" mentality? Note that they did not reproduce the letter in full just a grudging acknowledgement that they could not use it to reinforce their institutionalised anti-Christian and in particular anti-Catholic bias.

I dismiss Pink News and the Guardian and the BBC, all birds of a feather, all active, militant and quite unashamed in promoting their particular brand of propaganda.

Your Grace can you provide a serious Link to explicitly show that the Archbishop said what you allege.

1 February 2007 at 11:33  
Blogger Newmania said...

I think your Graces point was clear enough. On the way I note the whorish behaviour of the SNP who whilst claiming to be nationalist have committed themselves to ever greater integration with the EU. I feel David Cameron did all he could given the political realities of his position.

I think the point Your Grace raise is highly interesting and has often perplexed me . Is there any point in appearing at church and thereby acknowledging a higher purpose .Bob , unconvincingly , thought was a sort of doctrinal love ones fellow man , but I can accept that some vague notion of kindly intentions must be involved ..and then declining to do anything about it ?

I notice there are Christian groups in London who go about the Churches “chatting” in what to me are socialist terms . Often they will say that state resources must be directed to some needy cause when I would say no you will create further need and misery by such actions. It isn`t an easy line to draw but in the case of the Catholic Church on this occasion I fail to see the option

1 February 2007 at 16:51  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Your Grace can you provide a serious Link to explicitly show that the Archbishop said what you allege.

Alas, 'seriousness', like 'authoritative', or even 'explicit' are in the mind and perception of the would-be knower.

If one wishes to dispense with The Guardian, The BBC, Pink News (and one justifiably may), then one must believe 'the other side' of the biased MSM, and that is a matter of epistemological choice. The important thing is that His Grace did source.

On a far more important matter, His Grace was obliged to convert to New Blogger, and in the transition he has lost all of the avatars from the post threads, including his own.

If any of his communicants knows how to fix this, His Grace would be appreciative of the fellowship.

1 February 2007 at 18:32  
Blogger Cranmer said...


His Grace's avatar has now magically returned.

The invocation of fellowship and the mystery of implicit prayer clearly work.

1 February 2007 at 18:34  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Your Grace's observations on the tumult in Scottish politics are most prescient. Late last year, Chancellor Gordon Brown met the Catholic Archbishop of Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith O'Brien , as part of a coordinated effort to heal relations, after O’ Brien caused a political storm by praising the benefits of Scottish independence.
At the same time, one of the Chancellor's closest allies, Scottish Secretary Douglas Alexander, also had private talks with one of O'Brien's bishops, Philip Tartaglia of Paisley, in another attempt to heal divisions.The Scottish Labour Party is right to be concerned at the rise of the SNP, which has long sought to coax the largely Labour-voting Catholic community in Scotland away from its traditional political home. If Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP, really wants to ensure victory in the May election he needs to do one more thing and that is something the Scottish Labour machine greatly fears. To exploit a huge division in the Executive and among their more vocal and stupid supporters, Salmond could come out in support of faith schools. There would be a huge swing of votes from tens-of-thousands of traditionally Labour-voting Catholic parents and teachers to the SNP. By all accounts, they have had enough of First Minister Jack McConnell's slipperiness on this point. Labour is aware of this potential shift in thinking from the SNP as well as the growing backlash on the gay adoption row, and they are seriously panicking. Hence, the recent spate of geneflecting towards the Vatican and its footsoldiers...much more genuflecting to follow I suspect.

1 February 2007 at 19:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

in support of faith schools.

Surely they would prefer Catholic Schools ?

"Faith" is what you have when you entrust your child's education to the State

1 February 2007 at 21:50  
Anonymous Colin said...


You wrote "I think religious organisations do have a right to get involved in politics."

You are not only correct, I would even go one step further and claim that they have an obligation to do so if the government acts against the central doctrines of the church.

It would be completely illogical for priests to claim that they know the laws of the Almighty and then to sit back and watch the politicians acting against God's laws without saying a word.

His Grace doesn't believe himself that priests should not get involved in politics. He is the best counter-example. Many of His Grace's articles on his blog tell us that the CoE should protest against government policies.

But if the Catholic Church does exactly what he advocates, then suddenly such behavior becomes unacceptable to him. How should we call it? Maybe catholophobia, i.e. the irrational fear of catholics, or Vaticanophobia, i.e. fear of the xenos from Rome?

I am wondering whether catholophobia or Vaticanophobia is liable to prosecution by the law against xenophobia?

His Grace, don't worry, we all will donate sufficient funds to hire the best lawyer for you in the case of an EU arrest warrant from Rome.

1 February 2007 at 22:16  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace doesn't believe himself that priests should not get involved in politics.


But His Grace has made it quite clear that his concern is with the 'direction' or inculcation of divine revelation during Mass to vote for the SNP. That is hardly leaving it to believers to wrestle with their individual consciences, which would be a more enlightened approach in a modern, liberal democracy.

1 February 2007 at 22:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

a more enlightened approach in a modern, liberal democracy.

Do I know of a modern liberal democracy and if I did would i want to live there ?

If you mean this island, I consider it to be an administrative democracy where decisions are made and fait accompli is presented to the public.

It is a series of cliques which get control of the Legislative-Sausage-Machine
and spew forth diktats to enslave the majority to the minority.

It relies upon a tradition of inertia to change all existing contracts and relations under threat of criminal law whereas in previous generations social interactions and family relations were managed through the Moral Law and Civil Law.

We live in the era of criminalising that which was personal

I consider that what might be considered liberal democracy died some decades ago

2 February 2007 at 07:27  
Anonymous glyn said...

I agree with His Grace that it is lamentable that the RC Church is urging its parishoners to vote for the deplorable SNP.

However, I do wish His Grace would recognise that the RC Church has taken a commendable stand on the gay adoption issue, rather than continue to criticise it for exerting undue political influence.

The fact is that the Churches will need to get more involved in politics if they wish to halt the barrage of anti-Christian legislation. The years of standing aside from it have not resulted in Christainity being treated kindly by both sides, as they may have naively hoped. The Left is fundamentally embarked on a course to destroy the Christian faith in this country because it is antithetical to the society that they wish to create. The sooner the Church realises this - and, my goodness, it is taking a very long time for this agonisingly simple message to get across - the better.

As I said at the beginning, however, endorsing the SNP is not a welcome move in this regard - they are also left wing radicals.

2 February 2007 at 12:00  
Blogger tim said...


Huh. I hadn't heard about that aspect of the Anglican Church's formation. My assumptions were based on the church's stance in its argument with Rome over the validity of Anglican ordinations. I do admit that there could be other reasons, as you nicely explained.

Yes, I'm American. No need to suspect--I said so in my post. I have been reading up on that part of the Tudor era and find it fascinating. I've got "New Worlds, Lost Worlds." Are you familiar with it, or do you have any other recommendations?

I am aware of the preference for the Geneva Bible among the more Calvinist reformers, and of its early use in the American colonies. I knew that it implicitly and explicitly (in its marginal notes) promoted a more republican church and national structure, and that this was one of the reasons for the royal promotion of the KJV. I just hadn't made the particular association of the episcopacy and royal power that you explained. Seems quite plausible, though.

2 February 2007 at 14:16  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Interesting that is an updated book in the Penguin History of England series.........I would look at Alister McGrath books

In the Beginning:

The Blackwell Companion to Protestantism

G W Bernard
The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church

Thomas Cranmer: A Life (Paperback)
by Diarmaid MacCulloch

The Boy King: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation (Paperback)
by Diarmaid MacCulloch

Reformation : Europe's House Divided (Paperback)
by Diarmaid MacCulloch

Mary Tudor: The Tragical History of the First Queen of England (Hardcover)
by David Loades

Thomas Cromwell: Henry VIII's Most Notorious Minister: The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Tyrant: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII's Most Notorious Minister (Hardcover)
by Robert Hutchinson

2 February 2007 at 15:19  
Blogger tim said...

Ahh, yes--I've got In the Beginning. This is a good history of the KJV, and for that matter, the earlier translations into English.

2 February 2007 at 16:18  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Thomas Cranmer: A Life (Paperback)
by Diarmaid MacCulloch

Quite the finest biography of His Grace, and highly recommended.

3 February 2007 at 10:21  
Anonymous Nicholas Bennett said...

If only the Catholic bishops and priests were more active in commenting on issues which affect public morality and the freedom of conscience and faith!

For years I have been frustrated at the lack of comment from the pulpit. At the time of the Tony Bland starvation I waited in vain for some comment at Sunday mass. Not a word, just the usual deadly dull homily, identical apart from the order of the words from the previous Sunday.

The Recusant identified some of the issues, at his posting at 12.54, about which the Church should have been addressing the Faithful. The sad fact is that many Catholics now have little knowledge of the Catechism or of the fundemental truths of Catholism. Many accept without thinking or dissent each unethical step down the path to post Christian society.

I hold my breath for a sermon this weekend on the consequences of the 'gay' adoption row for freedom of conscience in the England.

3 February 2007 at 10:57  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I always thought The Scotsman newspaper belonged to the Barclay Bros. and that they were Catholics:


I found this 'section' of the newspaper surprising but nonetheless informative

3 February 2007 at 11:23  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Just seeing if my picture still came out.

3 February 2007 at 18:06  
Anonymous Observer said...

You must have eaten a lot of jam to get it !

3 February 2007 at 19:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi my name is GOOGLEY BEAR
and i think that Thomas Cranmer is a genius ..
but i dont kno what he did :)

16 August 2007 at 03:50  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older