Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cardinal questions loyalty of the Roman Catholic Church to the British Government

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is the first Roman Catholic leader in nearly 200 years to question whether Roman Catholics can be loyal to the policy of the British Government. He has stated that religion is under attack in the UK, and has condemned outright the Sexual Orientation Regulations designed to protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination in the provision of goods and services.

He declared: "For my own part, I have no difficulty in being a proud British Catholic citizen. But now it seems to me we are being asked to accept a different version of our democracy, one in which diversity and equality are held to be at odds with religion.”

This is perhaps the most important ‘but’ since the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, since which time Roman Catholic leaders in the United Kingdom have consistently emphasised their loyalty to the British state.

In a direct confrontation, the Cardinal said that Roman Catholics and other Christians and faith groups were going to demand their rights to continue to discriminate against homosexuality, and in particular in the Roman Catholic provision of adoption services. He gave his strongest indication that the church would close their nine adoption agencies rather than take an estimated £10m of government funds to run them in compliance with the new law. He said: “My fear is that, under the guise of legislating for what is said to be tolerance, we are legislating for intolerance. Once this begins, it is hard to see where it ends.”

Other key points in his speech included:

"My fear is that in an attempt to clear the public square of what are seen as unacceptable intrusions, we weaken the pillars on which that public square is erected, and we will discover that the pillars of pluralism may not survive.

"The question is whether the threads holding together pluralist democracy have begun to unravel. That is why I have sounded this note of alarm.

"I am conscious that when an essential core of our democratic freedom risks being undermined, subsequent generations will hold to account those who were able to raise their voices yet stayed silent.

"When Christians stand by their beliefs, they are intolerant dogmatists. When they sin, they are hypocrites.

"When they take the side of the poor, they are soft-headed liberals. When they seek to defend the family, they are right wing reactionaries."

The Cardinal said he feared that Britain was becoming a country where faith-based charity work will not be welcomed. Interestingly, it is the stated aim of David Cameron’s New Conservative Party to revive and encourage such faith-based works, and to acknowledge that the church acts very well in numerous areas of social justice where the state has manifestly failed. Mr Cameron’s problem is that he supports the Government on this issue, and so faith-based charities will be limited or eradicated by their obligation to adhere to legislation which conflicts with the tenets of that faith.

Cranmer therefore agrees absolutely and unequivocally with His Eminence, and he despairs at the deafening silence emanating from the Lambeth Palace. The Government and the Opposition have got this very wrong indeed. The Cardinal speaks not only for his church, but for the whole of Christendom.


Blogger Ash Faulkner said...

Very well said by the Cardinal there. He's absolutely right, thanks for bringing this to my attention seeing as everyone else has ignored it!

29 March 2007 at 20:10  
Anonymous Wolsey said...

Great post.

29 March 2007 at 20:13  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Although THE YOGYAKARTA PRINCIPLES is not an official UN document, it expresses the ideas of many officials and NGO hangers-on.

At the Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, a radical homosexual umbrella group released a homosexual rights document authored by several UN human rights officials that claims that even the youngest children are capable of discerning their sexual identity and they should be given governmentally protected free reign to express it. The document goes on to demand revision of international and national laws to reflect these and other ideas on the far frontier of social policy.

This onslaught is not just a UK problem, however I applaud and fully endorse Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connors comments.

29 March 2007 at 20:17  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

The word 'very' is often used superfluously. However I feel that in your Grace's penultimate sentence it is most appropriate.

Would it be possible to indicate the source of the Cardinal's speech? I failed to notice a link in the text.

29 March 2007 at 22:23  
Anonymous Colin said...

His Grace is right.

Nevertheless, I am worried about the last sentence, i.e. "The [Catholic !] Cardinal speaks not only for his church, but for the whole of Christendom.".

Is this the first step in the direction of conversion to Catholicism? And what follows after that, conversion to Islam? It gives me a sleepless night as always when my favorite brand changes its line of products.

29 March 2007 at 22:38  
Anonymous Colin said...

On a more serious note, His Grace's step appears to be in the right direction considering what Nicholas Bennett wrote in a previous thread: "A House divided will not be able to oppose the secular tide."

29 March 2007 at 22:42  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Alexandrian,

The link is now installed, and His Grace apologises for the oversight.

Mr Colin,

Fear not. There is no brand change, and no conversion to Rome. However, Mr Bennett's point had validity, and (as ever) these things are held in tension between the 'now' and the 'not yet'.

29 March 2007 at 22:49  
Blogger Allotment Plotter said...

If you sup with the Antichrist remember to take a long handled spoon.

Was Cranmer himself not burned at the stake by followers of the Antichrist church - today's Synagogue of Satan?

Just because a catholic Cardinal mouths words which appear to ring true (the Devil has all the best tunes) it does not make him a "good man" or worth any plaudits.

Foxes Book of Martyrs should be your bedside reading:

"Then was an iron chain tied about Cranmer and fire set unto him. When the wood was kindled and the fire began to burn near him, he stretched forth his right hand, which had signed his recantation, into the flames, and there held it so the people might see it burnt to a coal before his body was touched."

The Book of Act and Monuments, Book of Martyrs, by John Foxe

30 March 2007 at 01:28  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Actually the Cardinal is speaking for Christians rather than simply Catholics; since His Grace's Successor at Canterbury sees himself as a "follower" not a "leader" and of The Guardian like the University lecturer that he is.

The Catholic Church is exercising leadership where the Church of England is manifestly failing.

This Government has implemented the policies of an alien regime, it has acted like a Communist Government in its attempts to subvert institutions and pervert values such that it brings all within its grasp in a form of Gleichschaltung.

There comes a point when people must consider whether the legislative machine is acting in accordance with natural justice; some think the Nuremberg Laws should have been a call to action; others believe the outspoken attack on Government Policy by Cardinal Clemens von Galen on 3rd August 1941 in Munster Cathedral when he openly attacked the T4 Program of Euthanasia........

Fellow Christians !....There are sacred obligations of conscience from which no one has any power to release us and which we must fulfill even if it costs us our lives.

Tha Nazis retaliated by arresting and beheading three parish priests who had distributed the sermon

30 March 2007 at 08:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

His grace should know that experience has taught enlightened protestants that catholics are only loyal to the half crown.

30 March 2007 at 09:38  
Anonymous bob said...

I have criticized you in the past, Cranmer, for what I perceived to be an anti-Catholic bias. It is only right that I should commend you for proving the bias to be mine.

30 March 2007 at 09:51  
Blogger Buenaventura Durruti said...

I disagree violently with the Cardinal and question his personal authority to speak on issues relating to the welfare of children (it was beyond 'naivity' and he should not be allowed to forget it).

But, nevertheless, he is doing what Christian leaders ought to: standing up and bearing witness.

How we react to it is, of course, another matter. We may agree with his defence of core Christian moral values. We may hate the discrimination cloaked in piety. We may note that when the chips are down christianity will always prefer to save souls rather than lives - and, if so, we'll make of that what we will. And we may ask how his supporters would react if an Inman had inserted that self same 'but'...

30 March 2007 at 10:06  
Anonymous Observer said...

Buenaventura Durruti writes like a journalist without any real commitment to any belief as such

30 March 2007 at 10:35  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Voyager, Cardinal Clemens von Galen was a fascinating man and he did survive the Nazis. It may interest you to know that the RAF dropped copies of his sermons all over Germany during the war, which made him non too popular with the National Socialists (there goes that socialism word again). His exploits are gone into some detail in The Myth of Hitler's Pope: Pope Pius XII and His Secret War Against Nazi Germany by David G. Dalin. This book is written by a Jewish Rabbi and is a real eye opener, I recommend it to you (and also to Your Grace and Bob).

30 March 2007 at 12:37  
Anonymous billy said...

When I say the creed I affirm that I believe in the Holy Catholic Church. I am happy to listen to whichever wing of Christianity is talking sense and applying the scriptures.
Another excellent post, Your Grace.

30 March 2007 at 15:18  
Blogger Lilith said...

How unseasonal!

31 March 2007 at 10:47  
Anonymous AndyW said...

Your Grace,
I take it from Voyager's comment (8.17am) - since His Grace's Successor at Canterbury sees himself as a "follower" not a "leader" - he has revealed your true identity. Although I read your pronouncmets regularly I had failed to make the connection.

31 March 2007 at 18:49  
Anonymous AndyW said...

Sorry your Grace, finger trouble pronouncmets should be pronouncements

31 March 2007 at 18:52  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I take it from Voyager's comment (8.17am) - since His Grace's Successor at Canterbury sees himself as a "follower" not a "leader" - he has revealed your true identity.

Mind-boggling what the uninitiated read into my words.

To assist you in your quest for the Mysteries of Canterbury I append a short list

The Mystery

His Grace can be viewed as Archdeacon of Taunton....and the current incumbent, Guardianista and CND activist appears at the end of the list

31 March 2007 at 19:09  
Anonymous AndyW said...

Voyager let's try some logic:-

1) A successor is a person who follows next in order.

2) His Grace clearly has a pulse.

Please go through the list you present to find someone who both
a) has a pulse and
b) has a successor

That should narrow down your search

31 March 2007 at 20:00  
Blogger Voyager said...

1) A successor is a person who follows next in order.

Not does not need to be in immediate lineage or temporal would you describe the link between the 104th Archbishop and his antecedent 470 years earlier ?

Still it's your're making it all up

31 March 2007 at 21:18  
Anonymous Happy apostate said...

I don't get it- is this site meant to be ironic? Seriously, are you being sarcastic? If so, great blog. If not, you have serious problems!

The only comments I can agree with are those by Buenaventura Durruti-
the only ones that speak any sense!

We react when Muslim communities appear to be prejudiced against women, so why should the RC church think it can discriminate against homosexuals? (And lets not try guessing how many of those ordained are gay...)

Yet more hypocrisy! Get into the 20th century or close down!

1 April 2007 at 05:27  
Anonymous Observer said...

! Get into the 20th century or close down!

Did you enjoy it in the 20th Century ?

We've moved on and left you behind !

1 April 2007 at 07:39  
Anonymous derlroy said...

Happy apostate said...
We react when Muslim communities appear to be prejudiced against women, so why should the RC church think it can discriminate against homosexuals? 5:27 AM

This whole homosexual thing confuses me. Does the post above mean hat homosexuals are the same as women?

1 April 2007 at 17:25  
Anonymous Colin said...

Happy apostate,

"Get into the 20th century or close down!"

If your insults lacking any sign of intelligence or supportive evidence for your statements are the future, then good night! As Observer already said: This is the 21st century. Maybe you should change your name into Happy Ignorant.

1 April 2007 at 20:41  
Anonymous AndyW said...


A successor is one who succeeds - by your rather strange understanding Queen Elizabeth 2 succeeded King John.

The 104th Archbishop succeeded the 103rd Archbishop - Cranmer's successor is Reginald Pole.

As to the question - how would you describe the link between the 104th Archbishop and his antecedent 470 years earlier ?

He is the current incumbent and is the last in the line of succession - he is not the successor.

2 April 2007 at 10:10  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

The Archdruid is a successor of Cranmer: clergy swear obedience to the Queen and her successors (plural). What is the difficulty?

Thank you, your Grace, for an excellent post. I was afraid at first that you might be working up to some anti-papist conclusion. The Cardinal is pronouncing the authentic Christian teaching on this matter and we should all be grateful.

2 April 2007 at 13:12  
Anonymous Voyager said...

A successor is one who succeeds - by your rather strange understanding Queen Elizabeth 2 succeeded King John. read up on The Act of Settlement 1701...there is no succession from the Plantagenets to the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha line, that was changed by the Act of Settlement when Parliament determined who succeeded to the Throne of England might also look at The Act of Security (Scotland) 1704 and The Alien Act 1705 together with The Act of Union 1707

You might consider Trust Law and the notion of successor trustee or even The Law of Salic Succession which changes matters in royal succession.

The simple fact is the Archbishop Cranmer became A of C in 1533 in a Ceremony recognised by The Pope in Rome, his successors did not

2 April 2007 at 16:30  
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The Pope's car is being auctioned off to raise money for Habitat for Humanity:
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10 April 2007 at 13:06  

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