Ruth Kelly should be excommunicated
The House of Commons votes next Monday on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, but ‘Ruth Kelly's Roman Catholic conscience is clear after securing permission to miss the Commons vote’ yet again. The Prime Minister has permitted her ‘leave of absence’ to ‘attend EU meetings in Brussels instead’.
If Pope Benedict XVI is of the opinion that politicians who vote for legal abortion are subject to excommunication, what of those who conveniently absent themselves from such votes and thereby bring the faith into disrepute through their hypocrisy?
Cranmer is currently awaiting a report from one of his communicants in Brussels on the nature of these crucially important transport meetings which suddenly require the urgent and unavoidable presence of the Secretary of State.
Cranmer has received this from Brussels:
"There does not appear to be any EP meetings scheduled. There is a transport meeting tomorrow in Strasb. Quite what RK is up to remains a mystery."
Fascinating. Perhaps Mrs Kelly would be kind enough to inform us of the nature of these urgent meetings which require her presence in Brussels.
The Telegraph finds it all an appalling hypocrisy:
Let's be clear. If Kelly is true to her beliefs - they are so deeply held that she is a member of the Opus Dei movement - she could not possibly deliberately contrive to miss the vote. She would be in the Commons to make a stand against this legislation, despite the three-line whip for Labour MPs.
It's not just the so-called Frankenstein science stuff, which is directly against church teaching. The Bill also enshrines the right of women to abort a child at 28 weeks and at full-term - 39 weeks - if there is a suspicion of disability such as Down's Syndrome or a cleft palate.
So while Kelly is swanning around Brussels attending meetings that are hardly a matter of life and death, back in Westminster MPs will be voting on issues that are exactly that. Kelly's conscience is as porous as a sponge.
Of course, only Mrs Kelly’s co-religionists could state this; if any Protestant dared, or, for that matter, any Anglo-Catholic, they would doubtless be labelled ‘bigot’ or some such, usually by those who manifest the very essence of the word themselves. In fact, even to quote it, or draw attention to it, is sufficient for some to hurl ad hominem invective, conveniently deflecting from the issue at hand.
And the issue is quite simple: if abortion is a sin against God and a crime against humanity, it must be the duty of all Christians to do all that is within their power to limit its practice. If that includes actively counselling young women in the alternatives, then a fortiori must also include actively voting against legislation in Parliament.
But Mrs Kelly simply cannot sacrifice her status, income, or her ministerial limousine to protest against all the ‘evil provisions’ of this Bill. She manifests all the compromised, liberal attitudes of the average Anglican in Parliament. Cranmer can’t quite see Nadine Dorries playing this sort of game, even were she to rise to ministerial office. And he thought that Opus Dei was more serious about its creed than the Evangelicals.
Several pro-abortion amendments have been tabled for the Bill's Report stage. They include the removal of safeguards on abortion such as a requirement for a second doctor's signature and the specified medical grounds on all early and mid-term abortions. There is also the proposal to permit abortion providers to use nurses and midwives to carry out abortions instead of doctors, and also to allow them in a wider range of health care centres.
Does Mrs Kelly think abortion is the same as any other medical procedure? Does she believe in a woman’s ‘right to choose’? Does she not realise that this Bill with its amendments will lead to even more abortions and should be strongly opposed at every stage?
The Telegraph continues:
Of course Kelly would be forced to resign from the Cabinet if she voted against the Bill. But, on a personal level, her standing would have soared above the civil liberties martyr David Davis, because she would be giving up a Cabinet job rather than the expectation of one.
And much more importantly, she would have been speaking up for the millions of voters who are in despair that, despite the advances in medical technology since the last abortion vote in 1990, MPs have refused to change the upper limit.
I'm sure Ruth Kelly takes her Cabinet responsibilities seriously. But her trip to Brussels makes a mockery of her so-called convictions.
I'm equally sure that she is a good and loving mother. But the next time she talks to her children about what is right and what is wrong, I wonder if she will feel at least a pang of guilt.
After all, she has put her Cabinet job before the other children. The unborn ones.
And another Telegraph journalist continues the theme here
What is the point of having Christians in Parliament if, when the faggots are lit,* they are not prepared to place their hands in the fire?
*This is not a reference to gay Christians.