Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Austen Ivereigh: 'Churches can help Labour renewal'

Some people are so afflicted with political Alzheimer's that you would scarcely believe that they inhabit the world of reality. And some are so self-deluding and prone to bizarre re-writes of history that you have to wonder at their mental balance.

Incredibly, Austen Ivereigh credits his fellow Roman Catholic Tony Blair with 'granting exemptions and opt-outs from equality laws for faith-based organisations in order to preserve their integrity and independence'. In Tony Blair, he preaches, 'there was respect for conscience and belief' because 'Blair's ears were tuned to faith'.

And it was, Mr Ivereigh avers, the evil Protestant Presbyterian Gordon Brown who removed the opt-outs from anti-discrimination laws so preciously preserved by St Tony.

A little lesson in (very) recent history, Mr Ivereigh:

The legislation which required Roman Catholic adoption agencies to conform to the requirement not to discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of goods and services was originally known as the ‘Sexual Orientation Regulations’, which were first laid before Parliament on the 7 March 2007. Tony Blair did not have the conviction to vote against the regulations, preferring instead to absent himself from the division. They passed with the overwhelming support of the Commons (309 votes to 99), and were subsequently implemented across England and Wales on 30 April 2007.

Tony Blair was still prime minister throughout this period: he did not resign until 27 June 2007.

Although he may have attempted to secure an opt-out for faith-based agencies, ultimately he ‘caved in’ because his ‘respect for conscience and belief’ was subsumed to his reverence for New Labour, and his ears were more attuned to the demands of Sir Ian McKellan than they were either to the Almighty or to the Magisterium of the Church. He did, however, generously and graciously grant Roman Catholic adoption agencies 21 months to prepare for the change, calling this a ‘sensible compromise’.

So, Mr Ivereigh, your hagiographical account of the trials and tribulations of St Tony, who had nothing, you proclaim, but ‘respect for conscience and belief’ and whose ears, you insist, ‘were tuned to faith’, is – how shall His Grace put it – more than a little apocryphal. Labour did not lose the last General Election because Gordon Brown had 'tuned out' of the divine broadcast, but because Tony Blair had been ashamed to 'do God' throughout the entire previous decade.

Intelligent and discerning Christians who support(ed) Labour will not be persuaded of Austen Ivereigh's Guardianista revisionist narrative at all: it smacks of rather desperately-fawning co-religionist adulation.

Tony Blair had no comprehension at all of Roman Catholic values, the ‘common good’ or of ‘subsidiarity’: his values were (and remain) his own; he recognises no higher earthly authority in the teaching on faith or morals. He confused the ‘common good’ with the pursuit and retention of power, and his notion of subsidiarity had nothing to do with the liberating Catholic definition but that modeled on the oppressive and invasive ever-closer-centralising of the European Union.

Could this possibly be the same Austen Ivereigh who is trying desperately to solve the communication problems of the Roman Catholic Church and who so appalled Sinead O’Connor with his alarming excuses for the systemic extensive and widespread priestly paedophile cover-up?


Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

I never thought I would give credence to anything Sinead O'Connor has to say, but in this instance, I applaud her.

28 September 2010 at 14:43  
Anonymous Theo said...

"Intelligent and discerning Christians who support(ed) Labour"

Your Grace really does stretch the imagination. Can such a beast exist or does being intelligent and discerning automatically nullify the possibility of both being a Christian and of supporting Labour.

28 September 2010 at 15:29  
Anonymous truthteller said...

Sinead O'Connor is a clown, and allegations of a "systemic" (let alone papal) cover-up of child abuse are ahistorical bunk. Still, unsurprising to find Hari, Tatchell, Cranmer, Dawkins and O'Connor forming ranks. Mark 5:9.

28 September 2010 at 15:40  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"...unsurprising to find Hari, Tatchell, Cranmer, Dawkins and O'Connor forming ranks."

O, please.

28 September 2010 at 15:58  
Blogger Oswin said...

A belated 'welcome back' Your Grace!

28 September 2010 at 16:42  
Anonymous shane said...


How the New Atheists are abusing the truth
Did Catholic priests really rape 10,000 children over the past 50 years, as respectable media outlets claim? No, they didn't.
Brendan O’Neill [Marxist Atheist, editor of spiked]

Apparently the British state is about to roll out the red carpet for a seriously evil rape facilitator. Pope Benedict XVI is the boss of a church that acts as a ‘patron, protector and financier of child rape’, says one secularist writer. Last week the UK Independent reported that in America, ‘over 10,000 people have come forward to say they were raped as part of this misery-go-round’ overseen by His Holiness and His Lackeys. In Ireland alone, a tiny country of 4.5million people, ‘Thousands were raped in reform schools’, said a British broadsheet headline last year, ramming home the ugly truth of how many kids have been raped by the Catholic Church’s army of paedophile priests.

But how true is this ugly truth? Were 10,000 children in America and thousands more in Ireland really raped by Catholic priests? In a word, no. Instead, what has happened is that in the increasingly caliginous, almost Inquisitorial mindset of sections of the New Atheist anti-pope lobby, every allegation of abuse against a Catholic priest - whether it involved sex talk or fondling or actual penile penetration - has been lumped together under the heading of ‘rape’, and every allegation has been described as an actual proven ‘rape’ regardless of whether it resulted in a legal trial, never mind a conviction.

The term ‘paedophile priest’ has become such a part of everyday cultural lingo that most people, when they read in last week’s relatively respectable UK Independent that ‘over 10,000 children have come forward to say they were raped [by Catholic priests]’, would probably think, ‘Yeah, that’s possible’. But it isn’t true. The Independent was referring to a study commissioned in 2002 by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was published in 2004 under the heading ‘The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States’. This study covered the period of 1950 to 2002, and it did indeed find that 10,000 individuals in the US - 10,667, to be precise - had made allegations of sexual abuse against priests (against 4,392 priests in total, around four per cent of the 109,694 Catholic priests active in the US between 1950 and 2002). But this doesn’t mean that these 10,000 ‘[came] forward to say they were raped’.

The 10,667 made various allegations, ranging from verbal abuse (being forced to indulge in sex talk) to being shown pornography to being touched by a priest over or under their clothing. Then there were the more serious allegations, which included being coerced into mutual masturbation, oral sex and, in some instances, rape. Yet where 3,553 of the individuals claimed to have been touched over their clothing and 3,981 to have been touched under their clothing, a smaller number claimed to have been subjected to what is described in the report as ‘penile penetration or attempted penile penetration’, that is rape or attempted rape; 990 boys and 213 girls made this allegation – a total of 1,203 individuals, not 10,000.

28 September 2010 at 16:49  
Anonymous shane said...

Moreover, if we are serious about such Enlightened ideals as justice and equality before the law, then we have to accept the fact that not all of these allegations were ultimately proven to be true. Out of the 10,000-plus allegations made against priests in America, 3,300 were not investigated at all because they were made after the accused priest had died (surely even the most riled anti-pope commentator accepts that a man who is no longer around to defend himself cannot be convicted of a crime). Of the 4,392 priests in America who were accused of sexual abuse in the period of 1950 to 2002, 1,021 were investigated by the police, and of these, 384 were charged, of whom 252 were convicted. So around six per cent of all American priests who had allegations made against them were finally convicted. (Of course there are many reasons for this relatively tiny number of convictions: some alleged victims were pressured to keep quiet; some (25 per cent in the US) didn’t make their allegations for more than 30 years after the alleged incident occurred; and in some instances there was just a lack of evidence.)

So nothing like 10,000 individuals in America ‘say they were raped’ by Catholic priests. In truth, 1,203 made this allegation. And not all of them resulted in a conviction. Every allegation of rape should be treated seriously, of course, but what happened to the idea of innocent until proven guilty? How did a complex US report about all manner of allegations against priests come to be translated in the words of the Independent into the idea that ‘over 10,000 people have come forward to say they were raped [by priests]’? Because in the outlook of certain sections of the intolerant New Atheist lobby, everything from sex talk to fondling to being shown a porn flick is ‘rape’ - if it’s done by a priest, that is - and every priest is guilty of what he is accused of despite the question of whether or not he was convicted in a court of law.

A similarly warped conflation has been made in relation to Ireland, now widely looked upon as a country where crazy priests spent most of their days handing out communion wafers and/or raping children. When the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was published in May 2009 - with its analysis of accusations of abuse made by individuals who had attended Irish reform schools between 1940 and 1999 - the media reported it as if it had uncovered apocalyptic, Caligulan levels of sexual depravity. ‘Thousands were raped in Irish reform schools’, said the Independent. ‘Thousands raped in Ireland’s Christian Brothers schools’, said the Belfast Telegraph. ‘Thousands raped and abused in Catholic schools in Ireland’, said the Guardian.

So were thousands of children - in particular boys, the main focus of the media reports - raped in Irish reform schools? No - 68 were, allegedly. Two-hundred-and-forty-two male witnesses made 253 reports of sexual abuse against the staff of Irish reform schools at the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse - and of these, 68 claim to have been raped. Once again, not all of the allegations resulted in convictions. Some witness reports involved priests who had died, and out of the 253 male reports of sexual abuse, 207 related to the period of 1969 or earlier; 46 related to the 1970s and 1980s. How did 68 claims of anal rape made against the staff of Irish reform schools over a 59-year period translate into headlines about thousands being raped? Because once again, everything from being neglected to being smacked to being emotionally abused - which thousands of Irish reform-school kids were subjected to - was lumped together with being raped, creating a warped image of a religious institution that rapes children on an almost daily basis. (If it were true that 10,000 Americans had claimed to have been raped by priests between 1950 and 2002, that would have amounted to more than one alleged priest-rape every two days.)

28 September 2010 at 16:50  
Anonymous lx said...

Sinéad O'Connor ("Mother Bernadette") celebrates the Tridentine Mass

28 September 2010 at 17:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sinéad O'Connor - Mad Irish Banshee who had her children taken away because she is a - Mad Irish Banshee

28 September 2010 at 17:22  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ix .... she's become High Anglican then?

28 September 2010 at 17:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't she let her drug dealer pick her children up from school?

28 September 2010 at 17:32  
Anonymous len said...

Sinead O'connor
"God needs to be rescued from religion"
Never a truer word said.

If the Catholic church had shown more compassion for the abused rather than their own reputation perhaps there wouldn`t have been so many abused.

Anyone who speaks the truth(Ms O`Connor for instance) will get slated by Catholics which is perhaps a reflection on their priorities.

28 September 2010 at 17:35  
Anonymous lx said...

Oswin, no. The Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church.

28 September 2010 at 17:36  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ix - not really a million miles away then?

28 September 2010 at 17:48  
Anonymous Byrnsweord said...

Your Grace, I have already blogged on just how extensively (and transparently) Labour have tried to rewrite their very recent history in order to appeal to certain groups or denominations.

The foremost example was David Miliband's ham-fisted effort to appeal to England. Poorly thought-out, poorly executed and so obviously a popularity ploy that it bypassed any semblance of claims to legitimacy.

28 September 2010 at 18:40  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Len...bless you. How many times does the Bible talk about justice for the victim, for the oppressed? The Catholic Church seem to blind on this point.

28 September 2010 at 21:26  
Blogger DaveF said...

The true Christian church will not align itself with political parties (only individual members can do that according to their conscience); the only churches that will help with the Labour renewal are those whose leadership has already been infiltrated by Common Purpose lackeys; since the Church Of England is the state church 'by law established' it is a prime target for such ravenous wolves. The issues of social justice have been hijacked and politicised by the Left to the end that, in the public perception, these issues are regarded as inseparable from their own nefarious agenda. There are yet 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

29 September 2010 at 08:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Mr Ivereigh also conjectured about the future in the ‘communications problem’ regarding the present laws supporting the suppression of Christianity:

‘Having said that, it’s important to add that the “Big Society” vision has not yet been tested. The test will come precisely when we get a whole new set of equality regulations, which again threaten the viability of a faith organization. How are they [the Coalition government] going to choose? This government is also very committed to gay rights. My gut sense, however, is that what happened in 2007 is not going to happen again.’

Mr Ivereigh may be a good journalist; he may be a ‘good communicator’ and proficient at developing a media strategy. However, he is either naïve or ignorant of the effects of the existing legislation.

He states, at the risk of repetition: ‘My gut sense, however, is that what happened in 2007 is not going to happen again.’

It is not going to happen again not because a supposedly benign government is in place. It is not going to happen again because there are no Catholic adoption agencies left to defy the law. It is not going to happen again because Christians in this country are second class citizens. And it is not going to happen again because the laws that suppress Christianity are federal laws that a Coalition government dominated by the Conservatives is not in a position to repeal.

In conclusion, the reason why it’s not going to happen again is because the second class status of Christians has now been regularized as normative through laws passed and supported by the present government. In short, there is no test coming because we are not going to get a ‘new set of equality regulations’: the present laws are sufficient to snuff out Christianity in the public square.

29 September 2010 at 11:32  
Blogger Oswin said...

truthteller ??? @ 15.40 28/10

An example of being wrong on oh so many levels!

29 September 2010 at 17:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A person who believes what she believes and still proclaims herself a Catholic is either a moron or a liar.

6 October 2010 at 00:55  
Blogger Oswin said...

Anonymous @ 00.55 eh? Just what do you mean by Catholic ?

6 October 2010 at 15:44  

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