Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Nothing to see here... move along...

Edmund Adamus, a fine chap and all 'round good egg, who has the no doubt thankless position of director of Pastoral Affairs for the Diocese of Westminster, told Zenit news this weekend that the pope is visiting a country that has become in the post-war years the “geopolitical epicenter of the culture of death”.

Britain has become an "aggressive anti-Catholic bias towards the church and the pontiff," he said, that exceeded even countries that violently persecuted Christians.

"Geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death".

Quite a nice little turn of phrase there, I'd say. If Edmund gets the sack, there is a future for him as a conservative Catholic columnist...if he can find someone who'll pay for it.

Britain is in “a time of shadows especially threatening to the fundamental cell of society -- the family -- and the rights of parents.”

He was likely referring to the laws that allow schools to teach children in their sex education classes the joys of gay sex and where to obtain abortions and contraception without parents’ knowledge or consent.

Britain a “selfish, hedonistic wasteland” indulging in the “objectification of women for sexual gratification” and “ever-increasing commercialization of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the gay agenda”.

“Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years or more have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage, in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes culturally speaking than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution.”


I wrote a piece for an American newspaper the other day in which I described Britain's response to the Pope's visit as reminiscent of
the reaction of teenagers who, left alone for the long weekend, are caught short by the sudden arrival of their parents early on Sunday morning. They have not had time to tidy up or hide the incriminating debris and so have chosen to stand defiantly amidst the wreckage of empties, take-away wrappers and broken heirlooms, arms akimbo, ready to deny all wrongdoing.

Now it seems that at least two British Catholic bishops are desperately trying to push the empties into the closet:

A spokesman for Nichols said the views expressed by Adamus "did not reflect the archbishop's opinions".

But this little duck and cover was as nothing to the glowing comments from Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton who wagged his finger firmly at such nay-saying: "I am often told by those Catholics who dislike the way our church operates in this country that they are the 'silent majority', denied a voice by people like me in the hierarchy. The reality is that they are a very small minority."

But get this...
Pope Benedict is coming to a country where Catholicism is unusually stable, cohesive and vibrant enough in the current overall context of decline of interest in the church in western Europe. Indeed, I think he may well be relieved to be coming to a place where, unlike some of his other recent trips, there are no big problems for him to sort out."

Now, if I'd made that up, y'all would have rightly told me that I was going over the top, that even an English Catholic bishop couldn't plausibly have said such things with a straight face. But the Guardian swears it's a straight-up quote.


I'll give it to you again, shall I?

"Indeed, I think he may well be relieved to be coming to a place where, unlike some of his other recent trips, there are no big problems for him to sort out."


Do popes still do interdict?



John said...

Why am I reminded of The Parrot Sketch. The English hierarchy as pet-shop owner.



Fr. John Mary, ISJ said...

So this is "news"?
Hasn't this been going on since King Henry VIII basically thumbed his nose at Rome, his daughter Elizabeth (nasty, at that) clamped down further and then O.Cromwell actually completed this whole atrocity? (Well, not completely...the martyrs and recusants are testimony to the "Faith of our Fathers").
Prayers from here for this monumental visit of our Holy Father to the UK.
God keep him safe and may the Word of the Lord penetrate deeply into many souls.

Gregory said...

"Do popes still do interdict?" Sadly, no. The last national interdit was against Venice in 1606, and it was a complete failure. The Venetian government refused to allow the clergy to obey the interdict, and the Pope eventually yielded on several major points.

If one were to forbid the public celebration of the sacraments in England, would ANY of the bishops be upset?

d cummings mclean said...

Oh, it's all so horribly true, and after several gloomy columns about the state of and place of Catholicism in Britain I now have to try to write something positive.