7th September 2006
This is my Birthday and my first BLOG.
Some years ago I wrote a weekly column for the Catholic Times newspaper. It was a diary and we called it "Seven Days with Joanna Bogle". The idea was to pass on useful ideas and information that came my way as a Catholic journalist. I will follow this same plan with this Blog.
It seems that the convention when starting a Blog to explain the identity of the author. I am a writer and live in London with my husband Jamie who is a lawyer. I hurry about and write books and also feature articles for newspapers. My object, in writing a blog, is to pass on information and to comment on issues of general interest and specifically those relating to the Catholic Church.
I take as an inspiratiion these words from the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, writing when he was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in a collection just published under the title Values in a Time of Upheaval (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2006. Hugely recommended): "The historical experiences of man, which have been reflected in the great religions, are an abiding source of knowledge and provide directives for reasons that apply even to those who do not identify with any one of these great traditions. The attempt to think and to live without any contact with these great traditions would be an arrogance that ultimately leaves man helpless and empty."
He wrote this with specific reference to the importance of marriage - as a lifelong union between a man and a woman, open to children. Elsewhere in the same collection of essays, commenting on this same topic he writes: "Monogamous marriage, as the basic structure for the relationship between a man and woman and as the cell for the construction of civic society, has been formed by biblical faith. It has given Europe - East and West - its specific "face" and its specific human character, precisely because one must struggle again and again to realise the form of fidelity and of renunciation that monogamous marriage by its very nature requires. Europe would cease to be Europe if this basic cell of social construction were to disappear or to be changed in its essence. We vare all aware of the risks confronting marriage and the family today - partly because its indissolubility is watered down by an ever-easier access to divorce, and partly because of the increasing cohabitation of men and women without the legal form of marriage.
"The paradoxical modern demand of homosexual partnerships to receive a legal form that is more or less the equivalent of marriage is a clear antithesis to this tradition. This trend departs from the entire moral history of mankind which - despite all the variety in the legal forms governing marriage - has always been aware that this is essentially a special form of the relationship of men and women, open to children and hence to the formation of a family. This is not a question of discrimination. Rather, we must ask what man is as manand as woman, and how we may coirrectly shape the relationship between them,. If this relationship becomes increasingly detached from legal forms, while at the same time homosexual partnerships are increasingly viewed as equal in rank to marriage, we are on the verge of dissolution of our concept of man, and the consequences can only be extremely grave"