Monday, April 26, 2010

Do not let...

...the foul-up by the Foreign Office spoil the plans for the Papal visit. That is precisely what those who hate the Church want to happen. So it mustn't.

There are two issues here. First is the Foreign Office foul-up, which needs to be tackled. The perpetrator is said to have been "moved to other tasks" Uh??? Other tasks? Good grief. What other religions or nations is he going to insult next? It would be much more reassurring to know that he has been invited to use his creative and amusing talents elsewhere than in the public service.

But the more important issue is that the Papal visit is secured, that full-scale apologies from the Foreign Office to the Holy See are accepted, and that plans go ahead for the September events, with the Church's right of free speech emphasised and the traditions of courtesy and goodwill honoured to the full. Recriminations and "I told you not to trust this Government" and so on and so on are an indulgence we cannot afford as Catholics.

It has long been apparent that the present Government and many people in official positions in Britain dislike the Church and her moral teachings: our Catholic bishops have often appeared naive in their refual to accept this reality. But a successful Papal visit, a good gathering of Catholics to honour the successor of St Peter, the beatification of John Henry Newman, and a public celebration of the Faith, are great and large things, and well worth the time, sacrifice, dedication and prayer put into them.

Do not let those who hate the Church wreck this Papal visit.

15 comments:

The Laughing Peasant said...

Joanna
I really wonder can the British government be trusted to look after the Holy Father's safety when to gets to Britain. An atmosphere of ridicule, hatred and sheer craziness is being allowed build up. It could lead to violence. Surely the Queen of England, as author of the invitation and head of government, as well as head of a religion, ought to get involved.

UKViewer said...

I am quite cynical about this business. I have followed the row which has developed over the insulting memo regarding the Pope, but think that double standards are being applied.

In the UK, it appears quite acceptable to Parody and insult the CofE or make them the butt of jokes. You do not get the protests we are hearing over the RC/Pope debacle, it appears to be accepted that the ArchBishop of Canterbury is a legitimate target, as he is constantly portrayed as an irrelevant academic, not in touch with the people.

Nothing could be further from the truth - but you do not hear outrage from Lambeth Palace.

The Media are some of the biggest offenders in this way - and perhaps they need to be constrained by people refusing to buy or read the muck that they publish regularly.

Yes, the memo is insulting, but to portray it as a campaign by those who hate the church is over the top.

Patricius said...

I agree 100 per cent. People mocked before the visit of the relics of St Therese last year but ordinary Catholics turned out in their thousands and the mockery ceased. We should ignore the mockery this time and just make sure we support the holy father and make every effort to attend when he comes.

Joanna Bogle said...

I don't think the Foreign Office memo is part of any organised campaign against the Church - on the contrary it looks much more like a daft ignorant inane piece of nonsense that got taken seriously only because of the incredibly low standards of scrutiny and discussion that are now all too evident in our public services.

I agree with UK Viewer about the nastiness of some media commentators about the Archbishop of Canterbury, but they are mild compared with the vile, sexually explicit, lavatorial vulgarity of the rants against the Pope which have been produced across the Internet. Printed newspapers are not the worst offenders - although some of the filth comes from blogs that are linked to them or to broadcasting organisations. No editorial control appears to be excercised over these.

Former Catholic said...

Auntie, the FCO has a rather large lesbian & gay contingent. In Warsaw the UK Ambassador pulled down the Union Flaf and hoisted the rainbow 'Pride Flag' in honour of the passing LGBT Pride Parade which passed his embassy. Amongst the diplomatic community he is now known as 'Rainbow Rick'. Poles were none too pleased.

Jessica said...

You live by the sword, you die by the sword. This, in a nutshell, is the whole problem with the internet.What would have been drunken pub talk is published for the whole world to read.

Theresa said...

I think the point here is how this memo got into the public domain. The BBC had a choice about whether to report this or not; if they hadn't reported it, it would have stayed as a puerile piece of schoolboy humour. The fact that they have in the present climate I think shows a malicious intent. But I think it would be a mistake to make too much of it and I fear that we have.

Theresa said...

D'know,

I'm thinking; maybe all this negative coverage is the way to ensure that all the Catholics turn out for the Pope's visit. There's nothing like a bit of persecution to get peoples' backs up..

Delia said...

It just shows how much we need the Holy Father to come.

My main worry is that the security services will say that they can't guarantee his safety, and that the government will therefore cancel the visit.

The Laughing Peasant said...

Joanna,
You emphasise your belief that there is no 'organised campaign'. Maybe not, but there is surely a disorganised campaigned, lots of different groups finding common cause, backing one another up, daring one another to go farther. and now, they find there is support for this sort of thing at the very heart of the establishment. Do not forget, the people organising the visit are ultimately the people in charge of the Holy Father's safety. We know one member of this group, we know his opinion of the Holy Father and how lightly he takes his duties. Who are the other people? Who else got the memo and did they all object. If they did not, they shoudl be removed. In fact, was the objector a member of this group at all or only some person who came accross the memo by accident. English Catholics should demand answers to these questions, now. You have a right, indeed a duty, to assess the calibre of people who will be organising the Holy Father's security. The Catholic world will hold you accountable.

pattif said...

Acccording to the Tablet ( yeah, I know), the police have already said they cannot guarantee the Holy Father's safety unless all events are ticket-only. Leaving aside the fact that every all-ticket event I have ever attended in the Cathedral (including Cardinal Hume's funeral and Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's installation) has had row upon row of empty seats while hundreds of the faithful were left outside in the piazza, this means that the enormous, joyful crowds we have become accustomed to seeing on the Holy Father's other foreign trips (think Malta last weekend, think America or Australia if it seems unfair to cite a visit to a Catholic country) will not be seen, because the enormous, joyful crowds will not be able to get tickets. And won't it be a surprise when the visit is spun as a flop because of the absence of the aforementioned enormous, joyful crowds.

This visit was dreamt up by this government to shore up its crumbling Catholic vote, but it is no less welcome for that. It is up to us, the Catholic faithful, to campaign for the right to welcome our Holy Father, to pray with him and to receive his apostolic blessing. Anythign less makes us second-class citizens.

Thomas M. said...

I read an essay published three days ago written by the founder of the Catholic International Association Heralds of the Gospel, Mgr. João S. C. Dias. It is available at http://www.arautos.org/desagravo/?lang=en
It puts things in their right perspective. The present publicity campaign against the Church undermines a truth of which history provides an unequivocal testimony: it was the Catholic Church that freed the world from immorality, and it is because the world is rejecting the Church that it has once again sunk into the mire from which it was rescued. The majority of Western population tends to take it as a given that the world has always cultivated the values to which we are accustomed. These include the traditional family, protection of childhood innocence, sense of modesty, good manners, decency of dress, honour, mutual respect, a spirit of charity, human dignity, and solidarity.
Mgr. João proves that the kind of immorality which is held in horror today by the sound portion of Western public opinion, was, in the world dominated by paganism, par for the course. Before Our Lord Jesus Christ preached the Good News of the Gospel among men, the world was submerged in a prolonged and terrible night, in which moral licentiousness, egoism, cruelty, inhumanness and oppression reigned, as history illustrates. The message of Jesus Christ threw the worm-eaten ancient world off balance. A particular horror of the sin of paedophilia was instilled in souls by Jesus, with words of extreme severity: “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Mt 18:6)
Now, the more the Church is infiltrated by the libertarian, relativistic and neo-pagan spirit of our age, the more it may be feared that crimes of paedophilia will occur. From this stems the need to implant a rigorous selection system in seminaries, so that only those who do not have a propensity to conspire with the world, but who want to teach the practice of Catholic doctrine in all its purity and to serve as an example to Christians may be admitted as candidates to the priesthood.
Anyway, after each campaign of attacks against her, the Catholic Church always emerges stronger and more splendorous than before. This is going to happen again.

UKViewer said...

Joanna,

I think you know by now, that I am not against the RC Church, just sad at the way it and the Pope is being portrayed.

Institutional constipation seems to be an issue, where everything is reactive and not proactive - waiting fearfully for the next revelation or allegation to be made regarding child abuse.

Being attacked on all sides and just waiting without acting to fight back - seems to me to be a poor strategy, or am I being blinded by something I don't know about?

I am unsure about blaming the invasion of the church by various groups or influences is to blame (Thomas's post), I would look to Evil, which lives in each of us, driven and moulded as a force to produce these results (or does no one in the Church believe in Evil or the Devil these days?).

I think that you will find that many Anglicans will be praying for the Church and for the Pope's visit to be a healing one, rather than an opportunity for those who you describe as hating the church, to cause more damage.

We can only live in Hope.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Good Shepherd, look down with favor on the English nation. Converted to You by the labors of St. Augustine and his companions, it was for centuries rich in fruits of faith and sanctity. So devoted was it to Your holy and immaculate Mother that it was known throughout Christendom as the Dowry of Mary. While being cut off You in cruel fashion, hundreds of its people willingly shed their blood in testimony of their loyalty to You and Your Church. Loving Shepherd of souls, recall this great nation once more to the unity of Your Church, and grant peace of soul to those now separated from Your fold. Amen From Fr. John Hardon, SJ, Catholic Prayer Book. May the Good Lord ignite a flame of pure love that leads to repentance and conversion of souls in Great Britain.

UKViewer said...

Prayer for the Conversion of England! From Anon.

Admirable sentiment, I would hope that it is away from secularism, humanism and other things that keep people from hearing God's Word.

Uniquely, I cannot find a similar prayer in the Anglican prayer listing for the conversion to Anglicanism of other Christians.

Now I know why I am an Anglican.