Saturday, May 01, 2010

On the day...

...that a judge decreed that Christians have no right to have their religious beliefs respected at work, an opportunity to ponder on the message of St Thomas More.

Yesterday evening I led a Catholic History Walk for young people. This was an extra Walk organised by the leaders of a Confirmation group at a major London parish. I had gladly agreed to do it after being approached following the publicity for the general History Walks organised by Continuity/Miles Jesu. Gathering round the statue of More along the Embankment at Chelsea and showing the young people how he would have travelled up-river to Westminster for sessions of Parliament, and later when taken to the Tower, there was a sudden great sense of the great reality of it.

What is happening to our country at the moment? It is now a place where a Christian can lose his job because he was employed as a marriage counsellor and wanted to do this and not to get involved with supporting homosexual relationships. Insisting that he change his beliefs or lose his job cannot by any measure be regarded as fair.

The young people began the Walk by having that oh-yeah-so-why-is-this-important-anyway? look which seems obligatory among adolescents: any sort of enthusiasm for a well-planned project is sooooo uncool. But they sparked up a bit as we progressed, and despite rain and a chill wind they held candles and joined in prayers as dusk fell and we gathered around More's plaque at Allen Hall, the Westminster diocesan seminary which stands on the site of his garden. The wind blew out our fragile flames, but they listened as I told them about heroic priests facing torture and death to keep the Faith alive in times past, and about this is the same Faith that has been passed on to us, from the time of Christ, right down to us in London today...and then the voices joined in the Our Father...

St Thomas More, pray for us.

1 comment:

UKViewer said...


I have read the facts of this case slightly differently. He started off as a Marriage Guidance Counseler and while doing that,was happy to deal with partners in Gay relationships.

However, he later qualified to give guidance on sexual matters, which was a positive career choice that he made. This training, paid for I understand, by his employers.

Having qualified, he than tried to amend the terms of his contract.

While I do not agree with the terms of the judgment given - in this case the individual chose his role, but only wished to deal with the bits that he agreed with.

If he was prepared to deal with Gay couples earlier in his career, while an active Christian - why the sudden change of heart or guilt trip here?

Sadly, he has yet again demonstrated that you either accept secular employment and the contract terms that go with it, or you leave and find employment that does not give your conscience a problem.

There are lots of opportunities for trained Christian Counselors so perhaps that is his vocation.