Sunday, November 25, 2007

Good for Cormac

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has begun an unprecedented attempt to block new laws on embryo research by contacting all Catholic MPs in a personal lobbying campaign.
The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, has invited them to a reception next week to discuss in confidence “issues likely to come before the House in the new session of Parliament”.
MPs say that the move signals a shift towards a more outspoken political role for the Church.
They told The Times that the event was the first of its kind and clearly triggered by the current legislation on fertility treatment and embryo research and by further debates on abortion law, which are expected next year.
While the Catholic Church in Scotland has traditionally enjoyed a high profile in political life, its counterpart in England has generally been more reticent.
Ministers are preparing for a parliamentary battle over the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which Government sources told The Times would be whipped strongly to prevent its opponents from forcing through wrecking amendments.
Such tactics present a dilemma for Roman Catholic Labour MPs, including Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, who as a backbencher opposed regulations on stem-cell research. She has refused to say whether she will vote for the Bill. But senior ministers told The Times that there was no prospect of Ms Kelly and other Roman Catholic Labour MPs being given a free vote on the proposals. “This is a Government Bill and Ruth will have to vote for it if she wishes to stay in the Government,” said one figure.


John said...

There is nothing new in this legislation. The same kind of thing is going around the world.
Cardinal Pell, here in Australia, was threatened with being brought before the Parliament of New South Wales for contempt. It was claimed that he was threatening Catholic members with dire cosequences if they dared to support embryonic stem cell research. Cardinal Pell replied robustly and demanded his right as the leading Catholic in Australia to inform members of parliament about Church teaching and he pointed out that no one else was threatened with such a sanction as contempt for speaking out in any controversial matter.
I urge you to read his reply to the Government of New South Wales. He was exhonerated, of course, but Catholic leaders need to have the courage to speak out, like Cardinal Pell and to be ready to face any consequences for doing so.
The Cardinal's words can be read here


Henry said...

There is pressure for evil science at the moment, but that is an ancient theme. It will be interesting to see if there are resignations. It would be nice if politicians were seen making a stand on matters of principle, it does not happen often.

George said...

To Ruth Kelly and ALL Catholic MP's - chew on those famous words 'The king's good servant but God's first'. If you have difficulty with this then do not profess that you are Catholic. By it's very nature the Catholic Faith is political - why did the Jewish and Roman heirarchy have Our Blessed Lord crucified - because He stood against the current secular values, and I believe our Catholic politicians should make a stand and do the same.

Good on our Cardinal - but let's have a whole lot more from Westminster and our Bishops from other parts of the Country.

On the side of the angels said...

Ruth Kelly cannot vote for the bill; and to be honest I can see her making a valid claim for unfair dismissal should she be sacked for it under the Human rights legislation as she's a minister not a civil servant [for whom the law has been opted out/vetoed] anyway - I'm sorry but I am not going to hold breath regarding the outcome of this 'invitation' - especially regarding the Tony Blair and the St John and St Elizabeth debacles recently - I have to disagree with you father, this is not a 'good for Cormac' but rather 'about bloody time you started doing your job now that it's [thankfully] nearly over !' I really like his Eminence personally ; but over the decades he has let the nation's catholics down on so many occasions I truly have to say "Go in peace, but go !"

Anonymous said...

For heaven's sake look at the record of the Kennedy's in the Sixties. Despite their shady Irish-American background and squalid private lives they were supposed to be Catholics to their fingertips. Yet consistently they never allowed private conviction to get in the way of Government policy and this was realized from the start. Politicians there and in this country are constantly hampered by this dilemma. They do not represent themselves but the parties their constituencies have elected. None of them hold their seats as Independents.

pelerin said...

St Thomas More - Ora Pro Nobis

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

The horrifying thing about all this is that there is NO NEED at all for this kind of research. Adult embryonic stem cells are doing the job-take a look at Jimmy Akin's blog.
This is a vote to allow scientists to play with human life and kill people for no reason.

God help us.

Cosmos said...

Following on Whitestonenameseeker'scomment...

I was just wondering how the Cardinal's timing relates to all the recent frontpage news about "somatic cell dedifferentiation," which supposedly makes embryonic stem cell research a deadend anyway?( If this is a heroic change of tune for the Cardinal, the timing is pretty funny.