Monday, January 18, 2010

Bishop McMahon: No problem with civil partnerships


Fr John Boyle runs a report on Bishop Malcolm McMahon's interview with The Tablet. Bishop McMahon is chairman of the Bishop's Conference's Catholic Education Services.
In the interview the Bishop says that the Church should not "investigate" - or one presumes enquire or even take into account headteachers private lives, that is whether they are following Christ's teaching on the permanence of marriage.
He also states that he has no problem with "gay" civil partnerships.
Do read Fr John's article.

This follows Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Education's statement that the CES endorsed his plan for compulsory sex education.
Worrying?

28 comments:

JARay said...

I have read Fr. Boyle's blog. I am utterly disgusted at Bishop McMahon's comments. He simply is not giving the witness expected of a Pastor of the Church. This is an utter disgrace.
JARay

Crux Fidelis said...

this is extremely worrying - especially that a bishop should hold such views.

Basil said...

I thought he was supposed to be one of the 'conservative' ones?

johnf said...

Father, when I first read your post, I felt a rant coming on - another Bishop breaking ranks!

However, on reflection and reading Fr John Boyle's blog, the idea of investigating private lives is rather repugnant. Where will it end? Who is going to cast the first stone?

If the person is causing scandal that would be another matter.

When my eldest children were small, their Catholic primary school had a very good head teacher. When he died, his partner came to the funeral. Was this a homosexual arrangement? I am told it was but I would have had no idea.

I know of instances today where two women teachers share a house. I assume that marriage has passed them by, they want companionship and also there are economic advantages. I have no idea, nor wish to know whether or not this is a sexual arrangement.

But today, shared accommodation seems to presume a shared bedroom.

In the USA if two colleagues turn up at a hotel reception desk, it is now assumed for starters that are sharing a room. I have experienced this myself on business and have to say politely. 'No, we have made separate reservations!'

I note that the estate of Conan Doyle is outraged at the recent Sherlock Holmes movie with innuendos about a sexual relationship. O for the innocence of Victorian literature – or even the innocence of Laurel and Hardy or Eric and Ernie!

Innocent Smith said...

"Man, proud man, dressed in a little brief authority, like an angry ape, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep."

(Shakespeare - Measure for Measure)

Michael Petek said...

There's a way around this.

If an employee at a Catholic school is made aware that anti-Catholic speech or behaviour: (a) would be likely to be seen as insulting; and (b) causes a Catholic harassment, alarm or distress, then an offence under the Public Order Act 1986 is made out.

P Stanforth said...

Johnf

It's very common for business colleagues in the US to share a room on a business trip. Almost all rooms there will have two beds. It's a lot cheaper for operating costs. It's we coy brits that go for individual rooms.

JARay said...

In the light of Johnf's comment I must say that I had an aunt who shared her house with another teacher. I always called this other one "Aunt" and indeed she was. I am absolutely certain that both of my aunts were holy, chaste and exemplary Catholics
JARay

Patricia Phillips said...

This is not the first time that Bishop McMahon has behaved in a dubious way about homosexuality. He supports the 'gay' Masses at Leicester Holy Cross Priory, even though it was pointed out to him that they are run by members of the dissenting homosexual group Quest. In fact, in the Quest bulletin No 45, the following is written:- "The “Mass for lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgendered
people, our families and
friends”, as we called it, was
advertised in the parish bulletin
and on the Diocesan website
well in advance so that anyone
who might feel uneasy with
such idea would have time to
express it. We sent leaflets and
letters to all Catholic priests in
local parishes asking them to
announce the Mass in their
communities; from three priests
we received words of interest
and support. Also, we informed
the Bishop of the Nottingham
Diocese and he sent a short letter
of gratitude to all participants
of the Mass for keeping
the Catholic faith alive." Later the article stated:- "We made every
effort to be open about our
intentions – no one, even the
Bishop could have been surprised
or uncomfortable on
the day of our gathering or
afterwards. We were pleased
with the result. Now is the
time to reflect what we are
going to do with that." Very worrying indeed.

Olie said...

Civil Partnerships are intended to be sexual, hence brothers and sisters cannot share in their financial benefits.
The bishop is being duplicitious.

gemoftheocean said...

What's it going to take for the panty twisters in the Vatican to DO SOMETHING about these bishops who undermine the faith?

How about let's start with: "I want your resignation within TWO HOURS or I am yanking you and putting someone else in your place right away?"

Is it asking too much for the Pope and Vatican to do their JOBS?

What's it going to take: pitchforks and lit torches in Vatican city with a million people shouting?

The pope needs to show some teeth. He's got a rotten to the core bunch in key places over there.

gemoftheocean said...

johnf --- you fall for the liberal "McCarthyism" fake. It isn't about "investigating people's lives" to the underware drawer.

But when you have people who openly parade their gay lovers, speak out that "there's nothing wrong with contraception" think abortion is "no big deal" -- then it's pretty obvious isn't it?

Everyone is a sinner, but it's not demanding too much to stand up against leading people astray by allowing people LIVING in a constant state of sin in grave matters.

Better A MILLSTONE should be placed around this bishop's neck. when the shepherd becomes a traitor and starts eating the sheep with the wolves, it's not asking to much for the guy who allows the shepherd to remain in place to do HIS job and fire the shepard -- and yes, that would be pope Benedict! He needs to stop listening to those limp wristed hand wringing sissys in the curia.

I know that when men apply to the seminary they must undergo a physical exam to prove they really are men. I think there ought to be another rule that before men are appointed to the post of bishop, they ought to do a recheck, because some of these people in power do not have the intestinal fortitude to act like real men and act like men instead of frightened old ladies who are afraid to kill a beetle. Sheesh, guys, BE MEN.

Who's in charge in the Vatican these days? The little old lady brigade? Even little old ladies can muster the courage to pick up a shotgun every now and again when threatened.

Volpius Leonius said...

Having been through what passes for Catholic education in this country less than 15 years ago I have resolved never to let my children anywhere near any of it.

And I'm sure it has only became worse since my school days.

Its about time the Bishops start to ask themselves why it is that Catholics do not want to send their children to Catholic schools.

Norah said...

The bishops's remarks were scandalous, the papal nuncio should be supplied with a copy of the remarks and if no action is forthcoming then the relevant curial department notified.

How can someone teach children what he/she doesn't believe or practise? Of course it is reasonable to ask someone who wishes to be employed in a Catholic school if they believe and accept all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches. How can an Orthodox person in good conscience teach Catholic children that the Orthodox broke away from Rome and not the other way around?

johnf said...

Gem

"But when you have people who openly parade their gay lovers, speak out that "there's nothing wrong with contraception" think abortion is "no big deal" -- then it's pretty obvious isn't it?"

Quite so. I agree with your point there. That's what I said by not causing scandal.

I read Fr Boyle's quotes of canon law and assuming these are part of the terms and conditions of the contract, they would give the governors the right to turf out anyone whose behaviour or teaching was considered inimical to Catholic doctrine.

That wouldn't need formal inquiries over and above the CRB checks.

JARay - absolutely! But if two blokes shared a home today, tongues would begin to wag. They would need a third - a female also to share, to give public respectability. But then Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson had their housekeeper.

epsilon said...

"two blokes shared a home today, tongues would begin to wag. They would need a third - a female also to share, to give public respectability."
Unfortunately, no - this would set the tongues wagging even more.

However, I think the tables will turn sooner than we all think because many young people are beginning to see the sham of modern living foisted on them by the capitalist agenda of shop till you drop (including shopping for "love")

Independent said...

Civil Partnerships are certainly a wonderful instrument for tax avoidance, especially inheritance tax, and are available for any two people of the same sex who are not related. I wonder is this perquisite justified, as Parliament made it clear that a CP is not a marriage? The rest of us pay more tax to ensure that it is available.

Crux Fidelis said...

Goto said "I know that when men apply to the seminary they must undergo a physical exam to prove they really are men"

Do they? I had a medical (conducted by my own GP) but I don't recall undergoing any sex test.

James Carter said...

Olie is wrong. Civil partnerships should not be assumed to be sexual, hence there are no grounds for adultery when seeking a dissolution. There is a very good article on Civil Partnerships and Religious Organisations by Mark Hill QC, professor of canon law at Cardiff University. http://www.ecclaw.co.uk/articles/civil_partners.pdf

nickbris said...

This subject certainly puts the cat amongst the pigeons.

If two people of the same sex wish to live together and share lives what is wrong with it?

There has to be some mechanism that allows a surviving partner of such a relationship to inherit whatever they have made together during their sometimes lifelong relationship.

Civil Partnerships was a reasonable way of getting around these problems but the system has been Hi-Jacked by mischief making from Vegetarian Trick-Cyclists & Comic Singers who insist on calling it Gay Marriage.

Independent said...

Far from being hijacked by a pressure group the Civil Partnership structure was the result of a pressure group with a definite agenda. However reading Professor Mark Hill's commentary (cited on here by Mr Carter) suggests that the actual Act makes it clear that, since unlike marriage there is no annulment procedure taking account of non-comsummation and no adultery as a grounds for civil divorce, then a CP cannot be assumed to be a sexual union.
This may be true in law, but popular perception is different. Bishop McMahon is reflecting the former, but will be misunderstood by the populace at large who hold to the latter.

George said...

This from a Catholic Bishop with responsibility for the education of Catholic children? Shameful.

James Carter said...

Independent makes a valid point. But what is a bishop to do? If a head teacher, or any teacher, forms a civil partnership? Clearly if a bishop were to refuse to appoint such a person, or fired them, he would not stand a chance before an employment tribunal considering Mr Hill's QC legal opinion. The only outside chance of him succeeding is to have irrefutable evidence of sexual activity from the bedroom. Do we really want our bishops to adopt such inquisitorial, and frankly medieval practices?

gemoftheocean said...

Crux -- They would have "noticed" had you been missing your dingle-danglies.

[I once asked the Sainted Fr. S. about that point, and he said that a physical exam was required before they took anyone into the seminary in the 40s.]

Zephyrinus said...

Right. That's it. I'm off. I've had enough of this nonsense. It'll be compulsory, next !!! Where's the ferry timetable for the sailings to Orkney ? Papa Stronsay, here I come. (Bishop McMahon doesn't have any jurisdiction over the Transalpine Redemptorists, does he ?)

epsilon said...

Norah said, "How can someone teach children what he/she doesn't believe or practise? Of course it is reasonable to ask someone who wishes to be employed in a Catholic school if they believe and accept all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches."

With respect Norah but you're living in a dream if you think even half of teachers in catholic schools believe anything the Catholic Church teaches!

George said...

Epsilon says, 'you're living in a dream if you think even half of teachers in catholic schools believe anything the Catholic Church teaches!'

Yep, I agree, especially the muslim teacher who constantly boasts to the kids in the school how she converted her Christian husband to islam!!!!! And that's our local Catholic comprehensive! Thankfully the lesbian teacher left just before getting 'married' to her lover. And to top that - 60% of the teachers aren't Catholics at all.

I kid you not! You couldn't write the script! It's a fight on all fronts - sex education, bad catechesis, RE programmes that concentrate more on comparative studies rather than on the Catholic Faith, and on and on...

So dear Bishop McMahon will you PLEASE mind what you say and put the C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C back into the CES. We need schools that back-up the Faith not do a hatchet job at undermining it!

Elizabeth said...

Do you know why we have these problems, because people have stopped praying.
We have ourselves to blame, if we would all just say one decade of the Rosary daily for our Catholic children the world would change.