Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Persecuted or not Persecuted?
His Grace of Westminster says we are not persecuted. He is right, there is little blood spilt in the Piazza of Westminster Cathedral no beying mobs yelling for his blood in Ambrosden Avenue, English society has moved on from the time when my presbytery was "built with windows too narrow for a man to climb through", protection against the locals in the past, fire hazard today.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols says we are not persecuted yet Lord Carey the former Archbishop of Canterbury says Christians are persecuted.
It all depends on what you call persecution, you have to have some resistance if you are going to be martyred; burn Caesar's incense and everything is hunky-dory, refuse and things get a bit difficult, that is precisely the situation that is brewing in the US.
Here, our adoption agencies are closed with barely a whimper. Connexions are welcomed in our schools. Oona Stannard and the then Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols seemed to be happy collaborators with the then Education Secretary Mr Ed Balls. I keep meeting young medics who choose psychiatry because the fear that other branches of medicine are likely to become more difficult for Catholics with a conscience. I must say I can't recall the last time I met a practicing Catholic who was a dispensing pharmacist. Increasingly Catholic social workers are finding difficulty in being involved in adoption. Similarly Catholic registrars can be presented with problems, do they or do they not register civil partnerships? What about their future when required to perform same sex "marriages"?
Then of course as the sensible Mr Sensible says, what about Sunday working?
There is no point in persecuting the compliant, Cardinal George, in the US, has said, "I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square". I think there something about quality of leadership, I often wonder if is prudent or wimpish, but then I wonder about my leadership: Is it prudent or wimpish?
Posted by Fr Ray Blake