Sunday, December 21, 2008

God Bless Good Bishop O'Donaghue

I had an email from Bishop Patrick O'Donaghue's Office asking me to publicise that the his diocese has withdrawn from Catholic Caring Services, which was the diocesan social care organisation.

For months he has been pleading with them not to capitulate to the Government's legislation on same-sex adoption but to seek an exemption under Human Rights & Religious Freedom Legislation, or failing that, attempt a legal challenge. They have refused, therefore the bishop has declared they are "no longer a Catholic organisation".

The bishop and his coadjutor are going to set up a truly diocesan and Catholic organisation.

See the full text of Bishop O'Donoghue's letter.

When some UK bishops seem to have serious difficulties with, or lack of understanding of, certain aspects of Catholic teaching Bishop O'Donaghue's bravery gives me great joy.

I know that this has not been easy decision for the Bishop, not only do many of his brother bishops find his actions incomprehensible, but the Bishop took over a diocese that had been almost bankrupted by his predecessor who had built up a grossly overpaid and not particularly Catholic diocesan lay staff. Bishop O'Donaghue has had an incredibly difficult time and deserves our prayers.


Anonymous said...

Is he aiming at returning to Westminster with a red hat?

Kate said...

How Great is our God!
Over the last few days,I had a deep sense of sadness at some of the news circulating in the Catholic world- today there is profound joy that this faithful servant of God 'prepares the Way of the Lord and makes straight His path'
God Bless Bishop P.O'D.

I am going to have a Mass offered by a priest from Aid to the Church in Need, for Bishop P.O'D's intentions.

Red Maria said...

Good for PO'D. Now I hope he takes firm action to recover any monies Roman Catholics donated to the adoption agency. Roman Catholics who gave money to the agency did so in the belief that it was a Catholic organisation. Now it turns out to be anything but that, it is only right that money taken on false pretences should be returned. I also hope the bishop cuts off any other form of support (use of buildings, facilities etc) given the agency with immediate effect.

Of course, catholic (the small c is deliberate) Caring Services is perfectly entitled to sever its links with the Church but the flipside of that is that it has to fend for itself. A non Catholic charity cannot expect special favours from the Church.

But you know there's another lesson in all this. And that's that the kinds of people who are on the boards of Catholic charities - the great and the good - who are very clearly chosen for these plum positions on the basis of social class rather than commitment to Catholicism unsurprisingly put maintaining the Catholic ethos of these institutions lower down the list of their priorities than other considerations. It's an unsatisfactory state of affairs to put it mildly but the way to stop it is obvious: get the forelock-tugging, class crawling mentality out of the Church, look for trustees and board members among genuine committed Catholics not the index of Debretts or the local chambers of commerce.

nickbris said...

There will always be Fifth Columnists in places of power & positions of trust,this is obviously what is going on at the catholic caring services.

To get their own way they are prepared to destroy lives;they must know what it can be like for a child to go to school and have to explain why they have two mothers or two fathers.

It used to be bad enough having to explain about the parents being separated.

Good for Bishop O'Donahue,somebody has to stand up to these infiltrators.

The Islamics know what to do with them.

George said...

A valiant and truely indefatiguable Shepherd of his flock. His letter is worth reading carefully to see just how important it is for all of us to defend Catholic Moral Teaching which in turn defends human dignity and that most fundamental cell of any healthy society, the Family based on Mother, Father and children.

How utterly spineless of the Catholic Caring services to simply drop 'Catholic' from their name in order to appease the Godless, morally bankrupt, politically correct, imbecilliums who sadly lead this Country of ours.

At some point in the future people will look back on these 'dark times' and wonder how human beings could have simply abandoned (and in this case jettisoned!) all common sense and sanity by allowing vulnerable children to be placed into conditions where that vulnerability would never be healed and frankly could even be exploited.

To have turned their backs on Jesus as the CCS have done will not bode well for those individuals who take personal responsibility for that decision. I would be the last one to pronounce any judgement, but Jesus Himself said that those who stand up for His name despite persecution will have Him stand by them on the 'last day', while those that deny Him will be denied by Him.

Whatever has happened to that incredible Catholic 'spirit' and devotion shown by our wonderful Martyrs of England & Wales. Let's pray for their intercession and that of Our Blessed Lady.

gemoftheocean said...

Three cheers for the bishop. More should have his courage. I can remember even 20 yeqrs ago, when the cry was "oh, no, we just want harassament to stop, we don't want to get married or adopt children."

Now that's ALL we hear about. I think it's particulaly outright wicked to place children in a gay couple's home. It amounts to moral turpidtude in my book. In particular on the people who place them there.

PeterHWright said...

I've been following this shameful saga on Fr. Paul Harrison's blog.

The Bishop emerges with much credit. All along, I have been saying he shouldn't have had to fight this battle alone.

I couldn't agree more with the final sentence in Fr. Ray's post. The Bishop deserves our prayers.

neville said...

We are about to celebrate the Birth of the Christ Child ! Not everyone enjoys their birthdays, and that must go for Our Lord too. Yet, in the Lancaster Diocese, He knows that many will welcome Him, and that will make Him smile. Sadly, in many other Dioceses in Britain, Jesus will be crying, because He will find dissent and a rejection of the Magisterium He gave to His Church. Thank God for P.O.D., who is in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Good for P.O'D. God bless him.
Have to agree with Red Maria on how people are given the jobs in these areas.

Anonymous said...

I have just seen in our newsletter that the crib collection will be for the Cabrini children's society. Wish we had P. O'D.

alban said...

It is truly sad that the bishop had to come to such a conclusion; one can certainly sense the pain in his letter, and it could not have been easy for him. I cannot fathom why any Church agency should wish to drop the title "Catholic" from its name, and like the bishop, am incredulous.

I am a fervent believer in the Church's statement in the CCC (2358)that unjust discrimination against homosexuals is unacceptable and I deplore homophobia; but, the bishop is correct that the healthiest place for a child is in a family with a loving husband and wife.

Anonymous said...

No doubt all these formerly Catholic caring services and children's societies will still be making appeals through the Catholic press and in Catholic parishes, and unlike POD most bishops will be covertly assisting them.

Red Maria said...

Thankyou, mum6kids, people like you and Jackie Parkes are precisely the kind of people I think should be trustees or board members of Catholic charity.

You wouldn't allow Catholic Caring Services to disregard Church teaching or John 'n' Lizzie's to allow abortion referrals, would you?


Here's an idea.

Why don't Catholic charities advertise - yes advertise - for trustees, who can apply for the positions on merit.

Shocking idea, no?

But no more ludicrous than inviting Lord Starborgling or Contessa de Tutti Frutti to fill the posts, eh? Especially when the Starborglings and Tutti Fruttis are the ones who end up selling Catholic charities down the river.

epsilon said...

Thank you Father for linking to this news. In 2003 when the great Bliar was perpetrating his lies I remember searching in vain for a great catholic outcry against war in line with the Pope. Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue was a lone voice then too amongst the bishops. I rang his office to pass on my thanks to him (for my own sanity I needed to do something at the time - wasn't a blogger then:).

Alban, I totally agree with you:

"I am a fervent believer in the Church's statement in the CCC (2358)that unjust discrimination against homosexuals is unacceptable and I deplore homophobia; but, the bishop is correct that the healthiest place for a child is in a family with a loving husband and wife."

God bless all our children, that even though they are living in all sorts of strange and unhealthy setups they will find a path to Jesus, our saviour.

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

I've been reflecting on why we've seen this flurry of orthodoxy from Bishop O'Donoghue -- the "Fit for Mission" initiative, the criticism of the Bishops' Conference, and the confrontation with his local Catholic childrens' charity -- when he is on the cusp of retirement. Why hasn't he been like this all along?

At first, I thought it all smacked of pangs of conscience. It looked like a bishop who was making a hasty disclaimer before leaving office as if to make amends for earlier sins of omission.

But I've changed my mind. I think there's a lot of strategy going on here.

First of all, for POD to have spoken out any earlier would have meant breaking ranks with the Bishops' Conference and causing an ongoing rift -- a very problematic course of action for any (responsible) bishop.

So POD bided his time, bit his tongue and picked his moment to hit out -- just when he was about to leave anyway.

He has been very clever in another way. No bishop can pick his own successor. But POD specifically requested the appointment of a co-adjutator before he left, and has been able to design a legacy for a known quantity. By launching his schools campaign and setting up a new children's charity, POD is effectively committing his successor to a heavy-duty programme of orthodoxy -- whether the new Bishop, Michael Campbell, likes it or not.

Finally, what better (or worse) a set of circumstances than the English bishops' contradictory reactions to gay adoption to show Rome that the it must fix the problems of the English hierarchy as a matter of urgency?

Bishop O'Donoghue would make an excellent chess player, if he isn't one already.

James M said...

"Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may give heed to you." - The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp (Ch.VII, 37)

Anonymous said...

October 671 - that's not good news. No matter what plausible reasons might be put forward by those in charge that collections for Cabrini will go to good causes, how can one be sure that will be the case, given the current situation?

My advice would be to suggest that people disregared that collection and give instead to ACN or to the Good Counsel Network. I wouldn't trust anyone advising donating to hitherto Catholic societies.

In relation to Lancaster, I wonder if we can be sure that POD's successor will follow the same firm line as POD. I pray that is the case.

Anonymous said...

The right decision, unquestionably.

God bless His Lordship.

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

I like this photo of Bishop O'Donoghue -- the medium is the message. Just behind him is a collection of six tomes with the word "Rome" in the title, emblazoned in gold letters on the spine of each volume.

It's like a hidden message from the bishop: ROME, ROME, ROME, ROME, ROME, [and when in doubt] ROME.

Delia said...

How inspiring when a bishop really speaks and acts as a bishop! May God bless him and the future work of his new organisation.

Anonymous said...

Wow! A Catholic bishop whose orthodoxy is patent. He protects and feeds the faithful.
God the Blessed Trinity is praised and glorified by the acts and words of Bishop O'Donaghue.

George said...

Oh that's superb! A Brilliant observation Francis!!!!
Thanks, brought a real chuckle to the evening!

It's like the good Bishop is saying 'READ MY LIPS!'- ROME, ROME, ROME, ROME, ROME, [and when in doubt] ROME.


A Happy and Joyous Christmas to all.

Sadie Vacantist said...

I am not sure that his strategy is as sophisticated as you claim, father. I honestly think that he has just had enough and sees the EBC model as having failed.

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