Thursday, March 04, 2010

I thought they had broken their silence

I have a friends in the Middlesbrough diocese, they say Bp Drainey is good thing; likes his clergy and is plain speaking, so over a James's blog I was very pleased to read:
The Bishop of Middlesbrough has no intention of allowing schools in the Diocese of Middlesbrough to teach ‘how to use contraception’ or ‘explain how to access an abortion’.
but reading on it was the same old story, everything is subservient to the CES. It looks as if our heirarchy allowing women bishops in by the back door. Ms Stannard seems to have even more authority than any diocesan bishop or even the Archbishop of Westminster.

I am beginning to think I might have been foolish in not signing that petition.

Anyone want to run a sweepstake on when a Bishop will teach on this important issue? Maybe after the election?


Hector said...

What about a petition for a "red hat" for Oona, turn a de facto situation into a de jure one,l as you say she seems to have more teaching authority than ++Vincent.

George said...

Fire the whole rotten bunch of them and start again! Only this time with REAL Catholics. If necessary the 'sack' should come from Rome!!!

George said...

Oooops! Just to qualify my last comment Fr Ray, lest people misunderstand my intent, I mean fire the whole CES lot - not the Bishops!


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Way to go Fr Ray!!

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Asked James to do us a nice picture!

Fr Ray Blake said...

We don't talk about that vice in England.

Fr Ray Blake said...


Nyles said...

Third time you have linked to this petition, are you suggesting we sign it - we did.

We have also written to ++Vin and I will make a point of phoning our bishop, I know he doesn't like answering letters. I might also ask to see him.
We have to be a nuisance over this. It would be dreadful if the bishops loose the confidence of the faithful over this.

fidelisjoff said...

Father, I wanted to make one comment that I think is important and that is the special position of a Catholic celibate cleric which means you do not have to act with the concern of protecting a spouse and dependant children when you make a stand for the faith. For the laity who work in increasingly unfaithful Catholic institutions standing up for the faith can mean, at worse, loss of job and earnings, loss of home, loss of any future employment in Catholic institutions etc. I am not saying it is easy to stand up for the faith for priests but as a married man the consequences are graver. It is also a good argument for not having married priests. My bravery could become folly very easily.

Marianne said...

Bishop Alan Hopes is hosting a young Adult Event on 14th March. This is an excellent opportunity to ask these fundamental questions face to face - in fact he invites the laity to 'grill the bishop'.

The next Young Adults in the West gathering with Bishop Alan Hopes is on March 14th at Our Lady of Grace & St Edward Church, Chiswick at 6:30pm.

The focus of the evening, centred on the Gospel, is: “All I have is yours!” Mass with Bishop Alan will be followed by a time of food, reflection / discussion and the opportunity to ‘Grill the Bishop’. All young adults aged 17-35 are welcome.

universal doctor said...

When Hell freezes over?
Anyone else spot this?

georgem said...

Sort of off-topic but, predictably, the Argus has given huge coverage to opinions dissing Fr Blake's previous post. One whole feature page, plus the lead letter and two others.
A salutory lesson in how to organise?
Don't have time today, but will try to formulate a response for publication over the weekend.

GOR said...

Father, perhaps someone might want to invite Ab. Chaput of Denver over for a talk. He has some thoughts about "rendering unto Caesar"...!

George said...

Marianne provides details for the opportunity to ‘Grill the Bishop’.

I do hope sufficient numbers of 'clued-up' 17-35 year olds will attend and give the good Bishop a right royal Roasting!!! Perhaps one or two of our Pro-Life Priests can prime a few of their 'known' and trusted youngsters to go along to this 'gathering', and turn up the heat on the grill!

Sadly I am ouside that age band, only just mind you :-) heck you're only as old (or young) as you feel!

Perhaps if Bishop Hopes hears and takes to heart all 'our hopes' for the future of Catholic Education for E&W and passes this on to his fellow Bishops we may get some action?!

Mike said...

This is sort of connected as it is about a petition and it is about Bishops.

Have you all signed the petition in favour of the Pope’s visit yet? 14,974 signatures and rising but still quite a way short of 20,000. I don’t have time to look at all the signatures but a few stand out.

David Amess MP (Is he a Catholic?)
Charles Kennedy MP (Well, at least on this one he is willing to stand apart from the secularists in his party)
The Anglican Bishop of Blackburn

As I say, I haven’t looked at all the signatures so I might have actually missed them all but I have not seen any signatures from any of the RC Bishops of the UK. Has anyone else noticed any?

Marianne said...

George, I too am outside the age band otherwise I would go! We are blessed to have a number of 'clued- up' young adults in our parish and I am encouraging them to go along and respectfully ask these questions which desperately require a response. We hosted this event in our parish a couple of years ago - on that occasion Bishop Hopes took spontaneous questions from the floor. Not sure if that is still the format or if questions have to be submitted in writing beforehand. Hope it is still the former!

epsilon said...

Along with everyone else, I appreciate you saying this, Father. It's not too late to sign though;)

Rachel said...

Fr Ray, thankyou for this as it grieved those of us who are willing to sign the petition that you were unhappy with it. I am sure there was no ill intent or disrespect meant towards the bishops. Any strong wording simply expresses the utter frustration parents feel when their children are being systematically corrupted and no-one seems to care. I think the aim of the petition is to beg our bishops to defend the truth explicitly for us as that is what is needed at this moment. Thankyou for your hard work, both in your parish and on the web. We all have great respect for you and reverence for your priesthood and as a parent I take seriously your words about these subjects.

George said...

Rachel - you have summed it all up perfectly....

"no ill intent or disrespect meant towards the bishops. Any strong wording simply expresses the utter frustration parents feel when their children are being systematically corrupted and no-one seems to care".

And "We all have great respect for you and reverence for your priesthood Fr Ray".

Thank you and God bless.

santoeusebio said...

I copied my letter to Archbishop Nichols to Bishop McMahon. I have to-day received a reply which reads after thanking me:

You will appreciate that the CES is not responsible for the website of the Department of Children, Schools and Families. Representations have already been made to the Department to correct the information given on the website where it fails to reflect the religious character and legal position of our Catholic Schools.

The Children Schools and Families Bill which is presently passing through Parliament has been amended in important ways by the patient and thorough work done by the CES. As a result, the policy for Sex and Relationships Education in a Catholic School will be determined by the governing body. This means that the religious character of the school will be reflected in the delivery of the subject to the pupils. Furthermore, parents will have the right to withdraw their children from SRE lessons up to the age of 15 years.

In the face of a Government with a very large parliamentary majority, the CES considers that it gets the best results for the Catholic community by negotiation. The next Government may not be in such a strong position.

I am grateful to his Lordship for responding. His reply deserves careful consideration so I am refraining from commenting or replying for the moment but would be interested in what others think.

Nicolas Bellord

Clare said...

I am beginning to think I might have been foolish in not signing that petition.

Father, you are not an angel, therefore you can change your mind!

Antonio said...

Just out of interest, has Fr. Ray signed the petition or does he still believe the bishops are capable of no wrong-doing in this matter?

George said...

Santoeusabio - thanks for your efforts. All I can read into the response you have kindly provided is that it smells. Nothing but 'a load of flannel and a smokescreen'. Let's not let this smoke get in our eyes and fall for it for a moment.

There is nothing of substance in this response. They are not committing to any plan that proposes to assist Catholic Schools with their SRE curriculum.

Nothing that says we have negotiated a deal that allows Catholic Schools as Faith schools to teach according to the Catholic Magisterium without compromise!

We need strong Catholic leadership not fudged compromise through negotiation with a Government Department that is morally bankrupt!

The CES can stick their response where the sun don't shine - ever!


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Apparently regarding sex education it isn't the bishop's authority anyway but the parents. We have the inalienable right to provide education as we see fit with each of our children. We only give that permission under our control & for serious reasons..will get back to Eric Hester later..but he says today..

The action of the CES in supporting the government’s scheme for compulsory sex education is one of the biggest betrayals in the history of the Church. There are two positions about Ed Balls: either he is a liar or he is telling the truth. If he is a liar, then one cannot trust anything he says but I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he is telling the truth. This is what he says: “They (Faith Schools) must explain how to access an abortion, the same is true on contraception as well.” I am not an heroic figure but when I was a headmaster I should have given my life rather than allow someone to explain to my pupils “how to access an abortion”. This is a grave sin. Any bishop who allows pupils in a Catholic school to be informed how to “access abortion” is - I state this categorically - committing, objectively, a grave sin. Let us remember that the rights of parents on sex education, as stated by every Pope since Pius XI, are “inalienable”. The CES cannot hand over these rights to the government any more that I, as a layman, could hand over to the government the bishops’ rights , say, to decide about the closing of a parish. The bishops have no rights on sex education: that is what “inalienable” means.

Peter said...

As the compliance officer in the bank once explained to me: Directors can delegate a task but they cannot delegate a responsibility.
The same presumably applies to Bishops.
Note how the government has sought to delegate to agencies like the Child Support Agency, the Passport Agency, the Financial Services Authority and others. This may help give some freedom from ministerial interference but it also is seen to absolve the minister of responsibility. This seems to be one of the differences between Blairism and Thatherism.

fidelisjoff is quite right to note that we have to be careful not to upset the establishment. Priests too however may find that being out of favour with the Bishop is a lonely role. They have fewer employment opportunities.

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