The Catholic Herald carries report about Archbishop Minnini's speech to the Bishop's Conference in Leeds this week, from its report it is difficult to tell quite what are the Archbishops words and what is journalistic comment. These paragraphs at least are attributable to him:
“Thinking about the poor and most vulnerable, it is not inappropriate to mention that an attempt is to be made by Lord Falconer in January next year to bring back to the House of Lords yet another Bill to legalise assisted suicide. We know well that we have a duty in love to emphasise yet again the rights and dignity of every human person, from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.”
Archbishop Mennini also called on the bishops to fight Government attempts to change the definition of marriage by following the example of the hierarchy in France. He said: “We find that we are placed in a similar situation to the Church in France, where Cardinal [André] Vingt-Trois and the French bishops have issued a spirited appeal to the faithful asking them to do all in their power to resist so-called ‘same-sex marriage’. We surely can do no less and I thank all of you for your strong testimony.”This seems to be a bit disjointed
“In that same homily, addressed to the Synod Fathers, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed: ‘That matrimony is a Gospel in itself, a Good News for the world of today, especially the dechristianised world… There is a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage. And, as the Church has said and witnessed for a long time now, marriage is called to be not only an object but a subject of the new evangelisation. This is already being seen in the many experiences of communities and movements, but its realisation is also growing in dioceses and parishes, as shown in the recent World Meeting of Families.’
“Why this insistence? We don’t want to quarrel and we know that it is not easy to obtain changes in the direction of governmental policies about the family or about life. We all know that we are swimming against the tide,” the nuncio said.
“But we must not be afraid because we are confident that Our Lord continues to love and support his Church. Our people need us to witness to a new way of judging the situations of our world.
“One of our first tasks is to educate our Christian people in a new way of judging the matters of this world, even when our witness may not be wholly accepted or completely successful.”Would it be wrong to suggest a degree of frustration in His Grace's words? It is perhaps diplomatically tactful to compare the initiative of the French bishops to our own rather than their Scottish brothers but it seems very evident that he is urging them to some action. For most dioceses there has been nothing since the joint pastoral letter by the four Archbishops. I have been trying to find it on their website, I can't, but it was issued just after Easter wasn't it?
It will be interesting to see if there is any change, or action from the Bishop's Conference after Archbishop Nichols, its President, visits the CDF, which is coming up soon, presumably to discuss "gay issues" Waewick Street and presumably the marriage question. Will Archbishop Mueller be as diplomatic as the Nuncio?