Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Not bigoted, just Catholic

When Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor threatens to close Catholic adoption agencies unless they are allowed to discriminate against gay men and women, that is blackmail. Scarily, I find myself lining up beside Evan Harris, the Lib Dem MP, who described the Cardinal's threats as 'sordid.'

Weasel words from the PM Official Spokesman don't fill me with faith that the right decision will be forthcoming, not from a government that has done so much to reform the law over sexuality equality. To turn away now would be to lose our confidence.
"This is not a straightforward black-and-white issue. This is an issue where there are sensitivities on all sides and we have to respect those but equally find a way through."

Actually, I think it is straightforward. I don't care what your religion says -if it goes against basic human rights or even basic decency, then those human rights take precedence over your beliefs. If the Cardinal can't adapt his agencies to comply with the law of the land, then it will be his decision to close them and will rest on his conscience. I hope that the people who work for those agencies and who do such good work are able to continue with different organisations, but the Cardinal can't hold the democratic system accountable for the official bigotry of the Catholic Church.

But then, this is the man whose judgement as a bishop allowed him to relocate a priest accused of abusing children. The man was later convicted for a string of offences against children. The bishop agreed a financial compensation settlement with the family of at least one of the victims, but even then, he insisted on a gagging clause in the deal. Estimates of the numbers of gay men in the priesthood fluctuate between 10% and have even gone as high as 50% and it seems certain that it attracts a disproportionate number of gay men as a vocation.

The law has to treat everyone equally - including you, Cardinal. If you don't like it, go to the Vatican where the Church can decide all the laws it likes. And if Ruth Kelly can't grasp that, then Antonia is right - Ruth needs to consider whether she should be in a leadership position on equality issues.

1 comment:

Brennan said...

Your complete lack of understanding of the Catholic faith is blatant. Typical of the liberal movement is to not understand rationally, rather emotionally. Emotional living helps them validate their lifestyles. If you put as much energy into studying the Catholic faith and its teachings as you do into your emotional outbursts, perhaps other people will benefit and this will be a better world.