Skip to comments.On Tape: Top UK Catholic Bishop: We Fight Poverty not Gay Unions
Posted on 09/25/2010 4:43:11 PM PDT by marshmallow
ROME, September 24, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) A day after the departure of Pope Benedict XVI from Britain, his senior archbishop, the unofficial head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, told a BBC interviewer that the English bishops had purposely refused to oppose legalizing homosexual civil partnerships.
Attempting to defend the Catholic hierarchy from accusations of being opposed to the homosexualist political agenda around the world, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster hastened to assure the BBCs Huw Edwards, Thats not true.
In this country, we were very nuanced. We did not oppose gay civil partnerships. We recognized that in English law there might be a case for those. What we persistently said is that these are not the same as marriage.
Nichols was appearing as part of a panel to discuss the outcome of the papal visit, with Diarmaid MacCulloch, a homosexual Anglican and Oxford professor of church history, Tina Beattie, a Catholic academic known for her dissent from the Churchs teaching on abortion and marriage, and Lord Christopher Patten, a Catholic diplomat who had been appointed by the government to organize the papal visit.
Nichols went on to imply that Pope Benedict himself holds the issue of marriage as a low priority, saying, I think its very interesting, and I dont think for one minute its accidental, that when the pope wanted to raise this question, [in his address at Westminster Hall] where are the moral standards on which we base our activity, he chose as his example the financial crisis. I think thats very important and not to be overlooked.
In response, a panelist said that the reason Benedict did not bring up the issue of homosexuality was that he could not get away with it in this country. The moral mood has shifted here.
Tina Beattie said that it was remarkable that the pope used the example of the financial crisis, because the Church usually interferes most vociferously with British politics in the areas of sexual morality.
Again Nichols said, Its not true.
The times we interfere most in British politics are either to do with poverty or to do with education. The media is obsessed with certain questions. But if you want to know what were really passionate about, its about the fight against poverty and the education of young people.
MacCulloch said he was pleased to hear Nichols answer, and agreed that the English Catholic Church has rather taken its own line on this, not the Vaticans line.
There is always a certain independence in the English Catholic Church and its good that that should be so.
Nichols has been under steady criticism from some prominent Catholics in Britain for his support for the former Labour governments plans to increase sex education in schools. The plans, which were partly drafted with help from the Catholic Education Service, would force religious schools to provide information to children on how to obtain abortions and contraceptives, without parental knowledge or consent. The plans would also have required that homosexuality be presented as a normal, morally neutral variant on human sexuality.
John Smeaton, head of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, and a leading voice in the fight against the governments sex education guidelines, said that Nichols statements have undermined Pope Benedicts urgent call for Christians to defend Christian ideas in the public sphere.
It is not just the case that there is something missing in what Archbishop Nichols says, Smeaton wrote. In the context of that interview, and in common parlance, to accept the reality of something is to accept it as a fact and then move on.
Smeaton cited two other recent occasions when Nichols told media that he does not know if the Church would some day accept homosexuality.
Smeaton said that put together, Nichols statements are fatally undermining (as distinct from denying) the security and even the legitimacy of Catholic teaching on the nature of human sexuality.
Nichols is widely perceived in Britains Catholic community as a conservative who has defended the Catholic adoption agencies that were closed due to the governments Equalities legislation. Smeaton wrote that he has been criticized for being too hard on Nichols, who, it was claimed, is rather conservative and orthodox on homosexuality.
Nichols assertion that the existence of homosexual civil partnerships could be acceptable to Catholic teaching was belied by his own colleague, Archbishop Peter Smith, formerly of Cardiff and now of Southwark, who said at the time of the passage of the Civil Partnerships Bill, The government has effectively established same-sex marriage in all but name.
I’ve read that in the High Middle Ages (when Catholic England was Merrie England) it was not unusual for preachers to thematically group together the three sins of “luxurie, usurie, and sodomie” on account of all three being examples of self-love as opposed to true charity. And the three often being found together. Interesting.
He sounds awfully squishy to me. If he’s considered a “conservative,” England is lost.
To fight poverty, is it not to chase the wind, or plow the sea? Did not Jesus Christ himself declare, “The poor you will have with you always”?
I would guess that the archbishop is not familiar shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
with "good news" of Yah'shua.
I would want to see an actual transcript and not a second or even third hand report of the interview before passing judgment. We all know how innacurate reporting can be and this all sounds like spin by BBC and gays to make the Catholic Church look sympathetic to the gay agenda.
Unfortunately, the term “poverty” applies to more than financial poverty - and we are in a time (and nation) filled with moral poverty - and the injustice resulting from said poverty is ripping us apart.
He said what he said. Listen to interview.
I am just cautious in general about reporting on Church matters. Also I have read articles in LIfe Site news that unfortunately do not always provide full quotes but only partial quotes out of context.
Life Site is an advocacy site. That should always be kept in mind. Good info on a typical basis and the cause they advocate for is a necessary and moral cause...but it is an advocacy site.