Saturday, January 19, 2013

Feeling happy? This'll sort you out.

Lest we grow too proud, the Lord sends us a thorn in the flesh - aka The Tablet.

From the letters page.

It is so encouraging to discover that three-quarters of my colleagues felt unable to sign the letter whining about the Government’s policy on same-sex marriage in spite of letters and stamped, addressed envelopes provided by the backers (see News from Britain and Ireland, page xx). I received two of these letters which, with the two envelopes provided, cost someone £2. I wondered who was paying for this ridiculous initiative which must have cost many many thousands of pounds to mount. Clearly the Church has far more money to waste than it has common sense.

(Fr) Richard Barton

Matson and Tuffley, Gloucestershire 

For the record, clearly not all priests did receive such a letter: the system wasn't foolproof. And it wasn't organised by 'the Church', with the resources that implies.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Perhaps one can look at it another way. Had The Tablet been deluged with letters in the same vein, they'd all have been published.
    There may be more to come but, so far, one pro for SSM against 1,000 antis is not much of a thorn.
    Fr. Barton must have been a very busy man gathering the evidence that three-quarters "felt unable to sign".

  3. A real kick in the teeth to those who spent of their valuable time and money organising this initiative to make life easier for priests: priests who otherwise may not have got round to voicing their objection to same-sex 'marriage'. It was a wonderful declaration of adherence to the Magisterium of the Church and fidelity to the Pope having 1,000+ priests sign a public letter that was picked up by all the papers. Clearly Father does not think too highly of his brother priests for doing so. How hurtful to voice that so publicly! If only he would voice his objections to same-sex 'marriage' so publicly! So sad to read that from any priest but especially from a priest whom one knows.

  4. More to the point is the list of signatories whom one wouldn't have expected. I live in a Jesuit-run parish whose priests are by no means conservative (massive litotes there); but all the Jesuits I know, and many I don't, have signed.

    The point, I suspect, is not whether one is 'liberal' or 'conservative' at all, but whether one accepts that the Government can, by passing a bill, effectively criminalise an entire swathe of people simply for expressing a contrary opinion. We're already seeing people forced out of jobs they've held for years because they aren't willing to perform actions which they know to be wrong; this is now being extended to speech.

    Priests aren't stupid (well, most of them aren't, and particularly not Jesuits): they don't want to risk fines and prison, and even if they don't preach Catholic doctrine themselves, they will realise that this sort of secular heresy-hunt will have an impact on all Catholics, priests not excluded.