Catholic Voices refuse to defend the unborn
Blogged by James Preece on 26th October 2010
My blog post yesterday about Cafod's plans to have Jon Snow chair their annual Paul VI lecture received more "Yay!" votes on it's first day than any other I have ever written.
For most people, this is not hard. You don't ask somebody to chair an event if you disagree with them - the National Secular Society don't have events chaired by Pope Benedict and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals don't have events chaired by prominent supporters of fox hunting.
If you ask somebody to chair an event you are endorsing them. Especially when you put their name prominently on the poster!
Jon Snow has publicly supported abortion, contraception and women priests. He is not a suitable person for a Catholic organisation to have chair a prominent lecture.
I thought this was obvious. So I emailed Austen Ivereigh of Catholic Voices...
I know we don't get on, but surely we can agree this is a problem?
His response? Well - first he asked me about my motives. Rather than just, you know, saying something he would happily defend in public. He asked if I was going to print his email and sneer at it. Just to keep him happy, I won't print his email. Here's my next one...
I'm just asking if you agree that it's a problem?
I would have thought an open, transparent and respectable organisation like Catholic Voices would have no need to answer such a question off the record or to question the motives of the person asking the question...
I might print your views, I might sneer at them, I might praise them. It all rather depends on what they are. Your hesitation to answer the question has already spoken volumes.
His response? Well, let's just say Catholic Voices will not be speaking out in the defense of the unborn this time. Don't expect a public statement that abortion is absolutely wrong and Cafod are wrong to invite a chair who supports it.
It's interesting because when Catholic Voices began many people pointed to Joanna Bogle's TV appearance opposite Jon Snow as an example of why a project like Catholic Voices was needed.
Now Catholic Voices have a chance to oppose Jon Snow's views on condom use in Africa - where are they now? Nowhere.