Terry Prendergast and Archbishop Vincent Nichols
Blogged by James Preece 2 Years ago...
Here's the obligatory token gesture...
The Archbishop of Westminster has expressed his disappointment over the Government's plan to introduce gay marriage. "I'm very disappointed that the Government seems to be choosing this direction," Archbishop Vincent Nichols said at a press conference at the Bishops' Conference of England Wales' headquarters in Victoria today. He added: "I respect the Prime Minister's insistence and emphasis on the importance of equality in relationships and the vital importance of commitment, and of course those are things that we recognise as very important for the health of society. But commitment plus equality does not equal marriage. And the distinctive nature of marriage is something that is very important to the wellbeing of society because it is the foundation of family life."
I think the worst part of this quote has to be the "seems to be choosing this direction" part. As though the Archbishop seriously thinks there's any ambiguity here... perhaps he has received assurances? How did that work out last time?
Things seem to improve towards the end when he says that marriage is "the foundation of family life" but he can't possibly mean it because he continues to do nothing about Terry Prendergast.
Blogged by James Preece 3 Years ago...
I don't understand Damian Thompson. Some days he seems to have his head well and truly screwed on and his eye on the ball. Others? Well, sometimes I wonder what he's been holy smoking.
Take Friday for example, when he wrote (and this isn't a joke) that...
"Archbishop Nichols may have failed to grapple with the loony Left “Catholic” Education Service, but he upholds traditional teachings on sexual morality"
It's at moments like this I wish I could think of a more expressive spelling for Ha ha ha! I mean what the? Archbishop Nichols didn't "grapple" with the Catholic Education Service, he founded it. As for his strong defence of traditional teachings on sexual morality, this is the man who turned a blind eye to Terry Prendergast - the director of Marrage Care who said that children don't need mummy and daddy to be married.
What did Archbishop Nichols the president of Marriage Care say?
Nothing. As Damian Thompson well knows.
On Saturday Damian blogged about the Archbishop of Canterbury who when asked a question about gay bishops responded "pass". Damian says that Archbishop Rowan Williams' authority is going up in smoke, but what about Archbishop Nichols?
He was asked if the Catholic Church was going to show a bit more flexibility in sanctioning gay unions? His answer? "I don't know. Who knows what's down the road?" Has Archbishop Nichols authority not also gone up in smoke?
That was the moment Damian Thompson chose to say that Archbishop Nichols "upholds traditional teachings on sexual morality".
Damian, are you feeling alright?
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...
Archbishop Vincent Nichols has used his first pastoral letter to Westminster Diocese to encourage Catholics to pray daily. He says that "our relationship with Christ, expressed in prayer, is central to the stability and fruitfulness of our lives" and that "A sound practice of daily prayer is essential for our well-being". This is very good.
Archbishop Nichols goes on to give three examples of people who illustrate this truth. The first is St Thérèse of Lisieux, the second is Cardinal Newman and the third is St John Vianney. Independent Catholic news has the full text of the letter but unfortunately due to an editorial oversight (perhaps they didn't realise the letter continued on the other side of the page) they seem to have ommitted the second half in which Archbishop Nichols suggests three worthy intentions for our prayer...
At the conclusion of this letter, I would like to suggest three worthwile intentions for your prayers.
Firstly, please pray for all the children in our Catholic schools. Many of these have been visited by Connexions, the government agency welcomed in to school by the Catholic Education Service back when I was in charge of it, they will have been given trendy literature with a phone number and instructions to phone that number if they need the sort of confidential advice that you can't ask your parents for. Some of those children will have phoned that trusted number (given them in a Catholic school) and have been told how to attain free contraception. Sadly, it is quite likely that out of the many thousands if Catholic school children in England at least one of them called that number and attained an abortion without parental knowledge. Pray for the parents who sent their child to a Catholic school and ended up with a murdered grandchild. Pray also for all those children who have been subjected to the All That I Am sex education course that I approved when I was Archbishop of Birmingham, complete with it's computer generated gratuitous full frontal nudity.
Secondly, pray for all the Catholic couples who get their marriage preparation through Marriage Care. Mainly because the president of Marriage Care doesn't actually think it matters to children whether their parents are married and I don't think it's worth doing anything about it. Many of the couples who get their marriage preparation through Marriage Care will never hear the Church teaching on contraception and as Humanae Vitae says "a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires". It's not easy living out a vocation to marriage and family life in modern Britain but fortunately we think that home is a holy place absolutely independently of how people live so there's no point doing anything to help anyway.
Thirdly, pray for all those Catholics who out of reverence and devition to the eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass find themselve frustrated and scandalised by the way the ordinary form of the Mass is celebrated in their parish. After a few complaints to their Bishop who will probably do nothing about it (we are busy people), many of these Catholics will find refuge in the extraordinary form of the Mass where the priest usually does things properly. Unfortunately, the sort of Catholic who is willing to drive for hours every week in order to go to Mass is inexorably distancing themself from the Church. Pray for all those Catholics who can't trave; very far and have to endure their local parish no matter how much liturgical abuse goes on. We at the Bishops conference would live to do something to help those Catholics but we would rather have a fancy meal with Tony Blair.
May these coming months bring blessings on our families and parishes. And from those sources of strength and encouragement, may we be renewed in our faith and in our generosity towards all in need.
Archbishop of Westminster
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...
On September 17th it will have been two months since Terry Prendergast, head of "Marriage Care" (which receives funding from the Catholic Church and whose patron is Archbishop Vincent Nichols) stood up and said that Marriage makes no difference to children. So far, Archbishop Vincent Nichols has seen fit to do nothing.
I can see why Archbishop Nichols would be happy with Marriage Care, after all, they make such handy leaflets on Catholic Marriage....
This leaflet is great because it successfully tackles difficult questions such as the Church's view on birth control...
Q. What about the Church’s view on birth control?
A. The Church states positively that one purpose of the gift of sexuality is for a couple’s love-making to be open to having children. The Church also recognises that couples want to make responsible decisions. Some further information for making decisions on family planning is offered in Section Three of this guide under the heading, ‘Catholics and Sex’.
Hmmm... "The Church also recognises that couples want to make responsible decisions." Ambiguous. So are we allowed to use birth control or not?
It says there is "further information for making decisions on family planning" in Section Three. Let's see what it says there...
Christians not only believe that sexual enjoyment strengthens a couple’s relationship but also that it is a gift for sharing in God’s ability to create new life. In the wedding ceremony, you will be asked to be faithful to each other in love and also to be ready to accept children as a gift from God. Equally you have the freedom to make responsible decisions about when to have children so as to be able to give them the love, care and attention they deserve.
Ah yes. Positively brimming with clear information on birth control... The phrase "avoiding the question" comes to mind. In fact it looks awfully like a deliberate attempt to make sure that those who intend to use contraception are not made to feel uncomfortable.
This marvellous leaflet can be found on the front page of the Marriage Care website.
You can download the full leaflet in all it's tedious glory here.