"I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended."
Friday, 23 April 2010
Is It Just Crass Stupidity?
Yesterday's news on the car-crash-in-slow-mo which is the Catholic Education Service of England & Wales (twitch of the mantilla to Leutgeb for that description) has been hurtling round my brain.
I can hardly credit that anyone with a modicum of intelligence, on appointing someone to such an important post, wouldn't think to check the candidate's Catholic credentials. Given that the voting records of MPs are easily available, one would have assumed that the easiest options available to any appointment panel for the CESEW would be either to do a Google Search on that person's name, or to phone up SPUC and ask them to check their records (which are pretty comprehensive, as John Smeaton demonstrated yesterday!)
I am reluctant to believe that everyone working at the CES is several sandwiches short of a picnic.
I am even more reluctant to believe that Bishop Malcolm McMahon, as Chairman of the CES, is a blithering idiot.
And I am totally unable to believe that Archbishop Vincent Nichols, as President of the Bishops' Conference, is a half-wit.
So, there must be some other reason why these people did not, in what was described as "a rigorous selection process" do the blindingly obvious check on Mr. Pope's voting behaviour on matters concerning Catholics.
The only alternative reason I can think of is even more disturbing than that of sheer incompetence and stupidity. It is quite simply that the Bishops of England & Wales, and hence the CES, do not consider the teachings of the Catholic Church to be important. They might not even believe them to be true.
Once you accept that, then it all makes sense.
If the teachings of the Catholic Church on human sexuality, the family, and the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death are important, then how a person has actually voted on these issues would have been an essential part of any selection process. The only reason such teachings would be considered important is that they are the truth. Therefore, the only way one can justify ignoring such a voting record is if one does not believe the teachings of the Church on such issues to be true.
And if the Bishops of England & Wales do not believe what the Church teaches, then the whole lot of them should be retired, and fast. We need shepherds who will proclaim the truths of the Faith courageously... and they won't do that if they don't believe it themselves.
The Holy Father made a rather pointed remark during the recent ad limina visit of the Bishops of England & Wales. He said,
The message doesn't appear to have been heeded.
Please, Holy Father, give us some good Bishops: the sheep of your flock are under attack, and it seems that the shepherds have joined forces with the wolves.