Monday, 6 February 2012

"Catholic Voices" Catholic?

I have just had a shock. Following a link on the "Auntie Joanna" blog referring to the recent goings on at University College London, I read what was suggested as "a good analysis" of the situation. In its summing up the "Catholic Voices" article contained the following-

"The motion contains no definition of "pro-choice"; if it means simply someone who accepts that abortion should be legal, most Catholics -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban -- would fit that description."

The suggestion that our bishops would not advocate a total ban on abortion is, as far as I am concerned, unthinkable. It looks like a monstrous lie. God forbid that there should be the slightest possibility of a whisper of truth in it! I am not one to knock our bishops, even if one or two might seem a little odd. Indeed, regarding the "Catholic Voices" project I have tried to overlook what appeared to be the results of occasional ineptitude resulting from inexperience. And I certainly did not want to join with those bashing them from motives of personal pique or on the basis some "party" agenda. This, however, written on their own website- presumably a considered statement- not only flagrantly misrepresents the Catholic position on abortion but slanderously associates our bishops with it.

I ask: are the "Catholic Voices" Catholic?


  1. I am somewhat mystified at Auntie's response to what I thought was a helpful observation from you Patricius. Seems to have touched a raw nerve.
    I think that Catholic Voices has some good speakers but it needs reining in under a suitable theological umbrella (if one exists). Perhaps one of our eminent blogging priests could be allocated, except that, we operate much as the police force in this country - by regional authority, not a national one. And no one is going to take the initiative, I suspect.

  2. Richard,
    Thanks for your comment and alerting me to the response. I, too, am mystified- because I cannot see how any amount of "contextualising" alters the meaning of that statement.

    I, too, wish the Catholic Voices project well but they will have to do somewhat better than this.

  3. One of my best friends is a moral theologian. This matter came up in discussion some time ago - that of working to increase restrictions. He had no patience with it. The Catholic pro-life position is simply, "no abortion" but it has to be put positively - that is..."pro-life". We are pro-life and this is how we must argue against those who have no moral sense in this area. What we should NOT do is get mixed up with those who are simply trying to attack abortion by reducing the weeks or trying to increase the restrictions. It does not work because it gives the message that we will tolerate it to some extent, and we should never give that message to anyone.

    1. Thanks, Father.
      I am inclined to agree with you here but I understand how others may reasonably judge the incremental route as the best way to fight abortion. Even if one does accept an incremental strategy, however, it surely cannot be right to suggest that abortion ought to be legal or that the bishops of England and Wales think so. (I cannot claim to know the minds of the bishops - but I assume they are not heretics!)