Archbishop Conti challenges Archbishop Nichols dismissal of the UK persecution of Christians

In a recent homily Archbishop Conti has challenged Archbishop Nichols statement to The Guardian newspaper that in his experience there is no persecution of Christians in the UK.

According to The Guardian:

‘‘Christians are not persecuted in this country and should not claim that they are,the leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales has said. “I personally don’t feel in the least bit persecuted. I don’t think Christians should use that word,”he said.’

However, Archbishop Conti said:

‘…heroism is required to stand up for the Catholic faith and all it teaches in the face of a rampant consumerism and individualism which has shaken all of western society to its core.

All around us we hear ideas advanced which seem alien to our understanding of things … unborn and vulnerable life is snuffed out with impunity; attempts are made to disfigure and corrupt our understanding of marriage and family life; the very symbols of our faith – the cross of Christ worn around our necks or on our lapels – is denounced as an offensive sign, one that must remain hidden from public gaze!

What we are really seeing is an attempt to remove Christianity from the public forum; to erase the Christian markers from our path through life and to airbrush our Christian heritage out of our consciousness.

This is not the persecution your forebears experienced as they huddled, shivering, around Mass rocks, but it is a persecution nevertheless, and being more subtle, it is more difficult to resist.

But resist we must, and the greatest weapon we have in our armoury is … fidelity.

Fidelity to the faith of your fathers. Fidelity to the traditions of home and hearth which have distinguished Irish life for centuries. And fidelity to the Mass.

“It is the Mass that matters”… remember the Pope’s words.

Protect the Pope comment: Though Archbishop Conti doesn’t mention Archbishop Nichols by name it seems pretty clear that Glasgow is challenging Westminster’s very public dismissal of the notion that Christians are being persecuted in the Europe.

While Archbishop Nichols ignores the disciplining and sacking of public sector Christians due to their expression of the Faith Archbishop Conti acknowledges that we are facing a different type of persecution, but a persecution all the same.

If you lose your job and your health because your public sector employed hounds you out of work for being a Christian that’s persecution. If your government is seeking to ban the wearing of the cross at work then that is persecution.

The different tone and content of statements from Scottish bishops and some English bishops is obvious and striking. The Scottish bishops challenge and criticize the abuses arising from the secularization of our country while English bishops, such as Archbishop Nichols, either ignore abuses completely or seek to placate those who seek to marginalize and constrain us.  Apart from Shrewsbury and Lancaster it seems we have to look over the border for leadership at this time.

14 comments to Archbishop Conti challenges Archbishop Nichols dismissal of the UK persecution of Christians

  • Karla

    Completely agree with Archbishop Conti, there is a subtle persecution in this country and should not be dismissed.

  • Mike2

    Archbishop Conti, of course, has the case of the two midwives on his doorstep to further alert him to the perscution of Christians.

  • Mike2

    Incidentally, I particularly liked this comment by Neil Addison in the article linked to above:
    (Personally I don’t know what kind of sicko in the NHS decided that a Labour Ward is the right place to kill unborn babies and that Midwives are the right people to train to be baby killers but that wasn’t an issue in the legal case)

  • ms catholic state

    I really believe there is an agenda at the highest levels in our society to destroy Christianity. I don’t believe in any of their excuses or explanations. It is plainly obvious the contempt for Christianity within the Establishment of Britain and the Western World in general. And in a way it is our own fault. We accepted secularism under the pretext that it was neutral. But very few are truly neutral in regards to the person of Jesus Christ who is the centre of the Universe. Most are either for Him or against Him, knowingly or unknowingly.

    Despite this, Catholics must persevere in the conversion of Britain….persecution or not. Thank you Archbishop Conti for speaking out and challenging this.

  • Ioannes

    “It is the Mass that matters”. This was actually said by a non-Catholic, Augustine Birrell, once Chief Secretary for Ireland. Another of his bon mots was “an Orangeman has as much religion as a billiard ball”.

  • Super Mario is, of course, correct except in one very important point: there is little or nothing “subtle” about this persecution.

    And Archbishop Nichols had better beware. Since the restoration of the Catholic episcopal hierarchy in England and Wales in 1850, previously only three Metropolitan Archbishops of Westminster have not been created cardinal at the first opportunity: Henry Edward Manning (1865-92); Francis Alphonsus Bourne (1903-34), and; Arthur Hinsley (1935-43). The delay in naming Manning cardinal was no doubt partly due to concerns arising from his being a convert and having been a married man and, also, there may have been concerns about his priestly formation. All doubts vanished after his advocacy in behalf of papal infallibility at Vatican I. Bourne was simply too young to be created cardinal when he was appointed to Westminster, just 40 years of age. The red hat was forthcoming when he turned 50. As for Hinsley, it was probably simply a matter of convenience. Appointed on April 1, 1935, there was a consistory later in the year, in December, but Archbishop Hinsley had to finish up his work in Africa and pack up his belongings and dispose of his quarters both there and in Rome before returning to London. The consistory held in 1936 was more or less a private affair with two prelates of the Vatican Library created cardinal.

    If Archbishop Nichols persists in offending sensibilities on the third floor of the Vatican Palace, and at both ends of it, he may well find that a red biretta will not be forthcoming even after Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has lost his electoral rights. There may be a lesson for him from one of the prelates elevated along with Cardinal Manning.

    Mieczysław Halka Ledóchowski was archbishop of Gniezno and Poznań when that part of Poland was ruled by the Prussians. For his opposition to the regulations imposed on the church by the Prussian government’s Kulturkampf, he was ordered on November 24, 1873, to present his resignation. When he refused, he was arrested between 3 and 4 a.m., February 3, 1874, and taken to the dungeon of Ostrowo. The Prussian government purported to have deposed him on April 15, 1874. While still in prison, it was announced that he was to be created cardinal at Pope Pius IX’s 18th consistory to be held on March 15, 1875. On February 3, 1876, His Eminence was released from prison and ordered to leave Prussia. He continued to rule his diocese from Rome. He voluntarily resigned pastoral government of the archdiocese for the sake of peace on February 2, 1886. The cardinal and the Prussian Government reconciled when Emperor William II visited Rome in 1893.

    So far there is absolutely no evidence that Archbishop Nichols is prepared to stand up, and out, in face of our modern-day British Kulturkampf. He might also wish to look at the man who was sandwiched between Cardinal Ledóchowski (No 3) and Cardinal Manning (No 5) in the 1875 list: John McCloskey, the USA’s first Prince of the Church. Why did Pope Benedict make an exception and hence room on his most recent list of new cardinals for Cardinal McCloskey’s successor, Tim Dolan, but not for Cardinal Manning’s?

    Pope Benedict’s call for a New Evangelization demands a commitment to recognise and accept the challenges of the aggressively secularist society our current crop of politicians (at all levels) would foist upon us. But, perchance, might it not just be his passive refusal to accept this challenge which has seen Archbishop Nichols denied the red biretta, might it not also be his active mis-steps taken? For what do I see just below this comment panel? Directing to another posting, it reads “Soho Masses Pastoral Council member makes unfounded accusation that Pope Benedict is a homosexual”. That is the self-same Pastoral Council member who the Archbishop has just reconfirmed in place.

  • Worldweary

    I think we English Catholics should look to the Scottish hierarchy, as with the exception of Bishop Mark Davies and one or two others, we are poorly served by the Catholic leaders in England & Wales. Catholic taxpayers are funding this discrimination and that should be thundered from the pulpits rather than the ‘let’s be nice to each other’ school of homilies

  • English Pastor

    I am always disapointed with Archbishop Nichols, and am much more in accord with Archbishop Conti. However, I would say Archbishop Conti has presented a view which contrasts with the view expressed by Archbishop Nichols, and not sure headlining it as Conti challeneging Nichols is accurate: it suggests the prelates are enaged in a polemical battlw with one another, which is not the case. Would that both prelates would simply challnege the State, but Archbishop Nichols appears to ‘court’ the State, as have his immediate predecessors also seemed to do.

  • CathChap

    “the cross of Christ worn around our necks or on our lapels – is denounced as an offensive sign”

    here we go again with the exagerations used to fuel a persecution complex! The two most prominant cases concerning the wearing of crosses concerned the BA staff member and the lady nurse. In the BA case the cross was objected to as in violation of uniform policy. In the case of the nurse the ban applied to all dangly jewlery and was on Health amd Safety grounds. Both decsions strike me as crazy but in neither case was it claimed by either side that the cross was an offensive sign. I would have thought that an Archbishop would take more care to be acurate and honest in his public statements.

  • Out of respect for his brother Bishop, Archbishop Conti doesn’t mention Archbishop Nichols by name it seems pretty clear that Glasgow is challenging Westminster’s very public dismissal of the notion that Christians are being persecuted in Europe.

    Your latest post, as usual hits the nail on the head – or should we say the Mitre on the ++Bishop. It seems that the two Archbishops disagree with each other. ‘Take your pick’ on which of th Archbishops you consider is more correct

  • harry

    It must be very subtle indeed.

  • As usual, I agree with everything you say. The Catholic Church in England and Wales needs to make a nuisance of itself.

    Keep up the Good Fight. God bless!

  • I pray that Archbishop Nichols gets some courage to face the enemies of the Church, like sucularism and relativism. Otherwise, why is he Archbishop?

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