PC multiculturalism and secularism are destroying Christians’ freedom of religion – Bishop Egan

Bishop Philip Egan, the new Bishop of Portsmouth, has given a frank, outspoken interview to Vatican Radio in which he discusses the threat multiculturalism and secularism pose to our freedom of religion:

‘Our Christian Faith is essentially public and it does seek to influence and build a culture based on the revelation of Christ and natural law that is written into the human heart. And the role of religion in culture, and I thinks its one of its key roles really is to support natural law, things that are naturally true and good for the human person.

Of course living in a very pluralist and multi-ethnic culture there is a danger in our Western societies and the secularist agendas there to drive religion out of the public domain, to take it out of all public discourse and in the process of that they obliterate the Christian traditions on which our British cultures are actually based. These deprive us of our ability to express our religion in the public domain.

My concern is that the people who are making very important decisions about they way we live are doing that without the support of the faith traditions which can give us a clear view on what is true and good and loving for human beings to flourish, as a result they restrict our freedoms and begin to control us, ultimately leading to this relativistic – or what some term ‘politically-correct’ – world, which is actually destructive of human freedom in the long run, rather than liberating people. This is going to be for all Catholics and all Christians in Western societies an ongoing issue over the next decades”.

Bishop Egan also discussed the importance of the Year of Faith:

‘“I think the Year of Faith is a brilliant initiative from the Holy Father and it coincides of course for me with the beginning of my Episcopal ministry. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us all to deepen our faith because faith is really the most precious gift. Faith is very much today’s issue, particularly in Western countries. The question of faith, the meaning of life, the existence of God, the relationship between science and religion. I would really like to gently, in my first pastoral, ask people to do a number things: I’d like them to think about the Creed over the next twelve months and especially I want to encourage people to witness”.

Witness, according to Bishop Egan begins with the small things: “I’ve made a few suggestions, for example; why not wear a crucifix or a religious symbol? Or perhaps when you are out for a meal, make the sign of the Cross before you begin; or even simple things like saying, ‘Thank God’, when someone tells you good news. These can be very gentle forms of publically witnessing to our Christian faith”.

“I think the Year of Faith is a brilliant initiative from the Holy Father and it coincides of course for me with the beginning of my Episcopal ministry. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us all to deepen our faith because faith is really the most precious gift. Faith is very much today’s issue, particularly in Western countries. The question of faith, the meaning of life, the existence of God, the relationship between science and religion. I would really like to gently, in my first pastoral, ask people to do a number things: I’d like them to think about the Creed over the next twelve months and especially I want to encourage people to witness”.

Witness, according to Bishop Egan begins with the small things: “I’ve made a few suggestions, for example; why not wear a crucifix or a religious symbol? Or perhaps when you are out for a meal, make the sign of the Cross before you begin; or even simple things like saying, ‘Thank God’, when someone tells you good news. These can be very gentle forms of publically witnessing to our Christian faith”.

Protect the Pope comment:  True multiculturalism is about sharing the riches of different cultures for the betterment of the whole of society, PC multiculturalism suppresses our own Christian culture and heritage as if its something oppressive, colonial or just plain bad.  Some secularists use it as a cover to achieve their goal of driving Christianity out of the public arena.  It’s important that Bishop Egan has named this component of the attack on the Church.

Bishop Egan is already living up to the hopes so many faithful Catholics have placed in him, and its only a week since his consecration. On this feast of the Guardian Angels let us pray for the angelic support of Bishop Egan, Bishop Davies, Bishop Campbell and all the English bishops in true communion with Pope Benedict XVI.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2012/10/01/from_mary’s_dowry_a_gentle_new_evangelization/en1-625949

16 comments to PC multiculturalism and secularism are destroying Christians’ freedom of religion – Bishop Egan

    • Teresa

      …is about being overly pious in public so that others will look up to us and say how great we are – I really don’t think that modern day secular society is going to “reward” us for it, do you?

      Witnessing to or expressing our faith is part of what we are called to do, and part of who we are as individuals.

  • Many thanks for this post, Protect the Pope. We in the Portsmouth Diocese are looking forward to Bishop Egan`s first Pastoral Letter to be read this Sunday. It is a cracker and rumour has it, I cannot say more, that he will be asking the schools to recite the Angelus every day. But when a light shines in the darkness there are those who want to put it out, and there is inevitablly opposition not just buioding up but in full battle array. What I do like about the Bishop is his devotion to Mary, we had a prayer card this weekend with his photo on the front and the Memorare at the back. It is Mary who will lead us back to Jesus, just as it was Mary who was first rejected by the modernists. But please, every catholic who loves Jesus and Mary, pray, pray, pray for this humble bishop.

  • John Oglander

    Amen to Bishop Egan! I am lucky living on the Isle of Wight as he is my bishop. I recommend that orthodox Catholics should visit Michael Voris’ website ChurchMilitant.TV and view his latest Vortex episode, Catholic vs Katholyc, where he exhorts all faithful Catholics to fight against the false Katholyc church that has taken over since the 1960′s. Eternal souls depend on this spiritual battle being waged, so it is not therefore an option. The forces of Modernism have to be routed out as many more souls are at risk of going to Hell if the pernicious poison of Modernism is not destroyed.

  • Dear Nick,
    Have you spotted the repeat paragraphs. Does no harm but a bit confusing. Maybe I will have a comment when I have digested courageous Bishop Egan’s L’Osservatore Interview and also his forthcoming Pastoral. He will need every encouragement. Thanks be to God for these up and coming Bishops. More needed!
    Frank

  • Mark Thorne

    I’m already persuaded that there are now a pair of Bishops in the Conference with whom I am in complete empathy and totally on the same wavelength. I pray that other Bishops who have occupied their episcopal sees for a much longer period of time will draw inspiration from Their Excellencies Bishops Philip Egan and Mark Davies.

  • Anyone can join in saying the Rosary at the St Mary’s Road entrance to the Royal South Hants Hospital from 7am to 7pm every day until Sunday 4th November 2012. How many in the Portsmouth Diocese have taken up thus offer so far for the last seven days?? The invite was sent out everywhere – what has been the response so far – see 40daysforlife.com/southampton: the Infant of Prague has been quite lonely…

  • Francis Clark

    Angelus in schools, great move.
    My local parish has recently introduced the Angelus at the beginning of the
    6pm Mass on a Saturday and the 12noon mass on Sunday.
    Maybe other churches should be doing the same.
    May I also suggest that maybe the prayers after Mass be reintroduced.

  • Eric

    It would be nice if someone in the Church leadership could actually put forward some concrete examples of some small steps that they would like to see the State taking in relation to freedom of religion. What laws would you like to see passed or amended? I know details are boring, but I think that this approach would be more constructive than simply trying to push the “we are presecuted, don’t we have it bad” narative. I know it goes down well with those inside the church but it is a disaster for the majority outside the church many of whom would be at least sympathetic (in a vague kind of way) to the idea of freedom of religion, but are starting to loose patience with what they see as “moaning”. Be constructive and realistic and we might find we have alies.

    • Teresa

      Eric. I really would like to think that your suggestions are out of genuine concern, but your tone says otherwise (and your suggestion is rather naive).

      Marginalisation is something that happens gradually. It is happening bit by bit by individual cases brought. The law as it stands actually SHOULD protect freedom of religion but often doesn’t. Why? At least part of the problem is one of “interpretation” of the law, especially re equality and human rights, by people whose ideologies are negative towards religion. How do you legislate against that?

      Another part of the problem is attitude – the general attitude of society is that religion should be private – but it is not. How do you legislate against the attitudes of society? (and don’t say you can’t – attitudes are made manifest in words and actions which are leading to marginalisation). Our faith is part of who we are as individuals – it affects everything we think or say or do – it affects who we are as people. The right of any other group of people to be who they are would normally be protected and enshrined in law.

      Now for the “boring detail”:

      How about legislating for permission to wear crosses – just a piece of jewellery to anyone else, so why should it matter?

      How about legislating against demotion for holding religious beliefs, especially when expressed in private?

      How about protection of freedom of speech? How about protection for people like the couple who handed in the C4M marriage petition, who were then harassed and attacked on their Facebook page? How about prosecuting some of the people who did it?

      How about legislating to protect prayers at public meetings where they have been DEMOCRATICALLY voted for, and where participation was NOT an obligation?

      How about legislating to protect freedom of religion from being redefined to mean freedom to worship behind closed doors?

      How about protecting the right to conscientious objection (or preventing the removal of protection) – A FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE THAT HAS MOST DEFINITELY BEEN VOICED!

      I could go on but I won’t ….the point is marginalisation is happening bit by bit, and many of the issues in and of themselves seem trivial, but when all put together they are not. How about SOCIETY being “realistic” and accepting that all those “trivial” matters actually matter a great deal to people?

      If this was happening to any other group in society – if it were a gay issue or a racial issue or a feminine issue – society would jump straight in to protest against it. The fact is, Eric, religion is not popular and people either don’t care, or don’t see the problem, and many certainly see Christians as fair game.

      One last point – our leaders are shepherds of the flock, not political activists. The nitty gritty is the remit of individuals or MPs. I would make one last suggestion though – a law to protect members of parliament from being forced to vote against their conscience (eg. on abortion / same sex marriage)!

      Is that enough “detail/small steps”?

      • Teresa

        PS I am not an expert on the detail of acts of law – perhaps you have the specifics for what I have listed?

      • Eric

        Thanks for the reply. A good mix of suggestions, I have issues with some (for example no MP is forced to vote a particular way just as noone is forced to be an MP – and AIUI abortion law changes is usually subject to a free vote anyway) but I see no reason why at least some of them couldn’t be advanced (Council prayers is an interesting one because Eric Pickles /thinks/ that the localism Act does permit councils to allow prayer if they decide that is what they want to do, the problem is that Pickles is probably/possibly wrong, but there is no reason why an amendment to the Localism Act couldn’t clear up all doubt, the Bideford case has already thrown out the human rights arguements that could possibly challenge such a law).

        Sorry you don’t like my tone, but it upsets and embarasses me that “moaning” has become the identifying feature of Christians in the minds of so many people. It annoys me too that politicians of the political right, egged on by the Mail and Telegraph, exploit and further feed this matyrdom complex to advance their own interests by pretending to be piously concerned about our plight when they really couldn’t care less (Eric Pickles being a case in point, he was very adept at attacking the NSS over the Bideford case and wringing his hands and saying the kind of things he knows Christians will like to hear, but the fact remains that HE is is government and could legislate for council prayers crosses on uniforms etc if he really cared about it, and yet he doesn’t, Why not? because he knows that it is politically useful to have a consituency of outraged Christians that we can call upon to support him and his party, if he really solved the issues tha consituency would dry up).

  • Chris

    Go on, Eric, be a devil and suggest one yourself!

    • Eric

      Remove the word “insulting” from Section 5 of the Public Order Act?

      Something that is realistically achievable and has support from the Christian Institute. If the Governemnt heard supportive noises from the RCC and one or two muslim representatives, I think we would get a change in the law and a small but significant step in releasing this country from PC-induced restrictions on free-speech of Christians (and everyone else) would have been achieved.

      Over to you Chris – what is your suggestion?

  • Arran

    British culture is not based on Christian values. That is simply absurd.

    • Eric

      Not completely and not always on values that are exclusively Christian, but absurd to say that they haven’t had a significant influence and to and extent continue to do so.

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