The Tablet has run an editorial ridiculing the 1,000 bishops, Abbots and priests who signed a letter to The Daily Telegraph expressing concerns about David Cameron’s plans for legalizing same-sex marriage. The Tablet accuses the priests of dangerous paranoia that will make accommodation with secular society more difficult.
The Tablet mocks the judgement of over 1,000 bishops and priests
‘David Cameron has a responsibility to make the fears of a thousand Catholic priests look far-fetched. He has to ensure that any law recognising gay marriage will not, as these priests complained in a letter to The Daily Telegraph last week, leave them open to persecution redolent of the anti-Catholic penal laws levied after the Reformation. Government spokesmen have already stated that no Catholic priest or teacher will face legal consequences if they teach the Catholic doctrine that marriage should be reserved for the union between one man and one woman. It is an indication of the somewhat fevered atmosphere surrounding this issue that government assurances to the contrary are not trusted.’
‘Rights do sometimes conflict, and as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference sensibly said in a statement afterwards, “The Church would strongly encourage disputes of this kind to be settled without recourse to the courts. In many cases, applying common sense would enable a reasonable accommodation between competing rights to be found.” But an atmosphere of paranoia would make such accommodation more difficult, and that is the danger of the priests’ letter to the Telegraph.’
The Bishops that The Tablet mocks as alarmist and dangerously paranoid include:
Rt Rev Peter Brignall, Bishop of Wrexham
Rt Rev Terence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough
Rt Rev Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth
Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham
Rt Rev Daniel Mullins, Bishop Emeritus of Menevia
Rt Rev Philip Pargeter, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Birmingham
Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue, Bishop Emeritus of Lancaster
Rt Rev Francis Walmsley, Bishop Emeritus to HM Forces
The Tablet also published a letter from a priest more in sympathy with their mockery of our bishops and priests than with his brother priests:
It is so encouraging to discover that three- quarters of my colleagues felt unable to sign the letter whining about the Government’s policy on same-sex marriage in spite of lettersand stamped, addressed envelopes provided by the backers (see News from Britain andI reland, page xx). I received two of these letters which, with the two envelopes provided,cost someone £2. I wondered who was paying for this ridiculous initiative which must have cost many many thousands of pounds to mount. Clearly the Church has far more money to waste than it has common sense. (Fr) Richard Barton Matson and Tuffley, Gloucestershire
Protect the Pope comment: Catherine Pepinster obviously thinks she knows better than eight consecrated bishops of the Catholic Church and over a thousand priests. Yet again she proves she has no respect for the munera of Christ that our bishops and priests received through the sacrament of Holy Orders. If her sense of superiority enables her and her paper to regularly criticize Pope Benedict, then what’s mocking as paranoid 1,000 bishops, abbots and priests? For some unfathomable reason Catherine Pepinster and the journalists think that writing for The Tablet gives them a charism of discernment and wisdom greater than that of the successor of St Peter and the successors to the apostles!