My good friend Fr. Ray Blake, the great P.P. of St. Mary Magdalen in Brighton, has a good post:
Mysogynistic, Homophobic, Fascist, Racist and Xenophobic
I find it quite frightening on how badly prepared the Church in England and Wales is to combat secularism and opposition to the Church’s teaching. We give the impression that we don’t really care.
This weekend there will be a demonstration against the Papal visit outside Westminster Cathedral followed by a rally outside the Italian embassy, presumably in the hope of attracting the attention of the Italian media, amongst the speakers will be Peter Tatchell, it advertises itself as:
· Women’s equality and reproductive rights
· Equal rights for LGBT people
· A secular Europe – immune to the Vatican’s agenda
· One law for all, no religious exemptions from the law
· State neutrality in matters of religion and belief
· European Union collusion with religion (Lisbon Treaty Article 16c)
· The special status of the Vatican in the United Nations
· State-funded faith schools
· The economic privilege and political influence of the Vatican in Italy
· Taxpayers funding the Pope’s State Visit to the UK this September
· Misogyny, homophobia, fascism, racism and xenophobia
The problem is, I suspect most people in our congregation might actually agree or be unable to argue coherently against these assertions. Those Catholics not attending Sunday Mass, especiallly the young, are easy prey for the presentation of the Church as mysogynistic, homophobic, fascist, racist and xenophobic.
The very fact that our schools, our Catholic charities, our bishops, our clergy, our leading thinkers, our journalists, etc do not oppose this kind of appalling presentation of our faith might suggest that most of them believe that it is true.
Every agency of the Church needs to direct its efforts to communicating our Catholic vision of humanity. Too often we merely preach to the converted, rather than preaching to convert.
Let’s stop being so Churchy and look out, start training applogists, public speakers, people who can write about the faith.
Go give Fr. Blake some WDTPRS kudos.