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Edmund Adamus said our society was hedonistic, anti-life and anti-family – all true. So why was he slapped down?

The last two popes have said it all: or should we keep quiet about that, too?

By on Friday, 3 September 2010

John Paul II, at Bellahouston Park, near Glasgow, in 1982, coined the phrase 'culture of death' (Photo: PA)

John Paul II, at Bellahouston Park, near Glasgow, in 1982, coined the phrase 'culture of death' (Photo: PA)

Earlier this week, Edmund Adamus, pastoral affairs director of the archdiocese of Westminster, gave an interview to the Catholic news agency Zenit, in which he made remarks – attacked by the Guardian – which a spokesman for his archbishop then said “did not reflect” his views. I was wondering what these heinous remarks might be, so I went to the interview itself.

Might they, I wondered be these? “On the whole I think many people, especially Catholics…  anticipate the papal visit with hope and expectation that his presence and words will be a ‘kindly light’ (to borrow Cardinal Newman’s words) in a time of shadows especially threatening to the fundamental cell of society – the family – and the rights of parents.” Was that it? Surely the archdiocese of Westminster is in favour of the family? And does it deny that the family based on two parents of opposite genders – the family, that is, as the Church defines it – is under threat?

Well, it can’t be any of that, surely, from which the archdiocese is distancing itself. No: on closer examination, it’s probably a passage in which Adamus spells out what the threats to all that actually consist of, and in which he also repeats various other familiar positions of the Church, sometimes using the actual words of the present Pope and his predecessor: “Britain… has been and is the geopolitical epicentre of the culture of death [absolutely true: we have the highest abortion rate in Europe, and the “culture of death” was what Pope John Paul called it].

“Our laws and lawmakers for over 50 years or more,” continues Adamus, “have been the most permissively anti-life and progressively anti-family and marriage [all true], in essence one of the most anti-Catholic landscapes culturally speaking than even those places where Catholics suffer open persecution.” He also said that Catholics should  “exhibit countercultural signals against the selfish, hedonistic wasteland that is the objectification of women for sexual gratification” and that “Britain in particular, with its ever-increasing commercialisation of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the ‘gay’ agenda [in other words, the laws that have forced the closure of Catholic adoption agencies], is such a wasteland”.

Strong words, certainly. But what precisely is it from which we are supposed to distance ourselves? The Catholic writer Paul Vallely, in the Independent, calls all this an “incitement to cultural war”. But the war is already raging, or hadn’t he noticed? Vallely says Adamus should ”get out more”. I think that it’s Paul Vallely who is cut off from reality.

  • TheBlueWarrior

    Hurray for the courage of Mr. Adamus. Too bad he didn't get the support such as was demonstrated in Luke 19:40–”Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, 'Teacher, rebuke your disciples.' He said in reply, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out!”

    It seems to me that the shepherds of the English Church seem more interested in pursuing the imprimatur of the BBC and the nihil obstat of high-profile converts who behave like fifth columnists, rather than speaking out for the Truth. As Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand once said “The Truth is unchanging, never old fashion or out of date, rather every day it is fresh and anew.” Her late husband Dietrich Von Hildebrand once said “A country that murders its own children is doomed.” Wake up England and Wales before it's too late!

  • Jim

    Thankyou for this support of Edmund Adamus. He has spoken courageously and there is a huge number of people, most of whom are not Catholic, who see that he speaks the truth. Any 'Catholic' who distances themselves from this is at best blind and at worst is party to the Culture of Death.

  • Paul

    In a survey published in this weeks Tablet (forgive me father for I have…) 67% percent believe Britain should retain a Christian character, 25% don't care and only 8% oppose a Christian culture. So why is it so wrong to express a Christian viewpoint?

  • Tolerant

    Speaking as someone you would doubtless all hate – I am a transgendered, bisexual, non Christian, polyamorous epic sinner who has had an abortion and aims to involve myself in a gay marriage – I'm not really interested in threatening your Catholic way of life. If that's how you roll, good on you. I'm more interested in doing my own thing and letting others do theirs. One of the important points of a civilised society, though, is that you let other people live the lives they want so long as they don't affect you.

    Happy to be tolerant of your beliefs as long as you're tolerant of mine :-)

  • Gustav

    Our religion commands us to love everyone – even polyamorous transgendered bisexual non-Christians! That said, Catholics do believe that some kinds of lifestyle will lead to true happiness, and others won't, and consider it an act of love to tell others about this. We also believe that a civilised society respects even its most vulnerable members, which includes unborn human beings. God bless!

  • Black cat

    Discussion & debate can be healthy, it broadens the mind, even if you don't agree with certain issues/factors – ultimately everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Being mindful of that – it is only an opinion, not fact. There is only one race – the Human race – & it's the only one worth winning!

  • Stu

    Carnal man vs spiritual man. Romans 8.

    the carnal man thinks and sees with his physical senses and everything looks dandy, because the flesh wants anything that is contrary to what the spirit is. thus, if no one studies the Bible with his spirit, it makes him yawn, for he is carnal, mean just flesh and blood doing all the thinking and reasoning.

    A foolish man lives according to this carnal desires. A wise man lives according to the spiritual laws. Thus, the foolish man perishes in this day and age, with no future. While the spiritual man has a future.

    I'm quoting Eternal Futures.

  • TheBlueWarrior

    Well this civilised society is now directing pharmacists whose conscience won't let them prescribe abortifacients to give up their jobs; this civilised society is pulling the licenses of registrars whose conscience won't let them perform civil ceremonies; this civilised society is directing bed and breakfast owners who won't board same sex couples in the same bedroom to shut down their business; this civilised society is closing down country house wedding locations that won't agree to host civil ceremonies. All these areas have plenty of professionals and businessmen quite willing to provide those services in place of the consciencious objectors, yet this society/government is bearing down and marginalizing those who merely hold as truth, beliefs that have been mainstream for centuries. As far as I can tell the only group not being tolerated in British Society today are the honest, hardworking people of faith.

  • Visitor

    It seems to me that any Catholic who distances themselves from these remarks is distancing themselves from the truth. Why are some Catholics so afraid to just be themselves?

    Well done, Edmund Adamus!

  • John

    well done Edmund Adamus. As for the archbishops spokesman saying you did not reflect his (VN) views – well of coursed not. You spoke like a Catholic. VN is happy to welcome a gay church – why doesn't he go off and start his own.

  • GFFM

    Adamus speaks the truth and this claptrap about how these comments are “incitement to cultural war,” is ridiculous. What the “distancing” from Adamus' comments is all about is the fear Nichols and other British prelates and clerics exude as we wait for the Pope's visit. Britain's anti life record is notorious and the passivity of its shepherds and a great many laity has made it possible for the vulgarity and disintegration to continue unchecked, unquestioned. Catholics in Britain are used to conciliating and keeping their mouths shut. So spokesmen and prelates get the jitters when they know how direct and crystalline Benedict has been on sexual morality, the meaning of marriage, and experimentation with an on human life.

  • Clare

    So Tolerant
    If I want to throw a cat into a wheelie bin, or tie a firework to it's tail I take it you won't threaten my way of life. Because that, after all, is the way I roll.
    If you want to take care of your own cat, well good on you.
    I'll let other's deal with the comment about how we would doubtless all hate you. i find comments lie that manipulative ( the objective being to elicit the “No! We don't hate you! We don't!!”) If I tell you that it is wicked to torture your cat, do I mean I hate you?

  • Dan

    - VIDEO: Rabbi Reveals Name of the Messiah… Jesus will return by 2050, say 40pc of Americans… Prophecy Unfolding? Turkey's New Role in Mideast… THE BIBLE AND THE THIRD WORLD WAR – THE 1000 YEAR KINGDOM… Secrets of the Vatican – UFO's in the Ancient Art:

  • Yve Martin

    Let me say that the most shocking reality about Britain is the way people in high positions like to spin around truth. It is terrible as a culture. Other european countries are used to debate but saying the truth in Britain, on sensitive issues, seems to sound offensive. Catholicism is all about saying the truth, and yes the culture this country like to cheat the truth, from hiding civil laws to prevent people from claiming rights, allowing business to exploit customers and staff and making anything that allow the oppressed to stand up in courts.

    The abuse of human rights here is incredible, British people live under the control and fear of a horrible not to sat satanic economic dictatorship. Look at how much this country charges for naturalisation: £700 regardeless of hability to pay, widows, jobless, disabled,..A country that goes to wanting to sell citizenship! Citizenship is like love, ypu don't sell it. I cry for the people of these islands and yes Adamus absolutely right!

  • Mary O'Regan

    This is an excellent post – well done William Oddie.

  • Jindawanch

    Showing of the benefits of a classical education, are we? BTW, you spell von with a small 'v'.

  • Jindawanch

    The last two popes said it all? I don't think JP 1 had much time to say anything, if memory serves.

  • TheBlueWarrior

    Sorry my friend, I hope the big V didn't offend you too much…was typing in a hurry. As far as a classical education, I'm afraid I'm just a student of EWTN, praise God.