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A surprising number think that because of his beliefs Tony Blair should have been denied entry into the Church: But wouldn’t that mean a lot of expulsions?

Nobody sincerely wanting to become a Catholic should ever be refused: their reasons are between themselves and God

By on Monday, 2 July 2012

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrives to give evidence at the Leveson inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, Monday, May 28, 2012. The Leveson inquiry is Britain's media ethics probe that was set up in the wake of the scandal over phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, which was shut in July after it became clear that the tabloid had systematically broken the law. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrives to give evidence at the Leveson inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, Monday, May 28, 2012. The Leveson inquiry is Britain's media ethics probe that was set up in the wake of the scandal over phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, which was shut in July after it became clear that the tabloid had systematically broken the law. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Sometimes, in the discussion which follows a blog, a subject is introduced which may be in some ways more important than that addressed in the article itself. Thus it was, in the debate that followed my recent blog criticising Cherie Blair’s astonishing attack on women who decide to give up their paid employment to look after their children.

It was an important subject: but the exchange which followed my blog about it threw up an entirely different one; and I need now to return to it, since not only did I not explain my own view as fully as I should have done, but the discussion I provoked was itself inconclusive.

“It was always outrageous to me”, declared one correspondent, “that her hubby B. liar was ever accepted into the Church.… To me it is yet another thing that should be held against the cause of Pope John Paul II’s canonisation (love him though I do). He should have refused Blair’s reception into the Church. The Blairs are so obviously and completely anti-Christian.”

As it happens, I had written, more than once, before the news that he really was going to be received, explaining why the rumours about Blair’s imminent reception into the Church couldn’t be true because of his views on a number of issues, including abortion and embryo research, not to mention the legislation enacted by his government bringing about civil unions and the closure of our Catholic adoption agencies: I naturally assumed that because of his beliefs on these topics he wouldn’t want to be a Catholic. So I was astonished when he actually did cross the Tiber.

But at the time I refused all media invitations to provide hostile comment, since becoming a Catholic is a process which does bring about huge changes in one’s relationship with God (only those who have done it in adulthood can know how great the changes can be) and I was in no position to know what had gone through Blair’s mind as he prepared for his reception. Nobody, when you are received, asks you publicly to repudiate your previous life (though of course you make your general confession): but you do, at your reception, declare your belief in all that the Church teaches to be necessary to salvation. The whole process is a revolution in your life. How did I know what Blair thought now?

Above all, it seemed to me that the whole question of whether or not he should have become a Catholic was principally to do with his own personal relationship with God: what could I know about that? So, to the suggestion that Pope John Paul should have blocked his entry into the Church (though actually Blair was received in the present pontificate) I replied, as part of the post-blog discussion on the matter, “Nobody should ever be refused entry into the Church: this is not some Pall Mall club in which we have a blackball…. It is not for us to judge: there is always a good reason for wanting to be a Catholic.” Well, that brought the wrath of several correspondents down on my head: as you may read if you are interested.

There was also, of course, widespread controversy at the time. This is how the Mail reported it:

John Smeaton, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: “During his premiership Tony Blair became one of the world’s most significant architects of the culture of death, promoting abortion, experimentation on unborn embryos, including cloned embryos, and euthanasia by neglect.

“SPUC is writing to Tony Blair to ask him whether he has repented of the anti-life positions he has so openly advocated.”

Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe, herself a convert, raised Mr Blair’s previous support for embryo research, gay ‘marriage’ and abortion, saying: “My question would be, has he changed his mind?”

….a Church source said: “Whatever he previously believed or did is a matter for individual conscience. The Vatican welcomed his decision ‘with respect and joy’, so if the Pope is welcoming it, it seems a little strange that some English Catholics are questioning it.”

Well, HAS he change his mind? What does Mr Blair believe now? John Smeaton has pointed out that Blair’s modestly entitled “Tony Blair Faith Foundation” is affiliated with some of the most vigorous proponents of abortion-on-demand on the international scene. The Faiths Act Fellowship, coordinated by the Interfaith Youth Core, is a major initiative of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and is, it seems, deeply connected to the international abortion movement through several of its funding agencies: you can read details of this here.

Does that mean that Blair himself believes what they believe? Possibly; but I don’t know, he hasn’t said.

The question of whether someone who may believe in a woman’s “right” to abortion should be received into the Church irresistibly raises another: How CAN he or she be refused, when so many Catholics (like Blair’s own wife) do believe in these things without being actually EXPELLED from the Church? It is clear, for instance, that Blair has been greatly influenced by his friend Hans Küng, who though he has had his licence to teach Catholic theology revoked is still “in good standing” as a Catholic priest.

“The Church’s absolute prohibition of abortion”, Küng has pronounced “is a merciless extremism that could be anything but Christian”. His clear view is that the fertilized ovum is not a human person, and he quotes St Thomas to justify his view. “There is a great difference between the classic Catholic doctrine and St. Thomas Aquinas’ position, because he thinks that human animation is a process and there is not a human person from the beginning,” said Küng. The Thomist view is that “because the human person, presupposes an anima intellectualis, an intellect, what distinguishes humans from animals, it is clear that at the beginning there is not a human person.”

For this reason, says Küng, “a fertilized ovum, evidently is human life but is not a person. So the problem of abortion is considerably reduced.”

Well, I’m not going to get into refuting THAT, I don’t have the space (though maybe I will when I do). But if an undoubtedly devilishly plausible theologian like Küng, who still has a considerable reputation in academic circles, and who is STILL A CATHOLIC PRIEST IN GOOD STANDING (WHY, WHY, WHY?) spins this doctrinal web, and if his good friend Tony Blair is, not surprisingly, caught in it, how can we argue that his application to join the Church should have been turned down? Why should he not be a member of the Church for holding Küng’s views, when Küng is actually a priest in that same Church despite holding them himself?

I repeat; Küng is still “in good standing” as a priest. In other words, he may still preach and teach the faith in a pastoral situation though not, since the removal of his licence to teach theology, in a Catholic theology department; in other words he’s a theologian who is a Catholic priest, but he’s not a Catholic theologian.

I am confused by this. I cannot myself see any reason why Küng should not have been forcibly laicised years ago. Many would call that an extreme and intolerant view; I would argue that it is simply a rational one. How can the Church still give him the authority to teach, on its behalf, that so many of the Church’s teachings are false? But even I, “extremist” though some may argue me to be, do not see how Küng could be actually expelled from the Church, despite his besetting sins (as it seems to me; though I am not his judge) of gross intellectual pride. There has to be the possibility of dying in a state of final penitence, a much more likely outcome within the Church: how can he be denied that? And if Küng cannot be expelled, then it was not, could not have been, right for Blair to be denied entry. Within the Church all things are possible; Blair’s journey of faith is not yet over. It is surely not for us to say more than that about his membership of the Universal Church.

  • Markpetergray

    Actually no I am not. The Catholic Church allows a broad range of opinions over many issues. It holds firm to many important theological positions, as it should. But let’s not get into self flagellation, the Catholic Church should be proud that it’s pughs are full of a variety of people who hold many different views on a range of issues.

  • Markpetergray

    I wasn’t talking about abortion. There are many areas of social policy. As a church, we need to accept that there are a broad range of issues, and as important as life issues are, issues of personal dignity for instance have largely been ignored by the political classes, and that Catholics have distinct and important range of opinions on many issues that are being ignored.

  • JByrne24

    Identical (mono-zygotic) twins are clones.
    There’s no doubt that clones produced in the near future will be separate individuals.

  • rjt1

    If they are individuals, I don’t see how cloning would be problematic for those claiming personhood for early life. At the point when the new entity separates off from the original one, it can be considered a new individual and, according to my view, a new person.

    ‘Identical twins’ is something of a misnomer, since, if they are individuals, they are not identical (at least in the sense of numerical identity – that is the sense in which I was using the word above.) ’Twins with an identical DNA pattern’ might be less ambiguous. In other words, two entities with the same DNA pattern can be different persons. 

  • FGA

    Amen!

  • rjt1

    I take ‘human being’ to be the same as “a being with a human nature’. On that score, it does not seem controversial to say that a  human being is formed at conception: after all it is not an angelic being or a murine being.

  • Alan

    Lots of Anglicans (which is what Blair was) don’t know the Catholic rule about intercommunion; the Anglican Church allows it the other way round.  Though I would have expected Cherie to know.

  • Alan

    Because Vatican II updated that ruling, thank God.

  • Patrickhowes

    You are absolutely right.I suppose the question that “Uncle Willie” is asking is what do we do about it.He argues,leave it to God´s grace,but I do believe that the Church should noy shy away from using canon law to at least remind people of their canonical duty.Iam not advocating a return to the Inquisition,but if the things that are said within the catholic sphere were said in the public domain,litigation would ensue

  • Patrickhowes

    Keep your wig on,Uncle Bill!

  • Patrickhowes

    Always an ulterior motive with politicians!Well said!

  • John tymon

    Blair was not only responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people including innocent children in Iraq, but the vast majority of people in virtually every community, including the Catholic Church believe that he lied to the community including the Catholic Church in order to be able to carry out these killings, without mercy.    Not only that, Blair has never shown remorse, nor has he admitted to the lies that are now proven facts, including the infamous “dossier”.   Whilst there may be some arguments about whether a Catholic should be expelled for such actions, there is full and unanimous agreement amongst the Catholics that he should not be allowed into the Catholic Church. 

     Blair however, could make some effort to redeem himself, by demanding that his friends The Saudi Family, the owners of Arabia, to stop persecuting Christians, particularly Catholics in that state.  Blair has accrued riches in the order of £100 millions since leaving power, whilst Christians / Catholics are forbidden to practice their religion, and often persecuted, including public flogging, and prison, for practising their religion.    

    MP Glenda Jackson has done more to raise concerns about the persecution of Catholics in Arabia by Blair’s friends the Saudi family, than Blair has ever done.   Blair continues to accumulate £millions whilst the the Saudi family pays the wages of the  ”Wahhabi” mercenaries allegedly £5,000 – £10,000 / week  to attack the homes of “Infidels” in Syria many of whom are Christians mainly Catholic.   So the expulsion of Blair is a real and genuine proposition by persons who believe Blair not only stands idly by whilst Catholics are persecuted, but has taken the side of the persecutor i.e. The Wahhabis, against Syrian innocents, where Catholics were hitherto free to practice their religion, but are now too facing persecution and even death from the Saudi family’s Wahhabi Al-Qaeda groups of killers. 

  • Alan

    You are obviously allowing your political views about Blair to run away with you.  Unanimous agreement among Catholics that he should not have been allowed in?  Self-evident rubbish!  And no mention of Bush, who was the “senior partner”, nor of any of the other leaders who joined the invasion.
    On the wider issue of why a person chooses to become a Catholic, there are all sorts of reasons, of which one’s specific beliefs is just one (albeit an important one).  Friends and family are a major consideration; someone who knows no Catholics is highly unlikely to.  For Blair, family was clearly a major reason.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

  • awkwardcustomer

    If Vatican II can depart from the teachings of previous popes, then future popes can depart from the teachings of Vatican II.  Bring it on.

  • awkwardcustomer

    If Vatican II can depart from the teachings of previous popes, then future popes can depart from the teachings of Vatican II.  Bring it on.

  • JByrne24


    In fact Canon Law and the Catechism, and the whole of Catholic doctrine and tradition, say that responsible Catholics have a duty NOT to publicly proclaim views which contradict the Church’s doctrines, even when they conscientiously hold such views after having tried their best to reconcile them with the Church’s teaching.”

    The above may seem to be a very robust and convincing statement, but it isn’t because it pays no heed to other aspects of doctrine which can conflict with it.  
    An observer seeing a teaching that is causing evil, damage to individuals and to the Church is bound in conscience to do what s/he can to influence opinion to help change the teaching. No law written down by a theologian can change that. 
    Further a human being, made in God’s “image”, has no right to abuse her/his humanity (including the human intellect) by subverting the best products of that humanity. Sexual self-abuse is a trivial matter compared to that.

  • JByrne24

    “…there is full and unanimous agreement amongst the Catholics that he should not be allowed into the Catholic Church.”

    You surely must know that the above statement is false (?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.vondra John Vondra

    Thank God for his converstion-Very difficult to do in England I know I am one – while at HMP brixton 1972

  • JByrne24

    “I think what you might be implying is that ‘human beings’ are not necessarily ‘persons’.”

    No I’m not saying this. 
    I consider ‘human being’ and  ’person’ to mean the same.

  • JByrne24

    This statement is so vague as to be almost meaningless.
    For starters: how many people are involved here?

  • JByrne24

    Why do you always feel the need to be insulting?
    I mean I’m not all that interested, but from time to time I sometimes just wonder.

    I think Benedict 16 would have had the authority to prevent it.

  • teigitur

    Not sure why you should find it insulting, its clearly how you reagrd yourself. Anyway you are  well able to dish it out, so you must be able to take it too, In the interests of fairness , you understand.

  • Alan

    It wasn’t a departure, it was a development of doctrine, due to a greater understanding of the dignity of each human person.  Same reason why the Church eventually opposed slavery.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VRGHROYEJIKLWHHTHHETWCJIHE John Tymon

    So no concern then about the persecution of Christians including Catholics in Saudi owned Arabia then?  About the public flogging of Catholics for practising their faith ?   Maybe they are a lesser quality Catholic that you or I or Tony Blair.   Ate you happy with his role now where he is overseeing the persecution of Infidels in Syria including Christians and Catholics ?      Is this not a matter serious enough for you to protest or at least write a letter that may save the lives of some of these ordinary Christian families now fleeing for their lives from the marauding Wahhabi hordes carrying out the dirty work of Bush and company?     Just where should the Catholic Church stand on these matters of life and death?  

    And Yes, any and to my knowledge all surveys of Catholics show that Blair was not wanted, but then the decision is not one for democracy.   As a matter of interest what is the vote of Catholics in your diocese or parish?   Name a Diocese or Parish where Catholics votes to admit him?   

    A sinner who recognise their error and repent is one matter, one who continues to lie, and continues to befriend the Owner of a vast country and cover up his continuing crimes against Catholics is a completely different issue, that Catholics must not condone. 

    Catholics already suffering the abuses of my generation of school boys, and the subsequent cover up by certain senior clergy, could do without the ongoing cover up by Blair and his apologists of the suffering of Catholics in the Saudi family’s owned Arabia. 

  • gailallenmills

    “Nobody sincerely wanting to become a Catholic should ever be refused: their reasons are between themselves and God”???To allow Tony Blair to be included into the Catholic Community after his leadership and deathblows to the unborn, the elderly and vulnerable not to mention 14 years of perversion aimed at schools and children, is a dereliction of duty.There is a culpable side to decisions made by our Catholic leaders as is by us, the laity and there always has been. It is cited in the Catholic Catechism:

    We are answerable for the sins of others whenever we either cause or
    share in them, through our own fault.

    329.
    In how many ways may we either cause or share the guilt of another’s
    sin?

    We may either cause or share the guilt of another’s sin in nine ways:
    1. By counsel.
    2. By command.
    3. By consent.
    4. By provocation.
    5. By praise or flattery.
    6. By concealment.
    7. By being a partner in the sin.
    8. By silence.
    9. By defending the ill done.Cherie Blair behaves and speaks like an unchurched individual  causing scandal.

  • Momangelica

    “Nobody sincerely wanting to become a Catholic should ever be refused: their reasons are between themselves and God”???To allow Tony Blair to be included into the Catholic Community after his leadership and deathblows to the unborn, the elderly and vulnerable not to mention 14 years of perversion aimed at schools and children, is a dereliction of duty.There is a culpable side to decisions made by our Catholic leaders as is by us, the laity and there always has been. It is cited in the Catholic Catechism:
            
              We are answerable for the sins of others whenever we either cause or
              share in them, through our own fault.

         
          
            329.
              In how many ways may we either cause or share the guilt of another’s
              sin?

         
          
            
              We may either cause or share the guilt of another’s sin in nine ways:
              1. By counsel.
              2. By command.
              3. By consent.
              4. By provocation.
              5. By praise or flattery.
              6. By concealment.
              7. By being a partner in the sin.
              8. By silence.
              9. By defending the ill done.Cherie Blair behaves and speaks like an unchurched individual  causing scandal.
     

  • awkwardcustomer

    Can a ‘development of doctrine’ which brings Church teaching in line with Liberal principles be considered valid?  The ‘greater understanding of the dignity of each human person’ that you refer to means dissolving the distinction between the dignity of a human person in error and the dignity of a human person who adheres to Truth. 

    Traditional Catholic teaching distinguishes between ontological and operative dignity, ie, the dignity which each human being has by virtue of being created in God’s image, and the dignity of the person which depends upon the actions of that person.

    Liberalism glosses over this distinction and gives equal rights to truth and error.  Hence, Religious Liberty gives equal rights to the Holy Catholic Church andto  the Church of Scientology.  The traditional teaching of the Church, on the other hand, has always been one of Religious Tolerance in a Catholic state.

    Incidentally, after Vatican II, Rome persuaded Catholic states such as Columbia, Spain, Italy, to drop the preferential position of the Church from their constitutions.

    Your attempt to compare the adoption of Religious Liberty with the condemnation of slavery suggests a view which holds that the Church existed in the dark ages before the Council.  Meanwhile I shall refresh my memory as to when the popes actually did condemn slavery.  Can’t remember the exact date, but it might be much earlier than your comparison implies.

  • Ronk

    It is impossible for a Catholic doctrine to be “causing evil, damage to individuals and to the Church”. Teaching the truth never hurts anyone but heals all who will hear it.

    Giving assent and affirmation (as the Church requires of all Catholics) to ALL that the Church teaches, does not “subvert” the human intellect, but frees it to reach its greatest heights, as we see from countless examples over teh past 200 years.

    Even the greatest and most intellectual theologian and philosopher of all, St Thomas Aquinas, solemnly stated that “if I have written anything erroneous concerning this sacrament or other matters, I submit all to the judgment and correction of the Holy Roman Church”.  What a contrast to all the little pumped-up self-made would-be pontiffs of our own time declaring “the Church is wrong and I am right, because I am so intelligent and have so many degrees in theology”.

  • Ronk

    Hopefully at that confession he confessed the mortal sin of receiving Communion whilst in a state of mortal sin, otherwise he made a bad confession, another mortal sin which he needs to confess subsequently.
     
    I don’t doubt that Christ was calling him, but Christ would never call anyone to disobey His Church, much less call anyone to receive His Body and Blood unworthily, which His Word tells us will bring damnation not salvation. Christ was calling him to first confess his sins and be absolved from them, and THEN receive His Body and Blood. These matters of life and death are far too important for us to merely rely on our subjective emotional experiences. He may have “felt” healed when he received Communion, but he in fact was further injuring himself. Hopefully he was healed later.

  • stroika

    Tony Blair’s reception into the Catholic church gave scandal. The proof of that is that people are scandalised. Let me explain. A scandal is a stumbling block. There are good scandals and bad scandals. A good scandal is the Cross. The word in 1 Cor 1:23 usually translated stumbling block is “skandalon”. St Paul tells us that some people do not believe in Christ because he was crucified – “a skandalon to the Jews”. That does not mean the Cross is a bad thing. It means some people (not ALL Jews, the Apostles were all Jews, St Paul was a Jew) could not get over this and so did not believe. On the other hand there are bad scandals – things that cause people to disbelieve the church. This is what we usually mean by scandal. Tony Blair rarely or never missed an opportunity to vote in favour of abortion. His administration was the most anti-life of any up to that point (and probably since). His administration rammed through human cloning – that is the creation of human beings solely to be abused and destroyed. Not to mention much else no doubt already covered by other commenters. The Catholic Church claims to be against all that. Tony Blair has never publicly repeneted of all that. But she receives him into the church. So why should we believe the church when she says all these things are wrong? People cannot believe the church in her pro-life message because a stumbling block – a scandal – has been put in the way. I have no idea of the state of Tony Blair’s soul. It is irrelevant. The point is his reception gave, gives, public scandal and only a public repudiation will correct that. Of course we can understand that the reason it was allowed to happen was due to bad circumstances at the time. The misbehaviour of individuals in the Church does not invalidate Church teaching. But it does make it that much harder to believe.

  • rjt1

    What then is/are your criterion/criteria for personhood?

    Just coming back to Xeno: my point is that life is a continuum from a recognisable beginning. I would challenge you to identify a recognisable point of discontinuity where you can say personhood has begun. If you cannot, how then can you make judgements about when abortion is/is not permissible?

  • Alan

    Of course I object to the suppression of Christians in Saudi Arabia, and have even used that point on this website to object to the Vatican’s pre-1960s teaching against religious freedom.  As for what parishioners think about Tony Blair, I have heard absolutely no opinion.  Whether he is guilty of the lies and crimes which you and some others like to think, is a matter of opinion.

  • Alan

    It is people who have rights, not “truth and error”.  I could not remain in any church which opposed religious liberty (and I was not a Catholic before Vatican II).  It saddens me that there are still Catholics who maintain the same attitudes as the Taliban or the Saudis on these matters.

  • Burt

      “What a contrast to all the little pumped-up self-made would-be pontiffs of our own time declaring “the Church is wrong and I am right, because I am so intelligent and have so many degrees in theology”
    How true that is Ronk.

  • Burt

    Dr Oddie, what is the point of honest debate, unless sometimes powerful argument can make you see the other sides point of view? Unless sometimes one has to concede and lose an argument. 
    Surely stroika has made a perfect case in the points he has just made.

  • awkwardcustomer

    Gosh, you compare the Church before Vatican II to the Taliban and the Saudis. But the Church before Vatican II preached Religious Tolerance!  The Church before Vatican II had the nerve to proclaim that Christ’s Truth merited the backing of the state. Horror of horrors!

  • awkwardcustomer

    I messed up my first reply, so here it is again. I was startled by your comparison of the Church before Vatican II with the Taliban and the Saudis, for that is what your comment implies.  And yet the Church before Vatican II preached Religious Tolerance!

    Error has no rights as such, but should be tolerated if the greater good and general peace requires it.  But Religious Liberty renders truth and error as equals.

    Finally, as the reply boxes seem to get smaller and smaller, when a human individual clings to error, this has a negative effect on their operative dignity.  This must sound like heresy to liberal ears, I know.

  • Alan

    Yes, it preached religious tolerance for itself, but not always for others.  It was believed that, in a Catholic country, the state had the duty to prevent people from practising non-Catholic religions.  This is why I compared it to the Taliban and the Saudis, who do exactly the same (substituting their brand of Islam for Catholicism).

  • Alan

    I dispute that religious liberty renders truth and error as equals.  It renders as equals all people, whatever religion they wish to practise.  It is people who have rights, not “truth and error”.

  • Welbeck

     The Catholic hierarchy failed to stand up to Tony Blair whilst he undermined Christian values in England. The Poe even received this man. The Catholic establishment took him as one of their own. It is hardly surprising the faithful feel they have no place of refuge in this country.

  • Burt

    I wish you would remove all your posts JByrne24….they are always in error ;)

  • JByrne24

    We are not talking about “life” generally but rather about the life of a human being.
    The foetus is always alive, but obviously not always a human being.Of course there is an enormous question on where to draw a line (although there could be an agreed state of development of the foetus) but that is not a reason for claiming that the foetus is always a human being.The claim that it is so, is seen by the great majority of people to be absurd.I recall an MP some years ago standing up to speak in the Commons while holding a small glass tube (pencil size) and saying: “look, this is an early foetus (at the bottom of the tube) – is anyone going to tell me that this is a human being! Come off it!”

  • awkwardcustomer

    Here’s a quote from p13 of ’Religious Liberty Questioned’ by Archbishop Lefebvre (Angelus Press).

    ‘At the time of Vatican II, some thought to be clever by objecting, “But neither truth nor error has rights! Rights are ‘subjected’ in persons, who either have those rights or don’t”.
    This approach was used to confuse the subject and push into obscurity “objective rights” so as to speak only of “subjective rights”.

    It is possible indeed to distinguish between “objective” and “subjective” rights:
    - subjective right is the power of demanding, as rooted in the individual, regardless of its application; for instance, the right to worship God, regardless of the type of worship.
    - objective right is, on the contrary, the specific object of the right: this particular worship, this specific education.’

    Since the space here continues to get smaller, there is no room to include the full quote.  But basically, an individual keeps his or her subjective rights no matter what.  But the individual’s objective rights are lost when they are applied to error or to evil.

    Just as Vatican II’s teaching on Religious Liberty dropped the traditional distinction between ontological and operative dignity, as explained previously, so it dropped the distinction between subjective and objective rights.

    Notice a pattern, by any chance?

  • Alan

    Because of space I’m replying to your later post here.
    Quotes from Lefebvre are not likely to impress me.  My firm view is that it is the duty of the state to allow all its citizens to practise their religion, provided it does not involve breaking the law.  Whether or not we agree with the religion is irrelevant.  If the Vatican pre-1960s ruled that a Catholic state should disallow other religions, except for preventing civil disorder, that rule was wrong, even if it had the weight of an encyclical behind it.

  • rjt1

    I disagree with you but I think that we have probably come more or less to the end of what we can say so I won’t prolong the discussion.

  • REALTRADITIONALCATHOLIC

     The Catholic community in the US, in fact world wide is in a sad state of affairs for the same reasons. Many faithful catholics have laid much if not all blame at the doorstep of Vatican II which (you may recall) let the “smoke of Satan” unto the sanctuary. Yet, even Benedict XVI has often lauded VII, AND JPII who loved that pastoral council himself, I know not why.

    You may also recall, speaking of Hans Kung in other commentary who sat next to Joseph Ratzinger during VII, both men out of uniform at VII. Once more I know not why.  So why indeed should we ask why the Church is in a sad state of affairs? We can only take heart in Christ who said He will be with us even until the end of the world
    though it’s clear that much in (not of) the Chuech is not necessarily with Christ.

    I commend the Catholic Herald-UK for allowing comments intended for fraternal correction  in this blog, something some other supposedly “catholic” websites block if not ban, one such one based in Canada and the US, where I could never say what I’m saying here. Sad state of affairs indeed.

    Instaurare Omnia in Christo

  • REALTRADITIONALCATHOLIC

     Sorry JB, but it’s “opinions” like yours that have given protestants ammunition, like a protestant friend of mine, to say the Church and catholics in the Church are corrupt, just as the excuses were used by Luther to start his own church. You’re either Catholic or you’re not, and if you disagree with Catholic teaching based in doctrine, you’re not.

  • generationnomad

    Mass is not just a place for those who are perfect – if it were Churches would be empty! Everyone of us was born with sin and though Mr. Blair may have his flaunted in public (even by choice) it does not mean he is sinning/lying by walking into a Church. We do not know if & when he goes to confession. If he is publicly opposing Church teaching and has been counseled to end his opposition and repent – and then refuses, it is the responsibility of the Bishop to deny communion to Blair or any other Catholic in the same situation. The best thing to do as a lay Catholic is to write to Mr. Blair and express your concern, also write to the Bishop and most of all to pray. It is easy to drive someone away from the Church – because once they are gone it takes a miracle to bring them back*

  • orthodoxpriest

    Surely anyone who begins a journey is to be welcomed, whatever the reasons. Some will be less worthy than others. But the journey must be completed under clear conditions which are not liable to such personal consideration. To become a Catholic, or an Orthodox MEANS SOMETHING. It doesn’t just mean that a person wants to become a Catholic, or an Orthodox for that matter.

    I received a catechumen last Sunday, and she is now being prepared for baptism. The reason that she approached the Church was personal to her, but I have a responsibility to ensure that she is properly Orthodox before I baptise her. It is no less the responsibility of those receiving a person into the Catholic Church to ensure that they are also properly and wholeheartedly Catholic in faith and practice.

    It is indeed rather scandalous that a man who publically supports abortion and homosexual practice as a good should be recieved into the Catholic Church. Not because any of us are without sin, but because there is no evidence that he has changed his opinion on these issues and many others.

  • Burt

    It’s heart warming to hear that there are still so called orthodox priests around, in line with the totality of Catholic teaching. God bless your new convert. It must be wonderful to find the amazing reality of Catholic Truth. for most of us cradle Catholics it is a gift we all to easily squander. I am a terrible sinner, but I pray I will always be grateful and thankful for being given the truth, which may indeed condemn me.