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The Holy Father’s warnings on secularism and religious liberty are borne out by the consequences of the same sex marriage Bill.

But will the next pope carry on the struggle against the dictatorship of relativism with the same clarity and determination?

By on Friday, 15 February 2013


One of the most central insights of Pope Benedict’s pontificate was summed up in his phrase “the dictatorship of relativism”. In his now famous conversation with the German journalist Peter Seewald (the same one on which he said that popes can abdicate), he said this, in explanation: “In the name of tolerance, tolerance is being abolished; this is a real threat we face. The danger is that reason – so-called Western reason – claims that it has now really recognized what is right and thus makes a claim to totality that is inimical to freedom. I believe that we must very emphatically delineate this danger. No one is forced to be a Christian. But no one should be forced to live according to the ‘new religion’ as though it alone were definitive and obligatory for all mankind.”

Later, he said this: “the reality is in fact such that certain forms of behavior and thinking are being presented as the only reasonable ones and, therefore, as the only appropriately human ones. Christianity finds itself exposed now to an intolerant pressure that at first ridicules it – as belonging to a perverse, false way of thinking – and then tries to deprive it of breathing space in the name of an ostensible rationality.”

There can be little doubt that this secularist dictatorship is being rolled out in this country today, notably in the education system, where in certain key areas, certain forms of behaviour must be presented as being valid and acceptable whether or not teachers believe they are. Only a few days before Pope Benedict’s bombshell, Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury spoke out about the implications for religious liberty of the vote last Tuesday on the same sex “marriage” bill now being pushed (probably irresistibly) through the Commons by the “Conservative” Prime Minister, David Cameron. Bishop Davies last week told married couples gathered from all over his diocese to celebrate landmark anniversaries at an annual Mass of Thanksgiving for Marriage that it was possible to “see the absurdity of changing the identity of marriage in the name of a false understanding of equality by the desire to even strike out the cherished names of ‘mother’ and ‘father’”.

That was a predictable enough criticism. But he also repeated a warning he has given before: having said that recognising the truth of marriage was not “an injustice to be remedied” he went on to predict that soon it could even become an offence to repeat “the beautiful teaching of Christ” that marriage is the lasting union of one man and one woman which forms the foundation of the family.

He is hardly alone, though I didn’t notice even Catholic MPs sounding the same warning in last week’s commons debate (I hope to be corrected; I did nod off once or twice). Many others have made the same prediction. Last month, no fewer than 1,000 Catholic bishops and priests signed a letter to the Telegraph:

“SIR – After centuries of persecution, Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country.

“Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.

“It is meaningless to argue that Catholics and others may still teach their beliefs about marriage in schools and other arenas if they are also expected to uphold the opposite view at the same time.”

This is not, of course, the only unfolding secularist threat to religious liberty in the Western world: such challenges take different legal forms depending on where you are, and there are analogous threats all over Europe; even in the US (supposedly more religious than we less churchgoing Europeans are), the government is mounting an anti-Christian, and more specifically an anti- Catholic, threat to religious freedom, which has spawned legal disputes all over the country.

The Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance, and the Obama administration says an insurance plan must pay for basic preventive care, including contraceptives. Earlier this month the Obama administration proposed a compromise for some nonprofit religious organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and colleges, that would allow them to avoid paying directly for such insurance. But the administration refused to consider a similar exemption for private, for-profit employers. The Catholic bishops say this exemption should apply to any employer who has a conscientious objection to providing contraception (this includes abortifacient drugs).

The Holy Father’s influence can be seen very clearly in the American Bishops’ struggle against their authoritarian government. Over a year ago, in an ad limina viit to Rome, Bishops, with the Obama regime’s health provision legislation on mind, he said this to them: “it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion… concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.”

We are not alone in this country. But there is one sense in which the threat to Catholics here is even more serious. There is a threat to the education system which is more serious here, where the detailed content of most education is state controlled to a degree inconceivable in the US. If the State insists that children are taught, even in Catholic schools, that the view that marriage can be between those of the same sex has the same validity as the Catholic view that it can only be between a man and a woman, then a teacher who refuses to teach this will be breaking the law. And then what?

It’s high time for Catholics to mount a sustained and convincing fight on this issue. But we need leadership. So where, apart from Bishops Davies and Egan (“the usual suspects”, they are already being called) are our bishops? Where? I know some of them signed that Telegraph letter: but we need more than that.

And now another question imperatively presents itself. Will the new pope give the same clear teaching on this issue as we have had from the present Holy Father? We all face an uncertain future; there is a lot to pray about.

  • Nicolas Bellord

    Let us hope that we have a young and vigorous Pope who will fight the battles that Benedict XVI obviously feels he is too frail to fight and may he have Benedict next door to give him the advice and the clear thinking that he will need.

    As for Catholic Education in this country has there been a change from three years ago when the Catholic Education Service misrepresented the Labour Government’s policy on sex education pretending that it was acceptable to Catholics?

  • CullenD

    For decades catholic schools have taught that contraception, divorce, sex outside marriage and abortion are wrong, but legal. They teach that remarried divorcees’ marriages are accepted by civil authorities as marriages, but not by the church. The church is also free to refuse to marry divorcees.

    Exactly the same applies to gay marriage, any idea otherwise is either badly reasoned, scaremongering, blatantly dishonest or paranoid delusion. 

    Almost all the arguments against gay marriage fall into one of those categories once scrutinised properly.  

  • Patrick_Hadley

    Cullen D is being far too complacent. There is a general belief among supporters of same sex marriage that the right for gay people to marry is a fundamental human right, and therefore to oppose it to seek to deny equality to a section of society. Fifty years ago in some states of America it was illegal for black people to marry “white” people under miscegenation laws. Would a teacher keep his job if he said that this law should be brought back, or a church allowed to stay open if it refused to conduct mixed-race marriages?

    The relentless drive to demand equal rights for homosexuals will inevitably clash with an institution that wants to be able (as it will be seen) discriminate against them.

    I am generally on the liberal side of arguments on Catholic Herald boards, but I wrote to my Conservative MP to try to persuade him to vote against same sex marriage. The long term consequences for the Church will be grave.

  • Maccabeus

    You assume goodwill and genuine tolerance of a plurality of ideas on the part of the institutions, politicians, the ruling elites in general, and gay activists. Such an assumption is patently misplaced and this is the heart of the problem: the secular-atheist complex has an active, hostile, aggressive agenda against all religions and especially the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is targeted in this country first and foremost for ideological reasons, the secularists have nothing but contempt for everything the Church stands for. There are also historical reasons, a regurgitation of that anti-catholicism which has, since the Reformation, always been such a virulent part of the English mentality, at times openly declared, at others hidden and only implied. The combination of lingering, festering anti-Catholicism combined with today’s intolerant atheist contempt for all things religious constitutes a vicious cocktail of hate, contempt, intolerance and bigotry. We are not paranoid in perceiving such to be the case. We are realists. We have seen this kind of thing before. And we know exactly where it’s going.

  • nardialop

     It is already happening, people are loosing their jobs, loosing their licenses, or banned form some positions in the US an EU. You just need to read the news.

  • CullenD

    It’s being argued as a “Civil Right” not a “Human Right”. Which makes all the difference. No one is arguing that all citizens have a human right to be married, they are arguing, and winning, the case that all citizens should have equal access to civil marriage, within the widely accepted social parameters. Not child or pet or polygamous marriage, just civil marriage between consenting adults. 

    Your miscegenation example just ends in speculation, I have no idea what would happen to such a teacher as it would depend on State Law. But there are churches who refuse to marry mixed race couples. There has even been a Justice of the Peace who did so on the grounds that the marriage would be bad for the couple’s children. (Sound familiar?)

    I support your right to canvas your MP on any issue you deem fit. I also agree that the consequences for the church will be grave. We differ in what those consequences will be. Personally I think the main concern that the church has is that if gay couples, raising kids in a loving household become a normality. It will be far harder for the church, or catholic parents, to convince young people that it is morally wrong, harmful or disordered.

  • CullenD

    Quite a bit of dissonance there. ” Plurality of ideas”? Most religions have a bad history on that front. How does a church with unchanging dogmas and doctrines show any aspect of “goodwill and genuine tolerance” to dissenting ideas? Has it not shown it has ” an active, hostile, aggressive agenda against all (other) religions”, just as was shown to it in your historical examples? How does the “secular-atheist complex” in any way compare to the institution of the Catholic Church?

    “Today’s intolerant atheist contempt for all things religious constitutes a vicious cocktail of hate, contempt, intolerance and bigotry”. Even if that were true, though it reeks of persecution complex to me, we are still in a “pot and kettle” scenario, with the church way ahead on all points.

  • la catholic state

    I agree.  I feel we now need an action, practical, go-getter Pope.  We have had a scholarly and philosophical pope with Pope Benedict… is now time for practical action.

  • karl meyer

    If you as an individual are opposed to Same Sex Marriage then I would suggest you carefully check the sex of your proposed partner before marrying them.  

    Other than that what effect would the activities of other consenting adults have on your life?

  • CullenD

    True, but circumstances must taken into account. Just to give two examples:

    The case of a man writing on a personal blog that he doesn’t agree with gay marriage being demoted is an outright injustice. I would fully support his reinstatement, and even some punitive damages being awarded to him.

    The case of a christian registrar refusing to register civil partnerships, is different, even though I sympathise with her. Any civil servant has to accept that as civil law changes, so can their job. To use a slippery slope example, if her case were upheld, could catholics refuse to process divorce papers on religious grounds? Could a a wahabi muslim refuse to issue driving licenses to women? 

  • CullenD

    Ooops, I should have said WHEN gay couples, raising kids in a loving household become a normality.

  • brockbabe

    You are paranoid. The Catholic Church has been an oppressive force and continues to be where it can get away with it particularly against women and children .At the heart of Catholicism and indeed other major faiths is the oppression of women.Any anti catholicism today is to do with its hypocrisy and abuse of power. Look today at the scandal breaking in the USA over the legion of Christ. The Church and its supporters needs to look to itself to understand its position in the world. The inhumanity of the
    Church is supported by its ideologies and its secret societies.Same sex marriage is just a recognition of the legal and spiritual freedom of the individual.Freedom being a concept which Catholic doctrine chooses to ignore.

  • Ghengis

    The enforcers of the dictatorship of relativism are the news media, the liberal schools and Universities, and the film industry. These are the ones used to control the masses. Only by reducing their influence can the dictatorship be abolished. This can be done by refusing to watch them and attend them and by spreading the word mouth to mouth of their corruption.

  • Maccabeus

    “How does the “secular-atheist complex” in any way compare to the institution of the Catholic Church?” Are you serious? The secular-atheist complex has control of the mass media, government apparatus, legal apparatus, police apparatus, military forces, secret services and dictatorial authority (in the UK) over education, what is taught and what is not – the list goes on. When it comes to material power, as Stalin (arch secular-atheist) said: “How many divisions does the Pope have?” None. As for Catholics labouring under a persecution complex, I suggest you brush up on your history of Britain since the Reformation. Not a pretty tale, with the ‘mother of parliaments’ enacting draconian legislation and military action against Catholics over the centuries, with massacres, torture, wholesale destruction and vandalism of all things Catholic, including Catholic monasteries, churches and religious art, as well as executions, imprisonment and transportation to the other side of the world, exclusion from education and professions and – in celtic areas – attempts to entirely wipe out the gaelic language, culture and people, especially in the west of Scotland and Ireland. Colonialism and imperialism at its worst. Telling British Catholics not to feel at risk from the British elites is rather like telling Native Americans to trust in good old Uncle Sam, or telling Jews to put their faith in Germans. You think this is an exaggeration? – Then you really do need to brush up on your history. 

  • Maccabeus

    Your bigoted ranting is unworthy of response but beautifully demonstrates the hatred to which all Christians are subject on the part of people like you. 

  • teigitur

    I am afraid he is pretty much on the nail Damo. Especially in the UK. Ireland is getting there too though. The Irish Times springs to mind. Almost as bad as the BBC.

  • teigitur

    So all gay couples will have a “loving” household. How interesting. Whereas heterosexual couples fall short of that?

  • Maccabeus

    It never will –  independent, scientific reports are all ready coming out in the US which clearly show children are gravely disadvantaged in their development and mental health when brought up by gays – higher rates of suicide, criminality, sexual disorientation and promiscuity. But of course, the PC media wants none of it, and in the meantime children continue to be sacrificed on the altar of secular elitist arrogance and gay egotism and vanity. And secular atheists have the nerve to talk about child abuse in the Catholic Church?? – Child abuse occurs, unfortunately, throughout society and the percentage in the Church is no higher than in any other section of society. But the incidence of adolescent deviance in children brought up by gays is much higher than in the rest of society and is a direct consequence of gay adoption policies. 

  • CullenD

    I’ll do a “two-for” reply here.

    Firstly…..Not what I meant and you know it! 

    Secondly, to your other comment….The Irish Times has always had Dublin 4 bias. It has also always been outsold by the Indo, Star, and Herald, (Even The Press, back in the day). It never sold well outside Dublin.

    Irish society hasn’t been changed by some anti-catholic bogeyman called the media. The media generally reflects the views of society. Certainly different parts are more liberal than others, but Ireland’s Eye and the Irish Catholic are also part of the media. Albeit, a part that is dying slowly due loss of interest from the public.

  • CullenD

    Are you citing that study that was slated on this site months ago? The one that was not independent, un-biased or scientific? The one that was widely discredited as flawed, despite peer review. If not can you provide a link? As you mention reports (plural) that shouldn’t be a problem.

    I’m just going to wait to check your evidence before replying, which I’m sure you’ll agree is reasonable in the circumstances.

    But I must point out that you still haven’t addressed the content of my comment which you are replying to. Why is gay marriage different to divorce, abortion and contraception in catholic schools?

  • CullenD

    Now you really are getting further and further from the topic!

    Most of what you say is factual, but irrelevant. True, catholics were abused by protestants,(not atheists), in Britain, but what has that got to with my comment, except perhaps to boost your persecution complex. 

    Same with Stalin, who was by no definition a secularist. His actions led to a new word….. Stalinism. If you can’t see why mentioning him is a red herring, nothing I, or anyone else, could say will change your mind. 

  • teigitur

    Ah! You work in Morrisons Buy one, get one free!!
    ” The media generally reflect the views of society.” I should think that its more like the media seek to influence( with some success)the views of society. But when reporting news, it should do that without bias. It does not.I could give you many, many examples, but I ll stick with a current one.The Pope is about to retire. Who do you think the BBC brings on to discuss this. Geoffrey Robison QC, leading light of the “protest the Pope” group. When other people retire you normally have colleagues discussing their various merits. Not with the Church, as far as the vast majority of the media are concerned, there are no merits.
     Irish Society has very much been changed by the media, who are now in the  place of the Church. I watched it happen all through the nineties and naughties. The Church of course, especially in Ireland shot itself in the foot over and over again. I hope they have learned from this, though I have my doubts.
     You are are a very productive phase today Damo!
     BTW the Indo is as bad and the Sunday version worse.

  • Maccabeus

    Why is it the same?

  • CullenD

    He’s hitting his nail, which he produced out of nowhere, on the head :)

    He’s ignoring what I actually wrote and going off on wild tangents, then ignoring the questions I raise on his subjects. Look at his explanation of the secular atheist complex, (his phrase), it’s almost delusional paranoia. 

  • teigitur

    A bit unfair I feel. I don t think he has a persecution complex. He just sees a bigger, different picture to you, as do I.None of which makes us scaremongers, blatantly dishonest or even delusional, paranoid or otherwise.

  • CullenD

    Sorry, I wanted to kill that thread with Maccabeus, it was like a vortex, I knew I shouldn’t have, but I allowed myself to get sucked in.

    Often news shows invite guests for “balance”, when it’s not needed. But it depends on what your view on a particular subject is. I’m annoyed when creationists or climate change deniers are on shows, but that’s just the way TV works.

    It’s far too lazy to blame the media, you’re getting the cart before the horse. You have an idea of my age and family background, trust me much of society was way ahead of the media.

    A better explanation is “The global village” or “marketplace of ideas”. It was inevitable that the Irish were catholic when that was all they knew. But once that changed, once they learned about or travelled to different cultures the default setting was lost. It happened far to quickly to be mainly do to media influence. The internet speeded things up, though.

    I can’t quite remember the saying, but it is along the lines of…

    If you’re raised with just one religion, you’ll believe in one religion. But if you’re raised with a hundred, you’ll believe none.

    The Irish simply don’t accept everything they are told by authority figures anymore.

  • CullenD

    That’s just an inane reply.

  • CullenD

    Bigger, different and most of all irrelevant. Perhaps it was harsh to point out  hints of dissonance, paranoia and a persecution, but unfortunately that doesn’t make it untrue. 

    To clarify, I said that almost all of the arguments fell into those four categories. There is a fifth, demand for a license to discriminate, but that was rare. It wasn’t a personal attack,  just a judgement of the quality of the arguments presented. I can give you a good example, but I’d have to start a new thread to do so. 

  • Sazzy

    I’m sorry, but could you please expand on this a little?  At the heart of our Faith is our adoration, veneration and love of our Blessed Lady Mary and the Holy Child Jesus…   Where does this fit with “oppressive force…particularly against women and children”?

  • teigitur

    The whole point is that marriage is being re-defined. From its age old, one man and one woman, into something totally new. If even the wording had been different it may not have caused such an outcry. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman. No law will ever change that. So its not just wrong, as in your examples above , its also untrue and indeed not possible. 

  • teigitur

    Re-definition. In a word. Of an age old institution. One on which society is built.

  • teigitur

    I was always amazed that they ever did. Given that most of you have an anti-authoritarian streak hard
    wired into you.
     We must have a robust “global warming” …..oh sorry they have dropped that,…. “climate change discussion sometime”!!

  • CullenD

    That’s just a soundbite, marriage has changed and evolved across the centuries. Words are constantly redefined, otherwise dictionaries wouldn’t be updated.

    You are speaking about the catholic definition of marriage, which is not being changed, nor is the islamic, one man, multiple women, definition being changed. 

    The right to a civil marriage is going to be granted to gay citizens, it has nothing to do with catholic matrimonial rituals.

  • CullenD

    Sorry but I just thought of a good example. Look at the age old definition of “Wicked”. For centuries it was defined as “moral evil”. But now it is used in the opposite sense in normal civil usage. 

    Does that affect the definition of the word when used in a religious context?
    Of course not, both definitions lie side by side and are understood by context.

  • Nat_ons

    Yes, CD, these things have been ‘taught’ – amid all the ‘we are all one’, ‘every religion is of equal worth’, ‘catholic have a voice to add to the truth of the whole’ – but by teachers who seem not to have an understanding of what Catholic Truth means to the orthodox (that is, right thinking) Catholics.
    That something like forty odd so-called Catholic MPs in the United Kingdom could consider voting for widening the definition of ‘marriage’ (to include same-gendered couples, re-gendered partner or partners, or some other open-gendered ménage) on the count of equality under the law (of man) speaks volumes against the kind of ‘catholic’ sic education they may have gone through (let alone what type of faith they image to be Catholic in truth).Of course these Members of Parliament are free to reject what the Catholic Church holds to be the Truth, Jesus Christ in his one body with one Spirit; so too are teachers in Catholic schools free to repudiate what they are expected to teach of this Truth – and the disciple it demands; what Catholics are not free to do is consider themselves Catholic and in communion with God’s beloved called to be saints at Rome while advocating a dissenting, opposing or reviling spirit toward Catholic Truth: One cannot hand on what one does not first possess: not least in ‘right’ thinking (that is the basic character of tradition, even of that Sacred Tradition which is living faith).

    (Just look at how woefully a Google search defines ‘orthodox’ for today’s youf kulcha 4 u:

    or·tho·dox  /ˈôrTHəˌdäks/
    Adjective(of a person or their views, esp. religious or political ones) Conforming to what is accepted as right or true: “orthodox Hindus”.(of a person) Not independent-minded; unoriginal: “a relatively orthodox artist”.)

  • teigitur

    Defining words are one thing. Attempting to re-define a whole way of life is quite another. We are discussing marriage as defined (up until now) in western society, for the seeable past. Not Muslim marriage. Muslims have definition too, it does not include same-sex arrangements. Indeed they are not allowed more than one wife in western countries. Perhaps they should be? Wonder what liberal feminists would have to say about that.
      No one has mentioned religious rituals, Catholic or otherwise. That is another days work.

  • CullenD

    I don’t have strong feelings on the subject to be honest. I’ve no future generation to worry about! I do believe it’s man made… I just don’t really care either way.

    Only thing I don’t understand is why the religious deniers don’t apply Pascal’s Wager to CC, but they think it’s a valid argument against atheism.

  • CullenD

    But divorce does the same, it’s no longer a life long institution. Contraception too, in the catholic sense, as the marriage is no longer open to life being created.

    The “one on which society is based” is debatable in historic terms, though not enough to be raised now.

  • OldMeena

    Honestly! What a childish remark: “In the name of tolerance, tolerance is being abolished”.

    The Church has always been one of the most intolerant institutions on the Earth. 
    But if you are intolerant of intolerance then you are abolishing tolerance?

    As the lady in Rochdale said with some surprise: “But he’s an educated man”.

  • brockbabe

    Are you serious? Of course you’re not I can tell your just teasing but I will play along in case someone who believes the cheap words about veneration and adoration reads this. The Church has ignored the domestic abuse of women, the sexual abuse of children. The church has denounced women as they try and  feed families, as they try and balance their ‘catholic duty” to ensure mens conjugal rights as against trying to avoid pregnancy while denied birth control.Women are not allowed to hold positions within the hierarchy of the church. Where is the adoration and veneration ? Most deluded statement I have ever read.In Italy in December 2012 a priest put up a notice saying women should enter into healthy self criticism about their part in being beaten and murdered because their houses aren’t clean enough and their clothes are too tight, obviously only womens work.Has he been sacked for his incitement of violence? In really poor communities the `church colludes with men through determining that women cannot protect themselves from sexual disease and ensure their survival for their children.The record of the church in relation to women is downright disgusting and they are not dissimilar in their views to the Taliban! I know you know all this and you are just pretending that veneration looks like abuse.

  • teigitur

    Its just a word. Another age old saying. “Actions speak louder than words”. We are talking about actions here, not just words.

  • CullenD

    Think this has run it’s course for the time being. Plus I have to leave soon! 

    But to think. I thought I’d be bored all evening waiting to head into Dublin. 

    Bye Teig, have a good one!

  • teigitur

    I was not aware there was such a state as a”religious denier”. Climate forever changes, I doubt it has religious significance.
     I always thought “pascals wager ” to be very sensible. But of course it could never apply to you, as you could not consider even the possibility.

  • teigitur

    I disagree. It debases the institution, sometimes with good cause, sometimes not. But it does not re-define it.
     Same with contraception. I happen to be ambivalent about that, but either way it re-defines nothing Damo.

  • mollysdad

    There are certain things which it is wrong to tolerate. Among them is any expression of dissent from the God-given truths which are open to reason (apart from revelation) and which concern fundamental human rights including the rights of the family, the truth about marriage and the truth about human sexuality. I’ll be quite open and frank. Anyone who denies that homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity, or that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman, ought to be treated as a criminal and jailed as a seditionist.

  • brockbabe

    You seem to love the idea of beng a victim and being persecuted and that presumably is  why you don’t face up to what the Church has done and continues to do in your name! Pretend piety is at best unpleasant and I feel sure if JC himself were to make a return visit those that sought victimhood and blame rather than compassion understanding  honesty I suspect would get short shrift. By the way with regard to your earlier comment I am as Christian as you and have a baptism certificate to prove it.And the rate of child abuse within Catholic communities is considerably more than else where. I believe the well known journalist John McCarthy  calculated that over half of the population in Ireland had been subjected to sexual abuse …..worth considering.

  • majorcalamity

    I have read some pretty silly pieces here, but this one reaches a new low. There is no such thing as a “secularist dictatorship” in our country and anyone that suggests such a thing deserves to have their opinion ridiculed. Secularism is simply the principal of separating the state from any established church. What is not to like about it? Indeed it is very much in the interests of every religion, as their rights are protected under a secular system. We also do not have a dictatorship, we enjoy a fully functioning representative democracy. Indeed there is nothing at all to stop Catholics advancing their arguments sufficiently well that they convince enough voters to form a majority. If those with opposing views hold the majority view, then that is hardly a dictatorship is it? 

    To speak of “the dictatorship of relativism” is, also a very silly assertion. Relativism is often a much more sensible way to approach things than absolutism. Rather than reject it out of hand I think you need to understand it’s benefits. There are some things where a black and white, no compromise, approach makes good sense, but it doesn’t apply to most situations. We need to find the common ground and reach sensible compromises between competing viewpoints, to the benefit of us all. Which is exactly what the SSM bill will achieve. It won’t disadvantage Catholics, but it will benefit others. Makes good sense to me. 

    As to the education system insisting that the state view be taught, I see absolutely no reason why this should not be so, or that it is not an entirely good thing. No child is owned by it’s parents, or by any particular group. As a society we have a duty to ensure that every child gets the opportunity to learn about everything, and not be indoctrinated into only one viewpoint. There is plenty of opportunity for the children of Catholic parents to receive the views of the parents both at home, and in Church. They can then form their own opinions. 

    Of course we need to respect anyone’s freedom to hold a conscientious objection. That though does not mean we can allow them to behave in whichever way they choose. If their contracted duties conflict with their conscience, then generally some accommodation will be arranged, but if this is not possible then they will either have to swallow their objections or resign. That’s NOT dictatorship. It is a perfectly fair and reasonable response to trying to achieve a balance between competing rights.  

  • maxmarley

    ‘But will the next pope carry on the struggle against the dictatorship of relativism with the same clarity and determination?’
    Many Christians and others will be disappointed if he does not.

  • Cestius

    I don’t think there has been any serious attempt to balance the rights of different groups, religious right to conscience and liberties have been trashed in the interests of homosexuals and secular groups. As an example some professions such as registrars now have effectively said that conscientious Catholics (and evangelical Christians) need not apply because of the “rights” of homosexuals – when in fact it would be extremely easy (and preferable for all concerned) for an employer to get someone specialized to do the small percentage of homosexual partnerships that the employer is required to do. But some secularists just want people to be forced to act against conscience or be thrown out of their jobs.

  • maxmarley

    Catholics cherish
    the traditional family.

    They regard
    contraception, divorce, sex outside marriage and abortion wrong and dangerous
    for society but unfortunately legal.

    But so called
    homosexual marriage is a tipping point.

    A redefinition of
    marriage which ignores the complimentary nature of traditional marriage.

    Even more worrying
    is the declared intent of the GLF Manifesto, 1971 to destroy the traditional
    family because they perceive it as a cause of oppression. 

    So called
    homosexual marriage legislation furthers their agenda.

    It will become so
    sacramental to the new age secular atheist complex that any denunciation of it
    will incur the full force of the law

    And those newly
    criminalised will be the good prudent people who value the importance of the
    traditional family as a building block for traditional societies.

    scaremongering or dishonest