Friday, March 23, 2007

Fr Tim on SORs

Fr. Timothy Finigan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark and the founder of the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life who said, "I don't think it will be productive to negotiate with the government over this. Clearly the regulations are as they are and they have shown that they are not prepared to negotiate or make concessions. The offer of the adjustment period shows that."While the exemption requested by the Church for the adoption agencies was turned down by Tony Blair, what they got with the government's offer of a delaying period, said Fr. Finigan, "was a kind of stay of execution. But there's nothing there for them. In the meantime, they still have to refer children to be adopted to homosexual couples."Militant gay activists, he said, will almost certainly now move on to the next phase of test legal cases against smaller Christian or Muslim institutions such as schools or boarding houses. "The one thing the government doesn't want to see right now is priests and ministers in prison. That means they are going to start with schools or businesses. They've been pushing hard in education for years," Fr. Finigan said.Since 1944, Catholic schools in Britain have been partially subsidized by the government. Lord Pilkington of Oxenford said that inasmuch as the SOR's assert that individual "human rights" trumped the rights of voluntary societies, they challenge the democratic foundation of the state

Elsewhere he writes,
"Our faith does not teach that 'homosexuality' itself is necessarily sinful, it teaches that it is disordered. It is homosexual acts that are sinful." He points out, however, that the distinction is moot in government circles. "The people who framed this guidance will not accept our teaching that homosexuality is a disorder nor that homosexual acts are sinful." The homosexual political doctrine, accepted by the British as well as other governments, requires that no distinction be made between the person, the act and the condition or "orientation", making any criticism of the movement's political goals an offence against persons. British legislators have fully incorporated this doctrine in the law. "They have the bit between their teeth," Fr. Finigan writes. "Although the direction in which public policy has been moving is obvious enough, I am a little surprised at the pace it has now picked up."The bishop of the Scottish Catholic diocese of Paisley warned his flock last month in blunt terms to become spiritually prepared for open persecution with the implementation of the SOR's. Speaking on the problem of Catholic adoption agencies, Bishop Philip Tartaglia wrote, "This unfortunate episode may well herald the beginning of a new and uncertain time for the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom."
All I can say is Tim for Bishop!!!


Hebdomadary said...

You don't waste time, do you, Fr. B? I didn't think you'd be placing your hat in the ring as a candidate for martyrdom quite so soon, but I commend the strength of your statements. Expecially quoting the Scottish Bishops about the possibility of open persecution. It could come. But then, why be surprised. Looks like the priest-holes could come in handy again. You could live to witness the return of the Gordon Riots, but a coming persecution could equally well be accomplished with more subtle means, legal ones.

You're a courageous man, Father. Be bold. If we don't pay the piper now, we're certainly going to have to pay him later, and more dearly. No matter how bad it gets, Our Lady and the Saints are with you. There will be plenty of people in the diocese who forget that.

Anonymous said...

Militant gay activists will not risk provoking Muslims, believe me. They're too nervous of activating retaliatory action. As we know from recent events, it's not very nice.

trix said...

There is as much chance of Tim Finigan becoming bishop as there is of Joanna Bogle becoming prime minister.

Thomasso said...

Seconded. In all seriousness, though, it's vitally important that we have good, solid, brave bishops, who are prepared to put their heads on the block.

Bishop Tartaglia is right - so is his fellow-scot at Motherwell, Bishop Devine.

The rest of us need to be ready as well to do our bit.

Hebdomadary said...

Sorry Father, I got confused again. I thought I was reading Fr. Finigan's blog, and that he was quoting about himself, but then I identified it with you and...Tim for Bishop!! (Fr. Ray for vice-Bishop!)

Michael Petek said...

The biggest disappointment here has to be Ruth Kelly, who said these Regulations were a big step forward.

Allow me to paraphrase St Thomas More's words to Richard Rich for what he did to remain Attorney-General for Wales:

"Ruth, the Lord said that it did not profit a man to gain the whole world if he lost his soul. The whole world, Ruth ... but for the Department for Communities and Local Government?"

David said...

Or, perhaps even more apt from A Man for All Seasons:

"When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties … they lead their country by a short route to chaos."

Anonymous said...

Hey, mon pere, looked at Whispers in the Loggia lately? It turns out that Fr Fessio's peremptory dismissal from the Doughnut University might be because he has written publicly that there is a possibility that homosexuality might (stress might) be genetically determined. Scientific research is tending towards that conclusion. If so, he suggests, the foetus might be able to be treated in the womb. This won't please the fundies one little bit as. at a stroke, it includes the condition in natural law. Perhaps Tim Finigan has an opening to become his replacement. They like a cut and dried approach out there and nobody is more absolutist on this subject than him. But what if the Church comes to accept these conclusions? The Catechism won't be much help and I expect that the torch-light vigilantes will be catching planes to Rome. Why not publish a link?

patrick said...

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor had done pretty well in making strong public statements. The problem is that they are rarely reported or, if so, put in obscure parts of the page, the BBC rarely includes them in the news, and the Government does not take a blind bit of notice. This would affect any bishop who does the same.

derek said...

Anoymous 2. Actually its a Pizza
University. The hounding out of Fr Fessio for such a trivial reason is scandalous. But it shows how crazy the fundamentalists are on this issue. I can't help wondering what cans of worms are to be found in their own lives. It's too repellant to contemplate.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I am not sure why Fr Fessio has resigned from Ave Maria, the American scene doesn't interest me terribly.
He has been reported as saying that there is a "gay gene" and therefore homosexuals act through an innate instinct. Whether that is so or not, all of us are called to overcome "instincts" by grace, we are called to live supernaturally. I personally subscribe to the "selfish gene" theory of original sin, grace enables us to move from natural selfishness to supernatural selfgiving.

I am not quite sure what people like you mean by "fundamentalist", do you mean people like me who believe Christ and the promises he makes to the Church, and therefore accept the Magisterium, these I call Catholic, or maybe you mean something else.
Maybe you could define it more clearly for us, and yourself?

derek said...

With pleasure. A fundamentalist is one who has a strict, uncritical, immovable adherence to a set of basic ideas or principles, hence the fundamentalism of the extreme conservative, invariably characterised by intolerance of other views. Fundamentalists usually dwell in an intellectual slum. Jesus Christ was not a fundamentalist. He initiated development from a strict observance of the letter of the Jewish law and for this was rewarded by death. The main issue behind St Paul's epistles is the question of obedience to the law, or moving beyond it as Christ did. That is why early Christianity was regarded by the Jewish Church as a heretical sect. If a fundamentalist Jewish attitude had survived the Church would not have developed and might well have disappeared. Look at the circumcision controversy. Thank God for Hellenism which sowed the seed of speculation. The result of that seed is what keeps theology and doctrine alive. Tradition is a dynamic, not a static, force. To hand on does not mean to stay still, as Catholic history proves abundently. You claim to have read the present Holy Father's books under brown wrappers. Have you learnt nothing from them or their methodology?

Michael Petek said...

No, Derek, I would not define fundamentalism in those terms. A fundamentalist shares with the Catholic a commitment to Newman's "dogmatical principle" in relation to revealed truth, as opposed to the "liberal principle", except that the fundamentalist does not moderate his reception of truth by reference to the consensus fidelium.

And no, Jesus did not in general relax the strictures of Jewish Law. He altered the Law as only God could do, dispensing from dietary laws and removing the Mosaic permission of divorce. He interpreted properly what remained of the Law, the Mosaic provisions of which was put out of force altogether at the moment He expired on the Cross.

If you read the Gospels accurately you will see that Jesus was not put to death because of what He did with the Law. His enemies out of envy plotted to murder Him as soon as they heard that He had raised Lazarus from the dead, and the Sanhedrin was ready to condemn Him because they were too afraid of the Romans to accept Him as the Messiah.

Fr Tim Finigan said...

The research reported in the California Catholic Daily looked at "abnormal sexual orientation in rams" and the scientist involved "theorized" that "prenatal treatment to normalize intrauterine hormone levels would be justified to ensure a child’s healthy development." Fessio is quoted as saying that this would be "a wonderful advancement of science."

I'm more than happy to accept scientific data whatever it shows - this at the moment is a theoretical possibility extrapolated from work on sheep.

However, even to me (i.e. an intellectual slum dwelling fundamentalist torchlight vigilante) this seems potentially rather more offensive to gays than the suggestion that we should all (gay or straight) try to live chastely with the help of prayer, penance and works of charity.

BTW, I don't think it is likely that Fessio was asked to resign over this issue. From what I have read, it looks more like a disagreement over recruitment and retention of students - and most probably a clash of personalities.

Joee Blogs said...

Fr Tim for Bishop - hear hear!!!