Sunday, September 20, 2009

Can it be true?

That a town hall honours an abortion mill on its 30th anniversary?

Can it be true that a Cardinal forbids a fellow bishop from being present with peaceful pro-lifers protesting the honour?

Can it be true that so many do nothing to stop the killing?

John Smeaton reports.

I don't do enough myself. But if you want to join a group of pro-lifers outside the abortion facility at Maidstone in Kent this Tuesday, I'll be leading prayers. All are welcome to the normal parish Mass at St Francis' Church at 12.30pm followed by peaceful procession to the Marie Stopes abortion centre and prayers till 2.30pm, followed by refreshments.


  1. Interesting, but what do YOU think about the cardinal's decision? does cardinal christoph schönborn, indeed any Cardinal archbishop, have such authority over an auxiliary bishop? Can a cardinal archbishop prohibit laity in the same way?

  2. Daniel

    Thank you for your comment. You have a good blog - I'll link to it.

    You ask my opinion.

    The laity need no mandate from ecclesiastical authority to carry out the apostolate. They have the mandate from their Confirmation. Ecclesiastical authority is there simply to ensure that the apostolate is carried out in accordance with the Church's teaching. To carry out an apostolate in the name of the Church does, however, require an appropriate mandate.

    To protest outside a town hall against the honouring of an abortion centre can be considered an act of personal apostolate and witness to life. No bishop needs to authorise this. No bishop can forbid it. The laity have the right to exercise their apostolate.

    Such a protest is also a natural right as a citizen. One doesn't need to be a Catholic to protest outside the town hall. If the protestors are keeping to the civil law, they are also doing it legally.

    A bishop or priest, however, is always acting as a representative of the Church. If the diocesan bishop asks him not to be present at a particular event, the bishop or priest concerned should obey. If he feels his rights are being denied, he can appeal against the decision. I think the bishop in this case acted correctly. He wanted the opportunity to discuss the situation face to face rather than on the phone but this opportunity was not afforded him. By obeying, he has, as he predicted, merited more that disobeying. He can always take the matter up with the Cardinal to come to an agreement as to future action.

  3. The link to the Catholic Conservation blog on this matter is here.

  4. I can't quite make up my mind about Cardinal Schönborn. He was heavily involved in the production of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and saw to it, on the advice of the late Msgr Michael Wrenn, that the English version was not sabotaged, I watched a very orthodox programme which featured him on EWTN, I have his Behold, God's Son which, although lightweight, is orthodox yet an expat friend who lives in Germany tells me that Faithful Germans regard him as personally orthodox but pastorally lax, I saw a Youtube of him presiding over a mess of a Mass which more resembled a second rate pop concert what with the coloured lights and baloons and now this. This man was touted as a possible future pope!

  5. Nice clear answer, thanks. I wanted to know what you thought as a canon lawyer. I regularly read you blog. I'm from Southwark Archdiocese too, Lewisham.

  6. What a fine church St Saviour's is, and how fervent the people! You thinking about a priestly vocation or is yours to the lay state?


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