Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

for sundrie actes of treason

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 14, 2006

Torn between morbid satisfaction and some obscure torment of his own, op-ed contributor Ron Liddle of the London Times pillories the vacillation of Britain's wobbly Catholic minister Ruth Kelly. Take note of the equanimity he brings to the discussion of Ms. Kelly's religion.

But many people have rallied around Kelly -- not the gays, obviously, but the new Labour commentariat. It is perfectly possible, they argue, for a government minister to advance the case for equality for homosexuals while privately believing that they are an abhorrence before the Lord and will all be consumed by flames in the deepest pits of hell (I have attempted to summarise their arguments here). Ruth herself has asked plaintively: "Is it possible to be a Catholic and hold a portfolio in government?"

Well yes; but not necessarily this government. Balanced precariously on the horns of a dilemma, her belief system on one side, her career on the other, Ruth has finally taken the profoundly moral decision to jump down on the side of her career. "I firmly believe in equality and that everyone should be free of discrimination," she announced last week. She does not really believe that, does she?

Homosexuals are sinners, are they not, and one should discriminate against sin wherever it rears its head? But never mind that. On this occasion her vengeful -- and, you might argue, stupid -- God has lost out to her wish for a successful political career.

Liddle's high-fashion horror at "Kelly's God" is hardly the first occasion on which fidelity to Catholic teaching has been reckoned a danger to the realm. Ministers of State are the most obvious targets of test acts, but as Christopher Howse reminds us in a piece from yesterday's Telegraph, even the Crown's humbler subjects, should they prove stubborn in looking to Rome for doctrinal instruction, can find their lives made difficult by Celebrators of Diversity:

At the Charterhouse, the quadrangle today called Wash-house Court was built of medieval stonework and completed with a range of brick. The diapering of the brickwork picks out the initials JH, those of John Houghton, the prior from 1531 to 1535. In the latter year, he refused to swear an oath recognising Henry VIII as supreme head of the church, and he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on May 4.

One of his arms was nailed to the door of the Charterhouse, but this did not dissuade 15 of his brother Carthusians from holding out. Five died on the scaffold and the other 10 were starved to death in Newgate prison.

Come to think of it, that eruption of anti-Vatican patriotism had its origins in Rome's "pelvic theology" too.

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