It is amazing what happens when Catholics think and act like Catholic citizens. When they do, they generate headlines such as this.
What has the Prime Minister so miffed? Well Catholics in the UK have mobilized against Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster has called ‘monstrous.’
The Roman Catholic Church has led the ethical opposition to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill since its inception – and, in doing so, has rediscovered its status as one of the country’s most powerful political lobbying groups.With its constituency of five million members – including a number of senior Cabinet ministers – the Church has proved a serious irritant to Gordon Brown.
Senior Catholic leaders, traditionally aligned with Labour, have unequivocally – and very publicly – voiced opposition to Labour MPs being told to support the legislation, forcing ministers to consider a compromise solution.
The outspoken comments have attracted considerably more attention than the Conservative Party’s criticisms of Mr Brown over the issue, and may yet provide the pressure necessary for the Prime Minister to back down and allow Labour MPs to vote as they wish.
That pressure has been intensified by three Catholic Cabinet ministers – Ruth Kelly, the Transport Secretary, Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, and Paul Murphy, the Welsh Secretary – who are said to be resisting parts of the Bill that conflict with their beliefs.
Bishops and Cardinals standing up and speaking unequivocally about important issues is striking enough, but politicians – Labour politicians at that – resisting parts of the bill that conflict with Church teaching? Somebody pass me a cold drink, I think I might faint.
Take note kids, it can be done. Catholic politicians need only be Catholic again to make a difference. There is a way but in the U.S., is there a will?