Tuesday 9 December 2008

Vatican backs Bishop of Lancaster in his stand against the culture of death

In a timely Vatican statement, Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue has received the strong endorsement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Rome (CDF) for his teaching document, Fit for Mission? Church which called on schools and parishes "to protect our young from the cultures of death that seek to corrupt and exploit them".

Archbishop Luis Ladaria S.J. , Secretary to the Congregation, (pictured) expressed the hope that not only the faithful of Lancaster, but also 'Catholics throughout Britain, will find hope and encouragement' in Fit for Mission? Church.
If I may say so, Your Excellency, non-Catholics throughout Britain also find hope and encouragement whenever Bishop O'Donoghue raises his prophetic voice against prevailing trends in England and Wales!

Vatican endorsement of Bishop O'Donoghue's stand against the culture of death being promoted in schools could not come at a more important time, particularly when the position of the Catholic Education Service regarding the government's anti-life policy in schools is giving rise to such concern.

The government and its policy advisors are now promoting access to abortions through schools in the following ways: establishing school based health & sex clinics in all secondary schools; appointing ‘teenage pregnancy’ monitors – whose job is to keep down teenage births; giving school nurses and advisors (such as Connexions ‘personal advisors’) a clear remit to refer for abortions without informing parents; contributing to the early sexualisation of children by making sex education a statutory subject in all schools starting from age 5.

Earlier this year Cardinal Renato Martino, President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Secretary, Congregation for the Clergy, congratulated Bishop Patrick for his challenging document promoting an authentic Catholic identity for today’s Church. First published in August 2008, in response to popular demand Bishop Patrick brought out an expanded edition with the Catholic Truth Society in October.

In March 2008 Cardinal Levada, Prefect to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote a foreword to Bishop Patrick’s expanded edition of Fit for Mission? Schools. (CTS Do 779).
In the light of the recent controversy widely reported in the press concerning Fit for Mission? Church, Bishop Patrick is particularly encouraged by the CDF stating so clearly, ‘You and your collaborators are to be congratulated for alerting the faithful to the dangers of secularism and hedonism’.

Bishop Patrick expressed his delight at receiving Archbishop Ladaria’s letter on behalf of the CDF:

‘I would just like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith for supporting the programme of renewal I have now fully set out in Fit for Mission? Church, and Fit for Mission? Schools. At the heart of both documents is the urgent appeal to Catholics throughout our country to reject the misinterpretations of the Second Vatican Council that have become so wide-spread. Once again we must commit ourselves without reservation to the fullness of doctrinal, moral and liturgical truth safeguarded by Peter!’

The Catholic Truth Society's expanded edition of Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue's "Fit for Mission? Church" is available at: http://www.cts-online.org.uk/

Further details:

Rt Rev Patrick O’Donoghue
Bishop of Lancaster
Bishop’s Office
The Pastoral Centre
Balmoral Road

Tel: 01524 596050

I'm sure that readers may wish to write to Bishop O'Donoghue to congratulate him on the backing he's receiving from the Vatican for his brave stand against the culture of death.