Sunday 3 April 2011

I'm proud of British clergy and my parish priest

One of the reasons I'm optimistic about the pro-life, pro-family battle in Britain is because of the number of really fine clergy we have here. So many of them are unafraid to stand up for children and to stand up for parents - despite the shocking disregard for the rights of the unborn, for the welfare of schoolchildren and for parents' rights displayed by the ecclesiastical authorities, as I've commented  so often before .

We saw the British clergy's courageous quality at work last year in SPUC's successful campaign against the previous British government's legislation to force all state-funded schools to teach anti-life/anti-family sex education - legislation which had the support of the Catholic bishops' conference of England and Wales.

I'm particularly proud of Fr Richard Parsons, the priest in charge of St Theresa's church, Headstone Lane, in Harrow, where my wife and I go to Mass.

We have just got back from a short holiday, enjoying a bit of peace and quiet in the sun. We returned to our north London Catholic parish where we found Fr Parsons busily battling for the right of parents to be the primary educators of their children - a right upheld by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Fr Parsons, in no uncertain terms, was supporting the petition of the Cardinal Vaughan School parents' action group whose top priority, in their own words is "to protect [the school's] high spiritual, moral, educational, cultural and sporting standards".

Quite rightly, one of their key objectives is to persuade the Catholic archdiocese of Westminster "to remove Paul Barber from the Governing Body".

Paul Barber, Westminster archdiocese's director of education has been appointed by Archbishop Nichols to the Vaughan governors' board. As I've noted before, in March last year, it was Paul Barber who sent a shameful message to clergy whitewashing the Labour government's attempt to force all state-funded schools to teach anti-life/anti-family sex education.

Parents, families and the pro-life movement are going to win their battles in the years ahead - and they will do so because of the courage of pastors like Fr Parsons. Thanks Father. Josephine and I enjoyed our holiday - and we loved coming back home to find our pastor battling for parents' rights.

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