01 March 2010

Two Other Reasons Not To Sign Online Catholic Petitions

The first is practical: there aren't enough Catholics in E&W who use the Internet as part of their Faith. It means that we get a few hundred signatures to a petition, which enables opponents to dismiss our views as representative of a minority only.

The second is that by putting up a petition we accept that the game is won by numbers: we are accepting the premise that if 100 people sign one petition and only 50 another the first one has earned some form of superiority.

The Bishops have made a wrong decision; even worse, it may be that they are wrong and are teaching wrong doctrine: I don't know enough to know.

But I know that signing a petition won't change the decision they've made: it will simply move the debate to "Do we obey Bishops or do we obey wild-eyed bloggers on the Internet?" and the result will confirm the "rightness" of the Bishops' initial decision.

Fr Ray's reason is holier than mine are. So there are two practical and one holy reason not to sign.

There is no reason not to oppose, though.

The Pope's visit feels like an opportunity made in Heaven.


Rita said...

I'm with you. Petitions against Bishops' actions (or lack of them) seems distasteful.

As an educator (of sorts), I can think of another reason too. I feel too many people labour under the illusion that a child's education happens at in the classroom when the teacher is standing there. I think what happens in PHSE lessons is largely irrelevant. PHSE is an unexamined class, so it largely goes in one ear and out the other.

Catholic parents have a duty of care to their children to go through any sex-ed material that finds its way home and get them to assess it good humour and in light of Catholic teaching. We have to teach our children to react critically to the culture being imposed on us by the state. It is the best way of encouraging their own rebellious counter-cultural streak.....vital armour if they are going to grow in Faith.

laicus said...

Well it's a point of view, Ttony, but my view is different, namely that if one believes in something one should sign up to it. As well as the signatures themselves it's instructive to read the heartfelt comments on the petition.

Ben Trovato said...

I too think it worth signing. I cannot collude, by my silence, with the introduction of porngraphic sex ed, immoral teaching and referrals to abortions in Catholic Schools.

Rita is quite wrong to think it goes in one ear and out the other - particularly the graphic component (have you seen the pictures and videos they use?) risk living in our kids' imaginations...

Rita said...


You ought to be really worried about science education then. Nobody seems to care that it is perfectly legitimate to show videos of women giving birth from angles that only a midwife should see to children in year 7.

It is so mechanistic, and so ignorant of the beauty of creation...but you don't seem to worry because it has been quite cosily happening (at the teacher's discretion- some of us refuse) for years. The PHSE (sex-ed)debate is phoney becase some of the real damage is being done in science and this is nothing new, it has been in the National Curriculum since its inception.

Ben Trovato said...


What makes you say I 'don't seem to care' about science education? The fact that I haven't raised it in the context of this petition?

I absolutely agree about the shocking way that some schools and teachers deal with these issues.

However the mere fact that they have perverted science lessons does not mean we should not care when they try to pervert PHSE too.

And in science they don't push perversion in the way they are being mandated too in the PHSE regime.

And of course you are right about the duty of care the Catholic parents have: keeping the lines of communication open with the kids so that one can discuss whatever they encounter at school is absolutely vital.

Clare said...

A new paradoxical commandment:

Signing this petition won't change anything.
Sign it anyway.