"Statistically, children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving," he was due to say in a speech this weekend. "Note that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples."
"We should be less concerned, as Church, with the purely civil, and focus on sacrament that is more about the expression of the presence of God mediated through commitment, consent and covenant. Where this exists in married couples, in cohabiting heterosexual couples and same-sex couples, there is sacrament, I believe." [Terry Prendergast]
"But, we also seem to run into a real problem immediately in our own Church which seems to have the rules really sewn up when it comes to defining family. It is man and woman, and children, and we have recently had this re-emphasised by Rome. We have had this definition reiterated often enough to know what the ‘rules’ are. And whilst, it is possible to perceive these rules as an ideal type, it is also clear that some sections of the Catholic community see it as the norm, and not as ideal. So, other family forms do not partake of the Church’s blessing, in legislative terms, though it is also possible to perceive a more pastoral and compassionate view if you search. But, it is not the view purveyed by the Magisterium. So, many families, and the individuals that make up these groups, other than married man, woman, and added child, find themselves discriminated against or denigrated. The list is long and current – single-parent families, re-constituted families (where the relationships are deemed to be irregular), cohabiting families, same-sex families. The irony for me is the way that all these attempt to live out good, Catholic lives whilst being judged and bracketed by those in authority, or those who appear to have reached the Kingdom already! " [Terry Prendergast]
"For example, from the point of view of Church, a proper family must have a marriage in it – as I have just said, we have had this repeated over and over. As I have said elsewhere, I am more interested these days in the concept of the sacrament of relationships, rather than merely marriage, but this is certainly a bridge too far for our own Church. So, we do get a clear idea from Church, even if we don’t subscribe to it, of what family is, or isn’t!
The State is much more open to other forms and is perhaps driven by other considerations, not least the views of the electorate. But it is ironic that the State appears to be much more pastoral and compassionate in its acceptance of what family is. The fact that there are all kinds of benefits available for different family forms, and legal imperatives to support families suggests that the State is even more concerned for families than Church." [Terry Prendergast]
"In a violence of a different kind, but nonetheless abusive, we have to remember that family is dominated by patriarchy, or has been, and that marriage itself was about male power and property rights. " [Terry Prendergast]
Remember the fiasco of this publication from 2009?
Q. What about the Church’s view on birth control?
A. The Church states positively that one purpose of the gift of sexuality is for a couple’s love-making to be open to having children. The Church also recognises that couples want to make responsible decisions. Some further information for making decisions on family planning is offered in Section Three of this guide under the heading, ‘Catholics and Sex’.
"Catholics and Sex": Christians not only believe that sexual enjoyment strengthens a couple’s relationship but also that it is a gift for sharing in God’s ability to create new life. In the wedding ceremony, you will be asked to be faithful to each other in love and also to be ready to accept children as a gift from God. Equally you have the freedom to make responsible decisions about when to have children so as to be able to give them the love, care and attention they deserve.While simultaneously Marriage Care were being attacked by The National Family Trust for their Sex Education manual which virtually dismissed NFP as useless...
So it came as no surprise when last month James Preece's blog [with others] revealed to us that [discreet] Marriage preparation for same-sex couples entering civil partnerships had been part of Marriage Care's remit for at least a year [this is the problem when we don't read the Tablet - it was revealed there on 15/9/11 !!]
Which of course led to the Herald reporting ruffled feathers and a wobble from Archbishop Nichols and hence..now following outrage on the blogosphere. , repeated complaints to the CDF and maybe a quiet word from Rome into Archbishop Nichols's shell-like?
As some of you may know Terry Prendergast is retiring at the end of March 2013 from his post as Chief Executive of Marriage Care. The search for his successor has started and you will find details of the post here http://www.marriagecare.org.uk/get-involved/jobs/ceo/ Please do what you can to bring this to wider attention so that suitable candidates for this very important role are located.
With every best wish
Yes: Terry's been given a long-overdue 'push'...
But I have to repeat the Question I asked on my Sunday Posting
Why is Terry Prendergast being scapegoated when all he was doing was following the very teaching of his own organisation's President and his own Archbishop?
+Vin has repeatedly declared the Church does not oppose Civil Partnerships - but Terry Prendergast gets the elbow because of the 'awkwardness' of a 'Catholic' Charity preparing them for them...???!!
...and of course if you want an entire history of events - rely on "Thanks be to God for" James Preece's blog to fill you in
UPDATE: Ttony's Muniment Room blog provides details of Parishes involved with CMC - and Sixupman reveals CMC share an office complex in Newcastle with Abortion-Providers BPAS!!!
PLUS Edmund Adamus gave a wonderful marriage-centric keynote speech at the Catholic Woman of the Year awards yesterday.
But from what I hear the Nuncio's had to replace his telephone three times in the past month due to wear-and-tear and overheating!!
...and is now planning to invest in a 24/7 fully-manned call-centre to cope with the vast increase in complaints from irate Catholics...[wink!]
Meanwhile when it comes to defending Marriage - Ann Widdecombe's busy doing His Grace's and Terry's jobs for them....