Wednesday, January 02, 2013

In the year to come strong leadership will be vital - David Quinn

Where will the country be at the end of 2013 given that this Government is shaping up to be the most socially radical we have ever had?

It is entirely possible that within the next few months a Government led by a Mass-going Catholic will have legislated for abortion, the same Government that closed our embassy to the Holy See. 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny may tell himself that he must legislate for everyone and not just for Catholics. 

Or he may tell himself that the abortion law will be very restrictive. 

But the fact will remain that he could soon be the man who introduced abortion to Ireland.

However, while the Taoiseach may indeed be telling himself that he must legislate for everyone and not just Catholics (and of course he may not be telling himself this at all), the fact remains that all laws are shaped by someone’s values.

Therefore, if he puts his Catholic values to one side in order to justify legislating for abortion, he cannot put aside all beliefs and all values. 

He will be legislating according to someone’s values, and it will be the values of those who believe abortion is a matter of personal choice and therefore the destruction of human beings in the womb is justified in certain circumstances. 

There is no neutral position on this. None.

In any event, the belief that killing innocent human life in the womb is no more justified than killing innocent human life outside the womb is not a uniquely Catholic one.

We are also faced with the Constitutional Convention in 2013. This is a totally needless exercise that will do the country no good whatsoever.

Instead it will thrust upon us referendums on issues that no-one but certain NGOs and politicians have any interest in.

Referendums 

It is very likely that the convention delegates will be manipulated into giving the Government everything it wants and therefore we will have referendums on removing the provision on blasphemy from the Constitution and on removing the clause about women in the home.

But when is the last time anyone in this country was charged with blasphemy, and when did the clause on mothers in the home not being forced out to work because of economic circumstances ever amount to anything? 

Lots of mothers are forced to work outside the home by financial circumstances and there is no pressure whatever on the Government to do anything about it.

Therefore the removal of these two provisions is simply another part of a Labour-led ‘kulturkampf’ (‘culture war’) against the last vestiges of Old Ireland. 

Every trace of that Ireland must be erased just as every possible trace of British influence was erased by nationalists after 1922. 

It is the mentality of ‘Year Zero’. 

We must start again. 

Tradition is to be destroyed.

In a similar vein, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has declared that gay marriage is the ‘civil rights’ issue of our time even though the European Court of Human Rights has not recognised it as such. 

Redefine 

Therefore Labour and some in Fine Gael (and Fianna Fáil, including leader Michael Martin) want a referendum on the issue. 

They want to utterly and completely redefine our most important social institution so that it no longer has anything to do with encouraging men and women to raise their children together.

One of the Fine Gael members who favours gay marriage is Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, a man for whom the phrase ‘too liberal’ has no meaning.

Mr Shatter has announced plans to introduce the most radical and sweeping reforms of family law ever. 

Under his plan anyone and everyone will be able to access assisted human reproduction services like IVF.

It appears that a child’s need for a mother and father will be considered as of no importance. 

A child’s right to have a connection with its biological parents will also be considered as of no importance.

In the scheme of Alan Shatter as he outlined it a few weeks ago nature itself seems to count for nothing. The natural family counts for nothing. All that matters is individual choice.

Therefore if a single woman or a single man or a heterosexual couple, or a same-sex couple want to use surrogate mothers or the sperm and the egg of strangers in order to have children, that is their choice and it must be legally facilitated.

Minister Shatter will invoke the principle of a child’s ‘best interests’ to justify all this, but it is in no child’s interests to have the link to their biological parents severed by the premeditated choice of adults because the child is even conceived.

Nor is it in any child’s interests to deliberately deprive them of a mother and a father. Only circumstance should ever do this.

What is to be done in the face of these developments? 

The most important thing is not to despair. 

The second most important thing is that strong, new leaders are appointed to the hierarchy.

This is why the most important ecclesiastic figure in the country right now is an American, namely the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown.

Everyone who is concerned about the Church and the future of this country has to hope and pray that he finds good men who can bring vigour to the hierarchy and help to build up the morale of ordinary Catholics.

The Catholic Church may be battered, but there are still hundreds of thousands of Catholics around the country crying out for strong, decisive leadership. 

That leadership, if it comes, can counter some of the social radicalism of this Government. 

And even if strong, confident leaders cannot win every battle, they will still be able to teach Catholics and the country another point of view on matters such as the family and the right to life.

At minimum, they would give Catholics some hope in the year ahead.

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