Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bishop's book wins Vatican praise

The controversial teachings of Lancashire's leading Catholic have earned a ringing endorsement from the Vatican.

The Bishop of Lancaster, the Right Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, has been praised by the Pope for his attacks on the "aggressive secularism" of society.

Now the book – Fit for Mission? Church – will be available from every church controlled by the Lancaster Diocese.

Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, of the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, described the book as "an effective, practical instrument for advancing the much heralded New Evangelisation."

He said: "Fit for Mission? Church gives much needed indication as to the means of accomplishing this great mission of the church."

The church edition of Fit for Mission? comes hot on the heels of the schools' edition, which calls for the scrapping of safe sex education and placing the crucifix in every classroom.

Bishop Patrick said he was particularly impressed with the congregation's comments in support of the schools' edition, which caused a storm when it was published in 2007.

He added: "I get the sense that the congregation shares the same sense of urgency that informs Fit for Mission? Church."

But one churchgoer from Ingol said: "One of the things Bishop Patrick says in the book is that there is a list of things all Catholics should believe and if you don't you shouldn't be Catholic.

"But I don't think there are many people who believe them all."

The bishop's work has not gone down well with everyone.

Caroline Warden, from Cottam, who is a parishioner at Holy Family RC Church in Ingol, Preston, said: "There are several problems with the document.

"I am concerned that no books will be allowed in a Catholic school which in any way, however small, contradict the Catholic faith.

"The bishop is dictating what youngsters can and cannot read."

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