Wednesday, 30 May 2012

No bigots here, are there?

A revealing little anecdote on the gay marriage debate.

A couple of weeks ago, I was a guest at a wedding in London.  At the reception, I fell into conversation with another guest whom I had sat next to at the ceremony.  We chatted amiably about this and that, and enquired politely about one another in the way that you do.  I told her I was an Anglican priest; she said she was a Roman Catholic, active in her parish, and what did I think about gay marriage?  I said I was in favour of it.

She said (as I already knew) that Catholics have been asked by their Church hierarchy to lobby against the proposed change, in the context of the Government's consultation on the subject.  In pursuance of this, her parish priest had recently commended to his flock a petition which was available in church for signature after each mass.  "However", he said, "I only want you to sign it if you're not a bigot". The lady to whom I was speaking, not being a bigot, therefore felt able to sign it, and did.  And seemed to feel some satisfaction for having done so.

Now, nobody thinks they are a bigot, do they? Even if they are. This cunning little ruse enabled almost every member of the congregation to to sign as requested, while feeling inwardly and showing outwardly their lack of bigotry in fulfilling the Church's request.

You have to hand it to them.

1 comment:

  1. Another reason for not being a Catholic!

    There are many Catholics, including Clergy who disagree with their Churches stance on Sexuality, but are silenced by the fear of reprisals from the Hierarchy. It must be difficult for them in good conscience to toe the line and even propound the party line from the Church.

    At least within the CofE, you are free to voice your views, because, while we have an obedience to our Bishops, the policy itself is open to discussion and even change, by prayerful listening to the Holy Spirit, I hope that it will change very soon.