Scottish Editor Denies Rosy Picture of U.K.

Many thanks for another excellent edition of Les Femmes. It was, however, a surprise to read Joanna Bogle's letter [Vol.6 #4, Fall 2001] painting a rosy picture of Catholic life in the U.K. If only it were so!

The fact is the Church in this part of the world is on its knees. Two bishops are on public record saying there will be no Catholic churches left in their dioceses within the next thirty years. Ayr Cathedral in Scotland is the first cathedral to close since the reformation, attendance having plummeted to a mere 100 souls in what is, in fact, the oldest diocese in the land. Our sanctuaries are full of extraordinary ministers in defiance of the Vatican Instruction on the Laity and our personality priests preside over liturgical circuses where applause is more commonplace than prayer. I find it curious that Joanna takes none of this into account in her survey of the state of Catholicism in the U.K.

Joanna lists "new" organizations to show the good health of the Church in the U.K. but your readers ought to know all of these are flawed. For example, the Faith movement supports evolution, treating it as fact, not theory, and has pitted itself against the Vatican by publicly approving explicit sex education in Catholic schools ignoring the ban spelled out in Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality. Youth 2,000 is certainly a new movement of young people who want to be faithful to the Church but due to their lack of sound Catholic education many of them are Medjugorje devotees, not educated sufficiently to know that it is an unauthorized shrine with all the hallmarks of a hoax. In any case, no sound Catholic would treat it as true until the Bishop has given it his seal of approval.

Then, too, the Sisters of the Gospel of Life in Glasgow, who promised to wear T shirts and go pubbing at weekends, have publicly stated they do not think abortion is murder and it isn't illegal in this country. Their leader, Sr. Roseann Reddy, interviewed for Scotland's only national Catholic newspaper, said that unless the Church changed its approach and stopped calling abortion "murder" the media would think we were "nutters". Joanna has seen all the documentary evidence on the above which is why I was staggered to read her letter in Les Femmes. Why won't she face up to the facts?

Your readers ought to know, also, that the small conference Joanna organized and mentioned in her letter, was held in Westminster hall which holds only around 200 people. Among those invited by Joanna to recruit new readers was The Tablet, a notoriously dissenting weekly journal, which openly campaigns to change Catholic teaching on birth control and women's ordination. Joanna ignored pleas from concerned Catholics and insisted on inviting The Tablet, in the full knowledge that they have an openly dissenting, anti-Catholic agenda.

The martyrs she quoted would be the last people to encourage us to be complacent. They are martyrs because they were prepared to fight and ultimately die in defense of the truths of our Catholic faith. Surely, then, it's not too much to ask of Joanna to at least face up squarely to the crisis that the Pope himself spoke of in Veritatis Splendor (par 5) instead of pointlessly perpetuating the myth that all is well?

Patricia McKeever

Stockton-on-Tees, TS19 7HS

Miss McKeever edits an orthodox newsletter in Scotland. called Catholic Truth, which exposes many serious scandals in the Catholic Church in the U.K. You may access their website at www.catholictruth.co.uk. Ed

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