Tina Beattie
Ethics & Morality

Tina Beattie, abortion morality, and the Catholic bishops in office but not in power

This is a guest post by Cardinal Mary Clarence.

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As is now well known, Professor Tina Beattie of Roehampton University and a member of CAFOD’s (Catholic Association for Overseas Development) theological reference group has signed an open letter to the Polish bishops calling for safe, legal abortion for disabled babies.

As is less well known, Tina Beattie was one of the organisers of the letter. She set up a secret Facebook group – her words – in order to brainstorm the letter’s wording and solicit signatures.

Tina Beattie

So, who is she?

Tina Beattie sells herself as an academic theologian who is also a practising Catholic. As one of a select group of women in this very small field she gets to pontificate in print, to be placed on committees, to be transported from radio to television studio where her opinions are sought and she is flattered and treated with high seriousness. The market for her theological ponderings (which, when stripped of what she imagines to be profound references to the “messiness” and “ambiguities” of life, boil down to a fixation with pelvic politics; a genuflection to libertinism) is a healthy one. Suckers are born every day. She must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Yet the joke is on her various high-profile supporters, who include Cardinal Ravasi, the bishops of England and Wales and CAFOD.

For Tina Beattie does not just take liberties with their indulgence; she works to undermine Catholic teaching on abortion from the inside. Tina Beattie’s actions are those of a religious entryist.

If that means she must use elaborate circumlocutions, or the double-think of claiming to support the sanctity of life on the one hand while demanding legal abortion on the other; if she must operate in clandestine semi-darkness to advance her project, she will do so.

The tactics are indistinguishable those deployed by the notorious anti-Catholic group Catholics for Choice (CFC): assemble a cluster of theologians, nutcase nuns and miscellaneous ‘pastoral workers’; and claim to speak in concert with Catholic tradition and call for ‘dialogue’. Beattie denies any involvement with CFC. Of course she does. The group was excommunicated in 1999. But CFC top brass are active on her Catholic Women Speak Facebook group, and scroll down through the list of the Beattie letter signatories and you’ll find Elriede Harth, CFC’s European representative.

Inevitably her letter has caused fury among the Catholic faithful who are not blind to the fact that abortion is a key plank of international development policies, rendering her position in CAFOD all the more concerning.

A petition calling on CAFOD to dispense with her services has been set up and stands at 4422 signatures at the time of writing.

In response, CAFOD issued the following statement, though it is unlikely to reassure the thousands who object to Beattie’s stance on abortion:

CAFOD’s position re Open Letter to the Polish Bishops’ Conference from Concerned Catholics on proposed changes to Poland’s Abortion Laws:

CAFOD is an agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. We take this responsibility very seriously. As such, our policies and practice adhere to Church Teaching. CAFOD’s mandate from the Bishops’ Conference is focused on issues of international development.

The opinion expressed in the letter does not represent nor reflect CAFOD’s policies.

CAFOD appreciates the opportunity to dialogue with theologians on ethical issues arising from our work. We acknowledge that issues related to conscience, mercy and law are complex and have always been the subject of debate among Catholic moral theologians.  In practice CAFOD then makes its own decisions on policy and practice, always in accordance with Church teaching.

For her part, Beattie has reacted to the storm of outrage by adopting a pose of pious victimhood, only slightly marred by hysteria. Naturally she has blamed the Internet for her woes, bemoaning “vicious distortions and malicious accusations currently being generated in tweets and blogs”, and that reliable staple “misogyny”.

But that is not all. She has also produced a rambling, grandly-entitled Public Statement on her Theological Positions, claiming a distinction between the law and morality, which she undoubtedly applies to other difficult policies such as FGM.

No word has yet come from the bishops, but any failure to denude Beattie of all her positions in Catholic life will not only put them at odds with their brother Polish bishops and grassroots Catholic opinion in this country, it will give the impression of an episcopacy in office but in not in power.

  • It’s shameful, but Tina has political allies among the Catholic bishops. The suppression of the Protect The Pope blog arose after Deacon Donnelly exposed some of Tina’s doings, and other bishops put pressure on his own bishop (Campbell) to gag him.

    • Bella

      Protect the Pope blog?

      Rofl.

      • MenAreLikeWine

        It wasn’t banned. His Bishop was clear he didn’t ban anything.

        • Bella

          Semantics.
          From the Bishop —
          “On several occasions, I asked Deacon —-, through my staff, for Protect the Pope to continue its good work in promoting and teaching the Catholic Faith, but to be careful not to take on individuals in the Church of opposing views through ad hominem and personal challenges. Unfortunately, this was not taken on board. Consequently, as a last resort, on 3 March 2014 and in a personal meeting with Deacon —- I requested, as his Diocesan Ordinary, that Deacon —- ‘pause’ all posting on the Protect the Pope website so as to allow for a period of prayer and reflection upon his position as an ordained cleric with regards to Protect the Pope and his own duties towards unity, truth and charity”.

          • MenAreLikeWine

            From the same statement by Bishop Campbell.

            “claiming that I had effectively ‘closed’, ‘supressed’ or ‘gagged’ Protect the Pope was regrettable and does not represent the truth of this situation. To be clear: I have not closed down Protect the Pope”

            “I am, of course, also conscious, that no bishop can ever ‘close down’ or supress blogs and websites – such a claim would be absurd.”

          • jeremiah_methusela

            This bishop certainly does double-speak well. To try to respond to his weasel words is like trying to nail raspberry jelly to the lavatory door, No, make that the front door please.

  • Anton

    Cardinal Mary Clarence?

    • Uncle Brian

      Sister Mary Clarence was the name of the character (strictly speaking, an alias) played by Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act. Possibly the use of the name here is an allusion to that.

      • Anton

        Never seen it; thank you.

        • chiefofsinners

          Give it a try, if only for the song ‘My God’ and the line ‘Mary Magdalene was no stranger to sin. In fact she was no stranger to anyone’.

          • Curiously I’ve just been reading a book review in the Catholic Herald which points out that Mary the Magdalene (“tower” or “beacon”) wasn’t a woman of easy virtue. That theory was refuted in the 1960s.

          • Anton

            It always was refutable by anybody who read the only reliable source material about her, the New Testament.

          • Yes, I’m not presenting this as hot news. Brother Chiefofsinners above doesn’t seem to be aware, though.

          • Bella

            “Curiously”?

            Rofl.

      • Dreadnaught

        Well spotted UB. It’ll be a change from talking about the personna of Findusman. Maybe Mary Clarence is actually Cranmer – stranger things have happened on this blog.

  • Matt A

    Apologies for link dropping, but readers may wish to read about this on the Eccles is saved blog http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Well you don’t need to apologise to me, but I know that Cardinal Mary isn’t one of my greatest admirers.

      • Bella

        How many of these are yours? What are you doing sucking up to an Anglican blogger? What’s your game?

        • Cricket, mostly.

          • Anton

            Well said! Grand that the county season is well under way…

          • Dreadnaught

            Even if the wicket keeper is wearing snow-shoes.

          • Anton

            I have played in a game that was snowed off.

          • Dreadnaught

            what would constitute a (s)no ball in those conditions 🙂

          • Anton

            They do play some forms of the game with a white ball…

          • Dreadnaught

            Floodlight condition for sure at first.

          • carl jacobs

            Cricket might be a game, but it certainly isn’t a sport. Mostly it’s a bug.

          • Albert

            It’s not really a game, either.

          • Anton

            Come over and I’ll take you to a game.

          • carl jacobs

            Is that a threat? 😉

            I must some day come to Britain, because I want to see where my father fought in France.

          • Anton

            I was on the beaches of Normandy on the 50th anniversary of D-Day. It was wonderful talking to the veterans on the ferry across the English Channel. As soon as they realised I was seriously interested and respectful they opened up.

          • carl jacobs

            My dad walked onto Utah Beach at the end of June. He fought in the hedgerows through July, and was almost killed by an artillery shell at Mortain on 6 August 1944. The doctor told my Mom that he wouldn’t live past 60. He lived until he was 89.

          • Anton

            Good for him. The greatest generation.

          • HughieMc

            Oi, Eccles, wots a feological reference group? Do they play trad jazz?

        • Cressida de Nova

          Only a few Catholics regularly visit this blog. There are many misunderstandings about the Catholic faith among Protestants
          and there are some very knowledgable Catholics here who wish to defend their faith and set matters straight.

          • len

            Perhaps quackers are just ducking the question? Must admit Catholic theology is pretty confusing though you just couldn`t make it up?.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Not biting Len !

    • Bella

      I just did at your invitation.
      No thanks. Not for me. I’m a Christian. A Quatholic if you know what that is. There are Quanglicans too.
      It’s blogs like that link that give the Catholic blogosphere a bad name.

      • William Lewis

        I don’t know if it helps but Eccles makes me chuckle and I’m nominally Anglican.

    • Bella

      I just did at your invitation.
      No thanks. Not for me. I’m a Christian. A Quatholic if you know what that is. There are Quanglicans too.
      It’s blogs like that link that give the Catholic blogosphere a bad name.

      • carl jacobs

        Quatholic: A Quack Catholic?

        Quanglican: A invertebrate form of Anglican life frequently identified by its use of purple shirts and indeterminate orthodoxy.

        • Matt A

          I believe a quatholic is a strange mixed up hybrid of Quaker and Catholic. She also seems to imply that to read or link to a blog also means that one is in full agreement with it.

          • carl jacobs

            But one cannot be a strange hybrid of Catholicism with any other religion, and still credibly claim to be Catholic.

          • Matt A

            That a question for Bella not me. I am a Baptist if we need a label.

          • carl jacobs

            To be a Catholic is to be in submission to the Magisterium of the RCC. That is an all-encompassing statement. To assign even partial spiritual authority to an agency outside the scope of the Magisterium is to deny one’s submission to the Magisterium. Therefore, to say “I am a Quatholic” is the same as saying “I am a fake Catholic.”

            Hence my definition of her term.

          • Anton

            Google shows that your reading of ‘Quatholic’ is correct. I had (privately) guessed it wrong.

      • Ah yes, Bella, we’ve seen you before under various names, haven’t we?

        • Bella

          Silly.

      • MenAreLikeWine

        I know what a Quatholic* is, and that means you are not a Catholic.

        *A Quatholic is someone who claims to be both a Quaker and a Catholic.

        • Cressida de Nova

          She is not a Catholic !

  • len

    Might seem a bit off topic but I watched ‘the secret’ on ITV last night about two Christians having an affair (true story)which ends in murder.
    The drama unveils the way the affair and the eventual murder is ‘justified; by those taking part.
    It is quite disturbing the way some events can be’ justified’ even by professing Christians.Abortion is either ‘right’ or’ wrong’ when we depart into ‘grey areas’ anything becomes a possibility?
    God gave us His Word and His Spirit to know His Truth and when we depart from that any evil becomes a possibility?.

    • chiefofsinners

      Very true. Human beings will go to any lengths to justify themselves. They fail to understand that God has already gone to greater lengths than they ever could, in order to justify them. But if we accept the grace of Christ, we must also accept the authority of Christ.

    • Dreadnaught

      Abortion is either ‘right’ or’ wrong’

      But that’s exactly the issue with those like myself who do not see the expulsion of 8 blastocyte cells the same as throttling the life out of an infant.

      • Anton

        And I agree with you. Although I draw the line very conservatively indeed, by secular standards: at the onset of cell differentiation, which begins only about three days after conception.

        • carl jacobs

          Sin attaches at conception.

          • Anton

            Can you prove that?

            So God will judge the individuals who are spontaneously aborted within a few days of conception – about 1/3 of all conceptions, as I recall?

          • carl jacobs

            David specifically states it. “In sin did my mother conceive me.”

            God says nothing about the judgment of the unborn so I will say nothing beyond “Will not the God of all the Earth do right?” But neither will I flinch from this point. Abortion is not an effective means of evangelism. You can’t fill up heaven by killing people before they are “accountable.” There is no age of accountability. Men are guilty by nature. God elects and redeems a people for Himself. He watches to make sure He does not lose even one. This means that there is no contingency in salvation. No one will stand before God and say “But for this circumstance I would have believed.”

          • Anton

            I agree completely that all humanity is fallen, every cell. What I disagree with is that this fallenness is ever imposed on something previously unfallen during the process of a new human life being formed (at least in the post-Adamic era).

            It is quite a jump from “In sin did my mother conceive me” to sin jumping to a previously unsinful offspring. I’d simply say that sin begets sin.

          • carl jacobs

            David explicitly attaches sin to his conception. Where else then do you think sin comes from in the heart of man?

          • Anton

            “Attaches” is the word I am objecting to, not the notion of original sin. If instead of “attaches to” I say “is present from” conception, do we in fact disagree?

          • carl jacobs

            Conception produces a human being. That human being possesses a human nature. That human nature is inherently sinful. No man at any point in the continuum that is is his life is ever properly called innocent. We do not become sinful when we sin. We sin because we are by nature sinful. That reality exists from the moment of conception according to David. In order for there to a sin nature at conception, there must be a human nature at conception. That means a human being exists from conception.

            Do we agree?

          • Anton

            I wouldn’t phrase the last two sentences like that. The rest I agree with fully. I’d say that everything in the universe is fallen, every cell, even every atom, and when atoms are assembled into a human, there resides sin nature.

          • carl jacobs

            Then we don’t agree. For in Adam all men die. Not in the atoms that are assembled into a human being.

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely. In Jewish circles it is reckoned that David’s statement is to do with the circumstances of his conception, not original sin. (Which most devout Jewish groups reject anyway.)

          • Anton

            But what, about the biblical circumstances of the conception of David, is sinful?

          • dannybhoy

            “Question: I am curious as to what David is referring to when he says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” More specifically, I know Judaism does not believe in the “original sin” doctrine of Christianity, so what would be the reply to one who claims that this verse supports that doctrine?”

            http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-1571/correcting-the-torah-reader/?p=1459

            http://outreachjudaism.org/original-sin/

            I must admit Anton to being quite surprised myself when I first heard this. But it fits in with Yom Kippur where one’s sins and good deeds during the year are totted up, and devout Jews wish each other “Hatima Tova” “Good Signature!”, hoping that their good deeds outweigh their bad.
            There is I understand a general belief that man is inclined to sin, not a slave to it, and of course all men do sin.

          • Anton

            It’s a difficult Psalm to understand; I’ve always felt that “Against You only have I sinned” is a bit unfair on Uriah…

          • dannybhoy

            Certainly, but he couldn’t answer to him as he’d been bumped off on ‘Devious David’s’ orders….
            As a young Christian I was taught the non conformist/protestant understanding of original sin, that no matter what good things men may do ( and men can and do do good things), we are at heart sinners.
            But it seems to me that the Scriptures teach that men could be forgiven their transgressions under the law by acknowledging their sinful action, and making the appropriate sacrifice. Jesus for example does not tell the young man who says “All these things I have kept from my youth -barmitzva – officially becoming a son of the Law and therefore accountable:
            Jesus doesn’t say “But son, you may outwardly keep the Law but inwardly you’re evil!”
            It says, Looking on him Jesus loved him and said, One thing thou lackest..”
            All through the gospels there are people who are acknowledged as being righteous.. Even the thief on the Cross with Jesus is not told by our Lord to make his confession of sin, but is told “this day thou wilt be with me in paradise..”
            This view does not detract from the value and necessity of salvation through Christ Jesus. In my thinking it means that perhaps some of us go overboard in our emphasis on original sin and its effects.

          • Albert

            It must be the case that sin attaches at conception, for this is at least tacitly stated in the declaration of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

          • Anton

            “Attaches” is the word I object to. “Is present” would be fine by me. Are we in fact in any disagreement?

          • Albert

            TBH, I was just teasing by proving the doctrine from the papal definition of the Immaculate Conception!

      • len

        Taking the life of the unborn is clearly murder—

        He didn’t kill me in the womb, with my mother as my grave.
        —Jeremiah 20:17

        • Dreadnaught

          Then according to you argument God is a murderer so far as miscarriages occur without human complicity.

          • chiefofsinners

            Only in the same sense that God is a murderer because we all die.

          • Dreadnaught

            Nonsense!

          • chiefofsinners

            Why?

          • Dreadnaught

            I think you should reason that out for yourself.

          • Dreadnaught

            So any death is the same as murder? More nonsense.

          • len

            We are still talking about creating life and then ending it…’playing God ‘?.

          • Dreadnaught

            Look – I am taking you at your word. If this is not what you mean then say so and stop fudging.

          • len

            lets get this straight then?. Your claim is that God is a murderer because people die?.

          • chiefofsinners

            No.
            If, as you suggest, God ending the life of a child in the womb is murder.
            Then God is equally a murderer whenever He ends life.
            I am pointing out the destination of your logic.

          • Dreadnaught

            Not my words Chief – refer back to Len. Its his Christian logic.

          • chiefofsinners

            Len said “kill”, not murder. Murder is committed by humans on humans with malice aforethought. Killing is much broader.

          • len

            not quite sure I follow your reasoning?

          • Dreadnaught

            Do try.

          • Martin

            Len

            Dreadnaught and reasoning go together like excitement and grass.

          • Dreadnaught

            Personal insults are the last refuge of the deluded.

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            Statement of fact, you are incapable of logical reasoning because your mind is so tied up with pretending that God doesn’t exist there’s nothing left to think with.

            That’s the trouble with you fools, so little actual thought goes into what you do.

          • Dreadnaught

            A fact requires testable proof unlike your view that demands belief before the fact. Idiot!

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            You have to test the proof, it is insufficient to say it doesn’t exist.

            Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
            Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
            (Psalms 34:8 [ESV])

          • carl jacobs

            God is not a man. He does not think like a man. He does not act like a man. You cannot judge the actions of God as if He was a man. God has the right and the authority and the knowledge to both give and take life in order to effect His purposes. You are making a profound category error.

          • Dreadnaught

            Who’s the bloke on the Cross then?

          • carl jacobs

            Jesus was both God and man. He was not God squashed into a human body.

          • Dreadnaught

            Crikey – you don’t say!

          • carl jacobs

            I could have said “Hypostatic Union” if you would have preferred that term. But really. If you want to make arguments from inside the Christian faith, you have to accurately understand the Christian faith.

          • Dreadnaught

            So by that logic we cant attack Islam without first becoming a Muslim? – we know the outcome of that scenario.

          • carl jacobs

            You said …

            Then according to you argument God is a murderer so far as miscarriages occur without human complicity.

            In the first place, that argument depends upon God being subject to the Law. God gives the law. He is not bound by the law. He is not a man subject to authority. It also denies the nature of God as holy and good. God is holy and good. He cannot deny Himself. What He does is by definition holy and good. You are effectively accusing God of performing an abortion by equating a miscarriage to Abortion. You are claiming that God is obligated to man, and that a miscarriage violates that obligation. You are asserting evil intent to Him by paralleling the motives of man to the motives of God. You are in a single sentence stacking theological error upon theological error to make an argument that must as a result leave no mark.

            If you are going to argue from the nature and motivations of God, you need to accurately represent the nature and motivations of God. Otherwise, you end up swinging at the wind. You can’t impeach Christian arguments by appealing to a non-Christian representation of God.

          • Dreadnaught

            Its you guys that equate abortion to murder (a legal term) and the reaction to that which is encased within human nature and common law in just about every culture on the planet..

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, because Abortion meets the criteria for murder. But that has nothing to do with your argument, or my point.

          • Dreadnaught

            Your argument is no more valid than the Islamists and carries no weight of rational argument as it is founded entirely upon irrational belief in the supernatural. Peace.

          • carl jacobs

            btw. You can understand something without accepting it. This argument is false on its face.

      • chiefofsinners

        There seem to be two logically sustainable views of this: that life begins at conception or at birth. Anton’s position (below ) is perhaps a third.
        What seems most difficult to argue is the position adopted by our society that life begins when a foetus becomes viable outside the womb. This point varies with medical science.
        Also logically unsustainable is the idea that a foetus which is the result of rape, or which is disabled, can be killed when others cannot.

        • carl jacobs

          The purpose facilitated by Abortion has nothing to do with the nature of the unborn child. These divisions between “child” & ” unchild” are legal and not biological. That’s why they are illogical. They allow the woman to legally reject the legal obligations of parenthood. Abortion is not about the child. The nature of the child is irrelevant and serves only as a convenient means of ex post facto justification.

        • DanJ0

          I doubt very much anyone in the UK thinks life begins when a foetus becomes viable.

          • chiefofsinners

            Indeed. And the law represents a position held by no-one.

          • DanJ0

            No. I think most people are ‘gradualists’ i.e. they think the moral worth of the foetus increases at various point through the pregnancy. The blastocyst is a human life, but not a person until later. I think that’s what most people believe. Hence, an abortion in the first trimester is a serious thing but it’s not the equivalent of killing an infant.

          • carl jacobs

            they think the moral worth of the foetus increases at various point through the pregnancy.

            In other words, the worth of an individual is determined by that individual’s ability to display the self-perceived worth of the observer. “You are are morally significant to the extent that you reflect my moral significance.” That is probably a true statement. Most people do think like that. It is certainly a value scheme pregnant with moral possibilities. But it is also ruthlessly selfish and self-centered.

          • chiefofsinners

            And does that seem logical to you? Should the penalty for killing an unborn infant be greater at 8 months than at 6? Does a 2 year old have greater moral worth than a newborn?

          • DanJ0

            At some point, the human life becomes a person. After that, it’s a matter of rights.

        • Dreadnaught

          Also logically unsustainable is the idea that a foetus which is the result of rape, or which is disabled, can be killed when others cannot
          And the woman victim is made to suffer violation again, in giving birth to a child of a rapist, against her will and without restorative justice to her pre-raped state even if she can overcome the mental horror of the offence?

          • chiefofsinners

            Which is why rape is such an horrific crime. The child of the rapist is also the child of the woman raped and is innocent itself. There is no easy answer, but the one which involves killing the child does not appeal to me.

          • Dreadnaught

            But the woman is obviously made pregnant without her consent and deserves the last word on the matter. The answer is easier to understand if you put yourself in her position or even if it was your daughter. Yes its a tough call and has to be addressed. What does the Bible say about pregnant by rape? And no I’m not referring to the ‘Immaculate Conception’ however tempting btw.

          • chiefofsinners

            Abortion isn’t directly dealt with in the bible, because it wasn’t an option in those days.
            Rape is described as punishable by death in Deuteronomy.
            There are examples of women becoming pregnant through rape and through deception. The pregnancies went to term, of course. I guess that in more lawless times it was a frequent occurrence.
            If you start from a humanist viewpoint then you may well arrive at the view that the woman should have the last word on the matter, but then, logically, why should she not also be allowed to kill the child once it is born?
            The Christian position is that God gives life and God takes it away. Anything else is man taking upon himself the decision which is God’s.

          • Dreadnaught

            We live by the rule of law in this country at least and infanticide is a crime in law.

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes but the discussion is about the morality of the existing laws.

          • Dreadnaught

            You can’t run with the ‘morality’ argument as and when it suits, when both the Protestants and Catholics employed depraved methods of torture and execution in pursuit of entrenching their propriety on dissenters. If morality was a constant this would not have been the case.

          • chiefofsinners

            You really think my moral position is constrained by the choices of people who lived and died hundreds of years ago?

      • carl jacobs

        There is an entire anthropology beneath that argument. That anthropology can just as easily be marshalled to justify throttling the life of an infant, and has been. Your division is arbitrary and therefore unsustainable.

        • Dreadnaught

          Not that I doubt your word but I would be better informed by a reference or references.

          • carl jacobs

            What reference would you desire?

          • Dreadnaught

            What ya got?

          • carl jacobs

            I didn’t ask the question correctly. What sort of information are you looking for?

      • That’s probably because you don’t understand the concept of a soul.

        • Anton

          Where exactly in the Bible is it stated that a soul/spirit of mature human capacity is slipped into a single cell?

          • Theer aren’t many references to cells in the Bible, but Peter was slipped into one, I believe.

          • Bella

            “Single Cell” activity. I got commended for this on a Catholic blog —

            The media have been showing the recent remarkable photographs of the burst of light at the moment of conception when the sperm meets the egg. It is awesome.
            The flash is a chemical reaction between Zinc and Calcium at that moment. Healthy conceptions are the brightest but 50% fail to develop.
            Were they worthless, or is it nature’s way of keeping the most viable? The same firework burst of life occurs in animals. If 50% fail then what does that say about life at this stage?

          • Albert

            I would say that it follows from the doctrine of the incarnation. The child in Mary’s womb was clearly a person from the first moment of his conception.

          • Anton

            I chose my words carefully, and disagree because we have no memory of “locked-in syndrome” from our early childhood.

          • Albert

            Why should we? Memory is a dependent on physical functions, which were not developed then.

        • Dreadnaught

          I don’t understand the concept of superstition as factual either; but I’ll stick with existentialism as a substitute for fantasy any day.

      • DanJ0

        I expect most of the UK holds similar views. We’re not the outliers here.

  • Bella

    Is this a conservative traditionalist Roman Catholic blog?
    What a confused distortion of the events!

    “…storm of outrage” yes, and justifiable. “Marred by hysteria”? Never.

    What a sad display by this Anglican blog!
    The author clearly knows nothing about Tina Beattie. His writing is as malicious as the Catholic nonentities who began and continue this vendetta from years ago.
    Why is Professor Ursula King not attacked for HER signature? As a feminist I see this as scapegoating of a clever, physically attractive woman who has found success as an academic, a published author and popular broadcaster.
    How unfortunate that a member of the “broad” Church of England has written this article which refutes the tolerance associated with the established church!

    • carl jacobs

      The feminist arrives, cudgel in hand, to defend the defenders of Abortion. But how could it be otherwise, for maternity is the true enemy of feminism, and Abortion its high holy sacrament – the sign and symbol of woman’s rejection of the tyranny of biology.

      • Dreadnaught

        Such a drama queen (English aphorism)

        • carl jacobs

          I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. I was deadly serious about that description of feminism, and my description is accurate.

    • len

      The real ‘outrage ‘is innocent lives being snuffed out in what should be the safest place in the world namely the mothers womb…

    • Albert

      This is the second post complaining of distortion. Is it possible to have some evidence of the distortion?

      • Bella

        “She has also produced a … Public Statement on her Theological Positions…” says this blog.
        Why not read the Beattie statement he refers to? She illustrates the distortions. The link is there. Why not have the courtesy as a tolerant Anglican to read it?
        She writes about the….
        “…serious distortions of my theological position through the publication of highly selective and decontextualized quotations from my work. I have no reason to hope that the people writing these blogs are willing to enter into the kind of informed theological debate that would reflect well on the Catholic community…”

        Anyway, what’s the problem? Anglicans do not condemn abortion outright.

        • Albert

          Good grief! I ask for information and what I get is a load of abuse.

          Still, regular readers will be amused at me being characterised as a “tolerant Anglican”.

        • Anton

          Dear Bella, I am amused to see Albert referred to as Anglican! As he did me the courtesy a few days ago of stating here that I was definitely not Catholic (to somebody suggesting otherwise), I return the compliment by gently pointing out to you that he definitely is Catholic.

          • Albert

            I was hoping you might do that for me, Anton!

        • Albert

          I’ve now read her piece (at speed admittedly) and the article in the Catholic Herald which quotes her letter. I can’t really see that there is such distortion as to justify your anger. So perhaps you could be so kind as to spell out what you think of as the distortion that justifies such vitriol.

          The fact that you accuse me wrongly of being an Anglican is perhaps a bit of a warning here. Is it possible that you are jumping to too many conclusions about other people?

    • CliveM

      How is this scapegoating? Are you sure this is what you meant? Is she not in favour of allowing abortion, in the case of disabled babies?

      I have no idea who this woman is, if these aren’t her views, what are her views?

      As an aside, what’s her physical attractiveness (or otherwise) got to do with the time of day?

      • chiefofsinners

        If she really is physically attractive, then please can we have a better photograph? Perhaps that’s the distortion that’s causing so much upset.

      • Dreadnaught

        Fully agree with the last sentence.

        • CliveM

          Thank you!

  • Laurie Harrington

    You should be ashamed of this attack. It is misrepresentative to the point of being a lie. You discredit the pro-life movement with this kind of behavior.

    • Anton

      I regard myself as too uninformed to make comment; certainly I’d like to see what Beattie’s critics regard as her worst writings.

      • Try “God’s mother, Eve’s advocate” where she likens the Mass to an act of homosexual intercourse. Yes, really.

        • Bella

          No not really. Read the statement.

          • MenAreLikeWine

            Eccles has read the statement.

            Tina has a habit of being rather dishonest. She can for example write a public letter calling for abortion in a list of situations and still turn around and say she isn’t advocating for abortion.

          • Dreadnaught

            There are times when abortion is required and deemed appropriate and other times times when it is not.

          • Albert

            Is that not simply a statement of pro-“choice”? And isn’t that the point MenAreLikeWine is making?

          • Dreadnaught

            It wasn’t meant to be a statement of a pro-choice stance as you well know, such a broad sweeping epithet can be manipulated interminably to suit whichever argument.

          • Albert

            Sorry – I missed the point!! Well put.

          • What point was “well put”?

          • Albert

            Yes, I was unclear. It was this, with the irony which was then added:

            There are times when abortion is required and deemed appropriate and other times times when it is not.

            That, apparently, is meant as a statement of pro-life (or pro-“choice”) depending on circumstances.

          • MenAreLikeWine

            I refer you to the Dublin Declaration which was signed by over 1000 maternal healthcare professionals.

            DUBLIN DECLARATION ON MATERNAL HEALTHCARE

            “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

            We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

            We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.”

          • Dreadnaught

            I broadly accept that position but I have a problem with the emotive use of the word ‘child’ without qualification.

          • It’s disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst. Take your pick.

        • Albert

          I haven’t read that book, but, as I understand her, she is critiquing von Balthasar who says that the priest must be male in order to represent Christ the bridegroom vis a vis the church as bride. Therefore, says Beattie, if the congregation is entirely male, it follows that the imagery is homosexual. So I don’t think she is saying it is an act of homosexual intercourse (although I’ll stand corrected, if you have the evidence). She is saying that this what follows if one follows VB’s defence of a male only priesthood.

          Personally, I think hers is a rather wooden interpretation of imagery.

          • CliveM

            Reading her statement, she also says the all male Priesthood is not held as infallible?

          • Albert

            I can kind of defend her on that. JPII did not infallibly declare the Church’s position on the all male priesthood. Rather, he said (or rather Cardinal Ratzinger said, but it seems clear it was JPII’s position) that the Church had already declared this infallibly through the ordinary magisterium (i.e. the bishops teaching through the world). Naturally, this is open to question.

          • CliveM

            So the door on this is slightly ajar.

          • Albert

            Not really. The fact that two popes held, with reason, it to have been infallibly defined makes it rather hard for any future pope to do it. The moment he does, people will just be able to say he is a heretic because he is a heretic, an anti-pope or whatever else, since he is going against infallible teaching.

            There are other problems too: popes aren’t supposed to just make stuff up, but to define what the Church already does. But the Church doesn’t do this. Therefore the pope can’t do it. Against this, Tina Beattie offers an argument about menstrual blood and how this would make the expression “This is my blood” sound more fertile from a woman priest. It’s not really a strong enough argument considering the opposition it needs to over-turn.

          • CliveM

            Also comes with added yuck!

          • Albert

            I’ve thought long and hard about the argument and come up with lots of objections. But TBH, I don’t think we need them. One simply needs to state the position, and the objections argue for themselves!

          • CliveM

            Whatever the pro’s or con’s of females priests, the menstrual argument can only appeal feminists of a certain type.

          • Albert

            Like those feminists who aren’t infertile and therefore experience don’t experience period blood as a painful sign of their infertility.

          • In line with many dissidents, she’s attempting to shift the focus away from the sacrifice of the Mass towards heaven knows what.

            “When a man says, ‘This is my body, this is my blood’, it inevitably evokes images of wounding and death, for those are the only contexts in which male bodies bleed. However, female bodies have a more complex and semantically rich relationship to blood, for blood is a sign of birth and fertility as well as death and injury. Women’s bodies bleed naturally. When a woman says, ‘This is my body, this is my blood’, the words open the sacramental perception of gender to a wide range of potential meanings associated with birth as well as death, fecundity as well as sacrifice.”

            “Are these dualisms not subtly but profoundly inscribed in the sacramental priesthood, with its insistence upon the significance of the phallus for the valid performance of the liturgy? Is the Mass still in some ancient but also postmodern way being interpreted as a fertility rite representing divine phallic insemination of a receptive and formless materiality?”

            According to her, men have a real problem:

            “Starting with the authors of Genesis, men have for millennia tried to account for their existence in ways that avoid recognizing that they arrived in the world from the fleshy womb of a woman’s body by way of a woman’s vagina.”

            Really?

            She argues Catholic theological dualism on sexuality emerged in the medieval universities “in which the copulative relationship between paternal form and maternal matter is the basic building block of creation.”

            “Matter cannot act upon matter. Only form can act upon matter. Only form can initiate a process through which a material body is transformed in its essence, while still appearing in its former guise. In other words, only the man who represents form can transform the materiality of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. We might argue that female bodies are also integrated dualities of form and matter, or we might argue that the whole opening up of modern physics and quantum theory shows us that this account of the nature of being is no longer valid, but the superstition persists long after the science has exposed its errors.”

          • Albert

            Some feminists find misogyny even where it isn’t.

          • CliveM

            I was thinking more generally of those who have an obsession with their bits and probably view the Vagina Monologues as greater theatre then Shakespeare.

          • Cressida de Nova

            A strong argument? Albert can’t you see that this woman has no knowledge of Catholic doctrine to be making statements such as these. Does no one understand that there can never ever be women priests in the Catholic Church ? How can anyone take her seriously and why does she have employment in a Catholic teaching institution.?

          • Albert

            I understand that there can never be women priests in the Catholic Church!

          • No … the door has been firmly and permanently closed.

          • CliveM

            But it hasn’t been declared so by the magisterium? This seems to be what Tina is saying. Albert did say her case was arguable.

          • It has. The Ordinary Magisterium.

          • CliveM

            Ok, I have to admit I asked as I was surprised by her statement.

          • It is infallible, Albert, as it is an indefectible decision of the Ordinary Magisterium. Whilst Saint Pope John did not make a declaration of the Extraordinary Magisterium, i.e. ex-cathedra, he made it clear he was speaking definitively on behalf of the Ordinary Magisterium.

            “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
            It’s only dissidents who disagree.

          • Albert

            That formula is not the language previously used as an infallible definition. As I understood the response to the question presented to the CDF, the point was that the Church had already defined this. Perhaps I’m wrong about the “location” of the authority. After all, I accept it without question!

          • It was updated at Vatican II.

          • Albert

            I’m not denying the infallibility of the ordinary Magisterium, I am asking when the ordinary Magisterium infallibly defined the inadmissibility of women’s ordination.

          • The Ordinary Magisterium doesn’t have to put everything in writing, does it? It tends to do sow, to confirm a position, when controversy breaks out. The Church Fathers certainly saw no legitimate ordination for women as deacons or priests, added to which there’s 2000 years of sacred tradition too.

            Saint Pope John Paul simply confirmed the position of the Ordinary Magisterium at a time when the issue was being hotly debated.

          • Albert

            True, but that doesn’t mean that anything anyone says that has always been followed has been defined. The bishops need to be intending to define it.

          • carl jacobs

            Naturally, this is open to question.

            [GASP!]

          • He’s wrong ….

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t know. I have found Albert to be a knowledgeable and remarkably consistent RC.

          • Albert

            I don’t mean the definition is open to question. I mean that the claim that the inadmissibility of women to the priest had already been infallibly defined, by the ordinary magisterium is open to question.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Wooden? Come now Albert…it is perverted!

          • carl jacobs

            Let the reader beware! It is neither an intellectually nor aesthetically pleasing experience to read the words on the other side of this link that eccles has posted. You will feel pain.

          • Albert

            I think she is saying what I said she said. Isn’t she complaining there about the idea, not promoting it?

        • Uncle Brian

          So she’s only pretending to be a Catholic, then?

        • Cressida de Nova

          I read about this on your blog. No one could possibly take this seriously.The woman is insane. It is worrying that she has employment in a Catholic Teaching organisation. I would like to see random drug testing of the staff if this is indicative of what is occuring in these institutions.

    • Albert

      What precisely is the misrepresentation?

  • Liam Foley

    Do you remember when Jesus “dialogued” with Satan? “Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve” (Mt 4:10). “Dialogue” is a weasely-worded attempt at reassuring us something will be done while Beattie remains where she is.

    • Dreadnaught

      Let me guess … you read it in a book of essays, songs and poetry, much cross translated and edited; venerated as the truth in all things except proof of originality or authorship. At least the Muslims wised up to that particular flaw in evolving their ‘holy writ’.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        Infidels like yourself (I use this term for those hostile to belief, not for Moslems, Hindus, etc) have only been too glad to appeal to Islam because of their hatred of Christianity.

        You are endangering our entire way of life, in a way that reminds me of General Wu Sangui, who at end of the Ming Dynasty opened the gates of the Great Wall to let in the Manchu invaders, rather than give way to those lower-class Chinese rebels who were overthrowing the establishment.

  • Bella

    Why doesn’t this Anglican blog mind its own business? The Church of England has enough problems of its own. From my experience Anglican women would support the views expressed in the letter to the Polish Bishop’s Conference and all but a minority of Catholic women too.
    Do any Anglican women comment here? After reading this article I would think not.
    All you’ve got here today are the people Beattie talks about – those with a fanatical agenda.
    What a terrible example of Catholicism! It’s embarrassing.

    • There’s some hope that Tina will see that her destiny doesn’t lie with the Catholic Church, and will become an Anglican once more. Of course Anglican bishops are also pretty hot at condemning sins such as abortion, same-sex marriage, etc. so it won’t be easy for her.

      • MenAreLikeWine

        Tina used to be a Presbyterian.

    • Uncle Brian

      What garbage you write. For a start, the abortion issue is everybody’s business, even when it’s taking place in a faraway country you’ve never heard of and have no interest in. Second, if you’d ever dropped in at Cranmer’s more often than once in a blue moon, you’d have noticed that regular commenters here cover a wide range from Calvinists to Catholics, several different strands of Judaism, and, of course, agnostics and atheists. Only someone as ignorant as you would dismiss it as “this Anglican blog”.

    • Albert

      It’s all very well, Bella, but I can’t find where you say what you are so cross about. What is the distortion that, for example, made you accuse me of being a “tolerant Anglican”? It is the basis of your claims that is being so hard to get out of you.

      For what it’s worth, I have read one book of Beattie’s Woman. I enjoyed it. It was stimulating, but I also thought she misrepresented von Balthasar and came up with perhaps the second worst argument for the ordination of women I have heard.

    • Cressida de Nova

      You are the embarrassment. Your views are Protestant. Catholic dogma is not based on popular opinion. If you were a Catholic you should know this.You should also know that it is not subject to change or alteration by bowing to pressure or the prevailing mores of the times. No one forces anyone to be a Catholic. Why don’t you leave if you cannot accept the Church’s teaching and dogma instead of trying to change it to suit your own position.?

      • Well said, Cressie. Plus, it seems she is not a Roman Catholic. She has described herself as a hybrid between a Quaker and a Catholic.

        • Cressida de Nova

          What? The Church is really in need of some drastic reform when someone thinks they can be a Quaker and a Catholic.

          • Who are we to fudge?

          • Anton

            And what is fudge to us?

  • CliveM

    Ok I think I’ve worked it out. She is pro choice but anti abortion. We’re not allowed to challenge this, because she is a mother of four children. She is also a woman, so if we disagree it’s only because we a mysoginistic old men, who are secretly intimidated by her ravishing good looks.

    Also non Catholics don’t get a say. Only Catholics (who all secretly agree with her, unless they’re men) and Quatholics (who I thought were an alien race out of Star Trek).

    Simples.

    Oh and because 50% of fertilised eggs fail, it’s open season on the unborn.

    • Dreadnaught

      Oh and because 50% of fertilised eggs fail, it’s open season on the unborn

      Who makes them fail? assuming that is, the existence of a Creator of all things.

      • chiefofsinners

        The Creator makes them or allows them to fail, in His omniscient wisdom. Thus much suffering and many miserable lives are averted. It is not for us to question or re-make His decisions.

        • Dreadnaught

          Blah blah blah – a definitive non-answer.

          • chiefofsinners

            What else would you like to know?

          • Dreadnaught

            Original thought would be a nice change. BTW Len did indeed use the word ‘murder in the womb’ then justified himself by quoting text in the hope it got him off the hook.

          • len

            Still digging that hole Dread?.

          • Dreadnaught

            Just peering in at you and the Chief Lenny-boy

          • len

            Lol

          • Dreadnaught

            When not using text speak you are using text speak – now there’s a conundrum.

          • len

            That life dread…

          • Dreadnaught

            You’re right Len and now the sun’s out I’m off on me boat. tata

          • len

            Have a nice time…

          • Dreadnaught

            toot-tooot!

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes, he used the word ‘murder’ in relation to humans, but it was you who used it in relation to God.
            Sorry not to be able to offer you any original thought. It is because your thoughts are unoriginal that the answers are unoriginal.

          • Dreadnaught

            even your comment on me is not your own as I proffered the original.

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes, but how can you expect some startling new insight in an area which is so much discussed?
            Try to engage with the validity of the arguments rather than whether they are original.

        • dannybhoy

          Can’t go along with that. The implication being that everything is ordained by God.
          I believe that because we live in an imperfect cause and effect world, bad things and unintended things happen.
          It is only as men and women turn those things over to God that He is able to bring something good out of them.
          The old American Christian saying that “When life deals you lemons, (with God’s help) make lemonade” makes much more sense to me.
          Genesis 50>
          “15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

          18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”

          19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
          But he still had to experience being sold into slavery, being temped by Potiphar’s wife and being thrown into prison, not seeing his father and family, didn’t he?

          • chiefofsinners

            Tricky area. Some things God makes happen. Some things He allows to happen. That’s not the same as saying all things are ordained by Him. Overall, God works out His purposes, either with us or despite us. He makes all things beautiful in His time.
            A foetus which dies is genetically defective, corrupted because of sin (as we all are to some degree). In heaven it will be made perfect without having passed through the struggles of this life.

          • dannybhoy

            Some things God makes happen. Agreed.
            But God creates damaged people who will suffer horribly in their lifetime, I don’t think so.
            He can use it for sure.
            But I do believe that because of the way our world is, its axis its circling of the sun, ocean currents, trade winds, tectonic plates and so on, disasters do happen,
            Not instigated by God except for a special purpose as in the ten plagues and so on, but otherwise part of our cause and effect world,
            This does not undermine His sovereignty or power. It is simply how the world works.

          • chiefofsinners

            God created us all. We all suffer. That does not mean God is the cause of the suffering.
            God is the originator of life and of the planet. He is omniscient and omnipotent, but delays judgment. Add to the mix human free will and sin and you have a perfect explanation of the world as we find it.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Jesus was asked about just such a man, and He replied that he had been born in that way that the work of God would be seen within him (John 9:1-3). Language can be a tricky thing – but I think we need to be careful about distinguishing between “ordained” (that is pre-purposed, planned, anticipated, foreseen), and “made to happen” (actively brought into being, the working out of design). Personally, I think that passage in John indicates that both our suffering and our liberation from suffering through Christ are ordained by God, but that the liberation is the work of God (you’ve also got the context in that miracle of Jesus explicitly drawing attention to the fact He is doing God’s “works” on the Sabbath – so I don’t think this an incidental distinction).

          • dannybhoy

            Personally, I think that passage in John indicates that both our suffering and our liberation from suffering through Christ are ordained by God, but that the liberation is the work of God (you’ve also got the context in that miracle of Jesus explicitly drawing attention to the fact He is doing God’s “works” on the Sabbath – so I don’t think this an incidental distinction).
            I think I agree, but my way’s simpler!
            Genesis makes no mention of how our planet works, but we know that parts of the world are sometimes unstable and as a result people suffer and die through what we call natural disasters.
            We also believe that disease and death entered the world at the Fall.
            But God does not personally ordain that some humans be born with whatever disability or disease. It seems to me we can say that as a result of the Fall somehow our genetic make up develops faults or rogue cells leading to physical impairment. It’s a consequence, not a direct and personal affliction by God.
            We can’t ignore that passage in John, but we can say that much of what goes wrong in life is as a result of natural disasters or human actions.
            I think as a Christian I accept that bad stuff happens personally and collectively. I can ask God to heal, or to change, and I can ask Him to give me the grace to cope, so that as we go though situations He is there by our side, and He may deliver us or He may comfort us as we go through the experience.
            I don’t see how that reflects badly on any of the attributes of Almighty God who has proved His love and compassion by dwelling amongst us in human form and suffering for us.

          • grutchyngfysch

            dannybhoy: I very much recognise what you’ve written, as it’s something I’d have been happy to make as my own position. My thinking has evolved (no pun intended) mostly as a consequence of conversations with people like Dreadnaught for whom the idea that a God who defines Himself as good and yet appears to sit back passively, or only intermittently intervenes (even for His own followers!) doesn’t make much sense. I know that isn’t what you’re arguing – but I’ve come to see a greater emphasis on God’s intentionality (i.e. God’s Will) in Scripture than I think I appreciated before, to the point where I feel more comfortable saying that God has ordained everything, and that I would be praising His goodness truly even in a place where He had ordained that I should suffer (especially if I suffered for His sake).

            But look, I just wanted to give a slightly different take: I recognise and honour the principle which underpins where you’re coming from: that God is only good and that it is on His mercy and compassion that we wholly depend.

          • dannybhoy

            Well Dreadnaught often makes some very intelligent and pertinent observations.
            What we as Christians seek for is a worldview based on observation, research,experience, that balances with the authority of Scripture and our faith in God.
            I went through lots of stuff that caused me to re-evaluate what I had been taught and what I believed about God and existence. Perhaps my view is that God has set up a system that works (cause and effect) without much intervention from God. A system that allows man to exercise free will for good or ill, a world in which things exist that may seem to negate the idea of a good God, a world in which we choose to do good because we believe that’s how God wants us to be as His children. A world in which we may suffer as much as the next man, but by giving it to God He will sustain us and bring something good from it.

      • CliveM

        Perhaps a better way of putting it is where fertilisation commences, 50% fail and don’t complete, so life never starts.

        My point however one doesn’t justify the other.

        • Dreadnaught

          Miscarriage? Still born, major deformity – acts of God?

          • CliveM

            I don’t have all the answers, but sadly for reasons I don’t fully understood, in this fallen world shit happens.

          • Dreadnaught

            Not wrong there Lad.

        • Life starts at the point of conception.

          • CliveM

            Agreed, what I don’t know is whether these very early fails have actually ‘conceived ‘ and the lack of successful conception is why they’re not viable.

  • Bella

    I’ve decided this is a traddie Catholic outpost so I leave the Archbishop Cranmer blog with this information.
    The publicity over the letter to the Polish Bishops’Conference making Tina Beattie a scapegoat for his personal vendetta originated with a deacon who was chastised by his bishop for his ad hominem attacks and “personal challenges”.
    As the bishop wrote —
    “Unfortunately, this was not taken on board. Consequently, as a last resort, on 3 March 2014 and in a personal meeting with [him], I requested, as his Diocesan Ordinary, that the Deacon ‘pause’ all posting on [his] website so as to allow for a period of prayer and reflection upon his position as an ordained cleric with regards to the [website] and his own duties towards unity, truth and charity”.

    • Albert

      Hang on. You said I was an Anglican!

      • Dreadnaught

        I have a recollection you said that you were at some time.

        • Albert

          I was once, but not this morning!

          • Dreadnaught

            Phew – that’s allright then the brain cell is still working for me -Ta.

          • Cressida de Nova

            LOL

      • Bella

        An understandable mistake on an Anglican blog with which I am not familiar and I am unlikely to rectify that deficiency after this experience.

        • CliveM

          This isn’t just any old Anglican blog, this is a Cranmer Anglican blog.

        • Albert

          That’s absolutely fine and completely understood. But I’m just wondering if, from the beginning, your comments have been shot through with misunderstandings and confusions.

          Where have you justified your comments? I remain entirely in the dark about why you are so angry at posters here. I’ve read Beattie’s statement. I’ve read the article in the Catholic Herald. I’ve even read a book of hers. I really can’t see where this massive misrepresentation is that has justified you writing in such a hostile way to those who are posting here.

          And no amount of requests for information seem to have any effect. Which of course leaves me wondering whether you are just or fair in your comments. The fact that you jumped to a conclusion about me (irrelevant in itself) merely serves to underscore the feeling that shoot without justification and fairness.

      • len

        Lol…

        • Albert

          Quite!

    • I maintain I have never personally made any ad hominem attacks. But I do challenge grave error being presented as truth. For example, it is untenable for Prof Tina Beattie to present herself as a theologian who is Catholic while are the same time urging the Polish bishops to allow early, safe, and legal abortions of disabled babies.

      • Albert

        Yes. Even if one were to support abortion, the idea that disabled babies should be singled out in some way seems particularly abhorrent.

        • Dreadnaught

          Well that very much depends on the degree and nature of the ‘disability’ surely? Never mind the reasons why such an affliction (presumably permitted by the omnicient one) is a reality of ‘his’ design and plan. What I would find abhorrent is compelling a woman to give birth to an unviable baby with no chance of development through childhood and into adulthood without life-dependent artificial medical intervention.

          • Albert

            Yes, it’s a terrible thing. But surely it is better than killing a child because of her disability?

      • …. not to mention promoting gender theory, contraception, homosexual ‘marriage’, and the ordination of women.

    • carl jacobs

      The brave feminist warriorette retreats from the fight, bloodied but unbowed.

      • Bella

        Warriorette? I prefer battleaxe.

        • chiefofsinners

          Don’t worry your pretty little head about hard words m’dear. Leave it to us chaps.

          • Bella

            I’ll forgive that. You’ve obviously got a 7pm testosterone rush.

          • chiefofsinners

            On the bike are we dear? Monthly cycle?

          • Below the belt – so to speak.

        • carl jacobs

          I thought you departed in a dramatic flourish. Why are you back?

          • Bella

            I’m so grateful to Santa Evita for revealing who wrote this post. I can’t wait to pass it on.

          • carl jacobs

            Perhaps you can inform me as to the identity of the author, and explain why you think Santa Evita is an unimpeachable authoritative source. If you can manage that task before you depart in yet another dramatic flourish, I mean.

          • carl jacobs

            No, I didn’t think you would answer my questions. What a shock.

          • EmpressJadis

            to whom?

    • len

      (Bella flounces off stage left)

      ‘Catholic outpost?’. never been so insulted in all my life…..

    • Bye, Phil. See you again some time, probably at the Spectator, and with a different sockpuppet?

      • Is ‘she’ a transgendered person who sometimes likes to be a ‘he’? It figures as Tina B. peddles gender theory as the big discovery, along with quantum physics, that justifies a genderless priesthood.

        • Anton

          If anybody tries here to connect postmodern twaddle or theology to quantum mechanics, do let me know…

      • William Lewis

        Phil?

        • carl jacobs

          Not our Phil.

          • Bella

            Who’s Phil?

          • carl jacobs

            Phil is a long time commenter at Cranmer’s and must be distinguished from the identity of “Phil” with whom eccles has associated you.

          • Bella

            Thanks. As a feminist I would give up before I stooped to hiding behind a man’s name!

          • Dreadnaught

            Being male does not bar you from being a feminist – that would be sexist.

          • Bella

            Greetings brother!

          • carl jacobs

            uh huh…

          • How old fashioned of you. Not into gender theory?

    • I have never engaged in a “personal vendetta”. I do, however, consistently uphold the truths of the Catholic Faith in the face of grave error.

      • Martin

        DND

        Truths? Only the Bible is truth. The church of Rome departed from the truth long ago.

  • Santa Evita

    What Cardinal Mary Clarence (an apt choice of name for a lady last seen falling out of her top at His Grace’s blog anniversary dinner) fails to disclose is that her beef with Beattie, is, in common with her vendettas against so many other public Catholics, based upon resentment. In this instance, the Cardinal, a dedicated Marxist (hence the anonymity, appearing on Cramner’s blog is quite a blow to her leftie cried) is infuriated with Mrs Beattie because she had hoped that her analysis of women in the church from a class perspective would be included in the heterodox Mrs Beattie’s international Catholic Women Speak project. Not being included in either the book which was distributed to the synod fathers or the website proved a crushing blow and vengeance must be saught.

    This piece would have done much better to focus upon the errors within Tina Beattie’s letter (of which there were many) rather than rely on a sensationalist interpretation of it, which then segued into personal attack, thick with simmering resentment. Cramner’s loyal readers would have been a natural audience for some catechesis about the ethics and realities of first trimester abortion. Most readers do not either contribute towards CAFOD and already believe the episcopacy of the English Catholic Church to be a rum bunch, no better than their own ineffectual prelates.

    The Cardinal has consolidated Mrs Beattie’s sense of persecution and at the same time validated the prejudices about the Catholic Church of this blog’s readers. Which will make the bishops even more likely to dig in their heels and refuse to take any action. It’s doubtful that this blog will acheive much though it may have given the writer her chance to air a few grievances. To some extent. Mrs Beattie is an irrelevance who will probably be dealt with quietly and under the radar, all in God’s time not ours.

    This letter provides excellent and ample opportunity to speak up for the hundreds of thousands of babies killed off in their first 12 weeks of existence. The denial of their humanity ought to be the primary focus of ire.

    • richeldis

      I rather think your interesting comment (whether correct or otherwise) will mean a stampede of Gentlemen Commenters rushing to accept invitations to Cranmer’s next party.

    • CliveM

      Do you have evidence for this?

      • Santa Evita

        Which ‘Red Maria’ argued furiously on Twitter just a few days ago, that Mrs Beattie was an entryist? Would it be the very same lady who contemptuously uses the word ‘suckers’ to describe those whom she believes to have been taken in by any other public Catholic whom she believes is inauthentic? (Which is every single one of them – there isn’t a single Catholic journalist, academic or broadcaster whom Maria believes is up to the task apart from her loquacious self).

        The same lady can be seen having a vociferous argument on Twitter with Mrs Beattie on the 11th October 2015, berating her for her broken promise, having learnt upon publication of said book, that she does not feature within it.

        One senses Cramner’s hand in editing this post as it makes rather more sense than the lady does usually and one can note that on this occasion Maria is correct. A stopped clock and all that.

        As noted above, Professor Beattie’s university status is not under threat, the substantive issue is CAFOD who presumably only pay expenses for a volunteer role. It’s all about the cachet.

        One question remains. Upon further investigation it appears Mrs Beattie made her appeal in respect of a closed or secret group on the 4th April. According to the Cardinal’s screenshot, she picked this up 23 hours later. Did she attempt to alert anyone before the letter was written or was she saving it for a revenge scoop?

        Infiltrating a group in order to disrupt and subvert its purpose and cause distrust and suspicion within its membership, as the Cardinal has done, is, ironically – entryist! All in a good cause, eh?

        • paulpriest

          Ok I very much doubt I’ll get an answer to this but why don’t we engage in a little hypothetical?

          Supposing – now just supposing that I [bit of a gender problem there I know] or even that YOU were among the 1660 members of Tina Beattie’s secret facebook Group?

          …and were therefore aware of the letter on the 4th April?

          …and were publicly profiled or recognised among associates as somewhat ‘Pro-Life’?

          I suppose you or I would have two options:

          a] Widely disseminate and distribute the information within the letter to sympathetic Pro-Life Groups, Reliable Catholic media sources, establishment Catholic commentators and the informed blogosphere – with the intention that a leak might invoke a scandal? and perhaps even prevent the publication of the letter itself? But nevertheless would forewarn and forearm any Pro-Life Catholic seeking to publish an immediate response – or perhaps launch a petition?

          [This IS – after all – the natural response of anyone devoted to the Pro-Life cause]

          or
          b] Stay silent and do nothing

          [I’ll leave others to infer any motivations in that regard – but it does bring into question the sincerity and authenticity of any claimed Pro-Life stance if one abjectly refrains from lifting a finger or uttering a word in defence of the Unborn – doesn’t it? It might lead others to consider that the Person’s Pro-Life position was actually counterfeit and merely an ‘opportunist’ chance at ‘entryism’ into the Catholic scene]

          Nevertheless given these are the only two options:

          a] the first might cause awkward ramifications for ‘entryism’ into the higher eschelons of the resiliently liberal-progressive Catholic establishment should Ms Beattie discover this ostensible ‘betrayal’ and be a future habitual antagonistic ‘thorn in the side’? Open doors into certain arenas would be firmly closed in one’s face.

          b] Whereas with the second option membership of the group and personal early knowledge of the letter could easily be discovered and revealed – leading to all manner of awkward questions from confused and bemused associates whom might become increasingly cautious and supicious of someone who did not do the right thing and reveal the letter.

          Risky choice isn’t it?

          Potentially making ‘enemies for life’ among Tina Beattie & sympathisers – some of whom ‘move and shake’ in very high places?
          Very risky – if things went wrong this could be a permanent problem.

          Or potentially being rumbled as someone who only pretends to care about the Pro-Life cause?
          Mildly risky – and easily remedied by a prominent ‘Pro-Life’ publicity stunt which would allay most of the waiverers’ concerns; and as for anyone else who continued to remain suspicious? They could easily be dismissed or dissociated from..

          …but as I said it’s just a hypothetical
          ..and one should always do the right thing no matter the cost
          ..shouldn’t one?

          .

          • Santa Evita

            These are not the only two options. Mrs Beattie’s Facebook group apparently totals almost 1700 members, including several publicly pro-life and orthodox academic figures.

            We are reliably informed that several well-known names are members.

            The group is by all accounts incredibly tedious, the majority of postings consisting on navel-gazing reflections of a feminist bent. It’s main focus being the pursuit of female ordination.

            Those who are members of several FB groups tend to turn off notifications. Are you suggesting that every single one of 1700 members saw the post? Members who include teaching staff and lecturers at Maryvale and the School of the Annunciation? Members who also include advocates and employees of pro-life charities and lobby groups. Are you referring to them and any lack of action?

            Or are you just attempting to pursue one long-standing vendetta?

            We are informed that Mrs Beattie’s post about a secret FB group took
            place on 5 April. Cardinal Mary appears to have taken a screenshot 23 hours later.

            In a group comprised of 1700 women, a substantial number will have children of their own of school age. The posting took place slap bang in the middle of the U.K. school holiday so it is more than feasible that several members did not see it, especially if they rarely even look at the group.

            The petition against Mrs Beattie was not set up until after the open letter had been published and commented on in the Catholic press. Therefore there is no evidence to suggest that anyone was pre-warned, just as there is no evidence pointing to certain people (apart from Cardinal Mary) having seen Mrs Beattie’s appeal.

            Furthermore the screenshot is evidence of intention to set up a FB group. There is nothing anyone could (or should) have done to suppress publication of the letter. Individuals in a free society should be free to publish open letters as they see fit. The response, especially from Cardinal Nichols has been robust and excellent.

            There is no case to answer from anyone, apart from Mrs Beattie and the signatories of the letter (and perhaps CAFOD) much as Paul Priest might wish to throw excrement around.

            Mrs Beattie is, we are informed, well aware of the identity of the author of the piece. Whether she is a mover or shaker remains to be seen.

          • paulpriest

            Hmmmm…
            Your reply confirms Fr Hunwicke’s claims that the failure to retain the Trivium in modern education has led to a woeful decline in people’s ability to understand an argument – let alone possess the capacity to respond to it.

            Very well:
            a] The hypothetical specifically involved those who HAD seen the letter – therefore there were ONLY TWO OPTIONS. Therefore the argument and consequences stand. If you are having some difficulty with this there are readily available opticians and adult literacy classes

            b] Given:
            [i] Your lengthy opinion of the nature and activities of the group [albeit arbitrarily subjective and devoid of corroborating evidence]
            [ii] Your insider knowledge of membership of said “SECRET” group
            [iii] Your detailing group activities over a considerable period
            – might we therefore presume that YOU ARE INDEED A MEMBER OF TINA BEATTIE’S FACEBOOK GROUP?

            If this is the case?

            WHY DID YOU NOT SAY YOU WERE A MEMBER at the beginning of all this?

            c] Taking the conclusion of b as axiomatic [You do understand what that means? Well, if you don’t you can always look it up.]

            You are either a member who saw or did not see the letter:

            WHY DID YOU NOT SAY WHETHER YOU HAD OR HAD NOT SEEN THE LETTER?

            Yes: Some being mothers of young children on holiday

            [or indeed child-caring grandmothers or mothers of pre-schools or those in full-time work – three categories into which the majority of the group would fall but you don’t mention? ]

            …and the turning-off of FB notifications are indeed due considerations for reasons why certain members did not see the letter.

            BUT

            [i] the hypothetical [I repeat] was not referring to any who had not seen the letter.

            [ii] if you were a member who had not seen the letter why didn’t you just say “I did not see the letter because it was the school holidays, I am not interested in the majority of issues discussed and I had my FB notifications turned off”?

            [iii] And indeed one must ask if you are not someone who saw the letter and did not have to make that hypothetical choice of to reveal the letter or keep quiet:

            ‘why respond to the question in the first place? let alone at such length? let alone with so many details? let alone with so many obfuscations and diversions ? let alone with so much reticence in admission of membership of the group? let alone with continued attacks on third parties like the pseudonymous cardinal and myself – how can i possibly have a vendetta against an anonymity?

            So many diversionary tactics and evasive answers? One might be inclined to presume that if you didn’t wish to admit membership of the group – and you provide speculations as to why you might not have seen the letter rather than actually say you did not see it?

            What can one deduce?

            When someone goes to extraordinary lengths to provide possibilities that they didn’t do something – it generally indicates that the obfuscation conceals that they did indeed do it.

            d] Moving on this probability that you DID see the letter becomes compounded when there’s the adamant assertion that within the group there are many orthodox, traditionalist, conservative pro-lifers – some of whom must have seen the letter and also did nothing – therefore any personal ‘culpability’ becomes diminished by dispersal of guilt among a collective subsection who knew of the letter and stayed silent.

            The addition to the argument that

            ‘many were in a similar situation’ indicates more probability that you were one among the many

            e] The probability that you did indeed see the letter [and did nothing] is intensified when you seek to remove all culpability from the action of doing nothing – and seek to exonerate all those who did do nothng about the letter – because – and let me quote :

            “There is nothing anyone could (or should) have done to suppress publication of the letter. Individuals in a free society should be freeto publish open letters as they see fit.”

            SO:

            Let’s get this straight

            [i] Primarily YOU ARE WRONG both morally and canonically: Canon 823 is very precise about the roles of professional Catholics in the public forum – and how you could possibly think that any Pro-Life Catholic would not feel morally obliged and compelled by their conscience to do ‘something about it’ – is ludicrous?!!!

            [ii] OH BUT WAIT HOLD ON A SECOND!!
            Stop…you contradict yourself

            You DO CLAIM SILENCE WOULD BE IMMORAL because that’s the main thrust of your accusation against the author CMC – you accuse her of opportunism and entryism in her seeking an ‘exclusive’

            [iii] So let’s get this cognitive dissonance into some kind of order:.
            You never say you are a member of the secret group:

            but what you have related indicates that you are

            You never say you saw the letter: but your equivocations and speculations regarding how you possibly might not have seen it – indicate YOU DID

            You never say you were silent after reading the letter:

            but your hasty attempts to suggest many were in the same circumstances of knowing and doing nothing

            and they were not actually guilty of doing anything wrong anyway….indicates that you are indeed one of these many – seeking to justify yourself and remove any guilt from your remaining silent.

            BUT there’s a problem with this
            YOU DO ACCUSE SOMEONE
            ONE INDIVIDUAL
            The author of this article – whom you accuse of doing what exactly?
            a] Being a member of the group
            b] Knowing of the letter’s contents
            c] Staying silent about its contents before publication

            But as you explained above – anyone else who did this is guilty of nothing…so it’s ok for a group of conservative Pro-lifers – or indeed yourself – to do exactly the same thing as the person you are accusing of acting deplorably?

            That’s irrational
            That’s prejudiced
            That’s victimisation!

            Could it be that YOU yourself are the one with the vendetta?

            …and given you didn’t admit the truth about your membership of the group?
            ..and you didn’t admit the truth about your seeing the letter?
            …and you didn’t admit the truth about your not doing anything about the letter once you saw it?
            …and you didn’t admit the truth that you only want to blame one person for doing the same thing you did while excusing everyone else who did similarly?

            Do you think you could at least tell the truth once?
            …about ANYTHING?

          • Santa Evita

            Your entire post is nothing but illogical irrelevant conjecture and hot air.

            Continuing to insist that it is truth does not make it so, no matter how loud you shout.

            You appear to be a seething mass of unholy anger Mr Priest. We shall pray for you.

          • paulpriest

            You appear on here using a pseudonym to reveal the identity of the author and launch a malicious attack on her character and introduce a string of vindictive conjectures regarding the author’s motivations for writing the article and ultimately accuse her of being gravely immoral in doing what exactly?

            ALLEGEDLY (and I repeat ALLEGEDLY) doing something which you have just shown IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID (except in your case you attempt to justify yourself)

            That’s not merely hypocrisy
            That’s not merely calumny (as you have no evidence CMC is guilty of your accusations)
            That’s VICTIMISATION!

            Now if you’ve done nothing wrong then your victim has most assuredly done nothing wrong and deserves a public apology

            Plus if you are so certain that you have done nothing wrong why not admit your identity and make the public declaration for all to see?
            You saw the letter and did nothing.

            Then let us see what Pro-lifers think and whether they agree with you or not?

          • Santa Evita

            “You saw the letter and did nothing”.

            Your proof of this or any of your other ejaculations?

            In a free country you are free to choose to communicate with whomsoever you choose about whichever subject you choose. Perhaps you ought to take your pressing concerns and accompanying detailed evidence to whomever you believe ought to hear them. Though freedom of speech ought not, as Mrs Beattie’s case demonstrates, confer the right to be listened to or believed.

          • paulpriest

            Proof?
            You’ve just told everyone you did it – you might not realise it – but you have!

            ..and sorry no – the rules for Catholics are quite different – you’re already guilty of detraction by relating your character assassination of the the author – you’re abjectly forbidden to make judgment calls upon the individual – merely upon the objective moral nature of acts which they might have committed…

            Canon 823 makes it also quite clear that the PUBLIC actions of any Catholic in any media outlet or publication or speech is subservient to the adjudication of pastors and the ordinary and those with executive Ordinary powers to ensure the Faith is not compromised, misrepresented or scandalised.

            Also there’s conformity with basic civil and criminal law regarding libel, defamation, intimidation, incitement and bullying…

            Things like falsely , maliciously repeating accusations against an innocent third party…
            Something which is so much worse for a Catholic who would presumably have confessed and been absolved from the sin the first time it was committed….

            Nevertheless there’s little point in continuing – carry on with your victimising hypocritical witch-hunt – only your growth of a conscience might stop you – I know neither I nor anyone else has any chance of preventing you destroying everyone and everything around you that gets in your way…but bear in mind what people witnessed above – spite and malice and venom against an author for doing what exactly? for being what exactly?

            No matter what mendacious accusations you hurl at her i am sure there is one thing for which she will be eternally grateful…that she is not you!

          • Santa Evita

            Mr Priest. You have made several accusatory ranting posts, asserting several pieces of bizarre confections as irrefutable fact. None of your assertions make any sense. You are taking in riddles.

            We suggest you calm down and have a nice cup of tea. Or some medication for paranoia. Do take care and fear not. We shall let you have the last word. 🙂

          • paulpriest

            Oh I wrote a lengthy response explaining why you’ll never be able to empathise or express natural responses – why the double-edged sword of haviing neither scruples nor conscience can….well?
            Too late..you didn’t earn it. So you’ll never know.

          • Santa Evita

            Thank God! 🙂

  • carl jacobs

    The law should not be used to control a person’s moral life, except when that person’s behavior poses a threat to society.

    This statement is at the heart of the argument that is at the letter at the heart of this post. It is simultaneously tautological, and incoherent. The purpose of the law is to control a person’s moral life. It provides “shoulds” and “aughts” and “shouldn’ts” and “aught nots” that define the boundaries of behavior. So if one would say the law should not be used to control a person’s moral life, he would deny the very purpose of the law itself. The argument is never about whether the law should control a person’s life. The argument is rather about which moral boundaries the law should define. And that brings us to the very important qualification included in the sentence.

    It says “except when that person’s behavior poses a threat to society.” As written the sentence asserts that law should only exist to control behavior at the interface between individuals – this being the implication of a “threat to society.” Society implies an external impact. This would exclude the law from controlling actions deemed internal to the individual and private in scope. (The looming case for abortion can already be seen in outline here.) It is therefore an assertion of the primacy of human autonomy in private life. This is fair enough as far as it goes. God judges the heart that lusts and covets because God can see the heart. The civil magistrate is competent to judge neither.

    But there are two important definitions assumed in this sentence: “threat” and “society.” Who defines “threat” and who defines “society”? The argument as written tacitly assumes that unborn children are not part of society. Surely the author would assert that murdering an individual would constitute such a threat. But the possibility that abortion would fall into this category is simply assumed out of existence. The destruction of unborn children therefore by definition cannot entail a “threat” to society. Abortion then reverts back to the private sphere where law has no competence to judge. There is no interface between individuals because there is only one individual, and therefore no need to control behavior. Abortion becomes a matter of individual conscience driven by the primacy of autonomy.

    The letter thus tacitly assumes what it explicitly purports to deny – that it is a pro-abortion document driven by the assumptions of the pro-abortion position. You can hide the words, but you can’t hide the intent.

    • Martin

      Carl

      And of course Romans 1 18-32 describes a threat to society from a failure to grant to God that which is His alone. So should such behaviour be legislated against.

      • carl jacobs

        We get into so much trouble for daring to mention Romans chapter 1.

        • Martin

          😉

    • Albert

      Yes, that sentence stood out for me. And somehow or other, the sentence is supposed to cloak a pro-abortionist position in Catholic vestments. Presumably, it is because of such sentences, that people are being accused of misrepresenting her.

  • Bella

    “Not being included in either the [Catholic Women Speak] book which was distributed to the synod fathers or the website proved a crushing blow and vengeance must be sought.”, comments Santa Evita.

    So THAT’S who the guest author is! What a nasty trick. Infiltrate the private group and leak the discussion.
    Archbishop Cranmer please note. Not all Catholics females are duplicitous.

  • dannybhoy

    “As is now well known, Professor Tina Beattie of Roehampton University and a member of CAFOD’s (Catholic Association for Overseas Development) theological reference group has signed an open letter to the Polish bishops calling for safe, legal abortion for disabled babies.”
    Having worked with the most sadly disabled of children, I can tell you that whilst I am against abortion in general, when a woman knows that the child she is carrying in her womb may live a life of discomfort, unable ever to communicate, or walk or run and requiring 24/7 specialised care; it should be up to the parents in consultation with sympathetic doctors and priests or whoever to make as fully an informed choice as possible.
    They should be able to meet parents who have children like this, and visit special care facilities which is where many of these children eventually end up.
    We need to remember too that there are often siblings who are 100% healthy, who will nevertheless miss out to some degree, as the incapacitated child will take up a great deal of Mum and Dad’s time and energy.
    I sincerely believe that all these children will be received in Heaven as innocents, and that God Himself will be well aware of the heartaches and traumas that inevitably afflict the parents.
    This is nothing to do with people sinning or being punished by God, and everything to do with damaged or deteriorating genes and how the world is. To say that God has anything to do with bringing poor little scraps of humanity into the world as punishment or retribution or to keep us in our place is in my view an insult to the nature of God.

    • Just like euthanasia, it isn’t man’s decision whether a child in the womb should live or die. To do so is usurping God’s will and sovereignty. One cannot seek to achieve a good (spare suffering) by an evil means (the taking of innocent life).

      “I sincerely believe that all these children will be received in Heaven as innocents, and that God Himself will be well aware of the heartaches and traumas that inevitably afflict the parents.”

      This may well be true. So what? Moral decisions are made on the basis of reason and scripture, not emotion.

      “This is nothing to do with people sinning or being punished by God, and everything to do with damaged or deteriorating genes and how the world is.”

      Who said anyone was sinning or being punished? The world is as it is because of the Fall of Adam.

      “To say that God has anything to do with bringing poor little scraps of humanity into the world as punishment or retribution or to keep us in our place is in my view an insult to the nature of God.”

      And no one’s saying that..

      The argument being advanced by Beatie for abortion is that it is a woman’s reproductive ‘right’ and she should be able to exercise her own conscience on this matter and not be compelled by the civil law. Whatever one says about this, it directly contradicts Catholic teaching . Indeed, one could argue, to publically support abortion in this way will have resulted in an automatic latae sententiae excommunication.

      • dannybhoy

        Hello dear Jack. I was wondering why you’ve been quiet of late. All is still well I trust?
        The argument being advanced by Beatie for abortion is that it is a woman’s reproductive ‘right’ and she should be able to exercise her own conscience on this matter and not be compelled by the civil law.
        Answered here..
        ” ..it should be up to the parents in consultation with sympathetic doctors and priests or whoever to make as fully an informed choice as possible. ”
        That means the parents talk with their vicar/priest/pastor, and have the freedom to ask them “How do you think YOU would cope?”
        I’ve seen the effects on a family unit Jack. Oftentimes it is the man who walks away..
        Whatever one says about this, it directly contradicts Catholic teaching .
        So what?
        You’re already on record as admitting that individual Popes made mistakes -that may have caused all sorts of pain to individuals who believed the Pope was infallible.
        And for saying that only through adherence to the teachings of the Catholic Church can one be truly saved..
        God forbade the disabled or deformed from serving as priests, as in ..
        Leviticus 21 v16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying: ‘No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, 19 a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, 20 or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. 21 No man of the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, shall come near to offer the offerings made by fire to the Lord. He has a defect; he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. 22 He may eat the bread of his God, both the most holy and the holy; 23 only he shall not go near the veil or approach the altar, because he has a defect, lest he profane My sanctuaries; for I the Lord sanctify them.’”
        24 And Moses told it to Aaron and his sons, and to all the children of Israel.

        He told the Israelites not to spare any human life whether male female, young or old, in some of the cities they overran..
        So how dearly did He sanctify the lives of those innocent children Jack?

        • This woman claims to be a Catholic theologian and is publically contradicting an infallible and indefectible Church teaching. There is no room in Catholicism for entertaining the moral consequentialism you and most protestants peddle. And it is most odd to see a Christian accuse God of grave sin by citing the Old Testament. You’d be better off reflecting on the Book of Job.

          • dannybhoy

            I accuse God of grave sin?
            Hush thy mouth Jack.
            Just for a moment step outside the Catholic world of rules and regulations, hierarchies pomp and ceremonies (none of which are Biblical anyway), and accept that one could construct a number of false or distorted views of God by emphasising this or that element of Scripture..
            Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV)

            37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
            Either God is truly Love or He is capricious.
            So I believe the main thrust of the Scriptures, both Old and New, to be that He loves, that He is compassionate, that He is Holy.
            And I believe that not because some denomination has told me I must, but through a mixture of reading the Scriptures, gratefully accepting His Salvation and thinking through the issues in the light of His word, not man’s edicts.

          • Well of course God is love and shows compassion. You are simply clutching at straws to support abortion. Wilfully killing life in the womb cannot be morally justified.
            Does loving God not mean following His will? Is the child in the womb your “neighbour” deserving of love? Yet you’ll kill him/her to save his suffering? Or is it the suffering of the parents and other children?

          • dannybhoy

            I am not clutching at straws and I do not in general support abortion, especially as a lifestyle choice. We are talking about specific situations in which a couple know that there is a strong likelihood that their baby is going to be born severely disabled. And I’m not talking about Down’s Syndrome, I’m talking about serious physical/mental defects.

            Consider Islam for example where close relative marriage results in chilkdren born hirribly deformed. Yet devout Muslims might say that their faith condones this practice (as to some extent is true in some Jewish circles.)
            They (and other faiths) can then say that “God has sent us a disabled child, we must love and accept it, for to abort it in the womb is sin.”
            But did God send the child, or is there something wrong in their religious beliefs?
            If as a result of banning first cousins marriages the incidence of disabled babies drops dramtically, is it that God is withholding them?
            Of course not.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/7957808/700-children-born-with-genetic-disabilities-due-to-cousin-marriages-every-year.html

            http://www.humanillnesses.com/original/At-Ca/Birth-Defects.html

          • Not clear exactly what you’re saying here. Any child is worthy of love and respect whatever its genetic faults.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m saying that as time goes by fewer and fewer deformed or disabled children will be born because genetic testing will detect abnormalities before they happen.
            We will be pleased.
            Why?
            Because we know that it will mean less sadness and suffering for children, parents and families. So if we believe that why is it wrong to terminate a pregnancy as early as possible, when to allow it to develop into a sentient being is to condone its physical suffering.

          • Playing God, you mean, by deciding who should live and die. It is not for man to decide “to allow” certain categories of children to survive and to kill the others.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s not playing God. Do you think all the medical advances made through dissection of dead bodies, stem cell research from undeveloped unborn children, genetic research, invitro fertilisation etc etc are playing God? Have you or someone you know personally benefited in some way from such research?
            It’s quite possible.
            If you terminate a bunch of cells which will eventually become a sentient being, but remain at present cells, is that murder?
            Someone I know well had a relative whose second child was born with arms longer than its legs and other bodily deformities. The child was alive though, and the doctor took the father aside and showed him the child. He told the father that because of its deformities It could have no quality of life at all, and he agreed to the child being allowed to die.
            Tell me, was that father frustrating God’s gift to him and his wife?

          • “If you terminate a bunch of cells which will eventually become a sentient being, but remain at present cells, is that murder?”

            Yes, it is.

            Allowing a child to die by withholding specialist medical treatment is a different moral issue. How was the child “allowed to die”?

          • dannybhoy

            I say it isn’t. The potential of sentient life is there, not the realisation.

            The child was allowed to die. Full stop. To go into ‘how’ is of no value here. It was a long time ago and was done with compassion.

          • Then you are a supporter of abortion for disabled children – AKA eugenics.

            It seems you also support disabled children being “allowed to die” after birth, regardless of methods, provided its compassionate.

        • chiefofsinners

          The passage you quote needs to be properly understood. Many modern readers would be appalled and think God callous. It is there to emphasise God’s perfection and mankind’s fallen state. Sadly, disability is one manifestation of the corruption which sin has worked on humanity. It illustrates that we are all born in sin, incapable of helping ourselves.
          God’s true attitude to disability is illustrated in David’s actions towards Mephibosheth. He was given back all that he had lost through his grandfather’s sin and seated at the king’s table, where his lame feet could not be seen.

          • dannybhoy

            “It is there to emphasise God’s perfection and mankind’s fallen state.”
            Exactly, and comparing that passage in Leviticus with Mephibosheth in 2nd Samuel, illustrates that we can’t constrain God or put Him in a box..
            “Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
            Exodus 33:19
            The facets of God’s nature are illustrated all through the Scriptures Old and New.
            Look at how God responds to Jonah after Nineveh repented, and his treatment of Naaman the leper sfter God healed him..
            2nd Kings 5>
            “17 So Naaman said (to Elisha), “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord. 18 Yet in this thing may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord please pardon your servant in this thing.”

            19 Then he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a short distance.”

            The point is that man has made tremendous strides in the field of medicine, but those strides have involved methods of research which many of us would find morally questionable -yet so many of us, including Protestants and Catholics, have benefited from them and use them with no qualms whatsoever.
            Isn’t that true?
            So to me it’s not my place to judge a couple who find out there is something abnormal about the baby they are expecting and if they are people of faith, they consult their spiritual leaders as well as taking medical advice.
            Indeed some couples go ahead and have the child and love and cherish the child. David and Samantha Cameron spring to mind.
            Yet there are many other examples where a severely handicapped child(ren) has led to the break up of a marriage and a family. It’s a fact.

    • Martin

      Danny

      The Bible nowhere teaches that children, or even the unborn, are innocent. As I believe has already been quoted below:

      Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
      and in sin did my mother conceive me
      (Psalms 51:5 [ESV])

      and David isn’t speaking of his mother’s marital status.

      Add to this that children die, and death is the result of sin, so we see that the unborn are as deserving of Hell as any who live threescore years and ten.

      All children are born into a world where discomfort, and so much worse, temptation abound. Many siblings suffer loss of parental time following the birth of a sibling. On the other hand having a disabled sibling can be a great benefit in life.

      God knows the trials of our lives, do you not think that if we turn to Him He can provide what we need to live a life, whether disabled or related to one disabled?

      By the way, were you aware that there is some evidence that when a pregnancy is not carried to term there may be health consequences to the mother?

      • dannybhoy

        “God knows the trials of our lives, do you not think that if we turn to Him He can provide what we need to live a life, whether disabled or related to one disabled?”
        “If we turn to Him” can just as easily be translated into “There can be no God if He allows this to happen, or for me to be born disabled and be made fun of or be pitied all my life”.

        http://holywar.org/txt/027.htm
        http://www.dawn.com/news/1212811
        http://www.humanillnesses.com/original/At-Ca/Birth-Defects.html

        The point is that it is genetic deficiencies or faulty chromosomes that lead to defects, and once medical science has found out how to correct most of them, will we then say that God in His infinite wisdom sent us deformed or handicapped children, but He doesn’t anymore? Of course not. We’ll know it’s medical research, better diagnosis and so forth. That a child is born deficient in any way has nothing imo to do with original sin. Following through with your faulty argument, if the baby is born in a state of sinfulness, then surely God’s love and compassion would grant them salvation through Christ Jesus, seeing as they never got to express that sinful nature?
        It’s nonsense. An innocent child is an innocent child until they reach an age of accountablity.

        • Martin

          Danny

          Sickness is always the result of our forefathers sin, just as death is. God has granted to us the ability to heal some, but there will always be some who cannot be healed. Indeed the gradual deterioration of our genome cannot be halted or reversed. It would in the end destroy if the Lord were not to return before then.

          The Bible knows nothing of an age of accountability, otherwise children would not die in infancy.

          • dannybhoy

            Martin ny friend, what we in the past may have declared an act of God’s judgement or punishment, today we might recognise as a genetic defect, or a tumour, or a vitamin deficiency.
            That through medical advances many conditions can now be cured or controlled is not sinful men fighting against God’s ordained will, but rather men with God given intelligence doing research into these terrible things.
            It’s a paradigm shift in Christian thinking.
            As an evangelical Christian I do believe in Adam’s fall and that sin entered the world and the whole world lying in the power of the evil one. I do believe that men once lived for hundreds of years but as evil increased lifespans shortened.
            Yet it seems to me that without abandoning our belief in God or faith in Christ Jesus, we have to face up to the fact that unrepentant men are involved in research and treatments of all kinds of illnesses, and as a result people are living longer.

            “The Bible knows nothing of an age of accountability, otherwise children would not die in infancy.”
            I’m not quite sure what you mean here.
            1) I was saying that children who die in infancy are innocents.
            2) You said that because of original sin they weren’t. So by implication you think they would end up…..where?
            3) I then said that even if we accept that view, on what charge might God condemn them to Hell or whatever, so logically (thinking of the thief on the Cross) God would forgive them anyway and receive them into Heaven..

          • Martin

            Danny

            I’m not sure how you imagine that medical science does away with the idea that disease and death have their origin in Adam’s sin.

            As to infants, are they not capable of failing to keep that greatest of commandments, to love God? Since they die that is evidence that they are not innocent, for the soul that sins will die. As to where they go, Scripture is silent and we cannot rely on that silence to teach us anything, save God will do what is right.

          • dannybhoy

            “I’m not sure how you imagine that medical science does away with the idea that disease and death have their origin in Adam’s sin.”
            My thought was that if death and disease were God’s judgement on Adam’s disobedience, then in effect to fight against disease, to seek to prolong life and reduce infant mortality, is to fight against God’s judgement on sinful man?

            On children..
            Matthew 19>
            13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.
            Both Jews and Christians believe that there comes a time when children become accountable adults and mark this transition with a ceremony. Bar/bat mitzvah/Confirmation
            To say that a little child who dies is condemned because of original sin is to my mind bad theology!

            Although I am aware that the same charge could and is levelled at me…:0)
            As a matter of interest, what church or denomination do you belong to Martin?

          • Martin

            Danny

            If healing the sick were fighting against God’s judgement why would Jesus have healed the sick and raised the dead?

            As to confirmation, it isn’t a Christian ceremony, there is nothing in the Bible to institute it. Indeed, for Christians, there is no ceremony related to age. When a person becomes a Christian there is baptism, a public recognition of what God has done for them, and that is not related to age.

            I generally call myself a Particular Baptist, that is I believe in Particular Redemption. I hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks Martin,
            Re healing I think we were talking at cross purposes, but essentially agree.
            Re confirmation we also agree. I refused Anglican confirmation at boarding school, but was baptised by immersion when I became a Christian at 22.
            “I generally call myself a Particular Baptist, that is I believe in Particular Redemption. I hold to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.”

            Could have been worse. I thought perhaps I was dealing with something far more hierarchical…..

          • Martin

            Danny

            Worse?

  • This woman and all other Catholics who have signed this letter have incurrd the automatic penalty of excommunication.

    Canon 1398: “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”

    Canon 751: “Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

    Canon 1364 n. 1: “an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.”

    Apostasy, heresy, and schism are all offences which incur a sentence of automatic excommunication. Heresy is the obstinate denial of any truth of the Catholic faith, on a matter of faith or morals, which has been definitively taught by the Magisterium. The Magisterium has repeatedly and definitively taught that abortion is always gravely immoral.

    “Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”
    (Saint Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae)

    Any Catholic who obstinately denies that abortion is always gravely immoral commits the sin of heresy. Some Catholics obstinately deny that abortion is always immoral, and some Catholics claim that abortion can, at times, be a morally-acceptable choice, and some Catholics claim that a person can, in good conscience, choose abortion. Under the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, canons 751 and 1364, all such Catholics are automatically excommunicated for the sin of heresy.

    Those Catholics who publicly announce their denial that abortion is always gravely immoral, or who publicly promote abortion, or who publicly argue in favour of legalized abortion, commit a mortal sin and also incur a sentence of automatic excommunication. This applies to Catholic politicians, as well as political commentators, public speakers, or those who write or otherwise publicly communicate their erroneous view that abortion can be morally-acceptable or that abortion should be legal. This sentence of excommunication also applies to those Catholics who claim to be theologians or Biblical scholars.

    Those Catholics who promote abortion are automatically excommunicated for two reasons. First, they have fallen into the sin of heresy by believing that abortion is not always gravely immoral (canons 751 and 1364). Second, these Catholics are providing substantial assistance for women to obtain abortions by influencing public policy to make abortions legal, and to keep abortions legal, and to broaden access to abortion. Those who provide such substantial assistance commit a mortal sin and incur a sentence of automatic excommunication (canon 1398).

    • len

      I expect they knew that already?
      However the Ultimate judge is God not the RCC.

      • Are you defending abortion?

        • len

          No, but God is the the Ultimate Judge .Who knows who repented and who did not?.

    • Darter Noster

      Good – let’s hope the Church follows through.

      It would take a lot to push me into SSPX, but the Church compromising over abortion for disability could just about do it.

      • Darter Noster

        Especially after the efforts Pope Francis has gone to to show welcome for the most severely disabled people – now this supposedly Catholic charity head comes out with this!

      • Hold firm.

        • Darter Noster

          Abortion for any reason actually, but disability is a particular hot button issue.

          I try HJ, I try….

    • bluedog

      ‘I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral.’ And if that killing is the killing of the wife as a consequence of not aborting, where does the Roman Church stand?

  • victimmentality

    Dr Beattie’s personal statement said,”I find myself on the receiving end of profound hostility”.
    We innocent victims, know what that feels like, when you try to tell your story.

    This Catholic woman who speaks truth to power has been victimised by her own co-religionists.
    She is being abused. She has grounds for seeking legal advice against her abusers.

    What evidence is there that this online petition is authentic? They can be fake signatures.
    The forgery factor is a major reason why people such as government officials are quite unlikely to give them much credence.
    Normally, there is no viable way for the recipient of the petition to verify names on the list. Nor can it be determined whether a list was signed by the person named or added without his or her consent. Regardless of the medium used, a credible petition must contain verifiable information about those who sign it. The numbers stated as signing against Dr Beattie are highly suspicious. Total nonsense in fact.
    The outrage is that the petition is against her personally, not all the signatories or the Letter. This is victimisation. I urge her to consult a solicitor.

    • Another liberal-progressive ‘tell’ in these modernist times – “speaks truth to power.” The times one hears from feminists.

      Speaking truth to power does not entail promoting heresy and apostasy; quite the reverse. It is used appropriately when the hierarchy wanders from the Deposit of Faith and are challenged.

    • Simon Platt

      “This Catholic woman who speaks truth to power has been victimised by her own co-religionists” are you serious? She’s a professor of theology at a once-catholic college, trustee of the Tablet, advisor to CAFOD, regular contributor to many media outlets; immensly influential despite her continuous dissent – always, so far as I can tell, in favour of contemporary mores. She *is* “power”, always on the side of the powerful against the faithful.

  • EnosBurrows

    It is Facebook that labels groups as “secret” as the author of this article well knows and that was clearly all that Tina Beattie was meaning.

    • Was it publicly readable then?

      • EmpressJadis

        Not even the membership was readable, a it would have been with a closed group

        • That sounds like a good definition of “secret” to me. It’s easier to find out who the top people in MI5 are.

    • victimmentality

      Correct. Nothing sinister about it and I know plenty about secrecy in the Church. It’s abusive criticism from this author, more victimisation.
      Closed and secret are terms for Facebook groups. The difference is that closed groups can be seen by the public, while secret groups can’t. If you create a closed group, the name of it, its members, and its description can be seen by the public—basically everything but the posts in the group. Simple as that.

      • Nonsense. The group was set up to co-ordinate the writing of a heretical letter by Catholics supporting abortion. It was established as a secret and closed group for a reason.

        • victimmentality

          Perhaps it was formed to avoid interference from people like you accusing the interested parties of being heretics for passing opinions. I can pass an opinion that paedophile priests stilł stalk the dioceses so why can’t they send their letter to Polish bishops?

          • It was a covert and underhand method to use with the intention of hid ting the contributors. What did they fear and why? As a Catholic, Jack is entitled to comment on their public, manifest heresy and support for abortion. Whilst claiming to be Catholic, they adopt a position contrary to Church teaching and, as such, according to Canon Law, have actually excommunicated themselves.

  • Martin

    Will you be discussing the Anglicans whose pronouncements clash with the 39 Articles next?

    • victimmentality

      Why has a Catholic guest author been spouting venom on this quintessentially Anglican blog? The usual author is watching the Catholics making fools of themselves over a letter expressing opinions on a very sensitive issue.

      • Martin

        VM

        Why has a ‘Catholic’ guest author?

        May we expect to see posts by Presbyterians, Congregationalists or even, horror of horrors, Baptists in the future?

        Sorry, I forget myself, only those who have bishops may post on this blog.

        • victimmentality

          Some Methodists have bishops. I’m told the incidence of clerical abuse in that denomination is low.

          • Martin

            VM

            Numbers dear boy, numbers.

        • How do you know the guest author is Catholic. Jack has his doubts.

          • Martin

            HJ

            It’s the muddled thinking, much like the present hierarchy.

      • But is the guest a Catholic?

        • Anton

          Is the Pope?

    • Darter Noster

      Gordon Bennett, His Grace is only human…

      • Martin

        DN

        It seems a logical progression, and it would provide subjects from here to eternity and back.

        • Darter Noster

          Precisely – he’d have to clear his diary for the next decade or so just to get through the clergy…

          • Martin

            DN

            Do you mean bishops rather than clergy? That’d get him a good way there.

    • The pass mark is only 50% so if you accept 20 articles they’re happy.

      • Martin

        Ecc

        I thought you passed if you said you had read them.

  • chiefofsinners

    Um, I was wondering, Cranmer, why has this Anglican blog embroiled itself in such an impenetrably convoluted Catholic v feminist mud wrestling brawl?

    • It’s neither impenetrable nor convoluted; and abortion is an issue that is – or should be – of concern to all Christians, not just Catholics.

      • Martin

        HJ

        Seems to me that this blog post is both impenetrable and convoluted

        • carl jacobs

          I had no trouble understanding it.

          • Martin

            Carl

            So I gather.

          • carl jacobs

            So, then. Make your case. What is impenetrable and convoluted about this blog post?

          • Martin

            Carl

            That I didn’t understand what the writer was on about until I read the comments. Sorry and all that but I’m only pew fodder and don’t really understand all this high falutin political stuff.

          • Anton

            Anybody who goes on about Luce Irigaray and Jacques Lacan is speaking a peculiar kind of bullshit common in only very few places (mostly philosophy departments and some English and modern languages and media studies depts) yet deeply symptomatic of the shocking malaise in the Western soul. You can translate that stuff into plain English?

          • carl jacobs

            Did the author of this blog post make reference to anything like that? I certainly didn’t see it. Are we talking about the same thing?

          • Beaties ‘theology’ dismisses Natural Law as outdated and is based on the wittering’s of Luce Irigaray and Jacques Lacan.

          • carl jacobs

            What has that to do with this blog post? I tried to read her book. I gave up at the discussion of the phallic imagery of the Mass. I won’t defend Beatie’s stuff. I am talking about the blog post. Did I misunderstand Martin when he said …

            Seems to me that this blog post is both impenetrable and convoluted

            If I did, I will repent in dust and ashes.

          • Take it up with Anton.

          • Anton

            Working on it, Jack.

          • Anton

            This book by Beattie:

            https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gods-Mother-Eves-Advocate-Beattie/dp/0826455638

            Somebody below says that it asserts homosexual allusions in the Catholic Mass. Beattie’s letter of self-defence, linked to in the Cranmer guest article at top, mentions that this was done in a highly specific context, which she insists means she has written nothing wrong. As I’ve not read the passage in question I’m not commenting, but it’s relevant alright. The book is certainly full of postmodern post-Freudian semiotic philosophical bullshit – Irigaray, Lacan etc.

          • carl jacobs

            Yeah, that’s the book for which Eggles posted a link. I read about 3/4’s of a page, and couldn’t take the pain any longer. Whereupon I cursed Eggles’ lineage back three generations. No, I can’t defend that book. No, I didn’t understand it either. It was both incoherent and superior in that distinctly academic sort of way.

          • CliveM

            Words strung together to hide meaning. Which is understandable when the purpose is to take clear biblical principles and make them unclear, in an attempt to confuse.

        • Anton

          Try reading Tina Beattie’s book! (Partly browsable at Amazon.)

          • Martin

            Anton

            That temptation I will resist.

      • chiefofsinners

        Penetrable to you, but you are of the Popish persuasion. I am as much against abortion as you but it seems to me that we have crossed the Rubicon into Roman territory. I look forward to future articles on current controversies in Rastafarianism and amongst the Jedi.

        • Anton

          Chief, you think biblically; what do you make of the fact that the Law of Moses says nothing about waiting for a pregnant woman convicted of a capital crime to give birth before enacting sentence?

          • Martin

            Anton

            I can cite a case where the sin of the head brought destruction on the whole family.

          • Judaism does not forbid abortion.

          • Anton

            Most of the scriptures quoted below against it are OT. Could you be more specific when you say “Judaism” please?

          • There’s plenty of good sources on the web confirming what Jack has said. Here’s a very simple one:

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/judaism/jewishethics/abortion_1.shtml

          • Martin

            HJ

            A telling point:

            “In fact Biblical Jewish teaching doesn’t deal at all with the circumstance of an abortion deliberately induced with the consent of the mother – that concept seems completely unknown.”

          • There’s a very close correspondence between the Jewish position, modern Western laws and that of many latter day Protestant denominations.

          • Anton

            Don’t you know many Jews? There is no one Jewish position.

          • There is acceptance of abortion as legitimate across all schools of Judaism.

            Jack’s father was a convert from Orthodox Judaism to Roman Catholicism – the eldest son of a Rabbi and a Talmudic scholar.

          • Anton
          • Which just confirms what Jack has said.

            “Due to the diversity within Orthodox Judaism, there are a range of halakhic opinions about abortion, though they generally prohibit abortion except in quite limited circumstances. All agree, however, that abortion is not only acceptable but mandatory to save a woman’s life.”

          • Anton

            You said: “Judaism does not forbid abortion” and “There is acceptance of abortion as legitimate across all schools of Judaism.”

            What that article told me is that it is regarded as unacceptable by religious Jews except in exceptional cases. I am not seeking to excuse it in those cases, but it is not at all the same thing.

          • It’s actually mandatory for Orthodox Jews in certain circumstances. And more and more schools see it as more and more acceptable in less and less “exceptional” circumstances.

          • Martin

            HJ

            By ‘Latter day’ do you mean post downgrade?

          • As Jack understands it, all the protestant churches at one time were opposed to abortion. Now the majority support it under certain conditions.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Many churches that call themselves protestant have ceased to be Christian. I know a good many churches where abortion is not supported.

          • Unconditionally?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Unconditionally.

          • dannybhoy

            There are a lot of things that the Scriptures don’t comment on, and in my opinion it’s because we know so much more now about how things work and what causes what..
            One could ponder whether it has been the interaction between Christianity and classical Greek philosophy that has enabled Western civilisation to advance in the way that it has.
            Or more that Christian thought has allowed for the growth of science, exploration and progress.

          • Martin

            Danny

            Scripture may not comment but you can work from the principles laid down.

          • Martin

            HJ

            But, like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, Judaism is based more on what the teachers say than what the Bible says.

          • Talmudic and Pharisaical Judaism is, yes.

          • Martin

            HJ

            I excluded Messianic Judaism since I consider that part of Christianity and hence fully biblical.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t think so. Much of modern day Judaistic thought is in light of persecution by Christians and ultimately the Holocaust.

          • Martin

            Dany

            You sound as if you’re agreeing with me.

          • dannybhoy

            Never!

          • Martin

            Danny

            So why is it based on events and not on the Bible?

            😉

          • dannybhoy

            “So why is it based on events and not on the Bible?”

            I didn’t say that, you weird old baptist you.
            I said,
            ” Much of modern day Judaistic thought is in light of persecution by Christians and ultimately the Holocaust.”

            May I recommend Robert Hutchinson’s “Searching forJesus” on which he examines the state of Judaism in the first century.
            The fact is that there were quite a few different interpretations then, just as there are today in Christianity. You know, odd little groups that nobody had ever heard of ’til a few days ago….
            Off the top of my head we have to consider how Judaism began to change after the end of the Jewish State around AD 70.
            They lost their land and their Temple.
            The sacrificial system,
            The continuity of the priesthood.
            As Christianity grew, the Jews found themselves under pressure and experienced increasing persecution.
            The focus of Jewish devotional life moved to the synagogue and the writings of the learned rabbis.
            So the Jews didn’t abandon their Scriptures, but they adapted their expressions of faith and devotion according to their changing circumstances.
            We should reflect on the fact that the Church has has been the greatest persecutor of God’s Covenant people. The people of Jesus.

          • Martin

            Danny

            So you’re saying Judaism today has more to do with events than it has to do with the Bible.

            And actually I’m not convinced that it has been Christians who have persecuted the Jews.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s no more relevant than saying “Mormons teach that marriage is for eternity.”

          • It was intended to be a starter for ten.

          • Martin

            HJ

            A starter for a discussion on whether the God of Judaism is still the God of the Bible? Or am I opening a can of worms?

          • No – a starter for ten on Judaism and abortion. Jack does not want to get embroiled in what have been, in the past on here, very heated and controversial discussions.

          • Martin

            HJ

            I still don’t see what relevance Judaism has. What about Islam?

          • Anton raised the issue, not Jack.

            He asked:

            … what do you make of the fact that the Law of Moses says nothing about waiting for a pregnant woman convicted of a capital crime to give birth before enacting sentence?”

            Muslims have a similar position to Jews. They regard abortion as wrong and haram (forbidden), but accept that it may be permitted in certain cases. All schools of Muslim law accept that abortion is permitted if continuing the pregnancy would put the mother’s life in danger. Different schools of Muslim law hold different views on whether any other reasons for abortion are permitted, and at what stage of pregnancy.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Again, since the Jews have abandoned the Bible as their primary authority they are irrelevant.

          • dannybhoy

            They haven’t abandoned their Scriptures, they have revisited what they believed.

          • Martin

            Danny

            The evidence says otherwise.

          • carl jacobs

            No, that’s the right question.

          • Martin

            🙂

          • chiefofsinners

            Good question.
            Generally the penalty followed immediately. Numbers 25, for example, where death occurred even before conception would have taken place.
            In other cases I think the best that can be said is that humans had the opportunity to act with compassion. Jesus made it clear that the law was made for man, not man for the law, with the example of David taking the consecrated bread.
            David and Bathsheba is an interesting example. Both parents lived but the child died. Who can know the mind of God?

          • grutchyngfysch

            Chief – don’t forget the lineage that David begins. The Messiah comes through the House of David – He did not come through an adulterous liasion (or for that matter any descendant of King Saul) – but He did come through a line of forgiven adulterers who had learnt the consequences of their sins.

        • You actually learn something, CoS.

          • chiefofsinners

            It is better to study truth than error

          • Indeed it is. Pay attention.

          • chiefofsinners

            Sorry, did you say something?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Well, if we can learn from Balaam’s Ass I suppose we should not totally exclude the possibility of learning something from Rastafarians and Jedis.

    • victimmentality

      He must like watching women wrestling in mud. The C of E has guide lines that match the views of the Catholic signatories ~~
      “The Church of England encourages its members to think through issues themselves in the light of the Christian faith and in dialogue with the Christian community. Inevitably there will be differences of emphasis or opinion between individuals. But there is a consistent Church of England position on abortion as expressed in reports and resolutions of the General Synod. In summary:

      “The Church of England combines strong opposition to abortion with a recognition that there can be – strictly limited – conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative”.

      • Then Tina Beatie and friends should join the Anglican Communion and stop pretending to be Roman Catholic.

        • carl jacobs

          Yeah, they should be more like that Pope guy, and his German bishops … Oh, wait.

          • Do they publically support abortion?

          • carl jacobs

            I dunno, Jack.. Should we ask Mundabor?

          • Let Jack know what he says, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            I think we both know what Mundabor thinks about the Catholicism of this present Pope.

            😉

          • Martin

            Carl

            Do tell. I’ve heard some have sympathy with CoR apologists who have to comment on papal pronouncements.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh, I can’t possibly describe Mundabor. Suffice it to say that Luther comes off well compared to Francis. Just google that name and he will be your first hit. I respect him because he is a “no punches pulled” traditional Catholic.

          • According to Mr M. Luther is in Hell.

          • carl jacobs

            Yep. And that was pretty much Catholic teaching until about 60 years ago.

          • Hmm… Jack was always taught (and it was pre-Vatican II) that whilst the Church believes people certainly go to hell it has never formally determined any particular person is there. God is the only person who can judge the condition of a person’s soul at death.

          • MenAreLikeWine

            Yes, the Church can determine that acts Luther committed would lead him to Hell – unless he repented of them. Repentance is the key to avoiding Hell and we never know who repents.

          • Martin

            MALW

            The new birth is the key, not simply repentance.

            For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
            (Hebrews 12:17 [ESV])

          • Royinsouthwest

            So you agree with Luther’s key doctrine – justification by faith?

          • Oh, I thought we were discussing abortion. Besides, Mundabor isn’t infallible.

          • carl jacobs

            No, you tried to change the subject to abortion. You said …

            Then Tina Beatie and friends should join the Anglican Communion and stop pretending to be Roman Catholic

            … implying that Rome is some bastion of centralized doctrinal and moral coherence as opposed to the chaos of the Anglican Communion. (Subtext: Come to Rome for Coherence.) So I merely pointed to your current Pope and the Magisterium that elected him. The reason for doing so is obvious.

          • Jack is not aware of the Pope having changed any Catholic doctrine or teaching. He’s actually the guardian of the Deposit of Faith and so incapable of doing so. As an individual, he may well be on the liberal-progressive wing. He also writes and speaks in ambiguous terms. But he has not written anything that is manifestly heretical or involving apostasy.

            There is coherence in the Catholic Church.

          • carl jacobs

            He deliberately opened the door between sacramental practice and sacramental teaching. And he isn’t going to do anything to close it. Liberals don’t change formal teaching. They change the functional theology of the church and leave the formal teaching to rot.

          • Did he? That’s a matter of discussion amongst many Catholic commentators and there is no clear consensus. Here’s one of the best articles Jack has read on all this:

            http://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/amoris-laetitia-a-call-for-clarification-to-avoid-general-confusion

            Jack is coming around to seeing this as Church Militant see it:

            http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/bp.-schneider-sex-or-the-sacraments

            The comments on these articles are interesting.

          • MenAreLikeWine

            “Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil,” the Pope said Feb. 18.

        • victimmentality

          It’s morally repugnant to talk about the cruel destruction of children before birth when clerical child abuse goes unpunished. It is a form of destruction for the child victim, millions of them.

          • Oh, here’s a familiar little distraction. Any and every heresy is *defended* by this tactic. Are you from NCR (Fishwrap) by any chance, or the Tablet (Poisonous Pill)? Beatie is frequently trotted out on both.

            There’s no defence for clerical sexual abuse. There’s no defence for abortion.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Do you accept that war can be defended despite the fact that innocent people are certain to be killed? Do you think that abortion is always worse than a “just” war?

          • You’re mixing things up. War does not – or should not – target innocent non-combatants.

          • bluedog

            ‘There’s no defence for abortion.’ So you would kill your wife to save an unborn child?

          • No, Jack wouldn’t take direct action to kill either his wife or his child.

          • bluedog

            But what if a choice must be made? What if the pregnant wife and her unborn child will both die if some medical procedure is not made? In that case, which do you save?

            Sometimes one reaches a moment of truth, and it would seem that in the instance described above, the Catholic has no option other than to let nature takes its course for fear of sinning by say, killing the child to save the wife and mother. In short, the magisterium creates a situation not unlike that of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who will not take a blood transfusion.

          • In reality, these decisions rarely have to be made. Medical action to save the life of the mother is permitted provided it does not wilfully kill the child in her womb. The Church bans abortions which “directly” cause the death of a child. However, there are certain medical procedures that a pregnant woman can undergo which, “indirectly”, result in the death of the child. Under some circumstances, the church regards these as a moral choice.

          • bluedog

            It seems the Catholic position hangs on the distinction between ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ killing.

          • It involves an ethical principle called “double effect.” This is where an action that is directly undertaken for a moral reason has an unintended, unavoidable, second, indirect, and negative, effect. The most common example is the administering a narcotic to ease the pain of a terminally-ill cancer patient. The medication will have the desired effect of alleviating pain. However, it may also has the side effect of hastening death.

            An action involving a double effect may be morally acceptable if the following four conditions are met:

            – The negative effects are not sought, and all reasonable efforts are made to avoid them;

            – The direct effect is positive;

            – The negative effect is not made a means to obtain the positive effect; and

            – The positive effect is at least as important as the negative effect.

            Uterine cancer is an example. The normal medical response would be to surgically remove the womb and its contents, including the cancerous growth and the child. Unless a late-term pregnancy was involved, the child would inevitably die. Catholic theologians regard this surgical procedure as moral, because the physician’s goal is to save the life of the woman by removing the cancer. The death of the child was not the goal of the physician, only the unintended but unavoidable result of the procedure.

          • bluedog

            Now you’re starting to talk sense, with an almost Anglican comprehension of complexity and dilemma.

          • Uncle Brian

            Crap.

          • carl jacobs

            Concise. Accurate. To the point. Not cluttered with unnecessary words. Perhaps a little on the vulgar side … but we’ll let it go given the context.

            😉

          • Uncle Brian

            Thank you, Carl. Your recommendations will be heeded.

          • Carl frequently uses the expression male bovine excrement.

      • Darter Noster

        “The Church of England combines strong opposition to abortion with a recognition that there can be – strictly limited – conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative”

        That sounds exactly like the Church of England:

        “We are strictly opposed to abortion, except in circumstances where we aren’t. And we don’t know what those circumstances are.”

        • bluedog

          “We are strictly opposed to abortion, except in circumstances where we aren’t. And we don’t know what those circumstances are.” Silly Anglicans. How can they possibly save the life of the wife at the expense of the unborn child? Really! Scarcely Christian!

          • Darter Noster

            That isn’t what they say though, is it?

            In the absolute archetypal Anglican fashion, that statement leaves the matter sufficiently unclear that in practice it is difficult to imagine a situation in which an abortion could not be considered justified. It is the Anglican equivalent of abortion on ground C – the mental health of the woman would suffer; in theory abortion is highly restricted, but in practice no one is ever, for any reason, refused one because ground C is just a catch-all which could be applied to anyone.

            It’s like traffic news saying “Avoid all non-essential travel on the M25” – in reality, who the hell travels on the M25 unless they have to? Nobody has an abortion which they don’t personally feel is essential and unavoidable in the circumstances; it’s not like having a boob job.

          • bluedog

            Could it be that the Anglican position represents the reality of the human condition? One cannot imagine any Anglican approving abortion on demand as a method of contraception, which is clearly the practice in many cases. But read the post again. We’re talking about the wife, not some drunken trollop whose Friday night shag has had unintended consequences.

            HJ quotes from the magisterium with his usual earnestness and it seems that the Catholic position is absolute, but self-contradictory. Consider this, with thanks to HJ: “Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

            (Saint Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae)

            The operative words are ‘the direct and voluntary killing…’.

            But what of the indirect killing of the innocent wife who is seemingly not permitted the abortion that may save her life?
            With commendable wisdom the Anglican Communion allows room for discretion in circumstances which cannot necessarily be foreseen.

          • Albert

            HJ quotes from the magisterium with his usual earnestness and it seems that the Catholic position is absolute, but self-contradictory.

            The Catholic position is not self-contradictory.

            From the CofE document on the subject:

            In the light of our conviction that the foetus has the right to live and develop as a member of the human family, we see abortion, the termination of that life by the act of man, as a great moral evil. We do not believe that the right to life, as a right pertaining to persons, admits of no exceptions whatever; but the right of the innocent to life admits surely of few exceptions indeed.

            That is self-contradictory.

          • Albert

            How can they possibly save the life of the wife at the expense of the unborn child? Really! Scarcely Christian!

            If you mean by that: how can they possibly save the life of the wife by killing the unborn child?

            then that isn’t only scarcely Christian, it is simply not Christian.

          • bluedog

            That’s exactly what I mean. Its not impossible that a medical situation will develop where the wife/mother is at risk and doing nothing is the option which allows nature inevitably to kill both mother and unborn child. Before modern medicine it was a very common occurrence. Faced with a choice, which do you save?

          • Albert

            If the choice requires directly killing one to save the other, that choice is immoral.

          • bluedog

            It seems the Catholic position hangs on the distinction between ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ killing. Good luck with that judgement.

          • Albert

            It’s very clear. Direct is when someone directly murders someone, indirect would be like unwanted collateral damage in a just war.

            Most people seem able to make the distinction.

  • Anton

    Re this thread, Phew, what a scorcher!

    • victimmentality

      You would think after this the Archbishop might invite Catherine Lafferty to discuss why it is more dangerous to be an altar boy than an altar girl in the Catholic Church.

    • EmpressJadis

      Before this comments section descends into score settling between Bellamentality and his perceived enemies, it remains to be said that it is a good article, published on a serious blog. It will, I hope, raise a question in her own mind as to whether Ms Beattie (who has an absolute right to express her views as a private person) should continue in all conscience to hold any official post within a Catholic institution.

      • The University she teaches at is not a Catholic institution.

        “I am an academic theologian who is also a practising Catholic. (This is subtly different from claiming to be a Catholic theologian if that implies somebody with a licence who is authorised to teach by the official magisterium). I do not work in a Catholic university but in a College with Catholic foundations in a state-funded secular university.”

        She is not a Catholic theologian.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Good news !

        • MenAreLikeWine

          I think Jadis was pointing more at her role within CAFOD. I agree with both of you. I also think she should be forbidden from speaking on any Church premises – which would require the Holy See to stop inviting her as well.

        • EmpressJadis

          That’s really interesting. I wasn’t aware of the fine distinctions you point out. In my day (antediluvian) her place of employment was a Catholic Teacher Training College. There also seems to be some confusion about whether she is “theological advisor” to CAFOD, or “A theological advisor (one of many) to CAFOD” as mentioned by MenarelikeWine below.

  • As a Catholic, Beatie repeatedly reveals herself to be a dissident and heretic in her *open letter*. If she was teaching at a Catholic University as a theologian, one suspects she would have had her licence withdrawn by now.

    • MenAreLikeWine

      One would hope, if we look at the US, we wouldn’t expect.

      • Anton

        Great avatar!

  • victimmentality

    The Editor of this blog who writes for other publications including The Spectator and the Deputy Editor, both professed Anglicans, have been commended periodically by a number of Catholics including priests who write for the conservative Catholic press, for the honest commentary of this prestigious blog whose reputation has been sullied by this article and the failure to moderate malicious comments expressing unjustified animosity.

    The Open Letter first received attention from the Editorial Staff of The Catholic Herald. For some inexplicable (to Catholics) a respected Anglican blog has taken up the story.
    Therefore, allegedly, this blog is complicit in the victimisation of an innocent private person, one individual academic employed by a secular university involved in the composition of a letter expressing the facts about abortion, theological and sociological, to be courteously expressed and sent to a group of Polish Bishops of what Angicans would call the Roman as against the Anglican Communion.

    Some Catholics, without any personal relationship with the alleged victim, will therefore be writing a letter to the Head of the Anglican Communion about this matter of alleged victimisation and, since the names of the Editors of this blog, the priests who have commented elsewhere, and Editors of the Catholic publication involved in its publicity are readily available, a further letter will be sent to the Head of the Catholic Church in England. Reference will also be made to those commenters whose identities are known who have contributed to the victimisation.
    Those receiving the letter will be made aware of the response some months ago of a priest associated with the Vatican who took legal action after alleged defamation of character, victimisation, and threats to his reputation and vocation.

    • bluedog

      Lighten up, dude. Some of us believe in the competition of ideas, free speech and the privilege of offending and being offended without resorting to threats and coercive measures to muzzle those with whom you disagree. If you don’t like what you read, you are free to sulk in silence.

    • len

      If this is some sort of attempt at a cover up “I’m afraid that horse has long since bolted.

    • Santa Evita

      You mean Father Rosica? That worked out well!

      The blogpost may be motivated by a personal vendetta and strategically unwise, but by attempting to use legal action to shut down half the Internet who are all expressing perfectly legitimate doubts about Tina Beattie’s relationship with the U.K. Catholic hierarchy, you demonstrate yourself to be as much of a bully as anyone else.

      Think you’ll find Cramner isn’t cowed by threats. (See the ASA business).

      Daft wally.

      • Santa Evita

        What’s +Cantaur supposed to do with a green ink missive from someone complaining about a blog written by an Anglican?

        Will he read out the commenation service about ‘naughty men’ to the ashes? Can’t wait to see that 😀

        Letter will be put in the circular file way before it reaches either Justin and as for the Head of the Catholic Church in the UK – there ain’t one.

        Vin is head of the Bishops’ Conference, but that doesn’t give him any jurisdiction over any Catholics outside his diocese, let alone a dead Anglican blogger. Jog on.

    • William Lewis

      Is this a joke? Your username suggests so.

      • preacher

        Ahem ! One feels that a certain regular ‘ contributor ‘ with a penchant for chameleon type name changing has been noticeably absent from this debate, or has he/she ?.

        • len

          Probably dreaming up a new identity? Or could be posing as a member of the RCC???

          • preacher

            Or has already emerged as one ?.

          • len

            See my edit

          • preacher

            Mischief afoot do you think brother ? I think we are both on the right track & thinking of the same person ! Posing, or even impersonating, amounts to the same thing eh ?.

          • len

            I think His style betrays him?.

          • preacher

            Give ’em enough rope & ……….

          • len

            Won`t be long and he will morph into someone else?. Must be really confusing having an identity like that?.

          • preacher

            Rather like a Butterfly with revolving doors on the chrysalis. But a very well executed attempt today, got a lot of people involved in the joke !.

          • len

            Certainly this person would make a good actor with rapid role changes, perhaps even is one?.

          • preacher

            A regular one man band. But the enemy always overplays his hand & comes last !.

        • William Lewis

          Could be. The wind up is certainly his raison d’être.

          • preacher

            Sad but true, must be a very lonely existence, but well done, I think you found the truth !.

          • Anton

            Is transubstantiation the raisin d’être?

      • bluedog

        And its not April 1st but May 1st. Has His Grace granted an extension?

        • preacher

          Perhaps William Lewis has stumbled on the truth ?.
          No extension needed for those that want to throw a spanner in the works !.

        • preacher

          I wonder who ‘ Cardinal ‘ Mary Clarence is ? There’s not many female Cardinals in the R.C Church is there ? Unless of course Mrs Proudie of hobnob fame has crossed the Tiber & created insurrection ?.

          • Anton

            The pseudonym was explained to me very early in the thread, and later on others claimed to know her identity.

          • The writing style suggests who the author is, but Jack cannot be certain and so will say no more.

          • bluedog

            Perhaps the good Cardinal is the sister of our Archbishop.

    • Dreadnaught

      What I find offensive is that an anonymous person has been allowed to vent his spleen in a personal attack on a named other. Not something I have ever seen on this open and unmoderated blog in any of many years engaging with the always well written OPs.
      And yes I understand Cranmers passionate anti-abortion stance but this was a sucker punch by proxy and unworthy of his reputation, on an unsuspecting target.
      Of course Ii makes good sense to use a nom-de-plume whenever of the world internet but not simply to hide from the consequences of initiating a deliberate attempt at character assassination.

    • *shakes an quakes in his boots*

    • Do write to Vincent Nichols. We’re all waiting for him to tell Tina to put a sock in it. Better still write to the CDF, and they may provide the sock.

  • PessimisticPurple

    The Catholic faithful have suffered the same betrayal to modernism by their bishops since Vatican II as Anglicans have. Still, it’s good to see that some Anglicans are maintaining the old tradition of sticking it to Catholics even as their own house is burning down.

    • len

      This is more about’ truth’ than denomination. Cranmer is into truth that’s why we regulars come here…

      • Uncle Brian

        Cranmer’s is not now, and never will be, a “safe space”. God willing.

        • PessimisticPurple

          My point was rather that a certain number of Angicans, posting below the line, with whom Catholics should have common cause, are wasting their time gloating over the self-inflicted wounds of he Catholic Church, especially given that the Church of England is on the point of bleeding out itself. “Safe space” has nothing to do with it.

          • len

            Both the RCC and the C of E could come out of present difficult times stronger IF they address the issues and don`t try and sweep them under the carpet?.
            Jesus tells the church to’ repent’ where they fail and then to get back on track with Him.

          • CliveM

            You’d be surprised how few days of the commentators are Anglican.

          • Darter Noster

            Though quite a few of us used to be…

          • Uncle Brian

            Et tu, Darter!

          • dannybhoy

            You’re not and even though we attend an Anglican church, my wife and I aren’t Anglicans.

          • Anton

            Uncle Brian is allowed to widen the subject.

          • CliveM

            Ok, name names, which Angkicans on this blog are gloating?

    • bluedog

      There seem to be more than a few Catholics sticking it in to more than a few Catholics on this blog thread. Anglicans can only be impressed by the fervour.

  • DanJ0

    Blimey. The issues around Israel and the Palestinians have just been solved on The Big Questions this morning through a calm, reasoned, and intelligent debate.

    • len

      No longer watch that programme, my blood pressure won`t stand it!.

    • CliveM

      I thought that too!

      • carl jacobs

        So … What happened?

        • CliveM

          Everyone screamed and shouted at each other, interrupted, accused everyone of lying etc, etc. Basically it was a bun fight.

          • DanJ0

            That pointy-fingered bloke on the right was a right nutter. he was practically foaming at the mouth. And that woman on the left who he was screaming at was not much better.

          • CliveM

            It was all very unedifying. I did chuckle when the Muslim Council representative denied that anti Semitism was a problem in his community!

      • DanJ0

        I haven’t seen anything as vicious and aggressive as that on the programme for a long time!

        • CliveM

          Yep, I’ve watched less aggressive pub fights!

    • Dreadnaught

      I agree fighting like ferrets in a sack but as ever no one brought into question the books of the Koran and Hadith that lies at the base of the entire argument.No other religion has extreme violence as the alternative to conversion. No where in the world has conquest of host cultures, enshrined as carrying out the will of a god in perpetuity..

      • Anton

        It is more about who has political control of the Area Formerly Known as Mandatory Palestine, although certain verses in those books make peace harder to attain.

    • Anton

      Great! Now go to the Middle East and tell them…

  • Bella

    Something to ponder about hypocrisy in Catholic academic circles. No one is “promoting” abortion.

    From a historian in a UK university who described this woman professor as “a clown” on Twitter:

    “Bishops MUST act to correct error of “Catholic” theologian”

    Reply from an unknown man:

    “Surely the (male only) hierarchy are not wanting to silence women speaking out on a deeply sensitive ethical matter?”

    Reply from the academic:

    “it is not about silencing anyone, it is about calling yourself a Catholic theologian and promoting abortion.”

    From the man:

    “I understand and accept the comment about illiberal liberals, but I don’t have the luxury of certainty about abortion”.

    • carl jacobs

      How fortunate for the “unknown man” that he is able to achieve such certainty about FGM.

      But really now. Why are you still here? Have you repented of your decision to strike your sandal against the door?

  • IanCad

    “Safe, legal abortion for disabled babies”
    I do hope the good lady is not thinking of fourth trimester terminations. Her letter however, casts her as an enthusiastic topper of the unwanted, the inconvenient, and those plain, unfashionable unfortunates whose birth does require a dreadfully demanding duty from the mother.
    True, many mums will not be up to the strain and this is where civilized society must step in to benefit the child, and to declare that we are a society who values life and are willing to spend a miniscule portion of our wealth to demonstrate thus.
    In the public sphere few with handicaps rise easily up the pole of life. Tom Shakespeare and Thomas Quasthoff spring to mind. Not so much that they should be celebrated because of their success, but in their demonstration that life is precious to them, as it must be to so many facing the challenges of a poor start in life.
    We as a nation must help to halt the killing of the disabled children.

    • Albert

      Safe, legal abortion for disabled babies

      Rather a difficult concept. Abortion is not terribly safe for babies, I think.

      • IanCad

        Ahh— The language of the death lobby. A creative bunch.

  • Bella

    Amongst the strident Catholics and the non-existent professed Anglicans one name posts some common sense. Whether an agnostic or interested atheist I know not. He or she writes one month ago:
    “Christianity is no more logical or valid than any other religion; they all demand faith without proof. As far as present day religions go it is however more open to enquiry and debate in this country at least.”
    Dreadnaught

    S/he wrote yesterday the definitive comment on this topic:

    “What I find offensive and saddening is that an anonymous person has been allowed to vent his spleen in a personal attack on a named other. Not something I have ever seen on this open and unmoderated blog in any of many years engaging with the always well written OPs.
    And yes I understand Cranmers passionate anti-abortion stance but this was a sucker-punch by proxy and unworthy of his reputation, on an unsuspecting target.
    Of course it makes good sense to use a nom-de-plume whenever on the world internet but not simply to hide from the consequences of initiating a deliberate attempt at character assassination.”

    • Albert

      So go on Bella. What is it precisely that you are objecting to? I’ve defended Tina Beattie from the charge that she thinks the Mass is a homosexual act. I’m quite prepared to defender her on this if she has been misrepresented. Where’s the misrepresentation?

  • Darter Noster

    Could we please stop this sanctimonious posturing that the legality of abortion has anything whatsoever to do with saving women’s lives?

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/433437/2014_Commentary__5_.pdf

    “1.4 A legally induced abortion must be certified by two registered medical practitioners as justified under one or more of the following grounds:
    A the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman greater than if the pregnancy were terminated (Abortion Act, 1967 as amended, section 1(1)(c))
    B the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (section 1(1)(b))
    C the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (section 1(1)(a))
    D the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of any existing children of the family of the pregnant woman (section 1(1)(a))
    E there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped (section 1(1)(d))
    or, in an emergency, certified by the operating practitioner as immediately necessary:
    F to save the life of the pregnant woman (section 1(4))
    G to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman (section 1(4))”

    Now the statistics:

    “2.13 In 2014, the vast majority (98%; 179,967) of abortions were undertaken under ground C. A further 2% were carried out under ground E (3,099) and a similar proportion (1%: 1,249) under ground D, Grounds A and B together accounted for about a tenth of one per cent of abortions (252).
    2.14 The vast majority (99.93%) of ground C only terminations were reported as being performed because of a risk to the woman’s mental health. No further breakdown for F99 (mental disorder, not otherwise specified) is included in the International Classification of Diseases and therefore no further breakdown is possible within the report.”

    The statistics for Grounds F and G (save life or prevent grave injury are as follows:

    “2.22 Abortions are rarely performed under grounds F or G. In the past 10 years, 8 such abortions have been reported, 1 in each of the years 2006, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and 4 in 2014.”

    Out of approximately 1.8 million babies aborted between 2004 and 2014 in the UK, only 8 of those babies were aborted to prevent death or serious injury; we don’t know how many of those were definitely to prevent death. Whether there is actually any known medical condition that requires an abortion to save the mother’s life is highly debatable.

    In the United States, where abortion on demand is legal, around 2.5% of abortions are performed on physical or mental health grounds combined; in Britain, where abortion on demand is supposedly not legal, 98% are carried out on mental health grounds alone.

    Go figure.

    • People who hold the so-called pro-choice position pretend that their concern is all about women’s health and rights. Yet, at the heart of this position, lies the view that is right to kill off inconvenient human beings – who make lives uncomfortable for others.

      While it is difficult not to sympathise with a woman who feels incapable of looking after her unborn baby, it is an uncaring society, which holds up abortion as the only alternative to such women. Adoption or good children’s homes are practical options. The mothers should be supported and encouraged to carry the baby, and offered these options. It is a sign of moral decay that taxpayers’ money should be spent to kill off ‘unwanted’ babies than to setting up good homes for them.

      A large-scale epidemiological study on the effects of abortion on the mothers has never been done – I suspect the reason is that it would be impossible to win funds from donors.

      The Catholic Church deserves credit for their consistent stand in fighting abortion – especially in developing countries. Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes spent millions, probably billions, in low-income settings to promote killing of the unborn; and they seem to be the better funded than child survival or other health programmes.

  • Philip

    Your Grace: The blog has moved on too quickly for some of us Snooker enthusiasts to catch up. It’s obviously left behind a trail of disturbing commentary.
    During the mid-session interval of the Final can I just add that Cranmer has allowed himself to be used on this occasion. He can move on conscience-free whilst the object of the article’s criticism must once again face the consequences of the unacceptable face of social networking about religion.
    Not one of his better editorial decisions.

    • Terry Mushroom

      You’ve not said what is “unacceptable”. Or have I missed something?

    • Anton

      How do you know Cranmer is conscience-free (apart from being dead 450 years)? How do you know that Tina Beattie has even read this thread?

  • Darter Noster

    I have seen the light! Tina and others on this blog are right! One can tell from a list of possible symptoms prior to birth that life will automatically be an intolerable, pointless, painful misery for disabled people, who would have beeen better off dead!

    If only I had realised sooner! I need your help brothers and sisters!

    In order to get the message out, here are 4 photos of a young man who: cannot walk, cannot speak, needs toileting, is fed through a tube, and who requires institutional care 24/7. Obviously, it would have been better if he had never lived as his life is completely intolerable! Could those who share these opinions just have a look at these photos and let me know which one best converys the sense of inevitable suffering, futility and despair…?

    This one? https:[email protected]/p13RG4

    This one? https:[email protected]/Qoo1zd

    This one? https:[email protected]/Jy88Fv

    Or perhaps this one? https:[email protected]/qc67Gh

    Since a list of possible symptoms before birth is infallible, that should be easy right…?

    • dannybhoy

      Exactly the kind of child I have worked with.
      “In order to get the message out, here are 4 photos of a young man who: cannot walk, cannot speak, needs toileting, is fed through a tube, and who requires institutional care 24/7.”
      You mean institutional care or 24/7 care at home? Either way, no one would suggest this child deserves anything less than the best of love and care and human dignity available.
      But wait! There are an awful lot of people who could not cope with caring for such a child. Who wouldn’t countenance changing a soiled nappy and washing off their nether regions, or dealing with their dribbly clothes whilst they lash out at you or bite or pull your hair… That’s why many are receiving institutional care.
      Have you done it? Would you welcome the chance to do it, or is this just a theological abstract idea for you?
      The fact remains that as medical science advances, they will be able to detect more of the abnormalities that cause severe disability, and detect them earlier. Now if a child is born disabled we love them and we care for them. If there is a way of early detection when the potential life is only a collection of non-sentient cells, are we committing a sin by terminating further development?

      • carl jacobs

        Now if a child is born disabled we love them and we care for them.

        Why? If a man’s life is so intolerable after the fact that he should be killed before the fact to be spared the fate of having to live it, then why not put him out of his misery after the fact as well? If someone is born healthy and suffers some debilitating accident or illness, why not kill him to spare him his fate? All of your arguments would still hold.

        You are bootstrapping a non-human condition out of nothing to spare people the obligation of care. Relationships create obligation and there is no easier way to sever an obligation that to kill the one who imposes that obligation by merely existing.

        • dannybhoy

          “Why? If a man’s life is so intolerable after the fact that he should be killed before the fact to be spared the fate of having to live it, then why not put him out of his misery after the fact as well?
          You are bootstrapping a non-human condition out of nothing to spare people the obligation of care.”

          Because he is alive, and to end his life is murder. We deal with what is, and that there are disabled children in the world means that we (especially) Christians should care for them and give them love.
          As I have said before, if deformed or disabled children are a gift of God rather than the result of inbreeding or genetic failure, then when medical research minimises the likelihood of disability, are we going to decry medicine because it has deprived us of the obligation of care?

          As a child I had severe eczema which caused sleepless nights, endless and bloody scratching, plus aggravation with other kids. The blessing of it?
          None. Not to my parents nor my brothers and sisters.
          The personal lessons learnt from that and severe asthma?
          Compassion for others. But that was my humanity that processed the lessons. God did not say, “There son, I inflicted you with these things so that you might learn compassion.”
          God can take the bad things that happen in our cause and effect world and bring good out of them. That does not necessarily mean He intends them.

          • carl jacobs

            Because he is alive

            An unborn child is also alive. Every argument you make applies to an unborn child, except you simply refuse to apply them. Why?

          • dannybhoy

            Because as I have said a couple who have been told they may give birth to a severely handicapped child should have the right to consider an abortion for all the reasons I listed. If they are people of faith they will pray and seek guidance and support from their church as well as listening to medical advice. If being as fully aware as possible they choose to have the child, then they love and provide it with as much care as possible. As David and Samantha Cameron did. If they decide that the possible disabilities are so grave that it would have no quality of life, they choose abortion. They are not in my view committing murder.

          • carl jacobs

            That doesn’t answer my question. What is it about an unborn child that separates him from a living breathing disabled man right next to you? The caregivers are under the same obligation. They experience the same stress and burden. Do you want to know the true answer? We will never be unborn again. We can distance ourselves from the unborn in order to protect ourselves from being devalued.

            When an avowed atheist praises you for the position you are taking on a matter of Christian anthropology, you really should stop and reflect on the position you are taking.

          • Dreadnaught

            Atheism isnt the issue that negates human compassion for impossible dilemmas – that’s your territory.

          • carl jacobs

            And now all you have to do is explain why your compassion would prevent you from putting a bullet in the head of the man who was struck down at the age of 21 instead of before he was born.

          • Dreadnaught

            I don’t ‘have’ to respond to you on demand. Why not try getting back on thread?

          • Dreadnaught

            Which I find a rather bold statement from a man once with access to a nuclear key.

          • carl jacobs

            Would you have preferred I hadn’t had access to that key?

          • Dreadnaught

            That’s for you to decide – not me.

          • carl jacobs

            No, it’s for you to decide. You made the implicit accusation. Your own country has those weapons. Do you want to the UK disarm? Do you want to tacitly accept the protection of people who do what you would condemn? Do you want to renounce the protection of the US and trust yourself to the tender mercies of Putin? Is that an acceptable price?

            Personally, I don’t care a damn what you think about my service. I carried the obligation. You didn’t. You can say and think what you like – just so long as you say “Thank you.” Because you owe me, and the people who stood alert with me. You wouldn’t be so much as a red smear on a Russian boot if it hadn’t been for people like me.

          • Dreadnaught

            I am not anti-nuke. But I find it ironic to read messages from a nuclear-armed, pro-life creationist with a yearning for the afterlife that should be so sensitive to a little criticism.
            And btw I don’t care tuppence for your anti British posture – its not like the US didn’t make billions from us through lend-lease now is it. Get over yourself.

          • carl jacobs

            I’m not sensitive to criticism. I’m sensitive to criticism rooted in hypocrisy.

          • Dreadnaught

            Look in the mirror for the response to that.

          • carl jacobs

            No, the hypocrisy would have been to say “Please protect me by performing that evil immoral mission that I would never think of performing myself.”

          • Dreadnaught

            No the hypocrisy award goes quite snugly on your head.

          • carl jacobs

            If only you could say how.

          • bluedog

            I don’t think Carl is anti-British. If he was he wouldn’t bother to post on this blog. It is certainly true to say that the ultimate guarantor of British existence is the United States. If the US did not exist, how long would Britain survive? These points highlight the significance of Obama’s intervention in the EU referendum debate. Obama’s comment’s imply that Britain must cease to exist and be absorbed by the EU super-state, somewhat outside the topic of this thread but a matter of extraordinary importance. This communicant doesn’t share Obama’s view.

          • carl jacobs

            I’m actually fairly anti-European in truth. Britain is the only ally worth the name that I think the US still has in Europe. So, no, I’m not anti-British. That’s why I have opposed Scottish independence over at Spectator so often – because of what it would do to America’s sole remaining European ally.

          • bluedog

            Thank you, Carl.

          • CliveM

            Carl the idea of you being anti British is just silly.

            Anti Canadian……….well?!!!!!

          • Darter Noster

            “if deformed or disabled children are a gift of God rather than the result of inbreeding or genetic failure, then when medical research minimises the likelihood of disability, are we going to decry medicine because it has deprived us of the obligation of care?”

            No, we’ll rejoice because people who might otherwise have been born with disabilities and illnesses will now not have them.

            What we don’t do, at least if we see beyond the disability to the individual, is advocate killing a disabled baby and replacing it with a non-disabled one until medicine gets to that point. That’s not “curing” anything; that’s killing innocent people we don’t want.

          • dannybhoy

            You should know that some couples have had several children all born without the ability to move independently or communicate and in constant pain due to abdominal abnormalities.
            You should also be aware that sometimes it breaks a family up, the husband leaves, the wife is left full of grief and possibly guilt. The children end up in special care and very rarely see their families anyway.
            But because they are alive, we should care for them and love them.

          • Dreadnaught

            An excellent and well written couple of ripostes Dan. It is patently clear that people who’s world views are little more than theoretical idealism have seldom experienced the reality of their lives compared to others less fortunate. To talk about disability is shorthand for a miriad of conditions that would shock them to the core if seen let alone, had to manage. Like you, I have experience of the hard realities of life but for some, of the most of the fortunate among us, would wish never to be exposed.

          • carl jacobs

            The focus of your argument is relentlessly on the caregiver. The objective of your argument is to relieve the caregiver of (what you consider to be) intolerable obligation. Do you not see how this argument is completely independent of the person being cared for? You are justifying euthanasia without even trying.

          • bluedog

            But who is the caregiver, and for how long? In cases of the very severely disabled, and I have no personal experience to draw on, it does seem that the death of the parents is inevitably a turning point. One frequently sees this in TV programmes, where the parents of the severely disabled are deeply concerned about the future of their child when they themselves are incapacitated by old age. State care is likely to be a less loving environment. There are no easy answers.

          • carl jacobs

            Killing someone is a ridiculously easy and ridiculously effective solution. In fact, violence is one of the most effective solutions known to man. That’s why we pass so many laws against it. The problem we face is not getting caught in the undertow we create by implementing such a solution. Abortion allows for that protection, and that’s why people gravitate to it. It’s easy. It’s cheap. It’s effective. It impacts a class of people of which we can never again be a member.

          • bluedog

            Without the possibility of state care, the lifespan of the very severely disabled is the lifespan of the parents. It follows that as long as the tax-payer is prepared to pick up the tab, the moral dilemma can be deferred until death of the severely disabled comes naturally. This is nothing to do with abortion.

          • carl jacobs

            It doesn’t? You have yet to explain why the arguments on this thread apply only to abortion. You have yet to explain why we shouldn’t just euthanize the disabled out of compassion for them, and for their own good. When you say “It’s better if he is never born” you also say “It would have been better if Bob over there had never been born.”

          • bluedog

            Carl, I don’t have the answers, but I do enjoy putting questions to those who claim that they do, such as yourself and His Grace’s loyal Catholic communicants. HJ has just given a very good answer (in my judgement) to questions I have put to him. In principle, I’m very much against abortion and absolutely against euthanasia. No lives are saved by euthanasia, but a life can be saved through abortion, that of the mother in some circumstances. Not so long ago the very severely disabled would almost invariably have died soon after birth, as in many cases life could not be sustained without the advanced technology that we now have. Go to any farm and the pre-modern situation prevails where disabled or deformed animals are quickly abandoned by their mothers and the calf or lamb dies. Christ was born in a manger like an animal and Christian belief comes to us from that pre-modern model of society. I’m not suggesting that we resort to post-natal abortion as the progressive ethicists are recommending. But in practice there may be a limit to the extent to which we can carry numbers of very severely disabled individuals, whatever the cause of that disability may be. There are already standard tests in pregnancy for various disabilities and many abortions would take place as a consequence. It seems unChristian to bring down moral censure on those who face an unwelcome dilemma and make such a choice.

          • carl jacobs

            You are not even trying to make the differentiation between born and unborn. You are assuming some status of the unborn that makes it ethically permissible to kill them. You need to ask yourself “What is that status that I am assuming?” Otherwise, you are determining the value of a person’s life according to the cost of continuing his existence. Once you establish that criteria, it will be very difficult to avoid applying it to the already born – as your euthanasia laws in Europe are demonstrating in spades.

            Yes, we live in the modern world. Yes, that imposes different obligations. My grandfather was the third son in his family, and the first to survive to adulthood. Today we take children to the hospital when they get severely ill. We send parents to prison for neglect of they fail to do so. But suddenly this duty to care becomes negotiable with the unborn. Why?

            You need to answer this question. You can’t just avoid it by saying “I don’t have all the answers.”

          • bluedog

            ‘But suddenly this duty to care becomes negotiable with the unborn. Why?’ Because it’s easier to kill something you haven’t met and grown to love rather than to kill someone you see in human form. Note the distinction between something and someone. That’s why abortion has become so commonplace. In addition, in the pre-modern era, abortion itself was potentially very dangerous and frequently lethal. The risks of child-birth were almost certainly lower.

          • carl jacobs

            Isn’t that a form of what I have been saying – that the decision is being made based upon the external impacts of the disabled life and not the fact of the life lost? Why did you just say, bluedog? “It’s easier to kill someone you don’t know.” This is not an ethical differentiation.

            And btw. What you have just said does not correspond to my experience with Sarah – who suffered a miscarriage at four months and Gina who experienced fetal death two days before her due date. They were both devastated by the loss of that unknown child.

          • bluedog

            Your experience is slightly detached, that of the loving parent to a grown-up child facing a dreadful situation, brought about through no fault of their own. Saying this does not diminish my sympathy for your sense of grief. In 1991 my wife found that she was pregnant with what would have been our fourth child. The third birth had been difficult, medical advice was that the fourth could be terminal. You don’t look your wife in the face and say, ‘Dearest, you must die for my religious beliefs’. Well, you can, but don’t expect a civil response. The decision is more practical and termination was at a very early stage. Today I often look at the three of them and wonder…

          • carl jacobs

            Neither Sarah nor Gina are my children. They are just women I know. I also know a woman named Katheryn who almost died from her fourth pregnancy. She willingly accepted the risk for the sake of her fourth child – who is now married herself.

            If the pregnancy would kill the mother, then Abortion is justified. The child is dead either way. That is the lone exception.

          • bluedog

            ‘If the pregnancy would kill the mother, then Abortion is justified. The child is dead either way. That is the lone exception.’

            Congratulations! Took a while though, didn’t it?

          • bluedog

            Why don’t you go first on this one, Carl? It would be less objectionable than your practice of trying to bully me in to giving an answer to questions you ask about points I haven’t raised.

          • Dreadnaught

            Have you ever considered the scenario where a woman having given birth to a severely disabled child with a life expectancy no longer than a couple of years findes herself pregnant with another with disability? For your argument to have any association with reality it must also address this and a thousand other sets of circumstances you are unlikely ever to know about.

          • Darter Noster

            With your reality perhaps, in which pre-birth killing is the answer to inconvenient and unwanted people.

          • It’s moral consequentialism …

          • dannybhoy

            “n which pre-birth killing is the answer to inconvenient and unwanted people.”
            Such emotively loaded phraseology!
            A young couple looking forward to the birth of their first child, only to find out they may have such a serious and congenital physical condition is in no way thinking “our longed for baby is now inconvenient because it is seriously disabled or deformed, this baby is therefore unwanted..”
            How melodramatic can you get??
            They will be in shock, they will be emotionally devastated, their anticipated joy will have turned to dread.They will be wanting the child, yet not wanting it to suffer. They will be thinking of its infant months, of growth and development. Of what will happen to our child when we are no longer around to care for it, and so on and so on.
            You dishonour people’s humanity by using such unkind language.

          • Would you have agreed with your parents if they’d decided to abort you to avoid all your suffering?

          • dannybhoy

            That’s a nonsense question as I would never have existed would I.
            I can tell you that I was at times a very unhappy child and there were times that I wished I had never been born, that I never asked to be born etc. etc.
            Now granted, that wasn’t solely due to eczema, it had to do with family dynamics.
            I can say that eczema and then asthma dictated a lot of what I was able to do in my life, yet was nowhere near as distressing as the condition of some people I subsequently cared for.

          • “That’s a nonsense question as I would never have existed would I.”
            Well, exactly. That’s Jack’s very point.

      • Darter Noster

        “Have you done it?”

        Yes. That “child” (he’s 26) has been my best mate for nearly 10 years, since we met when I was a student volunteer at the 6th form college for disabled students that he attended. I’ve worked in special schools and colleges, help run local Mencap and have been a trustee of my local Mencap. It was because of that that I was working with Mark Harper, then Shadow Minister for Disabled People, when the 4th photo was taken.

        “…or is this just a theological abstract idea for you?”

        No, this is not a theological abstract for me. This is a livng, breathing, happy, loved, valued and unique individual, who would have been denied life by people like you if his disabilities had been known about before birth, when he would have been just an abstract hypothesis, so don’t you dare accuse me of abstracting anything.

        A list of all the possible negatives does not convey anything whatsoever of the rounded individual lives that all profoundly disabled people have. We all have problems and difficulties throughout our lives, but they do not negate our individual humanity.

        Your comment that God will take care of the innocent disabled souls killed because they were not wanted by the people supposed to love them most is about the most chilling thing I have ever read on this blog.

        • dannybhoy

          “So don’t you dare accuse me of abstracting anything.”
          Asking you a question is hardly accusing you. So calm yourself down please.
          “A list of all the possible negatives does not convey anything whatsoever of the rounded individual lives that all profoundly disabled people have.”
          You are confusing my acceptance and experience of people with disabilities with my belief that allowing couples who know that they may have a severely handicapped child to choose early abortion.
          “Your comment that God will take care of the innocent disabled souls killed because they were not wanted by the people supposed to love them most is about the most chilling thing I have ever read on this blog.”
          You’re getting yourself worked up again. Please remind me where I said that. I can’t find it.

          • Darter Noster

            “Asking you a question is hardly accusing you. So calm yourself down please.”

            Sorry, could have phrased that one better: my point is that abstracting is the exact opposite of what I’m trying to do; I’m trying to put a human face and a visible reality on a list of symptoms and what ifs.

            “Please remind me where I said that. I can’t find it.”

            Here – 7.58 pm yesterday:

            “I sincerely believe that all these children will be received in Heaven as innocents, and that God Himself will be well aware of the heartaches and traumas that inevitably afflict the parents.”

          • dannybhoy

            I think you took it out of context..
            Here’s a bigger quote..

            “”They (meaning parents who have been told they may have a child born severely handicapped and are wondering whether to have a termination) should be able to meet parents who have children like this, and visit special care facilities which is where many of these children eventually end up.

            We need to remember too that there are often siblings who are 100% healthy, who will nevertheless miss out to some degree, as the incapacitated child will take up a great deal of Mum and Dad’s time and energy. You should be aware of this out of your own experience..

            I sincerely believe that all these children (meaning the unborn) will be received in Heaven as innocents, and that God Himself will be well aware of the heartaches and traumas that inevitably afflict the parents.

            This is nothing to do with people sinning or being punished by God, and everything to do with damaged or deteriorating genes and how the world is. To say that God has anything to do with bringing poor little scraps of humanity into the world as punishment or retribution or to keep us in our place is in my view an insult to the nature of God.”

            If you had stopped your rush to righteous indignation, and used your noddle it would have been clear to you that I would hardly have spent four or five years working with such children in residential settings if I wished them dead.
            Is that not so?

          • Darter Noster

            I read your comment, thoroughly, then and now, and I don’t see how else to interpret that snippet.

            I never said you wished them dead, and I have never accused you of having anything other than compassion and care for those with whom you worked. Now who’s getting over-excited?

            The issue I have is writing off disabled people as inevitably burdensome and a cause of suffering to themselves and to those around them, especially to the point at which killing them before birth becomes justified. That is a false, discriminatory and dangerous attitude to propagate.

          • dannybhoy

            If you don’t believe in abortion for any cause then we will not find agreement. I believe that in cases like this prospective parents should be able to choose to abort if they are convinced that is the better choice, and to call it murder is unfair. Those parents will carry their own grief for that unborn child in their own hearts. Or they may choose to have the child anyway. But they shouldn’t choose that course of action to avoid being accused of murder..
            I also believe that women who have been raped should have the right to choose whether to have the baby or not.

          • Darter Noster

            “If you don’t believe in abortion for any cause then we will not find agreement.”

            True; those who believe abortion is acceptable and I will just have to agree to disagree, and I’m happy to do that.

            My problem is twofold:

            1) Those who think that abortion is generally wrong and undesirable, and should be restricted, unless the baby is disabled – not because of their attitude to abortion but because of their attitude to disability.

            2) People who call themselves Catholics and theologians (to whit, Tina) arguing that abortion can be acceptable and getting away with it, because the Church’s teaching is abundantly clear.

          • “I also believe that women who have been raped should have the right to choose whether to have the baby or not.”

            Why? What has the child done to be condemned to die?

          • He’s not getting “worked up”, Danny.

      • Anton

        I’d love to know what happened in ancient Israel when someone like this was born. And how the “image of God” was defined.

        I also note that such situations, like euthanasia, present a greater problem in an NHS than in a private-medicine system. How should we run national health?

        Your earlier, moving post on this thread made me do some hard thinking. I remain against abortion in such cases, but I tend to agree with you that it is the lesser of two evils if the family alone is taken into account. I also suspect, however, that it is the greater of two evils when society is taken into account. I can think of other things like that which are prohibited in scripture, for it is the start of a slippery eugenic slope with no restraint on criteria. I am what Danjo wisely called below a “gradualist” concerning the worth of an unborn child increasing with time, although I take a very conservative gradualist viewpoint that abortion should not be permitted beyond cell differentiation, which is the start of a nervous system and begins about three days after conception (which itself is a process – there is no such thing as “the moment of conception”). I challenge the assumption, made by many Christians who don’t even realise it, that a soul/spirit having full adult human capacity is slipped into a single cell at conception. This is central to the debate and there is abundant evidence against the claim and plentiful misinterpretation of the relevant scriptures. Sometimes I think that if my views get it in the neck from both wings then I just might be getting something right.

        • But “the lesser of two evils” suggests there is no moral outcome. There is. The child lives and is cared for. What you mean is you want to commit an evil act to

          • Anton

            I’m sorry, Jack, but I want to hear Danny first.

          • The bright flash occurs because when sperm enters an egg (conception) it leads to a surge of calcium which triggers the release of zinc from the egg. As the zinc shoots out, it binds to small molecules which emit a fluorescence which can be picked up by camera microscopes.

          • Anton

            A nice chemistry lesson and a nice evasion of my questions. What do you mean by “enters”? (Much of the sperm does not enter.) I credit you with too much intelligence not to understand what I am explaining about fertilisation being a process.

          • A single sperm fertilises the woman’s egg by entering it = conception.

            All of life is a process ….

          • Anton

            I am aware of the meaning of “conception”. But I am asking for your definition of “the moment of conception”, which is a phrase that you use. And, if I may say so, you are playing the politician in ducking the question.

          • As far as Jack is concerned. biologically, “conception” is the moment when a sperm cell from a male breaches the ovum, or egg, from a female. Jack is aware “conception” lacks a precise meaning among scientists and ethicists. The definition of “fertilization” is similarly ambiguous. He is aware it is a complex process involving many steps and several days before the diploid stage of the human life begins.

            Most people share the belief that fertilization and conception occur when sperm and egg combine to form a new human organism, the consensus ends there. At one end is the belief that conception occurs as soon as a sperm makes contact with the outside of the egg. At the other end are those who contend that conception is only complete when the early embryo implants in the uterus, roughly two weeks after insemination. In between, are alternatives.

            One is that conception occurs when the haploid genomes contributed by the egg and sperm combine to form the diploid embryonic genome, roughly twenty-four hours after insemination. Another, is that conception occurs when the new embryonic genome begins to function. Activation of the new diploid genome, rather than assembly of the genome, completes the transformation from two functioning haploid gametes to a single diploid embryo.

            Jack will stick with the view that conception occurs instantaneously when the egg is penetrated by a sperm. He knows this simplifies the complexity of the process needed to transform two separate haploid gametes into a single diploid organism. Who says “conception” is defined by the diploid stage of human life?

            Let’s just say that “conception” starts at the moment a sperm cell from a male breaches the ovum, or egg, from a female, and man has no right to interfere with this process.

          • Anton

            “Jack will stick with the view that conception occurs instantaneously when the egg is penetrated by a sperm.”

            The problem is that this sentence is self-contradictory, because you yourself have stated in the sentence which you wrote next that it is not instantaneous process. Take the word “instantaneous” out of the sentence of yours which I have quoted and all would be well. But, as you appear to believe that a soul/spirit of adult human capacity is slipped into the resulting cell at that “instant”, I persist in asking *exactly* which instant – and why that instant during the process of conception, rather than any other. The latter question you have not begun to address, yet it is crucial.

          • Man will never have the answer to ensoulment. What we know is that human life starts at the moment of conception. What more do we need to know?

          • Anton

            Perhaps, how to face hard questions for one’s position without dissembling.

          • “Hard questions”? Pointless speculations, more like.

          • Anton

            Pointless? It relates directly to the difference between your position and mine, which is that it is unacceptable to act against the new genotype from three days after conception but not before.

          • Your position is simple speculation based on biology and *guesswork* and has no standing at all about ensoulment. You know as well as Jack does that life starts at the moment of conception – albeit it, like the rest of pregnancy, childhood and adulthood, is a *process*. It’s when the process kicks off.

          • Anton

            You’re just parroting a position that you proposed earlier in this dialogue. There’s no point in going round the loop again.

          • True, but you could at least offer some defence of your position.

          • Anton

            I have – a single cell has no nervous system, ergo no pain. It matters to this argument whether a soul/spirit of adult capacity is slipped into the cell, and I have argued that the spiritual capacity grows with the body, and that scriptures supposedly saying otherwise are being interpreted, to reach that conclusion, in a specific and contestable way. (I might say a Greek rather than a Hebraic way if I wished to provoke Christian philosophers.) After all, we have no memory of such an event, or of suffering “locked-in syndrome” as babies. But I’ve said all that before on this thread.

          • What can you know about the soul and when it is created and infused by God? What has a nervous system and pain got to do with it? Our “spiritual capacity” may well grow with the body, however, this doesn’t diminish the nature of our soul.

            Really, the question is simple one. Is thethe re life when the male sperm meets the female egg? If you have life, it is made alive by a human soul.

            Over and above all these scientific and theological debates, the result of human procreation, from the first moment of its existence, i.e. when the egg and sperm fuse, must be guaranteed the unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being in his or her totality and unity as body and spirit.

          • Anton

            “Must” is the language of assertion, not argumentation.

          • Is there life i.e. the beginning of the existence of an individual human being, when the male sperm meets the female egg?

          • Anton

            Yes, of course the fertilised ovum is alive. But has no nervous system.

            Tell me, Jack, why does your church not demand that a Catholic wife, who discovers via a pregnancy test that she is pregnant but loses it within a very few days, go straight to her priest for an appropriate service? In fact why does it not demand that women continually test themselves so that such services can always be held in such circumstances? By not doing so, why is it not being inconsistent?

          • What service?

          • Anton

            Whatever service Rome holds when somebody adult dies and the body is not available, which must be a common eventuality eg in war.

          • A Memorial Mass can be requested and held if their are no remains. A Funeral Mass can be held if their are remains. Why would the Church wish to make this mandatory for miscarriages, whether early or late? It’s left to the discretion and conscience of the bereaved. The Church also encourages the faithful to pray for the dead.

          • Anton

            So neither Mass is mandatory for a deceased Catholic adult?

          • Uncle Brian

            I don’t know whether, on paper, it’s mandatory or not (I suspect probably not, but I’m sure Jack will know) but even if it is, it’s not practicable. Nowadays, at least, there aren’t nearly enough priests to go round.

          • It is a spiritual work of mercy to pray for the dead. It is a corporal work of mercy to bury the dead. It’s not “mandatory” for a deceased Catholic to receive a funeral or memorial Mass.

          • How can something be “mandatory” for a dead Catholic?

          • Anton

            Are you deliberately trying to avoid what an intelligent man like you can surely see is the point of my questions? Does Rome believe that a Requiem Mass should be held for a baby of Catholic parents who dies aged (say) one or two days old in some catastrophe which leaves no body?

          • Jack has already answered that question.

          • Anton

            I should have sought this clarification: A man breaks into a flat shared by a Catholic girl and a secular girl. The secular girl is out. He tells the Catholic girl at gunpoint that he is going to rape her. She begs to be allowed to put her flatmate’s diaphragm in. He lets her. Did she do wrong? If he didn’t let her, would she be wrong to do her best to wash his semen out? With water? With her flatmate’s spermicide gel? If that’s OK, is it also OK for a married woman who has made a mistake about the timing of her fertile interval and who does not wish to conceive?

          • Jack doubts if anyone would seriously regard any of these actions as “wrong”. Strictly speaking, a moral theologian might regard the use of barrier methods before sex and spermicide after, as inherently wrong though others might disagree and argue both actions are acts of self protection.

            This article covers all the points in some depth:

            http://www.fromtheabbey.com/library/emergency-contraception-in-cases-of-rape/

          • Simon Platt

            Nothing is “infinitely short” in duration, or so Heisenberg tells us. Does that mean there are no “moments”?

          • Anton

            A moment is, by definition, an infinitesimally short period of time. All I am saying is that conception is a process.

            Heisenberg said nothing of the sort. (I am an academic physicist, by the way.)

          • Simon Platt

            My point was (a lighthearted one, I thought) that trying to define an infinitesimally short instant as the moment of conception is not only irrelevant but doomed to failure, and that to demand that be done would be disingenuous. I don’t suppose you were really demanding such, but your comments to Jack seemed touchily pedantic. (I hope this doesn’t pique you: I really mean no offence.)

            And no, I’ve never read anything by Heisenberg, even in translation, nor any original work based on his. I’ve relied entirely on secondary sources. (And so long ago, now!) But surely it follows from the uncertainty principle he determined that one can never measure the precise time of any event? (I’m open to a refresher on quantum mechanics – certainly if you can tell me how to measure a moment, by your definition.)

            I do say that talk of moments in a sense limited only by measurement resolution is not useful in this context. I submit that it is a matter of humility. I’ve been to look at the Northwestern University press release and the “zinc spark” paper and, although the durations of the zinc sparks are measured in seconds, the press release does refer to “time of fertilization” (even, “precise time”), and I think that’s reasonable. (The paper, of course, is couched in much more technical language.)

          • Anton

            Jack and I go back a fair way, agreeing about secularism and disagreeing about ecclesiology. In particular l think his denomination is too tied to rules (although I’ve known plenty of individual Catholics who understand grace and I am making no judgement about him). Many of those rules are fallible, as they stem from human reasoning building on scripture; grace is too subtle and valuable a thing to be catchable by any rulebook.

            According to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, you trade off knowledge of the time of an event against knowledge of the energy involved. Give up all hope about the latter and you can specify the exact instant.

          • Simon Platt

            That’s exactly what I meant. About the uncertainty principle, I mean. I was taught about momentum and position as an undergraduate; it was not until I was a postgraduate student that the equivalent time/energy uncertainty became important to me (to my studies, I mean).

            Of course, these things don’t really apply on the biological scale. At least, I think not.

            I’m a visitor here and knew neither you nor Jack, I’m afraid. For what its worth, I think only a Catholic can understand Grace, and I hope to do so.

          • Anton

            I hope you do too, although I differ from your view that it is restricted to Catholics!

          • “In particular l think his denomination is too tied to rules (although I’ve known plenty of individual Catholics who understand grace and I am making no judgement about him).

            The Church informs us of God’s revealed will concerning matters of faith and morals.

            “Many of those rules are fallible, as they stem from human reasoning building on scripture.”

            All the teachings of the Church are based on scripture, Apostolic tradition and is developed by reason under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

            ” grace is too subtle and valuable a thing to be catchable by any rulebook.”

            Who says it is catchable by a rule book? Catholics certainly do not.

            You are simply another anti-Catholic who believes they understand Catholicism when really they do not.

          • Anton

            I am merely saying what many ex-Catholics who remain Christians say, and which certainly chimes with the view from outside.

          • Well, before repeating them , you should at least check your facts. In my experience, those who have abandoned the Church make the most unreliable of witnesses concerning Catholicism.

          • Anton

            So you reject the criticism of those who have never been Catholic because they have never been Catholic, and you reject the criticism of those who have been Catholic because they are no longer Catholic? That might feel good but it doesn’t look good.

        • ‘there is no such thing as “the moment of conception”‘

          There is surely a moment when life begins, and only God knows when that is. All we can do is speculate. If we get it wrong, and decide that abortion is acceptable up to a certain point, then we could be destroying a human life.

          Years ago, while still a junior doctor, I decided that it was wrong for Christians to use (or insert into women) IUDs for contraception – as this could prevent implantation of a fertilised ovum. I knew a committed Christian GP who was opposed to abortion, but had no qualms about IUDs, and her explanation was that before implantation, the embryo was unlikely to be human. My question was “How can you know for sure? Isn’t there a chance that you could be wrong, and you would potentially be killing a human being?”

          My belief is that we doctors – or scientists or whatever – should not play God. We should be humble enough to acknowledge the limits of our understanding and do all we can to preserve life. It is better to err on the side of caution where human life is concerned.

          • Anton

            I am OK with the IUD in principle for married couples because it prevents implantation at a time before cell differentiation has begun (about 3 days after conception), and before that there is not the slightest question of there being a nervous system.

            The views of many Christians are underpinned, without their realising it, by the assumption that a soul/spirit of adult human capacity is slipped into the new being at conception. I contend that that is an interpretation of the relevant scriptures, and an interpretation based on Greek mind/body duality when a Hebraic interpretation more in keeping with the biblical outlook would have spiritual capacities growing in correspondence with the complexity of the embryo. Moreover there is abundant empirical evidence for the latter: ‘we’ do not remember being slipped into a single cell, or remember locked-in syndrome from our earliest years. How does my 3-day limit look in the light of that, please?

          • My position is that it is impossible to know. The Bible tells us little – so the moment when life begins in the fertilised ovum is a mystery at least for now. Our best guesses – moment when the sperm meets egg, or when cell differentiation begins or the beginning of nervous system – could be wrong. If we believe in the sanctity of life, we cannot in good conscience destroy the products of conception, based on our guesses.

            My own guess is based on the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary (‘the baby to be conceived in you’) and David’s words (‘in sin my mother conceived me’, and ‘you knit me together in my mother’s womb) – which suggest that God’s Spirit is present to impart life from the earliest moment – when the sperm meets the egg.

          • Anton

            I am happy to disagree courteously, but please don’t tell me about my conscience.

          • “… please don’t tell me about my conscience.”

            When did I say anything about your conscience?

            I was talking about my own position on the matter; and how my conscience would not allow me to do certain things based on guesses. Please remember that for me, this was not something of purely theoretical interest – I had to consider the possibility that by inserting an IUD, I might actually be ending a human life.

            Your conscience is, of course, between you and God.

          • Anton

            I took you to be including me in the “we” appearing in your sentence: If we believe in the sanctity of life, we cannot in good conscience destroy the products of conception, based on our guesses. I can, before cell differentiation begins. Thank you for keeping it courteous.

          • The problem with your 3 day limit – and I am not taking into account any moral or ethical issues – is that it is nearly impossible for a woman to know she is pregnant at that stage.

          • Anton

            But it means that the morning-after pill is OK for (in particular) rape victims.

          • “But it means that the morning-after pill is OK for (in particular) rape victims”

            The morning after pill is taken as emergency contraception and supposedly works by preventing or delaying release of the ovum. It is effective within the first 72 hours. But it can in some cases prevent implantation; which is why I do not support this method.

          • dannybhoy

            And yet Anna, in times past, Christians oka the Church, have cheerfully slaughtered men women and children whom they considered heretics and apostates such as the Cathars and the Waldensians ..
            http://ncronline.org/books/2012/12/medieval-church-s-ideological-warfare

            In the very early stages of pregnancy when the prospective life is in the cellular stage, I personally do not see that as a sentient being. However my real beef here is with people telling me and others that abortion for any reason is a sin, and yet in the Church’s history non conformists and heretics and Jews have been righteously slaughtered..The Church stood by whilst Jews were carted off to concentration camps, and even in some cases aided the Nazis.
            Children and young women in the care of the Church have been treated with cruelty, abused and buggered, and the Church has covered it up.
            So I’m not going to be lectured to by people whose loyalty is to such a Church on as sensitive a subject as abortion and the severely handicapped.
            I think my own thoughts based on personal experience of working with them, observation and reflection on the impact on marriages, parents and siblings.
            I will happily discuss and listen to the views of other Christians, but frankly I find it sadly laughable that it is possible that a child saved from abortion might be brought up in a religious orphanage and end up being sexually abused…..

          • I think abortion and western church history are separate issues.

            I have lived and worked in different low income settings where disabled children only have their families to provide for them with no special help from the state. These children are loved and cared for within their extended families. It is never easy looking after a disabled person; and I do not judge mothers who choose abortion, but I believe that Christians should do more to help such women make better choices.

            There are 2 issues here: 1. Once we Christians decide to ‘play God’, then we are on a slippery slope. Euthanasia and ‘4th term abortion’ as another commenter put it – are logical outcomes of the pro-abortion position, and 2. I also find it difficult to believe that governments which spent millions to fund abortions cannot do more to help these children.

            As to the various unrighteous things in church history that you listed – coming from a Syriac Orthodox background, I still find these things very shocking. I was told by family members that western Christians could not be ‘true Christians’ because of their history of endless wars and persecutions. My own perspective is that the Bible was not widely read in past centuries and that true believers were always a minority. I have no special loyalty to any church denomination. But I fail to understand the link between abortion and these abuses.

            Coming to children’s homes. Again I have read much about sexual abuse in orphanages. But I have also been to well run Christian orphanages in countries that I have visited or lived in, and spent time talking to children. I happen to know people who grew up in Christian orphanages. Many of them – and most were abandoned children rather than orphans – were actually thankful for the experience. They felt they had better chances and a more stable upbringing than their parents could have provided for them. So I do not believe that all orphanages are all necessarily bad. Sexual abuse happens in families too. Institutional care can be a good thing in certain circumstances.

          • dannybhoy

            Good reasonable comments Anna, as usual. That you are a doctor as well as a Christian adds more weight to your words.
            I most certainly agree that euthanasia and eugenics should never be allowed, and that my argument for personal considered choice can lead to that slippery slope.
            You are also right that there is no real comparison between abortion and the persecution, torture and killing of people who don’t ascribe to religious orthodoxy.
            But there most definitely is a link in terms of the value we place in the life of an individual.
            Whether in or outside of the womb.

        • dannybhoy

          .” I also suspect, however, that it is the greater of two evils when society is taken into account. I can think of other things like that which are prohibited in scripture, for it is the start of a slippery eugenic slope with no restraint on criteria.”
          This is the dilemma we face, and I acknowledge that David Steel’s Abortion bill has (unintentionally) turned abortion into a morally repugnant lifestyle choice.
          I think I have mentioned before that excellent book “Whatever happened to the Human Race.” by Francis Schaeffer and Dr Everett Koop. A Christian perspective on disability and abortion; the slippery slope leading to euthenasia and eugenics.
          As a young (unmarried) Christian I accepted their views without question. It was only when I began working with children and adults with learning difficulties in a residential setting and later to working with children who had severe physical and learning difficulties in a residential setting, that I began to rethink what I believed.
          I emphasise ‘in a residential setting’ because the practical reality is that many of these children are cared for in special homes because the family cannot cope with them at home.
          I am most definitely against the State turning mercy and compassion into euthanasia and the death of those not deemed fit to live, but on a personal basis I think prospective parents should have the opportunity to carefully consider the options. Which to my mind means that they do indeed get to see the day to day realities of caring for a child who may be in severe discomfort and unable to communicate. I have no problem at all with parents who go ahead and have the child.

          • Anton

            Thank you. I consider that you should be listened to more closely than many because you are a committed evangelical Christian AND someone who has expert knowledge of the issues that can arise. I regret very much that you seem to be categorised by some with the pro-abortionists.

  • len

    I suppose at some stage ‘eugenics’ will be drawn into the equation?. This is a very dangerous road to go down especially as we seem to be in a post Christian age where morals are ‘relative’ no absolute’ right’ no absolute ‘wrong’…..In affect anything goes.

  • Dreadnaught

    If anyone here who wants definitions of what the reasons for abortion can look like and has the stomach for it ,check out this link. What kind of ‘god’ would perpetrate if such a concept was even true, such cruelty on mankind and expect to be worshipped?

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=badly+defomed+foetus&qpvt=badly+defomed+foetus&qpvt=badly+defomed+foetus&qpvt=badly+defomed+foetus&FORM=IGRE

    • Darter Noster

      Is that Bing search really the best you can come up with to illustrate the range of people with disabilties and birth defects…?

      And we’re supposed to be out of touch with reality…?

      • Dreadnaught

        No there is much more; but do you own research the make an informed comment. Oh – you failed to make any comment at all didn’t you; except a no account cheap-shot at the messenger.

        • Philip

          No cheap shots from me Dreadnought. If this genetic fault could be identified in the womb do you think the God of Love would not question allowing the development of the foetus into consciousness when humankind’s ingenuity could prevent this? So many conceptions are faulty and they are rejected.
          The God I worship in Jesus Christ weeps at this mistake as He wept at the death of Lazarus. He knows our woes. He gives us skills. Let us use them.

          • Dreadnaught

            None taken Sir.

    • Philip

      Couldn’t agree more. The miracle is when babies are normal – that mostly things go right.
      The intricacies of biochemistry can go wrong. For example if the skin lacks the ability to stretch you get this syndrome.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9XE5FJZ8elU&autoplay=1

      That footage is real. Most of these babies die soon after birth presumably in pain.
      How must the mother feel hearing the baby cry? Some theologies say God can only work within the laws of His created universe. In His universe things can go very wrong, obviously.

      • Dreadnaught

        I have no intention to engage in some disability-porn competition as I am sure neither do you. I do think however that those who believe in an omnicient omnipotent loving god should at least give him credit for giving humanity the brains an technology to mitigate the devastating impact such ‘discrepanies’ have been imposed on some his ‘creations’.

        • Philip

          Dreadnaught: “Disability-porn” is a new term to me. I ask your forgiveness if what I posted is in that category. It was meant to reinforce your argument. I will happily remove it if you think that.
          Abortion is a morally complex subject.

          • carl jacobs

            Abortion is a morally complex subject.

            Yes, and the morally complex question is this: “When is it permissible for me to kill him to benefit myself?” I can see how that question would produce rationalization complexity.

          • Philip

            From a Christian perspective we have to acknowledge that the Annunciation suggests that human life begins at the moment of conception.
            Termination because of mere inconvenience would be wrong but I do not think my views can be imposed on women in this situation. That would be my unofficial opinion.
            If there is some kind of preexistent soul then it is not unreasonable that the Father of All would provide a healthy vehicle for his child. There are three involved in conception – the father, the mother and the Holy Spirit.

          • carl jacobs

            So those people who are born with Spina Bifida … are they cursed of God? Do they not possess a “pre-existent soul?” Did God just forget to provide a “healthy vehicle”? Because let’s be honest about something. Abortion is the most cost-effective treatment of Spina Bifida that exists. So tell me. Do you think termination is an acceptable choice for a prenatal diagnosis of Spina Bifida? Why or why not?

          • dannybhoy

            http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Spina-bifida/pages/diagnosis.aspx
            Look, let’s stop playing (theological) games here.
            Is it God’s will that children are born deformed?
            If ‘yes’ why would that be?
            Do you know of any prospective parents who don’t hope for a perfectly formed and healthy child, and preferably one who isn’t gay?
            We have an innate desire to reproduce and we want our children to be a reflection of ourselves, or even better.
            We love our offspring. We do not want them to be imperfect.
            Why?
            When we as Christians start rationalising over deformity or dimness we get into the realm of theology. “God sent them to punish us/God wants to teach us how to love/ an enemy has done this!/ etc.etc.”
            Yet we know from history that things our forefathers regarded as “judgements from God” are now being treated and cured, and we see them as illness or disease or genetic abnormalities. not judgements or curses from God.
            So parents who have been told their baby will be born with a serious disability will have to agonise over is
            ” Is my child’s disability going to be so bad that we just won’t be able to cope with them, or their handicap is so bad that they can never have a reasonable quality of life, but will remain unable to speak or see or communicate in any way?”
            If they feel that they would rather have the baby and face the challenges together, good on them. If they feel that they simply couldn’t and decide on abortion, who are we to judge?
            They will go through enough agony without our theological deliberations.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. That is what it means to say God is sovereign. There are no random molecules in the universe. Or did God find Himself distracted one day and simply overlook that pending disability? Did He just forget? Was it beyond His power to correct?

            Go and read the 9th chapter of the Gospel of John and you will see the purpose and power of God in the life of a man. Why was that man born blind? For that very moment – to display the power and glory of God. Years he suffered without knowing why. But we know.

            The tragedy of this theology of “God didn’t want that to happen” is the horrid meaninglessness it renders of everything. God knows what He is doing. Everything – no matter how it appears to you – everything is decreed to bring about His eternal purpose. Whether it be the man born blind, or Joseph being sold into slavery, or the destruction of the whole of Israel by Sennacherib save only Jerusalem.

            The Universe is not contingent.

          • dannybhoy

            So earthquakes and resultant tsunamis, widespread flooding, crop failures, increasing desertification are all part of His plan? Disfigured children, horrible abuses of men women and children?
            No, I don’t think so.
            God created man and man lives on an unstable world where bad things happen. God allows these things. Some are natural occurences, some are the result of fallen man’s treatment of his fellow man.
            God is in overall control, yes and uses these things for His own purposes, but to say He makes it all happen is wrong.
            As I see it God created our world, He gave man free will and an unspecified duration of time during which man copes with his environment, overcomes problems, makes war etc. Then one day He decides it is time to wrap things up and His endtime programme is initiated.

          • carl jacobs

            it is not unreasonable that the Father of All would provide a healthy vehicle for his child.

            According to what? Have you ever read the Book of Job? Who are you to darken His council without knowledge?

          • Philip

            Hebrews has priority over the Book of Job.

            “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature and upholds all things by the word of His power”.

            Jesus is the “exact representation” of God’s nature. So we ask WWJD – what would Jesus do? Since Our Lord said “God is Love”, what would love do?
            That is the dilemma with abortion – is it ultimately one of individual conscience?

          • What is a “conscience”?

          • carl jacobs

            So you are going to reject the words of Scripture in favor of rootless speculation about WWJD? Based upon what, might I ask. “God is love” isn’t much of a criterion. And oh btw, Love isn’t what theologians call the “controlling attribute” of God. That would be Holiness. The Angels did not cry “Loving, Loving, Loving is the Lord God Almighty.”

          • Philip

            1 John 4: 8 isn’t much of a criterion?

            We cannot dilute “God is Love” into “God is loving,” or even “God of all beings is the most loving.”
            Love is not a mere attribute of God; like light, it is his very nature. As “God is Light” sums up the Being of God intellectually, considered, so “God is Love” sums up the same on the moral side. Abortion is an issue of individual conscience. Unofficially that seems right to me.

          • carl jacobs

            “God is love” by itself says very little until you start fleshing out what love means. And how do you do that? You examine the Scripture. You don’t navel gaze and ponder WJWD. This blanket appeal to “God is love” is exactly the logic used to justify homosexuality over the objection of Scripture. We don’t examine what God has revealed. We ponder WJWD in the light of … something or other … and (surprise!) arrive at exactly the conclusion we desire. Why, isn’t that convenient.

          • We are called to love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God.

            Consider the example of Jesus. His way was a costly one. He travelled the road of sorrow and it ended with his death on a cross. Jesus was willing to suffer and die for us because his death would enable us to escape from our sins and to live with God forever. That was a display of real love.

            Is it loving of God or neighbour to end the life of a child? Really?

          • Come now, Carl. Some parents will abort children because they anticipate them suffering unduly if they live. They have no right to do so, but their motives may very well be selfless.

          • carl jacobs

            For God’s sake, Jack. Women have pushed their children face down into bathtubs for what they consider to be selfless motives. Infants and toddlers died at the hands of their own mother and she would have asserted just what you said. Who the hell cares? No one.

            And anyways. You will have a tough task proving that the claimed selfless motive was the true motive. That word “rationalization” was included in my post for a reason.

          • You must not judge the motives of others, Carl. Judge their actions, fine, but you cannot know what goes on in their hearts and souls.

          • carl jacobs

            Prosecutors present motives all the time. Who says a man’s motive cannot be determined with sufficiency?

            The arguments for abortion on this thread have focused overwhelmingly on the burden carried by the caregiver. What may I discern about motive from those arguments?

          • It’s a prosecutors job to present human nature at its worst and then to let a jury decide if they agree.

            Danny is letting his emotions get the better of him. He hasn’t grasped that moral right and wrong is an act of reason, not sentiment.

            Jack isn’t disagreeing with your arguments, just cautioning against attributing bad motive to people you don’t know.

          • carl jacobs

            Fair enough. But there is a selfish reason behind this differentiation between born and unborn. That’s why people won’t examine it.

          • There is a darkness in the human soul which legal abortion tempts and attracts, agreed.

          • dannybhoy

            That the parents looking forward to the birth of a lovely little boy or girl are then faced with the news that all is not well. Their child may not be perfect. In fact they may be so imperfect they will never speak or walk.
            They are not immediately going to say “Let’s abort!” They are going to go through shock and emotional trauma. They will be sharing their grief with parents, with family, with church members. They will be thinking of the child’s life and what they will face and wondering whether they as parents can meet their needs. They will want to do what is best according to their beliefs and the child they so wanted.;

          • Dreadnaught

            No Phil; my reason for that expression was more in respone to what Noster wrote

      • dannybhoy

        We live in a cause and effect world. God may intervene to achieve His purposes, but in the main I believe He lets things take their course, and for those of us who believe in His love and holiness, we work to alleviate and improve.
        Your vid is horrific, and I saw many more abnormalities especially born into communities which regularly practice intermarriage between cousins for example.
        I didn’t include them personally because my argument focused on parents faced with the prospect of a potentially severely handicapped child.

        • Philip

          Thank you Danny. I’m sorry the video is so awful and thankfully that syndrome is rare. It illustrates what can happen when one gene or absence of that gene fails to pass on information to make skin elastic.
          We are made of matter in an amazing way but if a problem can be identified early should we not look at the consequences for the baby and the family. At least we should be able to discuss these things rationally.

          • dannybhoy

            I meant that there were many other vids that I could have included to support my argument, but I didn’t want to get into “whataboutery!”
            To my mind the danger of being overly doctrinaire is that it tends to be carried out by learned men in comfortable surroundings, with tea and biscuits or perhap sipping a small sherry..
            It’s not real life, and as I see it Christianity is all about “real life.”
            If we accept that there can be no ultimate conflict between true science and Christian faith, (as the early Christian men of science did), then we accept what science discovers, and we accept the improvements that come through medical science.
            If for example we eventually discover that close relative marriage or incest results in deformed or defective babies, do we say “Well our faith allows for first cousin marriage, therefore the resultant disabled babies must be God’s will, and because life is sacrosanct we must care for them.” or do we say “This is the reason, and so we must question and modify our beliefs”?

            http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/marriage-between-first-cousins-doubles-risk-of-having-baby-with-life-threatening-birth-defects-8686232.html

  • Bella

    I’m not worried that this calumny has influenced Tina Beattie beyond a determination to make her position on abortion clear. Behind that photogenic smile lies a steely conviction that all things work together for good. Jesuit Fr James Martin Tweeted “How often do you ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, the breath, the “ruah” of God? Call on her in time of need. Count on her help.”
    I have no doubt that is what she and her many supporters, lay and clerical, have done since the Open Letter was written.
    She had no need to write a letter justifying her position but she did in a very personal statement.
    The Cranmer blog should post a print version in full. For those of us who weren’t originally prepared to make the effort to open it, the link is repeated here

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rrDbGXCy7qeS19eOzxS11OxQ2qdFXvTTrtFdoMIEmK8/mobilebasic?pli=1

    Read it, and let that be an end to the matter.

    “Any academic theologian working in a university must follow Cardinal Newman’s advice of seeking to promote an intellectual culture in which reason rather than fideism is the basis for enquiry and research, knowing that in the Catholic tradition reason and revelation go hand in hand, and ‘grace perfects nature’. In other words, the probing use of reason should never be seen as the enemy of faith. It is a vital contribution that academic theologians make to the vitality and dynamism of Catholic life and culture, and it requires critical, robust and rigorous engagement with all intellectual resources……
    Dr Tina Beattie. From her Statement.

    • Uncle Brian

      “How often do you ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, the breath, the “ruah” of God? Call on her in time of need. Count on her help.” [In Hebrew the word for Spirit (רוה) (ruach) is feminine]

      Nothing wrong with showing off your Hebrew, but a spelling mistake can mar the effect. Not רוה (ruah) but רוח (ruach).

      • Pubcrawler

        Ouch!

      • Bella

        Read carefully. You will see it is the Jesuit priest who made the spelling mistake in his quoted Tweet. My note used the correct spelling for the feminine noun.

        • Uncle Brian

          There are two glaring untruths in that brief comment.

          1. There cannot possibly be a spelling mistake in Fr Martin’s Hebrew since his tweet (if you’ve reproduced it correctly) uses only a transliteration, not the original Hebrew.

          2. You yourself, not Fr Martin, wrote רוה, a word which (if it exists at all) occurs nowhere in the Bible. It is in fact, as I said, a spelling mistake for רוח.

          In addition, you are guilty of a third untruth, less glaring than the others, perhaps, because it is implied rather than expressly asserted. You tell me to “read carefully”. It will have dawned on you by now, I trust, that in fact I read your comment more carefully than you read it yourself.

          • Ba da boooom ………

          • Pubcrawler

            Eccles has the tweet in his latest post. It does not contain the gloss, so the mistake in Hebrew orthography is not his.

            But what of the affectation behind using the feminine singular pronoun for the Spirit? Without wishing to show off, and as I’m sure most of the regulars know anyway, the word used for the third person of the Trinity in the Greek of the New Testament is neuter, but no one orthodox would refer to him as ‘it’.

            The concept of grammatical (as opposed to natural) gender does seem to baffle some whose own first language lacks it, don’t you think?

          • Uncle Brian

            I couldn’t agree more, Pubcrawler, but I didn’t want to drift so far off topic in my comments addressed to Bella. Like French, Italian, and many other languages, Hebrew has just two genders, masculine and feminine, so that every noun can be considered either a “he” or “she”, if you really want to take things that far. To my ear, though, Father Martin’s use of “she” in this case doesn’t sound affected so much as comic, a bit like Manuel in Fawlty Towers.

            When the expression Holy Spirit occurs in the Psalms or in Isaiah, as here:

            http://biblehub.com/isaiah/63-11.htm

            … would the feminine gender present any difficulty in Judaism? My guess, but it’s only a guess, is that it wouldn’t.

          • Pubcrawler

            Maybe Avi can help on that one.

            When I said ‘affectation’ I was being polite. Comic it may be, but unintentionally so. I did wonder why Bella elected to include it, even without the unfortunate gloss. The phrase ‘virtue-signalling of a particularly crass sort’ sprang to mind, but I could be wrong.

          • Uncle Brian

            Unintentionally, yes, of course. I’m sure he thought he was being daringly, dashingly, dangerously liberal and absolutely dripping with glamour.

          • “Therefore we” Eccles is Saved “are delighted to announce that Fr James Martin wins the April “Comedy Vicar” award, also known as a “Giles”, being a tastefully-designed statuette of Giles Fraser. Congratulations, Father, er Parent, James!”

          • Uncle Brian

            Is this the one? In any case, I think it deserves a link!

            https://faithinourfamilies.com/2016/05/02/the-holy-spirits-prefered-pronouns/

          • Pubcrawler
    • CliveM

      “Photogenic smile “!!!!!!

      If you want your position treated seriously stick to issues, frankly you come across as having a crush on the woman.

      • Bella

        Rofl.
        Edited to remove “photogenic”.

        A writer on Catholicism, while he questions Tina Beattie’s expressed views, refers today to this Cranmer blog as “menacing”…….

        “Some of the reactions have been vicious and uncharitable. One anonymous blogger [this one] describes Beattie as a “religious entryist“ and calls for the bishops to strip her of her roles. Not to do so ‘will give the impression of an episcopacy in office but not in power’, she writes, menacingly.”
        He continues….
        “In response, Beattie has made clear that as an academic theologian in a publicly-funded secular university she is not licensed to teach on behalf of the Magisterium (so the bishops are not in any position to purge her, even if they felt it was right to.)

        “Beattie also makes a case for freedom of discussion, saying it is her job to probe and debate. ‘In the Church’s dialogue with secular law and culture, the laity must be willing to engage in public debate in order to seek the most viable solution to complex ethical debates which affect non-Catholics as well as Catholics,’ she notes. This is commendable……..”

        Well done that man!

        • CliveM

          I think there are two things here. Her views which are completely open to challenge and her hiding behind the fact she is the mother of four children just doesn’t cut it.

          However The second issue is the article itself. On that I will agree, it was unnecessary sneering and appeared to me at least to include an element of character assassination.

          • For her part, Beattie has reacted to the storm of outrage by adopting a pose of pious victimhood, only slightly marred by hysteria. Naturally she has blamed the Internet for her woes, bemoaning “vicious distortions and malicious accusations currently being generated in tweets and blogs”, and that reliable staple “misogyny”.

            But that is not all. She has also produced a rambling, grandly-entitled Public Statement on her Theological Positions, claiming a distinction between the law and morality, which she undoubtedly applies to other difficult policies such as FGM.

            Just what is inaccurate in the above?

            She has done all this before too:

            http://www.thetablet.co.uk/texts-speeches-homilies/4/442/correspondence-reveals-reaction-to-scottish-archbishop-s-ban-on-female-catholic-theologian

            Read her letter to the Archbishop Cushey.

          • CliveM

            Some people are born to enjoy martyrdom!

            I’m also beginning to wonder if Bella and Tia aren’t one and the same, what with the references to ‘good looks ‘ and photogenic smiles’!

            My quibble about the original article refer to insinuations that she enjoyed her media profile. Whether she does or doesn’t is really irrelevant, it’s what she believes that matters.

        • EmpressJadis

          You carefully omit the rest of the article which is a damning indictment of Beattie’s weaselling

    • len

      Not much to smile about whilst looking at the dismembered bodies of aborted babies though…

    • Her letter was disingenuous, contradictory nonsense. It’s worth a read to witness the twists and turns of a heretic out to justify herself.

    • She certainly has form in writing against Church and … then … denying … she … has … done … so.

      “In September 2011, Professor Tina Beattie was invited to speak on ‘Mary: Mother of God and a model of a pilgrim people – Lumen Gentium’.

      “In the light of the controversy over a recent letter which appeared in the Times, signed by Professor Beattie and 27 others, about proposals to extend marriage to same-sex partnerships, in discussion with Professor Beattie, Clifton Diocese has decided to cancel the lecture.”

      Prof Tina Beattie said: “I was delighted and privileged to be asked to contribute to this distinguished series of lectures, and I was deeply saddened when the lecture was cancelled. However, I understand that this was a difficult and painful decision, and I accept the reasons for it.

      “I was one of 27 Catholic signatories to a letter published in the Times on Monday, August 13, which suggested that “it is perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples”. The letter did not commit any of the signatories to a position for or against same-sex civil marriage. Rather, it was putting across a reasoned argument as to why there are sound principles for Catholics in good conscience to take a number of different views on social policy issues such as same-sex civil marriage, even if these do not agree with the position stated by the hierarchy.”

      Does she really think people are this silly?

      • Terry Mushroom

        Jack

        CAFOD have told me:

        “Professor Tina Beattie is one of around ten theologians who volunteer their time as a member of CAFOD’s Theological Reference Group, meeting a couple of times a year to share ideas on theological issues. CAFOD’s Theological Reference Group includes academic theologians from England and Wales and from the global South, including Zimbabwe, Brazil, Argentina and the Philippines. It is important for CAFOD to have access to a wide range of theological opinion on issues of relevance to international development. The theological reference group is one way in which CAFOD accesses this range of academic thought. Tina Beattie is not CAFOD’s theological advisor – that role is held by Fr Augusto Zampini Davies, who works full-time in our London office.

        CAFOD’s mandate from the Bishops’ Conference is restricted to issues of international development. CAFOD does not have a mandate to comment on issues of social policy. When theologians speak in their academic, professional capacity such as Tina has they are not speaking on behalf of CAFOD.

        CAFOD appreciates the opportunity to dialogue with theologians on the moral issues which arise from our work. CAFOD then makes its own decisions on policy and practice, all of which are agreed by its Board. The Board ensures that all policies are in line with Church teaching. In all of our long term development and humanitarian relief work, we do not fund any work that contravenes Catholic teaching. We are deeply proud to be a Catholic agency and consider that identity to be distinctive and precious.

        We value protecting human life at all stages and assure you that CAFOD operates on the core values of compassion, dignity and hope taken from Catholic Social Teaching, with integrity at every level.”

        As a donor, my worry is that outlined by Cardinal Mary Clarence of the “… Catholic faithful who are not blind to the fact that abortion is a key plank of international development policies, rendering her position in CAFOD all the more concerning.”

        CAFOD hasn’t reassured me. What do you think?

    • Look, Bella/Phil, What Fr Martin tweeted – referring to the Holy Spirit by a feminine pronoun – is actually condemned by the CDF (probably because there is no justification from scripture or tradition). Moreover, you are confusing gender and sex – “personne” is feminine in French, but not all French persons are female.

      Tina’s pro-abortion line has now been condemned by ++Vin, and that’s also a load of heresy as far as Catholics – and most other Christians – are concerned.

      • Bella

        With an average of one comment per blog on this Anglican website you have SEVENTEEN on this one about the academic Tina Beattie.

        Why would you bother about this woman? Even the bearded guy whose respect you crave condemns the attack on a fellow academic.

        It’s a puzzle why you find a middle-aged female scholar a threat. Are you jealous?

        • Sorry, I didn’t know that you were still stalking me, Bella, until someone mentioned it on my own blog.

          How many comments have you made? I can’t be bothered to count them – it’s like counting the number of cowpats in a field.

          Bearded guy whose respect I crave? Christopher Howse? Brian Blessed? God?

    • “I’m not worried that this calumny has influenced Tina Beattie beyond a determination to make her position on abortion clear.”

      Yah, she’s done that. It’s a personal choice of a woman and neither the Church nor the state should intrude. Legalised abortion also saves the lives of women who might otherwise seek illegal ones.

      • Bella

        It has become clear today that the efforts made by a few compulsive Catholic bloggers to damage Tina Beattie’s reputation have failed. She will continue business as usual and no doubt pray for those who mistake academic freedom of speech for heresy.
        This will boost the sales of her books and speaking engagements where, as usual, on Church property she will speak on topics that are appropriate and in a manner that is completely orthodox.

        • Except the more attention and publicity her dissident views get the more faithful Catholics will demand she is not invited to speak at events organised by the Church.

          Do you know if she is still forbidden to talk at Catholic events in Scotland?

          Even a *practicing* Catholic in an *academic* role as a *theologian* is forbidden by the Church from publically supporting abortion and contraception.

          • Bella

            Practising Catholic with an S…….not practicing Catholic with a C.

            The vendetta has failed. Relax, and direct your poison arrows at someone else if you must.

          • Still banned in Scotland, then.

    • Albert

      If we read the statement, a number of things stand out:

      So, with regard to all the doctrinal teachings that belong within the deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, my theological position is absolutely orthodox.

      Orthodox, judged by whom? For the Catholic, it is the Magisterium that judges, so we would expect the Magisterium to be included in the doctrines she upholds. But it isn’t:

      If I were questioning the doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Real Presence, the Resurrection of the Body, the Virgin Birth, the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption

      I’m not saying she doesn’t believe what the Church teaches about the Magisterium, I am simply saying that, despite attempting to defend herself, she has failed to say so, which is curious, considering the accusations she is answering.

      Secondly, these three statements:

      1. I am personally pro-life
      2. However, there are serious issues that must be addressed with regard to how far the Church should use the law to defend positions which may not be defensible from the perspective of those who do not share the Christian faith.
      3. It should be the aim of every Christian to work towards a world in which neither war nor abortion is necessary

      Now are not these three statements rather paradoxical, if not contradictory? If you are pro-life, then you think the innocent should always be protected – there’s no relativist get out “Oh, I you’re not a Christian, so you can kill your baby.” Or “Oh, you’re not a Christian, so we can’t stop you killing innocent person of type X.” Secondly, if one is pro-life, then one can never regard abortion as necessary.

      Doubtless you will reply, if at all, by simply attacking me. But I am asking a genuine question: how do you reconcile points two and three with point one? This statement is after all, Tina Beattie defending herself on that very point. It looks to me like a statement of the problem rather than an effective defence.

      So I’m still left wondering if you could be so kind as to state why or where you think her opponents have been so unfair. I’ve defended her from the charge about the homosexuality and the Eucharist, because it seems to me to be entirely false – and only likely to be made by someone who has not read her work (as I have). If you can convince me that she has been misrepresented on abortion, I will join you in defending her.

      • Bella

        Can’t be bothered. This article and its topic is past its sell-by date.
        Author/co-author identified according to seasoned blog-watchers.
        Want a clue?
        Here: “suckers are born everyday”.
        Facebook: “The CD is dying in style… I’m such a sucker for packaging. Did get it at a discount, though.”

        • Albert

          Can’t be bothered.

          And that’s the point here. At no point have you given any justification for your attacks on people in this thread – despite being repeatedly asked to do so. Despite people reading the sources you asked them to read, and them quoting them in their defence.

          Want a clue?

          Here: “suckers are born everyday”.

          Facebook: “The CD is dying in style… I’m such a sucker for packaging. Did get it at a discount, though.”

          It may be the same person, but that’s not good evidence. And evidence is the thing that has been lacking here, from the start.

        • Terry Mushroom

          “Can’t be bothered. This article and its topic is past its sell-by date.”

          That is a disgraceful answer. The sell-by date for aborted children means they are dead.

          Ms Beattie’s CAFOD involvement is very relevant to people like me who have supported them for years. I’m having a very unsatisfactory correspondence with them, trying to understand why they are using such a poor theologian to advise them. Albert gives good examples of why.

          Your unwillingness to engage does Mrs Beattie and CAFOD no favour.