THE CATHOLIC HERALD NOVEMBER 28 2014
CARDIFF UNIVERSITY students are to vote on a motion this week making the student union officially pro-abortion, prompting alarm about freedom of speech after a debate at Oxford University on abortion was cancelled last week.
Students for Life at Cardiff University said that clauses within the proposed motion, of which were due to be debated and voted on yesterday, would threaten the society’s freedom of speech and expression.
Jonathan O’Connell, president of Students for Life, said: “This motion simply cannot be allowed to pass. The university environment has long been a bastion of
Students propose making university pro-abortion BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
free speech, which the proposed motion seeks to attack. There are huge implications in enforcing a single ideology or political viewpoint across the whole student populace; not least of all it restricts students’ freedom of expression as well as directly limiting the religious freedom of certain student groups.
“Declaring the university officially pro-choice is akin to declaring the university affiliated with a single political party, which obviously in the 21st century would be totally unthinkable.”
Key clauses within the pro-abortion motion include preventing “affiliated societies and groups from taking part in anti-choice protests or rallies outside of abortion clinics and under the banner of the student’s union”.
A further clause states: “Any information about abortion or contraception disseminated, distributed or presented in union or university buildings must be unbiased and not shame those who choose to have abortions, and must be academically referenced.”
Alithea Williams, vice-chairwoman of the Alliance of Pro-Life Students, said: “This motion is highly problematic. It seeks to impose a uniform ideological viewpoint on the entire student body, and tramples upon the right to freedom of speech and expression of those who disagree.
“Universities are supposed to be places of free and open expression
The Alliance of Pro-Life Students called the motion an attack on free speech and debate, and all views, including the pro-life voice, must be allowed to be heard. We hope that as this motion is now being brought before the whole student body, which the original proposers consistently refused to do, the students of Cardiff will not allow this censorious and illiberal attack on free speech to go through.”
The motion was originally proposed at a meeting of the
Student Senate in March but it was eventually withdrawn.
Fr Gareth Jones, chaplain at Cardiff University, said the motion would have serious implications for the Catholic Society as well. He said: “CathSoc, which predates the Union, along with free speech, will also be a casualty if this motion is passed. The chaplain and the president of CathSoc have met on two occasions and recognise that it would not be consistent to endorse or identify with the Cardiff Union in the event of the motion being passed. This motion makes as to presume consent or cooperation in the ‘pro-choice’ political agenda which silences broad debate on fundamental matters of life and the liberty of the person. In matters inconsistent with the Catholic faith the only option open to Catholics in this event of being silenced and religious liberty trampled upon is to resign from the Union until such a time as a more liberal spirit returns. Catholics recognise their place within civil society and contribute to it. However, they must be afforded that legitimate freedom to uphold the Commandment ‘you shall not kill’, even if such is not enshrined in statute in regard to the unborn infant.
“The exclusion of CathSoc resulting from this motion ... will necessitate a re-examining of those activities and collaborations of the Catholic community at present. The Chaplaincy at 62 Park Place is the property of the Archdiocese of
Cardiff. The chaplain is appointed by the archbishop. Let us pray for charity in our dealings with those promoting the motion and common sense in overturning this narrowminded motion.”
Concern about the stifling of pro-life activism has grown since 2012 when students at University College London sought to introduce rules forcing pro-lifers to invite pro-abortion speakers to their events.
Pro-life societies at the universities of Dundee, Cambridge and Oxford have expressed concern about freedom of expression on campus. Adams cartoon: Page 12 Editorial comment: Page 13
Book claims cardinal was key Francis supporter
BY ED WEST
CARDINAL Cormac MurphyO’Connor helped to propel Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio towards the papacy, according to a new biography of Pope Francis.
Cardinal Bergoglio was only number 11 on the bookies’ list of papal candidates and his election last March took even Vatican insiders by surprise. Aged 76, the Jesuit became the first Latin American pope on the second day of voting at the conclave.
The new biography, The Great Reformer, by the British Catholic writer Austen Ivereigh, says that a group nicknamed “Team Bergoglio” built up momentum for the Argentine cardinal before the conclave.
It is widely believed that Cardinal Bergoglio was the runner-up in the 2005 conclave that elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who took the name Benedict XVI. Dr Ivereigh suggests that the chief supporters of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires that year were a group of largely European cardinals. In 2013 the European group again supported Cardinal Bergoglio. Dr Ivereigh writes: “Spotting their moment, the initiative was now seized by the European reformers who in 2005 had pushed for Bergoglio.”
Dr Ivereigh, a former spokesman and public affairs adviser to Cardinal MurphyO’Connor, suggests that the former Archbishop of Westminster championed Cardinal Bergoglio alongside the German Cardinal Walter Kasper.
Cardinal Kasper, former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is a leading theologian and supporter of liberal reforms in the Church. He famously called for some remarried Catholics to be allowed to receive Holy Communion in a speech to the world’s cardinals in February.
According to Dr Ivereigh, Cardinal Bergoglio’s supporters “had learnt their lessons from 2005”. “They first secured Bergoglio’s assent,” he writes. “Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked. Murphy-O’Connor knowingly warned him to ‘be careful’, and that it was his turn now, and was told capisco, ‘I understand’. Then they got to work, touring the cardinals’ dinners to promote their man, arguing that his age – 76 – should no longer be
Pope Francis greets Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor at the Vatican last year
Photo: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk considered an obstacle, given that popes could resign.”
In a letter published by the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor’s press secretary, Maggie Doherty, clarified the former Archbishop of Westminster’s role in the election of Cardinal Bergoglio.
She wrote: “Cardinal MurphyO’Connor would like to dispel any misunderstanding arising from Austen Ivereigh’s book on Pope Francis. He would like to make it clear that no approach to the then Cardinal Bergoglio in the days before the conclave was made by him or, as far as he knows, by any other cardinal to seek his assent to becoming a candidate for the papacy.
“What occurred during the conclave, which did not include Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor because he was over 80, is bound by secrecy.”
In response, Dr Ivereigh said: “Instead of ‘they secured his consent’ it would have been more accurate to say: ‘This time, they had the impression he would not resist his election.’ This will be corrected in future editions.”
Dr Ivereigh also argues in the book that the media were caught out by the election of Cardinal Bergoglio because they focused before the conclave on “intra-curial and intra-Italian tensions”.
“For this reason and because the organisers of his campaign stayed largely below the radar, the
Bergoglio bandwagon that began to roll during the week of the congregations went undetected by the media and to this day most vaticanisti [Vatican observers] believe there was no organised pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected,” he writes.
The Great Reformer: Francis and the making of a radical pope is published by Allen and Unwin on December 4. The publishers describe it as “the first intimate, indepth biography” of Francis.
Faithful at last Mass ‘are not giving up’
BY DAVID V BARRETT
PARISHIONERS at St Ignatius in Preston are continuing their campaign against the closure of their historic church.
The usual 140-strong congregation was doubled last Sunday for the final Mass in the 178-year-old church, a Grade II* listed building with a spectacular interior designed by Augustus Pugin.
The parishioners, many of whom are in their 70s or 80s, are refusing to move to other churches.
“This isn’t the end,” said church secretary Moira Cardwell, who told the Lancashire Evening Post a fortnight ago she would chain herself to the church railings in protest.
“The fight will go on. We aren’t giving up. We will continue doing everything in our power to get the church to change its mind.”
Another Preston parish, St Augustine’s, where parishioners have worshipped in a school hall since its church was closed 30 years ago, has also been closed. “We only found out about three weeks ago that we were being shut down,” said parishioner Ralph Cooper. “The news has come as a bolt from the blue.”
Although Bishop Michael Campbell wrote in a blog post of parishioners finding “a new identity in a newer, larger, active and stronger parish community”, many parishioners say they will not move.
Mrs Cardwell said of St Ignatius: “Some have been attending this church ever since they were baptised here. They have been in tears over this – and they’re not the only ones.”
Catholic and Jewish schools top Sunday Times list BY ED WEST BY STAFF REPORTER
College sends gifts to Ebola-hit country
THE CARDINAL Vaughan Memorial School in west London has been named the best comprehensive in the country by the Sunday Times newspaper.
The Kensington school, which celebrated its centenary this year, was named Britain’s best-performing comprehensive in last Sunday’s Sunday Times Parent Power Guide,
The Vaughan is one of three Catholic schools in the top 10, with Coloma Convent Girls school in Croydon at number six and St John the Baptist School in Woking in seventh place. Just one of the top seven schools is secular, the other three being Jewish. It is the second year running that the Vaughan has finished top of the list.
The school, which teaches 950 pupils, is now oversubscribed eight times over, and gives priority to “fully practising Catholic families”. Last year’s GCSE results were the best in the school’s history and 10 pupils were accepted for Oxford and Cambridge.
Around 90 per cent of pupils eligible for free meals in the school achieve five or more GCSEs, compared to a national average of 21 per cent.
Headmaster Paul Stubbings said in response to the survey: “Obviously I’m delighted and especially pleased that the efforts of our wonderful staff and pupils have been so spectacularly rewarded.” This September Cardinal Nichols celebrated a Mass to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the school’s founding, on the former site of a private girls’ school. The Vaughan was founded by Henry FitzalanHoward, 15th Duke of Norfolk, and the Catholic family still support the school at prizegivings and other events. The school turned from a grammar to comprehensive in 1977, but has maintained a grammar-like ethos, with streamed classes, Latin and Greek, and a house system named after 16th-century martyrs.
In 2009 the school was embroiled in a row with the Archdiocese of Westminster after it reported the school to the Office of Schools Adjudicator over its admissions policy, which the archdiocese says was discriminatory. The conflict was resolved in 2011.
Coloma, founded in 1869 and also a former grammar school, is famous for its musical traditional as well as outstanding academic performance. It too was reported by its archdiocese, Southwark, in 2011 over admissions criteria that favoured parents who were more active in the Catholic Church.
All 50 of the top state schools in the Sunday Times were selective grammar schools. Of the other four top comprehensives, one is nondenominationally Christian and three secular.
STUDENTS and families from a Catholic college on the Wirral have filled 800 shoeboxes with Christmas presents for children in Makeni, Sierra Leone.
St Anselm’s College in Birkenhead selected the country because it has been severely disrupted by the spread of the Ebola virus.
The first gifts of “Operation Makeni” arrived last weekend, with the air freight cots paid for by donors from the college and local community.
Headmaster Simon Duggan said: “We are responding to the pleas of our friends in Sierra Leone and reaching out to those so much less fortunate than ourselves. It is our Christian duty to provide this support and there has been a magnificent response from our college family and contacts.”
The college’s twin school is St Francis in Makeni, Sierra Leone. It was founded by Christian Brothers.
A statement released by the college said: “The college has already sent more than a tonne of essential medical supplies to Sierra Leone since September, in partnership with the local Wirral community and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust. They have provided gloves, surgical masks, suits, aprons, goggles, dental equipment, ibuprofen, paracetamol, mattresses and body bags. Plans are underway to send a shipping container in the New Year.”
A mother’s love is powerful. Together with your Advent gift, it can even save lives Your gift this Advent can strengthen the hand of mothers like Santa Agripina. Through a CAFODsupported mother-child health programme, she was able to save her malnourished son from death.
Baby Jansel has survived the worst and is now thriving. Together with your help, we can reach many more families like Santa’s.
Please give today.
iIva n ovsk l a i ko
Yes, I want to help save lives this Advent Please accept my donation of £
Title: Initials: Surname: Home address
Daytime telephone number
I enclose: a cheque/postal order (please make payable to CAFOD) OR please debit my: Visa MasterCard CharityCard American Express Maestro
Maestro issue no:
Date: / /
Your donation will help people all over the world, wherever the need is greatest. Thank you. Please send to: Freepost RSHJ-KJBY-YXLT, CAFOD, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, LONDON SE1 7JB Gift Aid Declaration By giving through Gift Aid your donations will be worth 25% more at no extra cost to you (only valid with full name and address filled out) – please tick as appropriate:
I am a UK taxpayer and would like CAFOD to treat all qualifying gifts of money made from 6th April 2010 and in the future as Gift Aid donations. I confirm I have paid or will pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs that I donate to will reclaim on my gifts for that tax year. I understand that other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. I understand CAFOD will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give on or after 6th April 2010 OR I am not a UK taxpayer.
cafod.org.uk/advent Tel: 0303 303 3030 CAFOD will store and process your information in accordance with the Data Protection Act. We may contact you but will only share your details with external organisations if they are working on our behalf. CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Registered charity no. 285776