Monday, 11 October 2010

Unjust discrimination - and bullying in all its forms

From Ecumenical News International
"Europe's Roman Catholic bishops have set up an organization to defend the rights of Christians as well as monitoring prejudice and injustice across the continent.
"Our first task will be to provide people around Europe with objective and reliable data about the anti-Christian discrimination which is taking place, as well as to alert Catholic bishops’ conferences and other religious institutions," Thierry Bonaventura, media officer of the Council of Catholic Episcopates of Europe, told ENInews.
"But we also want to encourage local church groups to be involved and take concrete steps against intolerance, such as by presenting reports to the United Nations and the Council of Europe, and encouraging them to take appropriate measures."
CCEE's Hungarian president, Cardinal Peter Erdo, said the observatory would also assist evangelisation and "authentic democracy based on equality," by promoting a society "more respectful of religious freedom, and more capable of understanding and accepting its own roots and reality through a healthy secularism.
"When the existence of God is denied at all costs, as some groups seek to do," said Erdo, "the result is always the denial of the possibility of basing life and societal structures on a solid foundation, basing them instead on the opinions of some or on the apparent momentary consensus of certain lawmakers."
The cardinal noted, "Europe needs God. It needs to remember its own roots and thus look to the future with realism and hope. The situation is often not easy for Christians, who seek to bear witness with their lives to the faith and hope that is in them, through a lifestyle that becomes a challenge for others."
The website is here.
And from across the Atlantic, the shocking case of Tyler Clementi. Report here
Unfortunately the utterly ghastly response from the local TEC bishops (here) reads, in its opportunistic sloganising,  more like an attempt at an LGBT recruitment drive than an expression of prayerful sympathy, far less a compassionate restatement of traditional Christian values. 
The bullying of the emotionally vulnerable is disgraceful whatever the context. 
Perhaps during their adolescence in this overheated, brutally simplistic and desperately confusing contemporary culture, young people also have a right to be given space not to be labelled - and not to be remembered just for the label.

And some unfair "political" comment (including, oddly, from those who should know better.) Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, and, of course, Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government, has been attacked for considering sending his children to the Oratory School. Surely, as someone (even an atheist) married to a Roman Catholic, Miriam González Durántez, he is simply honouring a promise which they would have made to give their children a Catholic education. Or should solemn promises not matter any more? Not hypocrisy then, only hypocritical reactions.

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