UK & Wales Bishops: Cowardice, Lack Of Faith Or Stupidity?
Look, if you please, at the photo above. A young, very dynamic, rather sexy young female swimmer is allegedly in the act of “using her body for the glory of God”.
When I first saw this my immediate, visual reaction (that’s what photos are there for: to cause immediate, visual reactions) was that the Olympic theme is used by our bishops to promote a campaign against obesity (a rather monstrous problem in this country), that is: use your body to make sport and live a healthy life, and all that jazz. Undertone: sport is sexy, and if you make sport you’ll become more attractive.
On second thought, I reflected this might be an invitation to avoid premarital sex, that is: use your body for the glory of God and use your hormonal overflow to make sport and live a healthy life, rather than becoming a slut like so many of your friends.
Imagine my surprise when I realised this slogan (with the sexy swimmer, the Olympic theme, and the general atmosphere of hormonal overflow) would, should, ought, is actually meant to, express our Bishop’s opposition to – mainly, and at large – abortion and euthanasia.
Now, I admit there is “day for life” written on it; but come on, that’s the last thing you notice and at some point you would have noticed even if they had put on the poster the Paddington Bear, or an old teapot.
It gets even more interesting – and you start discovering the photo was not a coincidence – when you visit the internet page and discover that like everything else, the “day for life” is being watered down in a series or other fashionable, innocuous, uncontroversial themes like “disability”, “suicide” and, believe it or not, general “happiness”. This “enlargement” comes very handy, because if you start talking of the necessity of building structures for disabled people (very “social”, and therefore by definition “popular”) you can conveniently avoid talking of what is unpleasant, like abortion; and if you mention a couple of platitudes about “happiness”, or the revolutionary message of the advisability of avoiding suicide, everyone is sure you are not going to touch the unpleasant topics like euthanasia.
This is all so anodyne, so obvious, and so fundamentally stupid that the indifferent youth might well like it, without ever caring a straw about abortion. Great success, then.
The political advantages are also not indifferent: whilst abortion and euthanasia are controversial, “happiness”, structures for disabled people and sexy young swimmers aren’t; so our cowardly shepherds can try to appear Catholics within the Catholic world without anyone outside of it ever noticing they are.
The main message here is that the UK hierarchy has reached such level of cowardice, that they now renounce to even an indirect message about abortion (or euthanasia), limiting themselves to a visual image as distant as possible from the message they are supposed to convey, but still “attractive” and in tune with the “feelings” of the broad public; in case this should be not enough, they even conveniently drown the main theme (which cannot be other than abortion and euthanasia) under a tsunami of politically correct themes of easy digestion.
Astonishing cowardice, astonishing lack of faith, or astonishing stupidity?
I vote for the first.