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Friday, 29 September 2006

Tablet article today

A kind contact has been passing me have electronic press cuttings all this week. Today, emailed me the page of the Pill (oops, sorry, the Tablet) with an article "Sixth-form college head resigns after ‘hellfire’ row".

Now this is remarkable. In all the reportage this week, a student's obviously not-quite-the-whole-truth-but-very-quotable remark about Barbara McGuigan has been repeated "She told us that if we had an abortion we’d go to Hell for ever". Trust the Tablet to make that slander the headline! Again, for the record, Barbara McGuigan does not believe that everyone who has an abortion goes to hell. She is on record speaking of the forgiveness and mercy of God. She also refers to Evangelium Vitae where Pope John Paul II spoke (n.99) in a kind and compassionate way to women who have had an abortion. (See my previous post on this for the text.)

The article refers to the "strong support" that I gave to the Principal, and repeats the Guardian language about me being an "active member" of SPUC. (Boo! Hiss!) Then it adds a specifically Tablet meme, saying that I am "a member of the traditionalist Catholic movement, Faith."

The Tablet cannot refer to Faith without calling it traditionalist. OK so they don't like traditionalists (another "Boo! Hiss!" moment). But actually, they have their stereotypes wrong. I am certainly a traditionalist (as you can probably tell from this blog). But Faith is not. It is orthodox, it is faithful to the magisterium, it doesn't go in for creative liturgy. But at Faith conferences, the Mass is always Novus Ordo, in English, concelebrated, with Offertory Procession, Bidding Prayers, even guitar music fairly regularly. Perhaps the label they are looking for is "neo-orthodox". That doesn't quite hit it either because Faith is concerned with more than orthdoxy and has a theological project which I am entirely in agreement with, promoting a synthesis of science and the Catholic faith, particularly arguing for the existence of God using the insights of modern science, including an evolutionary view of creation. But why bother to try to understand? Labels will do the job nicely. "Traditionalist" hmmph!

I was slightly alarmed by the quote attributed to me:
"On Tuesday, he told The Tablet: “She [Mrs Williams] promoted an excellent Catholic ethos; some of the people at the college took against her."
As ever, and I can happily understand this necessary part of journalism, two disparate parts of a conversation are joined by a semi-colon in one sentence. The first part, of course, I stand by absolutely. She did promote an excellent Catholic ethos. At one time, I blogged a response to an article in the News Shopper, defending the Catholic ethos of the College. I took down that and several other posts on St Luke's when a number of Associated Press computers appeared in the site meter log - I did not wanting to exacerbate the press coverage. However, it might now be helpful to repost that one now ...
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