Piers Paul Read The Dreyfus Affair: who was to blame? FEATURES, PAGE 8
Caroline Farrow The first feminists opposed abortion
FEATURE, PAGE 8
Peter Stanford Cafod is a credit to the Church CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20
February 3 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Crackdown on pro-life group is ‘Stalinist’, says barrister
Ex-footballer is studying for priesthood
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A LEADING barrister has said that a decision by a student union in London to restrict discussions on abortion is “Stalinist” and “illegal”.
The student union of University College London adopted a motion by 2,002 votes to 818 which forces Catholic chaplaincies to invite pro-abortion speakers to pro-life discussions.
The motion states: “On October 31 2011, UCLU Catholic Society advertised a ‘discussion’ around the issue of abortion which consisted of one pro-life speaker. It is also noted that people who held opposing views were invited to attend...
“Any future open events focusing on the issue of termination [must] invite an anti-choice speaker and a pro-choice speaker as well as an independent chair to ensure there is a balance.”
The ratified motion also obliges proabortion groups to invite pro-life speakers to pro-abortion events.
But Neil Addison, who specialises in religious discrimination law, said: “This motion is completely illegal under the Education (No 2) Act 1986 which guarantees freedom of speech at universities and is also illegal under Articles 9, 10, and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“The student union has no right to dictate which speakers are invited by student organisations. Also the resolution assumes that everyone involved in this debate can be easily categorised as ‘prochoice’ or ‘pro-life’ which is a simplistic analysis. Many people, for example, regard Nadine Dorries as ‘pro-life’ though she describes herself as ‘prochoice’. What right does the student
This motion is completely illegal... Students who voted for it demonstrate a totalitarian intolerance
For the latest Catholic education news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk union have to decide which category a speaker should be classified under?
“The students who voted for this resolution have demonstrated a totalitarian intolerance unworthy of an academic institution. Hitler and Stalin would be proud of them.”
The student union also voted to become officially “pro-choice” and affiliate itself with a group called Abortion Rights.
Students from the University College London Catholic Society expressed disappointment with the decision, arguing that the use of “anti-choice” rather than “prolife” in the motion “removes any semblance of impartiality”.
Cajetan Skowronski, spokesman for the Catholic Society, said: “We are very disappointed that UCLU has adopted this motion to take an official stance on what should be a personal matter of conscience, to limit freedom of speech on campus and to affiliate with an organisation that does not represent the views of the student body.
“We are concerned that this could set a precedent for other such divisive issues at UCL. Societies such as the Catholic Society, who by their nature are pro-life, are now no longer able to express themselves without first warning the union and inviting a pro-choice speaker in order that socalled ‘balance’ may be imposed. Less than 10 per cent of students voted for this motion. It is hardly a shining example of a representative decision.”
But James Skuse, the union’s democracy and communications officer, said the adoption of a pro-choice policy “reaffirms the union’s commitment to supporting students in making their own mind up on the difficult topic of abortion”.
Editorial Comment: Page 13
A FORMER Manchester United footballer is training to become a priest.
Phil Mulryne, once a teammate of Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, has enrolled at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.
The former Northern Ireland midfielder was selected for the priesthood by Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor after leaving the sport and becoming involved in charitable activities. Mr Mulryne, 34, began his career with the Manchester United youth team in 1994, but despite great talent found it hard to find a first team place in one of the most famous English league sides of all time, with Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt all playing in similar positions. He joined Norwich City in 1999 and eventually had spells with Ipswich Town, Barnsley and Polish side Legia Warsaw.
Continued on Page 2
Rome picks Liverpool for project during Lent
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE ARCHDIOCESE of Liverpool has announced that it will launch a major evangelisation drive in Lent along with 11 other metropolitan dioceses in Europe.
The drive is part of a continent-wide pilot scheme overseen by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation in preparation for the October Synod of Bishops on the new evangelisation in Rome.
The scheme, known as Missio Metropolis, is the Pontifical Council’s first big project since it was created in 2010.
During Lent parishes in the Archdiocese of Liverpool will hold talks, reflections, services and devotions, including early morning Masses at least once a week, with some starting at 6:30am.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King will promote the Sacrament of Reconciliation, with extra times scheduled for Eucharistic Adoration.
Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool will preside at Solemn Mass and choral evening prayer at the cathedral every Sunday in Lent.
On Saturday evenings in Lent the archbishop will offer a reflection on the Gospel during a vigil service of sung Office of Readings. This will take place at the Shrine of Blessed Dominic Barberi in Sutton, St Helens.
On Friday evenings the archbishop will lead reflections at St Ambrose Barlow church, Astley.
On Saturday March 31, the eve of Palm Sunday, the archbishop will give a reflection at a performance of Liszt’s Via Crucis.
The other European dioceses participating in the pilot scheme are Barcelona, Budapest, Brussels, Dublin, Cologne, Lisbon, Paris, Turin, Vienna and Warsaw.
The Diocese of Lancaster has also recently announced its launch of a Lenten initiative in order to promote the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Every Wednesday of Lent all the churches in the diocese will be open from 7pm to 8pm for Confession.
Editorial Comment: Page 13
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Irish bishop is investigated for ‘inciting hatred’ against atheists BY ED WEST
THE BISHOP of Raphoe is being investigated by the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions over a homily about secularism.
The Gardai forwarded a file to the DPP after a complaint by a leading Humanist who claims that the homily, delivered at Knock shrine last summer, was an incitement to hatred.
Former Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan made allegations that the address by Bishop Philip Boyce was in breach of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989.
The homily, entitled “To Trust in God”, was delivered to worshippers during a novena at the County Mayo shrine last August and subsequently reported in the media, including the Irish Times, under the headline: “‘Godless culture’ attacking Church, says bishop.”
Mr Colgan referred in his formal complaint to two key passages in Dr Boyce’s homily, one of which referred to the Church in Ireland being
“attacked from outside by the arrows of a secular and godless culture”.
The second passage which was included in the complaint stated: “For the distinguishing mark of Christian believers is the fact they have a future; it is not that they know all the details that await them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness.”
Mr Colgan, a former leader in the Campaign to Separate Church and State, said in his complaint: “I believe statements of this kind are an incitement to hatred of dissidents, outsiders, secularists, within the meaning of the [Incitement to Hatred] Act, who are perfectly good citizens within the meaning of the civil law. The statements exemplify the chronic antipathy towards secularists, humanists etc, which has manifested itself in the ostracising otherwise perfectly good Irish citizens who do not share the aims of the Vatican’s Irish mission Church.”
Bishops: write to MPs on same-sex marriage BY STAFF REPORTER
ARCHBISHOP Peter Smith of Southwark has said that the bishops’ conference is planning to issue leaflets informing Catholics of forthcoming same-sex marriage legislation and urging the faithful to write to their MPs about it.
Archbishop Smith, chairman of the bishops’ Department for Christian Responsibility and
Citizenship, said that he and Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster also planned to write a pastoral letter about the importance of marriage to a stable society.
He said that after the details of the legislation had emerged “we will be producing a leaflet for Catholics to raise awareness of the specific proposals and to encourage people to engage with their MPs”.
Dove seeks refuge in papal apartments
BY STAFF REPORTER
POPE BENEDICT XVI exclaimed “Mamma mia!” on Sunday as a dove he and two Italian schoolchildren had tried to release out of a window flew back over his head and into the papal apartments.
The Pope and representatives of the Italian Catholic Action children’s section release doves during the
Sunday Angelus address in late January each year. And, almost every year, at least one of the birds flies back into the papal apartment.
During his Angelus address, Pope Benedict also marked World Leprosy Day and the international day of prayer for peace in the Holy Land. He said he invoked “the gift of peace for that land blessed by God”.
Marie Collins What I will tell the world’s bishops about abuse PAGE 7
Fr Tim Gardner Two simple steps to renew our schools PAGE 12
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